Accurate Casting – Hitting The Mark, Every Time!

Many anglers turn up at the lake, spend hours meticulously studying the water for signs of fish, settle on a peg and chuck out the marker float. They find a bar or area of gravel and pop the marker up. Now to get the rods and spod out! I still see numerous anglers just casting at the marker and guessing how close the leads or spod are landing. There is however, a much better way of accurately hitting the marker, without also having to walk 100 yards down the bank…


Once a spot is located I will clip the line into the line clip on the reel and line it up with a far bank marker before reeling in. I place two bank sticks or pegs 12ft apart (a rod length), attaching the lead to one and with the bail arm open (using the clutch causes line twist), pay line out and wrap it around each peg until I hit the clip, counting each turn. If, for example, I counted out 12 and a half turns, there are 4 yards to 12ft so I would be fishing at 50 yards exactly.

Marking this down on a piece of paper for future sessions, I would then reel the marker line in, clipping up the spod to 12 and a half turns. By clipping the spod to this range, I can bait up quickly and accurately when the marker is not in the water later in the session and even ensure I can hit the spot during future sessions without the need for marker work.

Josh with a superb 41.06 mirror caught using this approach

I am then able to clip up the fishing rods, but I allow a certain amount of extra line depending on the depth of water I’m fishing. Because of the way the lead enters the water when it hits a line clip, it falls through the water coming back towards the angler (see diagram), so clipping at the same range as the marker would mean it landing just short of the spot and your baited area. Obviously this is not needed with the spod as it lies on top of the water above the spot and doesn’t fall through the water column.

With this in mind, imagine a gravel bar at 50 yards (12.5 turns) which is 15 foot deep. For each 3 foot in depth I add an extra 1 foot to the distance I need to clip the fishing rod up to around the sticks. If this were the case I would add an extra 5 foot to my fishing line, so although my spod will be clipped to 12.5 turns, my actual fishing rods will be clipped to just under 13 turns. To ensure that I am ultra accurate, the angle of the rod when hitting the clip, is also noted down. By holding the rod at vertical when hitting the clip, 90 degrees to the water level, I can gently lower the lead or spod onto the surface of the water. This ensures each rod hits the clip at the same angle and allows the angler to feel for a ‘donk’ on the lead as it hits the bottom, ensuring I am on the desired spot.

Furthermore, this allows me to gently lay the spod or rig onto the surface of the lake, without having a big ‘badoosh!’ each time you cast out.  If I were to hold the rod pointing at the lead as it hit the clip, this would probably be the case and the stretch in the line (100% of my fishing is done with monofilament or fluorocarbon) would have an emphasised ‘bungee’ effect on the lead and spring it back towards me further still, numbing the ‘feel’ of the lead hitting bottom via the rod tip and decreasing accuracy. By feathering the cast to hit the clip as delicately as possible, this allows the lead to have minimal effect on the stretch in the line, making the lead arch in the water column and hopefully land as accurately as possible.

Once I have clipped up, some marking tape or elastic placed by the butt ring when the line is still in the clip allows for each rod to be recast after a capture with ease and not risk putting my hook bait beyond my baited area. By writing the distance, far bank marker and always casting with a 90 degree angle in the rod when hitting the clip, even if I turned up on a Friday night in the dark, I could still hit the same spot every time on the next session.

Carp fishing tactics

Please excuse the terrible paint diagram, but hopefully it aids in describing what I am trying to highlight. The dotted line with a small red dot indicates the marker above a feature. The grey line is the spod, hitting the clip and having no stretch in the braided line landing bang on the marker, depositing bait all over the feature. The black line is the fishing line and as you can see I have put a small orange circle where I aim to hit the clip; just above the water line. This puts minimal stretch into the main line and reduces the arc you can see under the water line. This arc is the reason I add an extra foot for each 3 foot in depth to ensure I land right on top of the bait. As you can see if you were to clip up at the same distance of the spod, you would be landing smack bang next to the float, but due to the arch in the leads descent under water you would be landing well short of the spot. On the surface of the water, you should be landing just behind the marker.

