I am on the verge of quitting

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zarick

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I been at this for about two years sorta. Last year I fished only about 3x due to family issues. This year I was hell bent on getting better so I took a private 3 hour casting lesson. We spent much of the time on the roll cast.
I have been practicing in my yard now for a week and yesterday I went out to the river.
It was a disaster. I just can't seem to cast worth a damn. In my yard roll casting seems challenging, but I kept working at it and it seems like I am starting to get it to unroll, though 90% of the time it still puddles in parts. The movements of my arm that he taught me to make seem unnatural and uncomfortable and my shoulder usually hurts about 30 mins later.
On the river things went downhill FAST. first I couldn't roll cast. It was like the water was an anchor that would not let go of the fly line. If I could get a roll off the fly itself would not straighten but instead would land off the the right.
My overhead casts were just as bad. I would pull the line out of the water only to have it snap back and tangle all over my pole.
When I finally slowed down enough to get the line to fly well and get a nice loop I would either hit it too hard so the fly would bounce at the end or too soft so the line wouldn't straighten.
I finally decided to try calmer water and I found that I could overhead cast okay, but I couldn't lift the fly out of the water with the roll cast. The line would roll out and then it was like the fly was anchored under the surface and it would just die there.

So I am pretty frustrated. I paid a lot for casting lessons and feel like I am doing no better. I am at the point I am wondering if this is something I can even do.

I could sure use some help.
 

runningfish

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1. Never give up and never surrender.
2. Get a FFF certified casting instructor. A fly fisherman like me can't teach!
Go to your nearest Orvis Store and look for a casting lesson.
3. Don't use a Super Duper fast rod to start with.
4. Don't quit!
 

CutThroat Leaders

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Zarick,
Where are you located. I am guessing there may be some members that might be able to lend a helping hand. What state / town? Hang in there, you will get it soon.
 

darkshadow

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Although I think practice makes perfect, I embrace the philosophy that 'perfect practice' makes perfect. No sense in practicing the wrong way.

Having said that, if you don't the ability to be on the water a lot, I second what a few have mentioned and spend some time with a certifiable casting instructor.

The roll cast was always a pain for me, especially for the reason you mentioned that I always felt my line was underwater and getting it to 'roll' was nearly impossible. Once I realized that the surface tension was causing the issue, I made an adjustment when I began to bring the line towards me and angled the rod higher up in the air and made a mental note to try to get as much line off the water as soon as possible. Once I started mentally focusing on that, it became a lot easier to begin the roll casting, and now I had to focus on how to properly lay the cast down.
 

zarick

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The fly instructor is certified through International Federation of Fly Fishers, He has been teaching for years.
He also gets great reviews. I don't think the instructor was the issue. Because he taught mostly what I see others do in videos.
The rod I was using yesterday was a full flex cortland grf100.
I also have a echo solo that is a med flex that I oft use.
 

rangerrich99

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There are probably a dozen things any one of us could tell you about how to improve your casting success. But honestly, without being able to see what your actually doing, we're really just guessing. To get real help with your mechanics, your first best bet is casting instruction on the water. Your next best option would probably be to let us know where you are geographically and maybe some of the local forum members could work with you face-to-face. After that, your next best option is to videotape your cast and post it for the forum to see.

If none of those options work for you, then we're back to you posting your problems and the rest of us trying to guess at possible fixes.

To that end, I'll throw in a couple tidbits based on your OP. For some of us rollcasting was a difficult technique to master. For myself, I had been fly-fishing for more than 6 years before I finally figured out how to roll cast, so you may be in that camp. There's nothing wrong with that; I learned to double-haul casts more than 80 ft. before I learned to roll cast. It's just like that sometimes. Also, you may want to get some more instruction on that, as rollcasting for 30 minutes shouldn't hurt your shoulder. Unless you have shoulder problems, of course.

Anyway, my 'tip' for you is when drawing the line back to make your D-loop, try to draw it back fast enough so that your fly makes a little wake. You do need surface tension to execute a roll cast, but if your fly and leader are too far beneath the surface it can 'anchor,' not allowing it to unroll.

