Switch cast and Accelerated Roll casting

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Fly fishing instructor - Roll and Switch cast tuition

Switch cast
The Switch or Accelerated Roll cast

Longer Roll or Switch casts are made by forming the loop and delivering the power stroke in one continuous motion. The aerialised “D" loop is formed by elevating the rod to 10:00 tilted at a suitable angle away from the body, with the arm somewhat extended. The arm is then drawn back towards the body by compressing the biceps muscle and, simultaneously, the rod is swept around the body and backwards to 2:00 behind by the wrist opening and turning in a loop to the position for acceleration into the power stroke. The loop described by the tip of the rod is what constructs the "D" loop and by stopping the rearward motion of the line by turning the rod it allows the leader and the tip of the line to alight on the surface "touch down" to provide the anchor for the power stroke. This is the signal to turn the rod and commence the forward cast. Ideally the forward cast should commence at the instant that the line has touched the water surface. If the line is not anchored, the energy from the power stroke will be discharged immediately and instead of the line being propelled forwards flies may whiplash violently and endanger the angler. If the cast is only slightly mistimed the whiplash will not be serious but it will be audible and provide a message to hesitate slightly to ensure that the "D" loop is correctly formed before completion of the cast. A well executed roll cast sends the line high, straight and true away from the angler, similar to the delivery of the overhead cast.

If there is too much of an anchor i.e. water contact is excessive and worse still if the line is “dumped” and slack, the line will fail to lift cleanly from the surface and the cast will fail. Care has to be taken to get the timing right with sinking lines, they can be allowed to rest for only the minimum of time because if they submerge it is difficult to get enough energy into to power stroke to lift them cleanly and complete the cast. If they submerge too much the line must be rolled onto the surface and the cast repeated before it has a chance to sink again. It may be necessary to reduce the amount of line being used in the loop to do this.

Single handed roll casts can be made from both forehand and backhand, in order to cope with obstacles or the wind. The rules are the same as previously discussed for casting in windy conditions, always make the cast on the downwind side of your body.

Double handed casts from the opposite shoulder are best made by switching hands so the top hand is the one belonging to the shoulder making the cast. The Roll casting techniques are the same whether a single or two handed rod is being used. For maximum efficiency the direction angle between the "D" loop and the forward cast should be as near to parallel as possible. Therefore align the "D" loop with the direction of the forward cast before making the final roll casting stroke forwards. It is easy to make a roll cast in an “inward direction” i.e. to the body side of the previous cast but to make the cast “outward” requires some adaptation because the “D” loop has to be turned to the new direction. This is called the Single Spey cast and discussed on another page. More about roll casting.

Single handed Roll casting methods benefit greatly from hauling techniques.

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