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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Switch and Spey Casting Primer - Part IV - The Roll Cast

The two handed “Roll Cast” is one of the founding members of the spey casting family that is important enough to learn and to practice. Using the “Roll Cast” as a practice cast will enable you to get the basic principles of spey casting right. It doesn't have many practical uses as far as a spey fishing application except for repositioning the line prior to making a spey cast. It’s good for picking up sinking lines and getting them near the surface. It’s good for throwing a slack line straight, so you don’t have a bunch of slack sitting on the water prior to your cast, but its main and best use is for practicing and for learning the mechanics of the “Forward Casting Stroke”. It also allows us to introduce and learn about “Point P”.

Point "P"

The “Roll Cast” is a very good cast to introduce “Point P”. “Point P” is the point where the hanging line touches the water with a “Roll Cast” and also in other spey casts.

Most of the time “Point P” is the point the line is touching the water when the line is dangling below you, or after you have set the line to form your “D Loop”.

With the “Roll Cast” if “Point P” is in front of you, and you’ve got minimal amount of “Line Stick” and drag, and the “Roll Cast” leaves the water cleanly, you’ve executed the “Roll Cast” correctly.

A good pointer is that if that the line makes little noise as it leaves the water, you have little “Line Stick”. If “Point P” is established behind you when you set your “D Loop”, and when you go forward you;

(a) Hear the spray of water, the noise indicates that you have too much line on the water;

(b) Your cast will not launch cleanly and with power because there is so much drag. This is because the line is being held or gripped by the water behind you.

(c) You had too much “Line Stick” for your “D Loop”.

Make sure that you pay attention to where “Point P” is located. Make sure “Point P” is clean and in front of you when you start your pickup. Pull back to 1:00, hang it, hold it, drive parallel to your rail track and the roll cast will furl out easily.

The Fundamentals of the Roll Cast

The most important point about the “Roll Cast” in relation to spey casting is that it helps you hone the skills and technique of the "Forward Stroke". The "Forward Stroke" is the common element for all spey casts. Practice. Practice, Practice!

As far as the fundamentals of the "Roll Cast" the most important one is that the “Forward Stroke” is cast out parallel to the line lying on the water. Parallel and close. This “Parallel Principal” applies to almost all spey casts. Stay “Parallel and Close”.

The Railroad Tracks

When picking your target line for the "Roll Cast" think of the analogy of “railroad tracks”. If you are casting right handed, over your right shoulder, the line lying on the water at the start of your cast is the right rail track. Your “Forward Stroke”, your aiming point, is the left track running parallel to the right track. Rail tracks are parallel forever and ever. Keep your casts parallel and your cast will furl out correctly.

Roll Cast Rules

  • One cardinal rule is never cross the rail track with your cast. If you cast upstream across the right rail track you will tangle and end up with a big mess.
  • Roll cast to the “Clean Side” or to the left of the right rail track.
  • Also avoid going too far off to the side and have a widening “Rail Track”. The train will fall off the track. You will lose your power and the cast will falter.
  • The “Roll Cast” doesn’t roll across the water; a cast that rolls across the water has little power. A good roll cast should unroll smoothly in the air and drop to the water like any other good spey cast.
  • Remember to aim the “Roll Cast with enough height for it to unroll cleanly in the air and drop to the water as one cast. The best way to achieve this is to start with the right amount of line out of the guides, the “Hang”, use a fast action rod and make sure you rod tip drives in a straight line and accelerates to a positive stop.

The “Roll Cast” is the perfect practice cast which enables to work on your fundamentals for the "Forward Cast: on almost any body of water. Once you have the "Roll Cast" flying properly you are ready for any spey casts that have a waterborne anchor.

If you add the "Perry Poke" cast before the "Roll Cast" you'll have a functioning change of direction "Roll Cast". I'll cover the "Perry Poke" a little later.

Get out and practice the Roll Cast, two handed, with a Switch Rod or a Spey Rod and you be ready to move on to the advanced spey casts.

1 comment:

  1. Pretty insightful. Thanks!

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