As for your overhead casting, I'm not sure what's going on from your description, but have you tried casting sidearm? Sometimes for beginners casting with the rod horizontal is easier at first.

Peace.
 

Ard

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I can't solve another fellows problems but I can tell you how I solved my own. I am linking a 2 part story from my blog here, it will explain how I managed to turn myself from a hacker into something I can be proud of.

Part One: http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/forums/blogs/hardyreels/124-we-dont-get-way-overnight.html

Part Two: http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/f...s/123-we-dont-get-way-overnight-part-two.html

Very few of the people who are really good at casting and all the other aspects which combine to make the quintessential fly fisherman were good on day one. For some it has been a life long learning experience. It is however like some other endeavors in that we must take time to analyze our shortcomings and to learn proper techniques. In the end it's a matter of how much a person wants to enjoy the sport that will dictate what they are willing to put in. It isn't all about gear and money, it's about knowledge and enjoyment. Someone who knows the ropes will be just as happy with a 40 year old rod as they would be with the top of the line rod, it's about technique.

Anyway I hope that if you read that it will help to show that others have struggled also.

Ard
 

flyminded

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Personally I think the roll cast is "easier" to practice or execute on a piece of moving water. As the downstream flow will help build tension into the upstream roll.

I am sure better qualified people than me will suggest otherwise ...but if I can help my wife to catch fish roll casting on small streams ...you will figure it out.
 

txshane

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The roll cast is way harder to do (correctly) in the grass. You need the water's surface tension to hold the line while you create the loop. If you're practicing in your yard, practice every cast EXCEPT the roll cast. It'll just frustrate you and you'll end up with bad roll cast form/habits if you practice it a lot in the grass. What makes it work in the grass is the opposite of what makes it work on the water.

On the water, simply raise your rod tip up to get your line and leader straightened out and also to create enough slack in your line to form a good loop, let that slack fall onto the water (all the way back to where you are standing or even slightly behind you), and then shoot a loop toward your target.

To get the closest thing to a roll cast you can get in your yard on the grass, you have to keep the line moving. If you pause and let the slack settle onto the grass, the forward part of the cast won't work well. It's two completely different casting situations because of the difference between slick grass and "sticky" water.
 

guest63

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I felt the same way many years ago. One day, I decided to give my fly rod to a friend. Before I left home, I decided to cast my rod for the last time. That was the day, I began to turn around.

Good luck. You will get it one day.
 
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fishmandoug

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I agree with the others here. If you are working on roll casts in the lawn and you are able to get them to work, the same technique will likely not work well in the water. The key to this type of cast is (as mentioned previously) the water's surface tension of the line is what is loading the rod rather than a backcast.

My advice is go out to a local river/lake and fish. You should ease the frustration just having an opportunity to catch fish. See if you can get by with only roll casts. Casting can be a little like golf, in that if you start to overanalyze you will go crazy (and probably perform worse). Maybe think about it a little less and try to enjoy yourself.

Casting is an evolution that will develop slowly. Minor adjustments can be key rather than re-inventing the wheel. But the real important stuff is to relax and have a good time. That is why we do this anyway.
 

ia_trouter

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What are you trying to roll cast? I don't mean to blame it on gear and suggest that will solve it. I have a half dozen rigs. I feel comfortable casting a few of them and several of them make me look like I started fly fishing just yesterday.
 

guest63

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What are you trying to roll cast? I don't mean to blame it on gear and suggest that will solve it. I have a half dozen rigs. I feel comfortable casting a few of them and several of them make me look like I started fly fishing just yesterday.
You are right. If someone tries to roll cast with a full flex rod, it takes much more skill to accomplish it. I would go for a moderate fast rod. I don't know you all agree with me or not, I found roll cast more difficult to learn than the simple up-down cast.
 

littledavid123

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Learn to laugh at yourself
Learn patience
It took hundreds of years for the first fisherman to progress from rocks to spears and you expect to cast well the first couple of times on the water. :lol2:
The first month on the river you shouldn't even be thinking about catching a fish, consider it as practice casting only. And if you do catch a fish just think how stupid he feels. :)

Your gonna be fine it just takes time brother.

