PLEASE NOTE: In order to post on the Board you need to have registered. To register please email paul@sexyloops.com including your real name and username. Registration takes less than 24hrs, unless Paul is fishing deep in the jungle!

Functional roll casts

Moderator: Paul Arden

Mangrove Cuckoo
Posts: 234
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:51 am

Functional roll casts

#1

Post by Mangrove Cuckoo » Thu May 09, 2019 10:52 pm

I just read through the roll cast / hauling thread again.

I guess I have a few questions.

The first of which is about the roll cast itself. Do y’all actually use if for fishing very often, or is it more of an academic exercise essentially limited to casting instructor certification evaluations?

I had little problem meeting the exams distance criteria, but that was FFF and many moons ago. The EFFA restrictions seem like they might be a bit tougher.

But I find very limited use for it (roll cast) in my usual fishing. About the only time I found myself actually relying on it was when dry-fly fishing with very small flies and floating lines. For saltwater fishing it seems almost useless… the flies are just too large and/or sink.

About the only time I use it is when I am getting set up to fish. I pull the line from the reel, wiggle the slack out the rod tip onto the water, then use an immediate roll cast to eliminate the slack. A snap cast brings the leader back to hand.

I used to think I used a roll cast in my saltwater quick cast, but after reading (Bernd’s?) description of a hand anchored single spey I realize that is a technically more accurate description of what I do.

So, two more questions.

I have read that a roll cast can be used to pick up a popper from the surface without creating a big fuss. I have tried it, but with very little success. How would / do you modify the standard roll cast to limit the backward slip and lift the fly almost vertically from the water?

Also, I have witnessed many folks attempt to free a snagged fly by roll casting… mostly without success. I have my own technique, but I was wondering how folks who seem to know/use the roll cast much more than I do it?
“Very simple man. Catching fish makes me happy. Scaringly simple.”

Håvard Stubø

User avatar
Graeme H
Posts: 1654
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:54 pm
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Functional roll casts

#2

Post by Graeme H » Thu May 09, 2019 11:48 pm

My fishing is mainly saltwater, so keeping that in mind, my experience mostly echos yours.

In practice, I have had little use for the static roll cast as defined by the FFi. In fact, I couldn't do it "properly" even as little as one day before my CI exam. One of the MCI's (Brian Henderson) asked if I had any last minute questions, and in fact, I did! He taught me there and then how to make it work and I used his lesson the next day during my exam when asked to teach it. :) To this day, I still have no practical use for the "hauled roll cast".

I do use a roll cast to raise a fully sunken line in preparation for the next cast and very occasionally when I'm on the wrong side of the boat (with respect to the wind) and a standard cast would put others or myself in danger of being struck by a fly.

I've also used it when fishing shallow flats in very high winds with light gear. Making a back cast into a strong wind was harder than just rolling the fly towards the target.

When I find myself on a flowing river/creek with confined space (very rare), I actually use it quite often, but never to the distances required by the FFi exam. When those distances are required, I default to a more dynamic roll cast, throwing a bit of line behind before making the forward cast.

As a step towards learning to Spey cast, I think it's quite valuable.

Regarding your questions about the poppers and the snags: Yes, I have done both. The snags are only successful about 20% of the time. The poppers work with short amounts of line and large loops (for me), the wide loop lifting the line vertically before I make a back cast.

Cheers,
Graeme
FFi CCI

Geenomad
Posts: 373
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:11 pm
Location: Melbourne

Functional roll casts

#3

Post by Geenomad » Fri May 10, 2019 2:44 am

Mangrove Cuckoo wrote:
The first of which is about the roll cast itself. Do y’all actually use if for fishing very often, or is it more of an academic exercise essentially limited to casting instructor certification evaluations?
I dislike static rolls for fishing and go dynamic/single spey whenever I can. I fish both fresh and flats. Agree with you and Graeme about usefulness. Might be a reasonable test of skill for an exam to cast 60' static but not much use to me in the field.
How would / do you modify the standard roll cast to limit the backward slip and lift the fly almost vertically from the water?
Never tried it with a popper but my pickup for dries and smallish wets would come close. Pretty sure I use it on the flats too. Lift to remove slack and get fly moving up if sub-surface. Throw a loop forwards and to the side of the fly, say 45deg angle and make a torque twist away from the fly. Sort of dynamic roll variation. Generally picks up cleanly and aerialises everything ready for the back cast.
Also, I have witnessed many folks attempt to free a snagged fly by roll casting… mostly without success.?
Don't know your technique but mine is to roll a good sized loop onto the water beyond the snag and pull back hard in an attempt to use the pulley effect to pick the fly off. Success rate depends......

Cheers
Mark
"The line of beauty is the result of perfect economy." R. W. Emerson.
https://thecuriousflycaster.com

User avatar
Bernd Ziesche
Posts: 1812
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:01 pm
Location: Whereever the fish are!
Contact:

Functional roll casts

#4

Post by Bernd Ziesche » Fri May 10, 2019 4:29 pm

Hello! :)
I use a lot of roll casts in my fishing. Mostly it's dynamic roll casts. But yes, I also use the static roll cast regulary.

If my fly gets snacked on the bottom, I roll against it and add some line curve behind the fly. Then I add a very sharp sudden short pull. That way by creating a backwards pull I often get my fly back.
Most often I use the roll pick up when streamer fishing. I use it to get the line + leader + fly back in the air. That's a static roll cast in my point of view. The EFFA would disagree though (which proves me to be right).

