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  1. Default Low power on roll cast

    Hey everyone. I'm very new to fly casting, and have been practicing my roll cast. I'm finding three things happen often:

    1) the loop unravels on top of the water. So as it curves to go flat, instead of being above the water it's flattening out on the water. The entire line is never all not touching water, if that makes sense. I think this is a combination of aiming too low or not having enough power?

    2) the loop collapses before it's completely unfurled. So the end kinds of just nests and doesn't fully extend before losing steam.

    3) the entire line doesn't even leave the water at all. The tippet will remain in the water when the loop reaches it and the whole thing kind of just craps out.

    This last one I'm thinking either my d loop isn't large enough or my cast isn't powerful enough (or too much line is out for the power I can muster). When I really make my d loop large (having a lot of line on the cement behind me, at a standard casting pool) I seem to have the most technically correct casts with oval loops that unfurl completely before hitting the water. this feels like I'm cheating though, because on the water I won't be able to get such large d loops, or am I thinking of it wrong?

    I know it might be hard to say without seeing, but does anyone have any advice? My roll cast is pretty aweful and I'd appreciate any and all help. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    quiet corner, ct

    Default Re: Low power on roll cast

    I'm not the best one to give advice on casting but ....

    First of all you need to get rid of all slack in the line before the initial pick-up.
    Strip the line in until the leader is moving to remove all slack.

    Next, The further the rod tip moves, the more distance you'll get. Don't be timid about moving the rod tip or even your whole casting arm well behind your ear.

    Don't forget to accelerate during the cast and make a dead stop

    The most important thing to remember is that the principles of roll casting are the same as for a regular overhead cast.... just without the backcast part.
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements. --- Horace Kephart

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Bennington, VT

    Default Re: Low power on roll cast

    Buy one of Mel Kreiger's casting DVDs. He was the best instructor I ever met, and he'll show you how to roll cast such that you'll be flipping it out there with the best of 'em in no time. It'll be the best 20 or so bucks you'll ever spend on behalf of your casting.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Low power on roll cast

    As Rip Tide said don't be afraid to get your hand up next to or behind your ear. When your line is in the shape of a D by your side chop your hand down in a sort of "chopping" motion with some real force. A little practice and you will be throwing roll casts 30+ feet in no time! Its timing and force applied in just the right manner. When I was taught I thought they were crazy to have their hand up that high but man does it work!

    Custom Rods You Can Afford to Fish

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Akron Ohio (don't let that fool you)

    Default Re: Low power on roll cast

    As other said get your rod hand high but don't start the roll till the line dips past you a bit. Try adding a haul in there too.
    Oh I live to be the ruler of life not a slave

  6. #6

    Default Re: Low power on roll cast

    I just started fishing a slower rod, but I've found that going a bit slower on the forward cast seems to make the difference for me (and I think this would apply to faster rods too). I always to try to overpower it, but I realized that was my problem. I pull the line back and around to form a wide D-loop, which pulls all the line up to the surface (when fishing a wet), and then a slow progressive forward cast, with a slight haul if there is a lot of line out to load the rod a bit deeper.

    I was able to do this with a heavily weighted, tung-head bugger and it worked just fine this past weekend and kept my fly in the water longer than backcasting every cast.

  7. Default Re: Low power on roll cast

    Some great advice already, and perhaps a few other points to consider:
    * Roll casts are most effective parallel to the line on the water, not good for changing direction (look into spey casts to change direction).
    * Make sure that the anchor (contact point with the water) is ahead of you or you will rip the water and lose a lot of energy
    * Larger D-loop = longer cast.

    Can't understate that an effective stop is critical for creating the line speed for an efficient cast.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Merrimac, MA

    Default Re: Low power on roll cast

    Try bringing your line back further behind you before you start your roll cast. The further back you start; within reason, the easier it will be to get your roll cast really working for you. Also, on a roll cast, I will often times haul the line on the forward cast; the extra line speed that you generate with the haul will show up as extra distance when you complete your forward cast.

    As others have said, make sure all the slack is out of your line before you start your roll cast and don't point your rod at the water at the end of your cast; the line will go where the rod tip is pointed. If you point it down at the water, you'll get a short roll cast, that will end up, essentially, where it already is. Keep it at least horizon level when you abruptly end your forward cast.

    Work with shorter distances at first (I personally think that 30" is a good distance to start with), then as it starts to really work for you, stretch it out. You'll be surprised how far a good roll cast will actually go; it's, essentially, a half-cycle water haul.

    Have fun with it!


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