Quite a complicated article I’m afraid, but trust me with practice, this method really is very accurate.

Josh Bennett

Carp Fishing in France with Angling Lines


6 thoughts on “Accurate Casting – Hitting The Mark, Every Time!

  1. Ben says:

    Im getting new reels for my rods and new reels for my spod and marker do i need all the same reels will it effect the wrap distance or just get my rods reels and get two different spod and marker reels???

  2. Dan Harding says:

    Dear Josh, I am a tad confused with the method of using a line clip and was hoping you could help. So, I begin by chucking out my lead (i dont use a marker float) and find a nice clear spot. At what angle should the rod be at when clipping up? I then measure the distance using marker sticks and make a note. I then want to switch my lead for a spomb. Will this be set to the same distance as the lead i.e. which is already clipped up? I’m guessing yes. So once I’ve finished spodding I want to use the marker sticks to set the distance on my actually fishing rods. You mention that you add extra for the rods due to the pendulum theory but shouldn’t it be exactly the same as the initial lead setup which was clipped up on the bottom. With this in mind, what angle should the fishing rods be when the line hits the clip?

    I hope this makes sense.


  3. Paul Cooper says:

    Hi Ben and Dan,
    I have been asked by Heather at Angling Lines to get involved in this discussion.
    In response to Ben and the use of similar reels and rods. I would use the same length rods and as for reels, as long as there is a line clip, they do not need to match. I will explain why.
    It is now 2016 and measuring sticks as well as a 12 foot measured cord are now readily available in the tackle shops. The distance between the sticks is called by carp anglers, a ‘wrap’.
    When casting to a given mark or area in the lake it is essential to make every cast from exactly the same position on the bank, That means your feet are in the same place each time you cast, facing a stationary landmark in the distance.
    I will stick with the 50 yard gravel bar that Josh has found as the area to fish too. His marker float would be sitting over the gravel bar. No matter if it is 3 foot deep or 30 foot deep the lead on the bottom of the lake will be directly below the marker float.
    · Standing in the casting position, wind in the line until the float hits the lead on the lake bottom.
    · The rod position is left pointing towards the lead which would normally leave at least half of it over the water.(6 foot or 2 yards on a 12 foot rod)
    · This would be the position of the rod after a cast. Now clip up the line on the reel. Reel in the line.

    · Now we go to the measuring sticks. put the lead and line around one of the sticks, just one turn.
    · Release the bail arm off the reel and start the measuring process by taking the line around the sticks, wrap by wrap until you hit the clip on the reel.
    · Where ever the tip of the rod is at this point is where every measurement for each rod will end and the relevant reel will be clipped. I would say that around 50 yards would be about 12 wraps. Which is 12 wraps(48 yards plus 2 yards for half of the rod that is hanging over the water after a cast)
    · Once all the fishing rods and spomb rod are marked up you can do away with marker rod.
    · Standing on the casting position on the bank, make each cast with the fishing rod and as the cast hits the clip, quickly unclip the line and allow it to fall naturally to the lakebed. The lead and bait should be exactly on the 50 yard mark every time no matter what depth of water you have. The same with spomb. That should hit the water in the same place dropping its contents directly over your bait.

    I hope that has cleared up this little issue. It is simple with no measurements or mathematicians required.
    Paul Cooper

  4. John says:

    Hi josh
    Great tutorial , thought I mention I bait up in the exactly same way but I use the distance keeper (DK ) from , it’s great for tight swims and a god send when wrapping up in the dead of night , cheap and simple to use , well worth a look ????????

  5. Debra Mendoza says:

    Really helpful information. I think that you spend a lot of time to prepare for this. I found many useful tips and advice while reading this blog. I love fishing and almost every week I go for it. Thanks for your great work!

  6. Glad you have found the blog useful Debra! Tight lines.

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