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Old 04-08-2013, 12:46 AM
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Default Re: What is wrong with my roll cast?

As I just learned recently how to consistently and successfully execute roll casts, you may take this advice with a grain of salt . . .

First, a few words about the videos. They are excellent, and I personally watched Mel K. 's videos probably a hundred times. I learned the belgian cast, the side arm cast, and the double haul just by watching Mel's instructional videos (downUP!). But after nearly five years, the roll cast eluded me so thoroughly that I gave up even trying to roll cast farther than about 20 feet. And then while watching the video yet one more time, I saw two things I'd never seen before.

First, I saw his hand come up to the top of his hat. And second, Mel was throwing a straight right punch at the middle of someone's chest, complete with shoulder drop. In fact, it looked an awful lot like he was throwing a tae kwon do right punch in waders and a funny hat.

I only noticed this because I stopped watching Mel cast. I watched his hand.

So my first piece of advice is when you watch these videos, don't watch these guys cast. Of course you want to, because they make it all look so easy. But the good stuff is in watching their hands.

During a normal cast, my hand gets no higher than about my chin to maybe about the top of my ear. And I was always trying to flick the rod in roll casts; using way too much wrist, way too early, or sending too much energy downward, sometimes even smacking the water with my rod tip.

Suddenly, right there on the couch, a small storm of pieces fell into place.

Of course, I immediately went out and tried roll casting using this insight.

Well, it took time, but even that first day I had several roll casts exceed thirty feet. To say I was giddy is probably an understatement.

A few other things I learned since that day:

While you can come straight back and go straight forward with a roll cast, it's easier if when you draw the line back, it's a few feet to your casting side, kind of like a belgian cast. In fact, I commonly think in terms of 'oval motion' when roll casting. In other words, I try to draw skinny ovals with my rod tip. Draw back on the outside, go forward on the inside.

Also, the roll cast is easier if the fly is 'skating' along the surface right before you begin the forward cast. It's not necessary, but it is easier.

The 'load' phase during a roll cast is actually when your hand starts forward. The inertia of the line bends the rod tip backwards, creating a moment of potential or 'stored' energy, which is converted to kinetic energy the moment you change acceleration. So it is in your best interests to accelerate as smoothly as possible to that hard stop, and to delay it as long as possible, i.e., by leaning forward and dropping/throwing the shoulder, increasing the total time/distance of acceleration before the stop. There, I knew taking physics in high school would come in handy at least once in my life.

To create a larger D-loop, simply ensure your casting hand comes back higher than on a normal cast. Higher than your hat, maybe. This is not the only way to get a bigger D, but it is pretty easy.

Allow the line to pass your casting shoulder before starting your forward cast. Coming to it isn't good enough. Besides, there is no D loop until the line passes your shoulder.

Whether you think you're flicking paint, hitting a wall with a hammer, or throwing a punch, aim your thumb for a point a few feet above your target, so that when you make your hard stop, your rod tip should flex and point at your target, not hit the water in front of you. This forces the energy release to move forward away from you, with very little or no downward component. If your cast collapses before getting to your leader, or your leader piles up in a little clump at the end of your roll cast, chances are high you sent too much energy downward. Aim a bit higher.

Anyway, that's about all I know about rollcasting. and I don't know if any of that will help you. I just thought since I just learned to do it, I might say something that might give you an 'ah, ha!' moment.

"Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn." ~Chuck Clark

Last edited by rangerrich99; 04-08-2013 at 01:18 AM. Reason: spellin, of corse . . .
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