Fly casting - the Roll Cast
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Roll cast - the basis for a whole family of Roll and Spey casts.

The roll cast family uses a tensioned curved loop of line called the D" loop because of its shape. Note however that the line is organised and the three fundamental casting rules still apply. No stopping of the rod during roll casts because if you do the line will fall, tension will be lost and the cast will fail. The same air space should never be used twice either so the formation of the "D" loop is always in a different plane to the delivery of the cast. Because the D loop does not need much space behind the angler, roll casts are ideal for fishing in confined spaces, where for instance, there are bushes or trees behind. The Roll cast is the foundation for the switch cast, Spey cast and Underhand cast.

Ideally the line has minimal contact with the water when the remainder of the loop is perfectly formed in a semi elliptical loop called the D loop in mid air, allowing the forward acceleration to be delivered with maximum efficiency. During the roll cast, the rod does not stop, it changes direction and speed and keeps loaded at all times. Consequently the tip of the rod "turns" as the cast is made and the "D" loop is formed. There should be no slack in the line at any time. It is recommended that roll casting practice be carried out on water to ensure a smooth lift.

Basic roll casts can be made with a stationary loop of line drooping to the water surface from the rod tip, a valuable method of casting a short distance or straightening line in preparation for a longer cast. To place the rod and line in the correct positions lift the rod to about 10:00 and swing it round the outside of your body until it is at about 14:00 behind. The line will be hanging from the rod top in a smooth curve to the water surface as shown in the movie. The forward cast or power stroke is delivered in a slightly upward direction to 11:00 to ensure that the line is propelled clear of the water. Make the cast crisply and aim upwards to ensure success . Single handed roll casts depend on fast acceleration and you can safely use wrist action (unlike best practice for straight line casts). The line should extend completely in the air before falling to the water surface. If there is too much of an anchor i.e. water contact is excessive, the line will fail to lift cleanly from the surface and the cast will fail.

  Basic roll cast  
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Copyright 2007 Alastair Gowans AAPGAI and FFF Master and THCI, APGAI. All rights reserved.