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Casting further
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-- Introduction
different styles
the grip
shooting line
power snap
loop shape
across the wind
into the wind
with the wind
side casting
underhand cast
Belgian cast
different lifts
backcast shoot
basic roll cast
roll cast variations
off the shoulder
dynamic roll
Spey Casting
double right
double left
single right
single left
spey fishing
switch cast
snake roll
fly first
mending line
bow and arrow
rotating thumb
tip kicks

There are several ways you can make a more powerful roll cast, you can start with more line in the D-loop, you can start with less line on the water, you can force a more powerful stop and you can add a haul:

  • More line in D-loop:- the most straight forward way of achieving this is to reach out behind you with a straight arm to set the D (but remember to bring your hand back to your ear before executing the forward stroke).

    Alternatively as an excercise in lateral thinking you can get more line into the D-loop by first forming your D then taking a step forwards - not to be recommended in a boat.

    Another method is what is commonly called the jump-roll: here we stop the backcast with a little upwards flick in order to send some more line backwards. This technique is really effective because it allows us to keep more line in the air, anchoring only the last couple of feet of flyline on the water. Make sure that the fly is still in front of you at all times (otherwise its not a roll cast any more). If we make this little upwards flick more positive (harder stop) we can force a pointed D-loop (where then point runs down the D-loop), which has the benefits of being both dynamic and sexy!

  • With this last technique we have started to create a really effective cast. One clear advantage that the jump-roll has is in its ability to keep large amounts of line in the air, clear of the water, where it gets stuck. (Another advantage is that because we use a positive back stoke this cast helps to lift leaded flies to the surface - although if you are a Kiwi you may have to roll cast several times to get your nymphs up... ).

    Ideally we want about 2 feet of flyline tip on the water, as our anchor. An effective way of placing this line on the water is to dip the tip of the rod as make the backcast (in other words, an S-shape stroke - but mirror flip the S and then rotate it 90 degrees...) - remember that the line goes where the tip of the rod goes.

    If we make the tip-dip too soon we get to much line on the water, too late and the tip misses the water and travels behind us.

    If we dip too forcefully the end of the flyline lands in the right place but folds back on itself, sometimes tangling the leader, and always reducing the forward cast's efficiency.

  • The theory behind stopping harder on the forward cast, is that we can get that tip-snap we needed so much in our overhead cast. For me pulling back on the tip of the rod as I stop the rod can work really well (It's almost like the flickcast in reverse - a later technique).

  • Hauling is effective in the roll cast and most competent flyfishers do it naturally (once they have learned the double haul), however it should be remembered that the most effective time to start the haul for those tight fast loops, is at the beginning of the power-snap. If you are having to roll cast into the wind the forward haul can give you that extra bit of tip speed that you need.

    You can also put a short haul into the backcast where it helps to form that sexy pointed jump-roll D-shape

    You can also haul just as the flyline is straightening out on the forward cast to help straighten the leader into the wind. So I guess in theory you could end up with the triple-haul jump-roll cast. Which is quite a mouthful.

Shooting line is quite possible with the roll cast:- just remember to cast above the water on the forward cast and not onto the water.

A useful 'trick' is to shoot some line into the backcast:- either to get a larger D-loop or because you retrieved to much. Also along the same track; when only a small amount of line is outside the tip you can get more there by drawing a large circle directly in front of you with the rod tip, releasing some line into the circle - this only works if you initially keep the tip of the line stuck on the water: so start the circle slowly building up speed as you go. If you are casting off the right shoulder draw the circle clockwise and then you can go straight into the roll cast. For the left shoulder we go anti-clockwise, obviously. This cast can also be used as a single spey variation, as we shall see in the next chapter.