Get a Grip - Fly Casting Styles - Pt II the Key Grip

Get a Grip - Fly Casting Styles - Pt II the Key Grip

May 16, 2017 2 min read

The Key Grip

In this the second part of our look at common fly casting grips we'll take look at the Key grip, also known as the V grip, it's similar to how many are taught to grip a golf club.

Imagine you are holding a set of keys and about to unlock your front door - that’s pretty much it. Knuckles facing up and out, palm down, heel of the thumb down on the grip. You'll form a nice V between your thumb and forefinger.

Fly Casting Grips the V grip or Key grip

Personally I tend towards running my forefinger a little more on top of the grip - use what's comfortable.

Fly Casting Grips the V grip

This is very much a throwing grip and now that everyone is gorking at you while you pantomime these grips - reach up and pretend you are knocking on that door. Knock knock - nice. Note how strong that wrist positions feels. Try tilting your fist sideways - note how your wrist is pretty much locked from any lateral movement.


The key grip offers very precise movement, is very strong, helps prevent coming back too far on the back cast and locks out much of the wayward lateral wrist movement that leads to poor tracking and hooked back casts.

Loosen up! 

Regardless of what grip you choose to use, keep things relaxed. White knuckles are a sure sign you're squeezing the bejeebers out of the cork - it's just wasted effort.

V Grip Pros

  • Helps lock out lateral wrist movement
  • Less likely to overextend and drop the rod tip on the back cast (certainly as compared to thumb on top)
  • Strong
  • Accurate


  • None that come to mind - do let me know if you have any.

It’s my preferred grip and I encourage you to give it a crack.

Get a Grip - Fly Casting Styles - Pt 1 is over here >

4 Responses


May 06, 2020

A good job

Thomas Ellerbrock
Thomas Ellerbrock

May 20, 2017

The Key Grip, I say “Casting Grip” ist much better as thumb on top, just also for far casting !
But for Backhand casting, I have the thumb on top, anatomically best.


Noel King
Noel King

May 17, 2017

i will certainly be giving the vgrip a try this w/e .cheers Noel


May 17, 2017

I was comparing this with the thumb on top grip last week while fishing an estuary for sea trout and then while fishing a small highland loch for wild brown trout. I found the thumb on top grip better for tighter more accurate casts on the highland loch and the key grip was powerful casting a 10’ #8 rod with an #8 intermediate line on the estuary where, given the windy conditions, distance was often more important than accuracy. I conclude that an awareness of the different grips and their strengths is useful to enable a flexible approach to the situation and conditions.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in The Drift - Fly Fishing, Fly Casting and Fly Rod Building

How to fly cast further fly fishing
7 Tips to Increase Your Fly Casting Distance

May 25, 2021 3 min read

Add 10 feet to your fly cast - pronto! Somewhere along the line who hasn’t wanted to cast just a little further.  While this isn’t intended to be a lesson on all out distance casting
Read More
How To Tie The Pheasant Tail Nymph
Tying The Pheasant Tail Nymph by Davie McPhail

May 17, 2021 1 min read

Read More
How to choose the right flyfishing rod
Tips On How To Choose the Right Fly Rod - The Epic Fly Rod Quiz

May 17, 2021 1 min read

Choosing the right fly rod is no easy task, length, power, species, fishing conditions and the type of flies you will be throwing all need to be carefully considered.

Read More

Join Us