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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The comments about the roll cast aroused my curiosity. The attached video does a good job of explaining.

This is always the first cast I usually teach in a lesson...whether it is for a trout stream, lake, smallmouth river or saltwater. It is extremely useful in a variety of situations. I like it a lot just to pick the fly up off the water gently...and then transition into a backcast. Roll Cast after roll cast will make it easy to work a shoreline when bugging for bass. You can use it to change directions; bring the rod over you left shoulder if there is a limb in the way on the right side...or another angler. The mechanics of unrolling a loop of line can be done parallel to the water...to get a fly under overhanging branches or a bridge. There's also a variation that looks a lot like a cowboys lariat or lasso...spinning parallel and low to the water....works great on the trout stream.

Well worth a little time and energy to develop as another casting skill...

http://howtoflyfish.orvis.com/video-lessons/13-fly-casting/238-the-roll-
cast
 

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Nice video, I like most of their series.

It's my most common cast. I'm somewhat surprised to hear folks that fly fish not knowing it well. It's not that it's easy but that it's all I usually have room for so I figured others would be limited too. I fish piedmont pond/lake shorelines without waders and I rarely find space for much else.
 

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I really need to work on my roll casting. I can pull it off in the yard without any issues, landing the "fly" near any target I pick out. On the water is a different story though, especially with subsurface flies. They drag in the water and kill any energy I've built up.
 

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I really need to work on my roll casting. I can pull it off in the yard without any issues, landing the "fly" near any target I pick out. On the water is a different story though, especially with subsurface flies. They drag in the water and kill any energy I've built up.
Those are tougher. You need to get the fly on the surface before the roll. Sometimes a quick final retrieve will do the trick but often I'll do a short false roll offtarget and then send the fly to the target. I've had the most problems with fluffy streamers. It seems to be the drag rather than weight. A bead head nymph or ghost will roll nicely where a wooly bugger sticks to the water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Often, maybe always, the roll cast is taught with a pause just as the line, or D loop gets behind the shoulder. I typically find that with split shot and nymph rigs and with streamers, it is better NOT to pause. Instead, keep the fly (flies) sliding across the surface as tallastro said. If you pause...it often makes the cast more difficult. I think it is also usually easier with longer lengths of line. A lot of folks shorten the amount of line thinking it will make it easier to pick flies off the surface....but actually I think it makes it more difficult.

I teach the roll cast a lot, in the store and on the grass. Most pick up the fundamentals in a few minutes...but coaching by an observer expedites the process and keeps folks from quickly forming bad habits. I like the suggestion of bringing the hand up as high as you would when answering the phone. Many folks, however, quickly fall back into the mode of keeping the hand too low.....and not getting the line back past the shoulder. Often folks want to then gently bring the rod forward...with not nearly enough force in the forward stroke. My suggestion there is to imagine you are driving a nail in the wall...and you want sink it all the way to the head with one blow of the hammer...
 

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I still haven't mastered the roll cast. I could make a roll cast easily before I could false cast, but using a short leader with a cork, and while using crickets. I could put my cricket most anywhere I wanted. having to stay in a bit right now due to a health issue, but hope to get out to give roll casting another try soon.
Thanks for the link to the video Richard.
 

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I do have one question. I have a pond I fish in with a retaining wall that is about 2 to 2 1/2 feet from the water surface. Would there be any difference in the roll cast technique with the extra height?
 

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This one is a fairly good one also. Funny how I know the good ones when I don't consider my own self having a roll cast yet. I did see some things I may be doing incorrectly in Richard's video and in the video I just watched. I'll have to get someone who knows how to roll cast to critique my roll cast errors.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9a4iJ-rXs3s
 

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Here is a roll cast vid with the instructor standing on a pier about the same height as in my question. Doesn't look to make any difference as long as the technique is followed. I may have to get someone to take a video of my roll cast attempts so I can critique myself. lol
 

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Tons of YOU TUBE videos on roll casting. It is much easier on water. On grass, try tying the leader to a water/soda bottle as an anchor. Let out about 30 ft of line and stand about 15 ft away. You should be able to roll cast past the bottle.
Let me know if you want a quick lesson.
Rob Lurie
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Another good video...with good guidance and emphasis on raising the arm (which many folks seem reluctant to do) and accelerating to a a sudden, abrupt STOP. Looks like roll casting from a retaining wall should be no problem....much like roll casting from a boat with higher gunnels. Senior moment? nah...just us "mature" guys adapting to all this snazzy, new-fangled technology...
 

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This is a video that I almost quit on, but once I got used to Peter Hayes, he does a very good job of explaining common faults in fly casting. Goes into more detail than in any other I've seen.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCrjfZWGbek
The points Peter brings up at around the 4:00 mark is golden. Pushing the rod then giving it that quick amount of power at the very end of the stroke gets you loads of power at all the right times during the stroke. That same principal of correct power application makes for efficient (Hollywood?) casts at all distances. They say a good caster makes fly-casting look easy. Could that be because once you figure it out it is?

The real reason I posted is to tell you not to practice on the lawn but flycaster516 beat me to it. I just had to post something about that having wasted 1-1/2 years of my life trying to get the roll cast down while practicing on grass. The stiction of the water helps load the rod (a lot) and makes things much easier to understand. Tethering the end of the fly line will get you by (as fc516 mentioned) but nothing beats roll casting the water.
If you have a decent overhead forward cast then there's no reason your roll cast isn't decent too. They're real close to the same thing after the rod straight position that ends the back cast.

Drat! I can no longer find the post that started this topic. I wanted to review it before hitting 'Submit Reply'. Here goes anyhow
 

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They say a good caster makes fly-casting look easy. Could that be because once you figure it out it is?
I used to play golf. The furthest I ever hit my irons is when I would go one lower (by number) than conventional wisdom says I should, planning to take a little off and hit it nice and easy so it wouldn't go so far. Slowed it down so much I would forget to make any mistakes and get more distance than usual. By the same token, some of my best fly casts have been made when I am just trying to stretch short casts a little further. I get too impatient when I am trying for long distance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
practicing on grass
A good point. The more your practice on the water...the environment that you'll actually be fishing in...the better off you will be. Its also a lot easier on the line I suspect and maybe keeps the line a lot cleaner. There's been a time or two, after a grass casting session, that the line became so "sticky" we had to immediately clean them and the rods after returning.

But, I think you can still learn the fundamentals on the grass, or inside on the carpet, etc. I watch folks pick up the fundamentals of a roll cast doing just that in their first casting lesson, on a regular basis.

Some of the practice outfits or "yarn" rods (Temple Fork Office Rod for example) also do quite well for learning the fundamentals of rod and hand positions, stroke, and application of power. The Redington "practice rod" is super easy for roll casting....probably due to the fact that it actually uses fly line rather than yarn or "rope." However, a quick examination shows that it is not the typical fly line....but a line whose taper continues to get larger as you go farther and farther back from the fly....(the same principle as used in the manufacture of the Royal Wulff Triangle Taper lines...) The Redington practice outfits roll cast so well they will fling out and turn over a "yarn fly" the size of a small turkey....okay...a slight exaggeration...maybe the size of a chickadee or sparrow...but still bigger and more wind resistant than a #4 Sneaky Pete.

I have always been taught or told about the "friction" of the water...and I am still pondering on that. To my mind, water would provide less friction than grass... Good morning Jack.
 
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