Dave
 

ia_trouter

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You are right. If someone tries to roll cast with a full flex rod, it takes much more skill to accomplish it. I would go for a moderate fast rod. I don't know you all agree with me or not, I found roll cast more difficult to learn than the simple up-down cast.
I've met plenty of casting challenges for sure but roll casting has never been a big issue for me. Most of my rods are med-fast and I'm sure that had something to do with it. I've read a number of threads of guys struggling with roll casting slow rods and that is why I asked the OP.
 

mirabelasunshine

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Roll casting with a full-flex ("slow") rod can be tough to learn.

Then again, roll casting at all has never been particularly easy for me. I've been fly fishing since 1983 and my roll cast is still sort of "limited."

But here's the thing -- casting ain't fishing. And while we all love to lay out a beautiful cast, you can catch lots of fish without looking very elegant. Catching fish makes the whole thing a lot more fun, and greatly increases the odds that you'll want to keep doing it long enough to get better.

So, what about concentrating on getting the fly 25 or 30 feet away from yourself, by whatever means work -- roll, overhead, side arm, backhand, downstream-water-loaded upstream flop, whatever -- but doing it on water you know has fish that will bite, with an offering that you know they'll eat, and kind of working from there? When I decided to really get serious, I found myself a ledge in a pond that always had a school of really dumb yellow perch on it, and I fished them with a tiny marabou microjig for hours on end -- not every cast was great, but I was learning how to control depth, manipulate the retrieve, detect a take, play a fish, and so on as well as slowly improving my delivery.

You haven't said where in the country you are, but based on what you're describing I feel like what you need is something like a farm pond, some easily accessible body of (probably warm) water full of willing bluegills or crappies or stocked trout, something that you will catch. Making line-piles and crazy birdsnests while you slug it out with wary wild browns or something, or worse yet fish water with nothing in it at all, is discouraging to say the least.
 

silver creek

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I been at this for about two years sorta. Last year I fished only about 3x due to family issues. This year I was hell bent on getting better so I took a private 3 hour casting lesson. We spent much of the time on the roll cast.

I have been practicing in my yard now for a week and yesterday I went out to the river.

It was a disaster. I just can't seem to cast worth a damn. In my yard roll casting seems challenging, but I kept working at it and it seems like I am starting to get it to unroll, though 90% of the time it still puddles in parts. The movements of my arm that he taught me to make seem unnatural and uncomfortable and my shoulder usually hurts about 30 mins later.

On the river things went downhill FAST. first I couldn't roll cast. It was like the water was an anchor that would not let go of the fly line. If I could get a roll off the fly itself would not straighten but instead would land off the the right.
My overhead casts were just as bad. I would pull the line out of the water only to have it snap back and tangle all over my pole.

When I finally slowed down enough to get the line to fly well and get a nice loop I would either hit it too hard so the fly would bounce at the end or too soft so the line wouldn't straighten.

I finally decided to try calmer water and I found that I could overhead cast okay, but I couldn't lift the fly out of the water with the roll cast. The line would roll out and then it was like the fly was anchored under the surface and it would just die there.

So I am pretty frustrated. I paid a lot for casting lessons and feel like I am doing no better. I am at the point I am wondering if this is something I can even do.

I could sure use some help.


This may be heresy but I do not consider roll casts as a beginner cast.

Gary Borger used to teach the roll cast as one of the first casts and he did that when I took my lessons from him. As a Fenwick instructor and since all Fenwick instructors had to use the same teaching method, he taught the roll cast the as the second half of the “pick up and lay down” cast sequence.

I asked him whether he still does that since I don't think roll casts are very easy for a beginner to perform. Gary no longer teaches the roll cast early on as he used to.

I think it is easier to learn a roll cast AFTER the pickup and lay down cast has been mastered. The roll cast uses the fly line in the D loop and surface tension of the line on the water to “load” the rod. The rod WILL NOT LOAD properly unless the rod is forcefully moved at the correct rate of acceleration AND in the CORRECT direction so the rod tip goes in a SLP (Straight Line Path). If the rod is not accelerated properly, the rod will not load (bend) enough and store enough potential energy to lift and cast the line. If the rod tip stops too low, the cast will go into the water. If the rod tip stops too high, the cast will go up and collapse down. If the rod tip path is too convex, the loop will be wide and the cast will collapse from a lack of a tight enough loop to overcome the air resistance.

