Have you ever wanted to learn how to roll cast?
One of the neat things about fly fishing is the many variations of different casts. These casts although may seem overwhelming at first, allow us to get into those tough to react areas and catch more fish. The more casts that we learn, the better fishermen we become.
Today, in this post we are going to explain a very common, but very important cast that we think all fly fishermen should know. It is the roll cast. We will not only show you how to roll cast, but we also want to look at a few things to avoid doing to make your casts better.
When To Use A Roll Cast
What makes the roll cast so special is that you really don’t need a lot of room to throw it. In fact, you don’t need to bring much line behind you. This works great for when fishing around such things as: trees, rocks or other obstacles that maybe behind you.
Unlike other casts that require taking the slack out of the line first, before throwing it, this cast doesn’t require you to do that. Simply by lifting the rod you are already taking the slack out of the line and are ready to go.
Lastly, the roll cast allows you to get the lure out of the water and back in very quickly. So if you are trying to cover a lot of water with a fly you may want to try out the roll cast.
How To Roll Cast
Swing the rod to the outside of your body.
The first thing you are going to want to do is to swing the rod to the outside. Why this is important is because if you were to bring the rod straight back the line is going to follow the rod. Which means, that it is coming right back at you and your body. Not only is this bad for your cast, but it could be dangerous. So in order to prevent this from happening the first step is to swing the rod to the outside of your body. It doesn’t have to be much, but just enough so as to prevent the line from getting tangled.
Lift the rod to the 2 o’clock position.
Next, slowly lift the fly rod up until your reel is at about eye level. At this point, your elbow is going to be bent and you want your fly rod to be at eye level. This is an essential step because it is going to create what is called a D-Loop. The D-loop is formed by your rod and the fly line that is coming off your rod. The bigger the loop the more line you are going to be able to lift and move. If your rod and line isn’t creating the letter “D” you need to give your rod more of an angle. To properly form the D your rod needs to be pointing at 2 o’clock.
Bring your rod forward.
Lastly, with your forearm you want to drive the rod forward, give the rod a quick stop and allow the rod to follow it back to the water. This can be done by bringing your rod from the 2 o’clock position to a 10 o’clock position in a quick yet controlled fashion.
To see the roll cast in action check out the following video:
Things to keep in mind when doing a roll cast
Keep things straight. The standard roll cast is not meant for changing directions. So if you try to change directions, especially when you are just starting out, you are going to end up with a lot of tangle fishing line. With experience you can learn other variations to the roll cast that will allow you to change direction.
Roll cast alongside your line. When you bring your rod up, your fishing line is still in the water. This is going to tell you in what direction your next cast will go. You have two options at this point, to roll cast on the left side of the line or on the right side of the line. Do not roll cast directly on top of the line. This will take the momentum out of the line and your fly won’t go anyway. The key is to cast it to either side, but at the same time keep it parallel to the line.
Add a haul for larger cast. Adding a haul when bringing back the rod will help to create in a sense a bigger D-Loop. Doing the same on the forward delivery will do this same. This will result in longer and faster casts.
Not establishing an anchor point. Some anglers will bring the rod up too fast and not establish an anchor point. An anchor point is the point that the line touches the water. It is between this point and the line that comes off the rod that creates the D-loop. However, without the anchor point you aren’t going to be able to create enough momentum to bring the line off the water and roll the line. For that reason, it is important to take your time, and slowly bring the rod back to establish an anchor point.
Don’t push the reel forward. The power to make the line roll comes from the fly rod, not the reel. So when making your forward stroke, avoid bring the reel forward. This doesn’t transfer the energy effectively and won’t help you to roll the fly line.
Check out some other tips we want to avoid when roll casting in the following video:
How to roll cast? Well in this post, we hoped to have answered that questions, but please share with us your tips in the following comment section below.