Help me improve my roll cast

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Mike Monsos, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. I’m looking to become a better roll caster with my bamboo rods. I’m working on my casting stroke but I’m wondering if there some other ways to improve my feeble efforts like upping my line weight on my rod, switching from a WF to a DT or vice versa? Any suggestions to lessen the obstacles to a good roll cast would be appreciated.
    Patrick Gould likes this.
  2. A double taper will certainly help to a small degree until you want to cast a bit further then it will help a lot..

    what exactly are the problems you are having?
    Kaiserman likes this.
  3. Mike, several fly fishing clubs have casting clinics, and one of those (sponsored by Clark-Skamania Fly Fishers, in SW Washington) was where I learned how to properly roll cast. In 15 minutes, my roll cast went from about 20 feet (don't laugh!) to about 40 feet, as far as I need to go.
  4. You have to create that D loop behind your rod. Rod is slightly angled and you thrust your rod forward in a smooth, but fast motion.
    Terry Bare likes this.
  5. "what exactly are the problems you are having?"

    I have a problem generating the energy of the roll after it travels about ten feet down my fly line (don't laugh too hard now). I am planning on fishing chironomids under a indicator and I'm looking to be able to fling out a 18' leader from a sitting position in my WM.

  6. I'm studying some youtube clips of roll casting to hold me over until I have a chance to attend a casting clinic. I just want to be sure that I have my equipment right to help as much as possible. Another problem is that I'm using a 7'6" rod at this time. I need to get the new 8'er finished soon!

  7. well two things

    1 try introducing a haul into your forward cast to generate more energy

    2. fly lines are not typically designed to turn over an indicator, you might want to try a specialty line for that application.
  8. Mike,

    You might try either the pinch on foam indicators or a piece of yarn as an indicator. It's less mass to move. Also, longer rods make it easier to roll cast. Having said that, 7 1/2' was the rod of choice back when I first learned to fly fish.
    Ed Call and Patrick Gould like this.
  9. Great thread Mike. I have the same problem on my static roll. The energy from my cast seems to peter out by the time it reaches the leader.
  10. Assuming a two piece rod, a taper were the flex is increased at some point below the ferrule (butt section) will help a lot.
    Call them para or compound or whatever term you like but when the flex is tranfered into the butt due to a stiffer mid a roll cast is almost automatic.

    Once you get the feel of the dynamics of roll casting with this type of rod it will be easier to do it with other tapers as well.

    And definately use a DT or hybrid taper with ever decreasing forward line taper suported by a fat mid until your proficiency increases.

  11. TE is on the right track. The single aspect of the roll cast that improve mine was to wait for your line to move behind your casting shoulder before making a powerful forward motion.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk
  12. Thanks for help with my "roll cast challenged" brain. I'm going to line the rod with the 5 DT this afternoon and put some of your suggestions to work in the front yard, I need to get the energy flowing forward and not up or down.

    About the indicator, I'm kind of stuck with the "corky" quick release with the long leader, I'll be fishing about 18' of water if the plan holds up.

  13. I have a little different approach to the roll cast than other FFF casting instructors. I can roll cast 50 feet and double roll cast further. One of the problems you are going to have is the 18 feet of leader. You can't roll cast leader very well. lol
    What you are going to have to do is roll cast the line ignoring the leader length.
    Here is an attempt to teach without a demo:
    Get the end of your fly line within 12' - 14' of your rod tip'
    Raise your casting hand to eye level allowing the line to follow and drop behind you in a kind of loop?
    Keep your rod at a one o clock angle and move your casting arm and rotate your upper body to the rear to get the rod well behind the plane of your body, always keeping the one o clock rod positioning.
    You actually stop the motion here. I will often get into this position of the cast and hold it until the targeted fish rises again and then do the second part of the cast. Do not make this a continuous cast or the line will project behind you. (then you will have done a type of Belgian cast not a roll cast.) and your line will end up in the bushes not in the water.
    When you are ready to cast move your arm/body forward in a smooth accelerating motion KEEP THE ROD AT A ONE O CLOCK ANGLE. when your arm and the rod are ahead of the plane of the body rotate the wrist toward your target in a power snap, (Joan Wulffs words).
    You should finish this cast high, the rod tip should be at a 10 o clock angle at the finish before allowing the rod to lower without power to the fishing position .
    A lot of instructors teach this cast by using a simile of "hammering it down" through the cast. It works but I believe my technique results in longer smoother casts with or without an indicator.
    You can double roll cast using this technique (I use this a lot when indicator fishing for steelhead) by immediately doing another roll cast as soon as the line hits the water. (hard to explain easier to demonstrate)
    OTOH it sounds like if your in a floating device you should be doing a Belgian Cast or a Modified Switch cast. Both these work well if you have room behind you to cast.
    I would be glad to do casting demo at our clubs casting pond anytime you want if you want to come to Arizona. It is 65 and sunny today it would be a good time.:)
    Contrary to what other have said I prefer a weight forward line for roll casting it shoots better. The rod does make a little difference but I can cast just as well with my bamboo Dickerson taper 8' 5weight as I can with my Sage VT. As my lovely says it not the equipment it is the technique.:cool:
  14. I'm not very good at roll casting either, but I do know that practicing it in the yard won't tell you a whole lot. The line will slip through the grass too easily and won't provide the surface tension needed to convert the roll into forward movement. I'm sure someone more proficient can explain that better.
  15. Here's one thing that helped me years ago: On the forward stroke, straighten the curve. In other words, when you push the rod forward, try to keep your rod tip moving in a straight line parallel to the ground. This is a good piece of advice for all casting IMO because the fly line follows your rod tip's trajectory no matter what kind of cast you are making. If your rod tip travels in a curve whose end is pointing down, your fly line will follow it into a pile near your feet or at best somewhere between your feet and your target. Make that rod tip travel straight toward your target, and your fly line will usually follow as long as the rest of your casting mechanics are in order.
    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  16. Mike,

    Some good suggestions above. The D loop formed behind the rod really matters - more D loop, less force required to roll out the cast; less D loop, more force required. The single haul that Rob mentioned also helps a lot. And a flexible rod usually roll casts more easily than a stiff rod, but you're casting cane, so you got that covered. Oh, one more thing, aim the cast forward and above your target; don't slap the rod tip toward the ground/water.

    I found that my roll casting improved when I began learning about Spey casting.

    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  17. Thanks again to all in the WFF village, I figure with all this coaching I should be able to improve my feeble roll cast. As usual you are all more than willing to help out in any way.


    A big thank you for the detailed casting lesson spelled out, I'd like to do the casting clinic but that just isn't in the cards now. I could not only use the demo help but the weather report sounds great also.

    "OTOH it sounds like if your in a floating device you should be doing a Belgian Cast or a Modified Switch cast"

    I'll look these up as I'm not familiar with these casts, these could be a option for casting from the Water Master.

  18. Rio does in fact make a line designed to cast an indicator. Cryptically named "Indicator Line" they make a dramatic difference. Combined with the advice you've been given above, you maybe on your way to improvement. A longer rod does help though, and roll casting only works well on water, so don't frustrate yourself on the lawn.

    Sponsor shops on this site offer the Indicator line.
  19. You can also add a floating clear poly leader for the section above the indicator.
    It will really improve the turnover transition from flyline to indi. Its essentially a straight leader that has a clear polyurethane coating so that it acts more like floating line when you are casting. Long leaders are always hard to control, its worth the 15bucks to try
    Patrick Gould likes this.
  20. I agree with the D loop mentioned above. I use a shooting head on my six weight and it lets me roll cast as far as I need to.

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