Nothing can ruin a good day on the river, lake or pond like a bum elbow.
The majority of recreational fisherman are not even aware that this condition actually has a name – fishing or casters elbow.
And if you choose to turn a blind eye to this injury, you can kiss your fishing days goodbye as you sit at home waiting for your friends to bring home the catch of the day.
Casters, fishing or fisherman’s elbow is actually more commonly referred to as tennis elbow.
These are the exact same conditions, just different names to describe the same injury.
And you are not alone in your fight with it.
More and more fisherman are entering their Doctor’s office complaining of pain on the outer part of their elbow.
Why is this? Isn’t fishing supposed to be relaxing and therapeutic?
Warm summers day, the sound of running water, birds chirping, just you and your fishing rod.
Sounds blissful until you can’t cast anymore because of elbow pain!
When you think about the actual activity of fishing, it doesn’t come across as a sport or past time that is hard on your body.
In many instances, the hardest and toughest part is shutting off and getting away from your daily grind and actually packing up to head out to the lake, river or pond.
Why are so many fisherman developing casters and fishing elbow?
The secret lies in your casting mechanics and your grip on your rod.
A recent study by Montana State University of 812 fly fishing instructors, 39% of them experienced some sort of elbow pain in their casting arm. Go here to read the entire paper.
What the study pointed to with regards what actually causes and triggers fishing and casters elbow injuries was how the person gripped and help their rod.
They addressed the three types of casting grip types:
If you are like most fisherman, you use number 1 – the v style grip.
Yet 85% of the instructors used the thumb on top grip style.
Then there were findings with regards to casting style and how it promoted and/or caused elbow pain.
It looked at three types of casting styles:
Overhead casting style
An overhead cast is when you bring your rod up from a horizontal place where both your rod and fishing line are straight out in front of you.
You then lift the rod up, pause until the line straightens behind you and then quickly flick your wrist as the line goes out overhead and into the water.
Your rod usually stops at the 10 o’clock position.
Sidearm casting style
To perform the sidearm casting technique you simply bring your rod back at a 45 degree angle and cast from this position.
Elliptical casting style
This style of casting is when the fisherman combines both the overhead and sidearm styles into one.
It’s when you bring your fishing rod back at a 45 degree angle but make your cast like the overhead style at 90 degrees.
So why is this important when it comes to casters elbow?
The study discovered that the more you mixed up your casting styles, the less likely you are to develop elbow pain.
The elliptical style casting method proved to be the most dangerous and the overhead seemed to produce less instances and recurrences of elbow pain.
Is it possible that the length of your cast and the development of elbow pain are positively related?
The research suggests no.
The explanation is that individuals who are able to cast further spend more time on the water and their form is usually better than those who are more of the weekend warrior types.
For those who are not out fishing everyday, you should focus on keeping your casts to shorter distances to avoid causing elbow pain.
It is also recommended to use a short, lightweight fishing rod as well.
What structures of the elbow are affected when you have casters and fishing elbow?
The primary tissues that become inflamed and swollen are the forearm extensor muscles and common extensor tendon.
It is the repetitive motion of maintaing a firm grip on your fishing rod combined with the repetitive action of casting your rod that puts strain and pressure on these tissues.
Fishing is exactly the same type of activity that causes tennis elbow.
It’s a common misconception that only tennis players get tennis elbow.
But the truth of the matter is that your casters elbow is tennis elbow!
The pain that you are experiencing on the outer part of your elbow is a direct results of your forearm extensors and flexors being abused and overworked from the constant casting of your fishing rod.
Think for a second how many times you cast per day?
Most likely hundreds if you are on the water from sunrise to sunset.
Throw in a couple of your favourite alcoholic beverages and then you wonder why you wake up the next day and can hardly straighten your casting arm.
But if you are like most fisherman, you never let your pride get the best of you, especially when the fishing is good!
So go back at again, even though your elbow pain is enough to bring tears to your eyes.
What about pulling on an elbow brace to help support your casting arm?
As someone who had tennis elbow, I can tell you that wearing these supports, braces or straps is a huge mistake.
Yes of course when you put one on, your elbow feels supported and compressed but …
This is usually when bad things happen.
What I mean is that most people will put on an elbow support and head straight back to whatever it is that is responsible for their elbow troubles.
You get a false sense of “everything is ok” with your elbow when in fact your movements and actions are still the same and in most cases, your injury is only amplified even further.
And the evidence is when you take your elbow support off.
Mr Spaghetti noodle arm, that’s what your arm will feel like, not to mention your elbow will start throbbing and your pain levels will significantly increase.
What should you do to overcome and recovery from your injury?
There are 5 unknown tricks and steps that work like a charm.
Even though they are for the treatment of tennis elbow, they work just as effectively for your injury.
Have I peaked your interest?
Of course I have!
Then check out this instructional video that reveals the 5 steps you can to put and end to your elbow troubles so you spend more time fishing and less time stuck on shore.