Fly fishing - Spey casting single handed tuition
- most useful in many places

spey casting and roll casting tuition

Spey and roll casting - single handed

learn to roll cast
Single handed roll casts are useful where back casting space is limited and are the basis for Spey and Underhand casting techniques.

Many anglers fish for years without realising that there is a whole family of roll casts that allow you to change direction, cope with winds and fish in places that few others can reach. Roll casting is easy providing that the rod is reasonably through-actioned. Stiff, tip-actioned rods for overhead distance casting are unsatisfactory. Most manufacturers realise that smooth and progressive parabolic actioned rods are versatile and much easier to use than the pokers that were being offered a few years ago. This means that the majority of rods now on the market are fine for roll and Spey casting.

Double tapered lines are best, but using more advanced techniques it is also possible to shoot out fairly long distances with forward taper lines and using hauling techniques. Different line densities are no problem, providing that sinking lines are rolled onto the surface before attempting to make the cast. Sink-tip fly lines are the most difficult to use because of the line density change but with practice you can learn to cope with these too.

All roll and Spey casts depend on the same method, forming a 'D' loop; so called because the letter 'D' describes the shape of the rod and line when they are in the correct position to make the cast with a fast and controlled power stroke. Single handed, this is a quick acceleration of the forearm and wrist to propel the line high and clean from the water. The backcast forms the semi-elliptical or 'D' shaped loop, the line having minimal contact with the water whilst the remainder of the loop is perfectly formed in the air allowing the power stroke to be delivered with maximum efficiency, at that instant. During the roll cast, the rod does not stop, it changes direction and speed but it is 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 loop before the forward cast is made.

Single handed roll casts can be made from either forehand or backhand in order to cope with obstacles or the wind. For maximum efficiency the angle between the D loop and the forward cast should be small (as near a straight line as possible). Thus it is better to align the D loop with the direction of the forward cast before making the roll cast.

Hauling techniques can be used very successfully with roll casting methods. Back hauls are used during the formation of the 'D' loop to help lift the line and accelerate it to form a deeper and hence a longer and more efficient loop. The hauled line is fed into loop formation helping to make it bigger and another forward haul is be made during the forward cast to shoot longer distances.

Hopefully the descriptions and pictures on the linked pages will help you to understand how to make great single handed Spey casts.

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