Learning to cast is not easy, although there is no magic involved, no superhuman strength required and no demand for enormous talent. What you need is a basic understanding of the principles, wellmatched tackle and sensible practice. Beachcasting 100 yards or more is demanding of time and effort, but anyone can do it.

The best casts

The best introductory casts for general beachcasting are the ‘South African’ and ‘Layback’ styles.

The South African cast, where the sinker is laid on the beach then swept over the shoulder with a twist of the shoulders and pushpull of the arms is an excellent teaching style and the foundation for all other casts, except the Norfolk methods. With properly matched tackle and sensible practice, the newcomer to shorefishing can learn to cast over 100 yards in less than three hours if he is instructed by a competent coach.

Teaching oneself to cast takes longer, but a couple of weeks are enough to work out the details and to form the basis of a good style.

Line will stand a great deal of punishment if a sizeable conger is hooked.

Terminal tackle

One of the most effective terminal tackles is the running ledger, with the sliding boom holding a lead of sufficient weight to hold the bottom. This will depend on the strength of the tide. Leads come in all the standard shapesgrip, torpedo, and bomb—and all do their job well when used at the right time and place.