Switch Cast

In the British Islands we call this cast the Jump Roll or Dynamic Roll. In Continental Europe they call it the Switch Cast. The Switch Cast in England is a very old term for the Roll Cast. Later, when I first started teaching, Switch Cast was the term for the aerialised Single Spey cast (which is how it appears in the Sexyloops Fly Casting Manual).


The Switch Cast is a Dynamic Roll Cast where the line is lifted off the water and a D-loop is formed with a chosen anchor point. There is no significant angle change.

I have included two methods of initially learning this cast. There is a third method which I often use too, and that is a vertical lift until the rod is approx 45 degrees, a horizontal Sweep until the rod is level with the shoulder and then an upward Sweep to form the D-loop and Anchor. All three methods work, however as a more advanced student you might want to consider the length of line being lifted as well as the length of anchor you intend to place.

As is common in many of my explanations I’ve gone from beginner to advanced. I do not expect you to have the control to choose anchor points when you first attempt this cast. To learn this cast, first concentrate on placing the anchor level with your shoulder at a distance from 1/2 to one rod length away. Only after this is consistent – from both shoulders – should you progress to the second part of this video (this may take 20 hours or more of training – and it will hold you in good stead for many years to come). Finally, after many more hours of practise, only once you have truly mastered the positioning of anchors in places of your choosing, every time, only then should you consider learning the dipped and accelerated Sweep.

It’s an exploration. Bring a fly rod. Designed for you by Paul Arden.

I’d like to thank Way Yin for the Belgian to Switch Cast method as used in his Spey-to-Z video (Way is a top bloke) and my mate Lee Cummings for pointing me towards the great piece of advice of watching the end of the fly line during the Sweep. This might be the single finest piece of advice in Spey Casting that I have ever heard.

Finally, I had two top-class coaches when I first learned this cast. One was Henry Lowe, from whom I learned a very great deal. He prepared me for my first flycasting instructor exams back in 1996 and was always very open-minded and a great fly fisherman as well. The other was Peter MacKenzie-Philps, who’s “Flycasting Handbook” I studied and who I spent time with before my Association of Professional Game Angling Instructors’ exam in 1997. Sadly neither are no longer with us. Let’s hope there is a Fishing Afterlife because it will be good to meet, cast and fish with these wonderful characters again.

Cheers, Paul

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