Fishing under the trees and I need static rolls often.

My fav roll cast is a sort of extended roll cast. I set up the D and then bring the rod forwad quite fast but allowing the line to slip during forward rotation. The rotation I position/aim a bit off to the outer side. Then I swing all that slack line into a bigger D behind me and deliver on distance. That casts offers me 60 to 70 feet easily performed and it is quite resistable to wind even wehn coming towards my rod hand. Works quite well for weighted flies also!

In order to lift a big popper rolling it out vertical instead of getting the huge backward slip.... I roll it forward first (important to get trajectory correct) and then start the back cast. The length of leader is a key here. If you tried this with a pretty long leader it gets much more difficult!
Regards
Bernd
http://www.first-cast.de
The first cast is always the best cast.

User avatar
Graeme H
Posts: 1654
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:54 pm
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Functional roll casts

#5

Post by Graeme H » Fri May 10, 2019 5:08 pm

Bernd Ziesche wrote: My fav roll cast is a sort of extended roll cast. I set up the D and then bring the rod forwad quite fast but allowing the line to slip during forward rotation. The rotation I position/aim a bit off to the outer side. Then I swing all that slack line into a bigger D behind me and deliver on distance. That casts offers me 60 to 70 feet easily performed and it is quite resistable to wind even wehn coming towards my rod hand. Works quite well for weighted flies also!
I like that cast too (or one like it). I do it myself by waving the rod tip near the water slowly, side to side, feeding line onto the water through the rod. These oscillations are out on the casting hand side, about where I'd be aiming to land a spey anchor. When I get perhaps 3 or 4 layers of line on the water, I make a dynamic D loop and cast. A bit like a Perry Poke but without lifting the rod to make the slack line.

It is not what the FFi would pass as a static roll cast, but it's a good fishing cast.

Cheers,
Graeme
FFi CCI

User avatar
Paul Arden
Site Admin
Posts: 12411
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:20 am
Location: Belum Rainforest
Contact:

Functional roll casts

#6

Post by Paul Arden » Sat May 11, 2019 6:41 am

With regards the popper I don’t try to pick the popper out the water with the roll cast, instead I roll the line into the air leaving the popper on the water and then pick it off with a backcast. I find that a much better solution. If you use the roll cast to pick it up there is a clunk moment at the start of the backcast.

I normally use a dynamic roll cast in which case It is most certainly an integral part of my fishing. Static roll casts - well not so much. In terms of removing the fly from snags - absolutely! I often use the Static Roll Cast as a Stack Mend (without moving the fly of course).

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

Flycasting Definitions

User avatar
Bernd Ziesche
Posts: 1812
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:01 pm
Location: Whereever the fish are!
Contact:

Functional roll casts

#7

Post by Bernd Ziesche » Sat May 11, 2019 8:56 am

Paul Arden wrote:With regards the popper I don’t try to pick the popper out the water with the roll cast, instead I roll the line into the air leaving the popper on the water and then pick it off with a backcast. I find that a much better solution.
That's how I do it. Not only with poppers. Usually my leader has too little line mass to lift the popper up. Key for me is in trajectory. I try to get tension in the leader and the line up, so the back cast soon lifts the popper right from the start of the bc.
Cheers
B
http://www.first-cast.de
The first cast is always the best cast.

Mangrove Cuckoo
Posts: 234
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:51 am

Functional roll casts

#8

Post by Mangrove Cuckoo » Sat May 11, 2019 12:22 pm

OK

Thanks everybody.

It seems we pretty much agree that the static roll has limited use except for when fishing smaller stuff. That is what makes me scratch my head as to the specific requirments for the tests. To me the dynamic roll has much more utility and should be emphasized instead.

As to the pickup, especially for poppers, I understand the concept.Whether the fly is lifted by the roll or the beginning of the back cast is splitting hairs. I still do not understand how, mechanically, to eliminate two things that I am having trouble with: the popper sliding toward me on the beginning of the roll (which causes it to make noise), and (2) how to get tension for the backcast when there is a round loop in the line... eliminating the "clunk" that Paul refers to.

Could you be a little more specific as to how you do it?

BTW... the flaw I see most folks down here do when trying to roll a fly off of a snag (which is almost always in the air on a root or branch, not under water) is that they do not understand the necessity for some line stick and a decent D loop. Many try to roll a line completely tight in the air between the snag and the rod tip, and they do not slip enough (or any) line to get the D well behind them. That may demonstrate just how misunderstood, or little used, the roll cast is down here is salty south Florida.
“Very simple man. Catching fish makes me happy. Scaringly simple.”

Håvard Stubø

User avatar
Paul Arden
Site Admin
Posts: 12411
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:20 am
Location: Belum Rainforest
Contact:

Functional roll casts

#9

Post by Paul Arden » Sat May 11, 2019 3:12 pm

Hi Gary,

1 by slipping line as you from the D and
2 with the rolling to the popper the loop can be tight. Then you just have to drag a little to remove the slack in the air between the line end and the popper.

I don’t make these big open popper lifting rolls. I think that’s the wrong thing to do and something someone thought up in theory but doesn’t fish poppers very often!

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

Flycasting Definitions

User avatar
Paul Arden
Site Admin
Posts: 12411
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:20 am
Location: Belum Rainforest
Contact:

Functional roll casts

#10

Post by Paul Arden » Sun May 12, 2019 7:44 am

I’ll try to make some videos :p
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

Flycasting Definitions

Post Reply

Return to “Flycasting”