So EVERYTHING has to be PERFECT for the standard roll cast to work.

When there is absolutely NO room behind you, a standard roll cast may be needed. But the reality is that most of the time we perform a roll cast is NOT when there is no room behind us. We have room but not enough room for a backcast. If there is some room to the side and behind us, we can perform a dynamic roll cast by pulling or flipping line behind us and to the side to increase the size of the “D” loop and once the D loop is anchored (touches down), we do the forward cast. Because the D loop is larger and further behind us, we can increase the rod load and that makes the cast much easier.

A standard roll cast is performed when the line stops moving and is still. A dynamic roll cast (also called the jump roll cast and spey cast) is performed when the line is still moving and a moving line has more energy and that energy can be redirected to load the rod.

In a standard roll cast you raise the rod, bringing the line toward you and stopping the rod with a hanging D loop. A dynamic roll cast is a continuous motion roll cast which is done without allowing the rod to stop and the line to come to a stop. The line and rod keeps moving and you can also add a single haul to get more distance and velocity (energy) into the cast.

You can try throwing the d loop behind you to get even more rod load. This is a form of switch cast. By both moving the D loop behind you and then adding a single haul, you can cast much further.

Once you can do the dynamic roll cast, then begin decreasing the size of the “D” loop and slow down the creation of the “D” loop until you have performed the standard roll cast.

Since you are having a lot of difficulty with the standard roll cast, I am going do some "out of the box" thinking and suggest that you try the dynamic roll cast and then transition to the standard roll cast.

The Dynamic Roll Cast | MidCurrent

https://books.google.com/books?id=5...4Q6AEwAzgK#v=onepage&q=roll cast haul&f=false

https://books.google.com/books?id=x...Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=dynamic roll cast&f=false

I think it is easier to be accurate in judging the distance you will roll cast by managing the size of the "D" loop than by managing the velocity and distance of a haul added to a standard roll cast.

Then if you want more distance, you can add a haul to the dynamic roll. In the first video, notice how far behind his body, the caster positions the "D" loop. This allows him to make a much longer roll cast.

Carl McNeil - Roll Cast and Dynamic Roll Cast Video​

[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFDPIn0L0Uw[/ame]


Orvis video - Dynamic Roll Cast​

[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnRzkW0F9ek[/ame]


[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDl60Yk0-gg[/ame]


If you need to change direction do a single handed snake roll cast.

[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igHaSrXrw3c[/ame]

[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=186oH_HjfZk[/ame]
 

zarick

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First off Carl McNeil's casts are beautiful. Wow.
Second thing I noticed watching all those videos is how little line they have out on the water. I had probably 20+' of line on the water trying to roll cast it out. I wonder if I have way to much line out.
 

cab

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I'll agree, Roll casting probably isn't for beginners. Then I'll take a slightly different tack: worry less about casting, and more about fishing. Fish up close, and catch something. Nothing improves casting like catching a fish!

I guess I got luck here in CO, high-stick indy nymphing doesn't require casting at all, really. Just let it drift past you (drag free!), water load, and let it rip! Caught a lot of fish within ten feet of my toes.

HTH,
CAB

P.S. Lost count of how many times I've tossed all that fly fishing [email protected] into a dark place, cussing this sport in general.......:rain:
 

silver creek

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First off Carl McNeil's casts are beautiful. Wow.
Second thing I noticed watching all those videos is how little line they have out on the water. I had probably 20+' of line on the water trying to roll cast it out. I wonder if I have way to much line out.
The more line you have on the water, the more energy you have to generate from the same "D" loop. So the energy required and the energy available do not match.

With a standard back cast and forward cast, the amount of line is balanced. Not so with the regular roll cast. With the dynamic roll cast, you can flip more line behind you so you can cast more line out.

Notice how little line Pete Kutzer has on his first attempt on the video below and he does not get all the line to turn over. So start with ten feet of line not counting the leader and then work you way out.

[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnRzkW0F9ek[/ame]
 
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