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The snake roll
Versión en español
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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

Also known as a corkscrew cast this achieves a similar objective to the double-spey and, at least as far as I am concerned, has all but superseded it, principally because it is quicker, but also its more straightforward. However this is not to say that the double-spey is now completely redundant:- for small changes of direction the double-spey is more effective.

One advantage of the snake roll, is that it is very easy to cast angles greater than 90 degrees. Another advantage is that this cast completely avoids those irksome situations, where we fail to make a good upsweep of the rod in the double-spey and end up with a dogleg of flyline, on the water, at the start of the roll cast.

This is the basic snake roll: (right shoulder, right hand)... downstream wind, true right bank:

  • Turn and face at 90 degrees to the direction of the dangle... move those feet!

  • With the rod pointing downstream, draw an anticlockwise circle with the tip of the rod, speeding up during the last half, finishing up with a firm stop with the rod angled backwards at 45 degrees.

    Or, perhaps, a better way is to draw an anticlockwise spiral, increasing speed, up to the stop, so that once we have stopped we are in the starting position of a roll cast.

    - What we are trying to achieve is for the line to lift off the water and for the fly, and a couple of feet of flyline, to land about half a rod length downstream, pointing in the direction we want to cast, with a nice D-loop being formed with rod and line.

    If the fly doesn't come to within half a rod length we have drawn too small a circle. If more than a couple of feet of line lands on the surface we have put too much force into the start of the circle. If not enough line is in the D-loop we have failed to speed up enough during the second half of the circle.

  • Now it's a roll cast.

  • To snake roll off the left shoulder this is what we do: downstream wind, true left bank:

    • Move your feet to point in the intended casting direction.

    • Draw your circle or spiral in the clockwise direction, off the left shoulder.

    • Hit the roll.

    Longer snake roll casts:

    Our two ways of casting further with roll casts keep reappearing; we can haul and/or get more line in the D-loop. However with regards to this cast and the 'more line in the D-loop' option, we can get something really sexy: the double snake roll.

    • In getting more line in the D-loop the easiest technique is to start off with more line downstream, outside the rod tip. As you progress, you are going to have to lift the hand, in order to form these large D's. Remember that if you lift the hand to form the D, you must then lower it again before you make the roll cast, or to put it another way drop the elbow!

      As with all roll casts you can shoot some extra line into the D-loop.

      As you start using greater lengths of line one circle will not be enough to gather the fly up to within half a rod length. This is when you draw two circles! The second circle must be noticeably larger than the first or you will get into some unbelievable difficulties... in other words draw a spiral.

      It is possible to draw three or more circles, but I've never found any practical need for more than two.

    With regards to the hauling you can haul as you stop the rod into the back cast, which help to form those dynamic pointed D's, but the most effective time to haul is during the forward stroke of the roll cast.