Overhead casting...

Ken Jones

Staff member
You should not overhead cast on piers & the laws against it were started long ago —

Ban Over-Head Cast At Balboa, Newport — Balboa, June 16.—Over-head casting is a thing of the past on the fishing piers of Balboa and Newport. A new ordinance, effective today, prohibits all over-head casting among the fishermen in Orange county’s harbor. A severe penalty is to be exacted for violation of the ordinance, it is declared. Owing to the many accidents, severe and painful, due to the over-head throw, it was found necessary to adopt rigid methods to protect not only the large “audience” but also the fishermen themselves.
— Santa Ana Register, June 16, 1922

Brock Norris

Well-Known Member
Yes Its been banned for years . People still do it recently on the belmont pier a lady was repeatedly overhead casting with a sabiki rig no less . I nicely told her to be careful casting she just glared at me . No one to enforce these things even with signs showing its not allowed
It's not banned on any pier I've fished up here in the Bay Area. In truth, fishing from a pier, there is little sense in "swinging for the fences" and launching your offering. The point of piers, in my view, is STRUCTURE and the great chain of being: structure attracts mussels and barnacles, which little fish like to munch, and then bigger fish who like to dine on the little guys. Pilings tend to break up the force of current and bait fish congregate in the calmer water. So you keep your bait--or even lure pitching--close by. A good angler learns to cast in different ways, overhand, sidearm and even underhand. One reason is that it cuts down the strain of repetitive casting (lure guys know this). Also, as mentioned above, it allows one to be courteous when other anglers or visitors are present.
I'm all for the ban of over head casting. It can be dangerous obviously for anyone around, but as an experienced angler you should always look behind you before casting off a pier. The issue is not everyone is. You can master the art of under hand casting if you practice. But yeah, the Bay Area piers all have over head casting since its not really a rule around here.


Well-Known Member
Piers are definitely structure so no need to cast far (use over head). Otherwise if fishing from a pier lighter line (especially braid) can also be a consideration aside from practicing the technique (underhand casting).

I do like over head casting from the surf though. :LOL:
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Ken Jones

Staff member
With the proper equipment and technique you can cast as far underhand as overhand. The problem today is that many piers have structure under the pier that interferes with underhand casts. By and large, most authorities that oversee piers have little understandings of the needs of the anglers.


Senior Member
I lost a rod and reel at Balboa pier to underhand cast.

The line went under the pier and wrapped around a horizontal beam.

It caught me by surprise and I let go of the rod.

Later I tried to find them with underwater camera, but no luck. So that I could forget about it, I ordered the exact rod and reel from Cabela’s.


Well-Known Member
Speaking of Balboa Pier, someone has already cut the wires installed to prevent overhead casting/underhand backlashes. Haven't heard much about it, other than the sabiki guys having a much easier time bringing in fish. From what I've heard from the regulars at the end, apparently the primary reason for their installation was the sabiki "professionals'" reels occasionally binding up during underhand casts, leading to the rig flying sinker first backwards into the Ruby's windows.
In my case, there must have been a pre-mature bail wire trip.

Thus, instead of line going out, it stopped. Then the lure had to come back to the pier.