Roll ‘Em Easy

CoverI find that I roll cast on a river at least three times for every overhead cast I make. When you get the roll cast down and you learn to use the water to load your rod, you’ll find yourself spending less time and energy thinking about casting. In turn, you’ll be more focused on reading the water and finding fish. The roll cast is important for two other reasons. First, it’s a stealthier approach and is less likely to spook fish than false casting overhead. Second, it’s your go-to option when there are bushes or other obstacles behind you, where they’ll likely foul up a backcast. What’s the key to a good roll cast? Same as with any other cast—gradually accelerate the rod, building speed and resistance, then stop, change direction, and unfurl the cast forward. A common mistake people make is to start that roll cast with too much loose line on the water and the rod tip pointed straight at the sky. Instead, retrieve with the rod tip from a low position, with noticeable tension on the line as it slices through the current. When the moment is right (and you’ll develop a feel to know when), lift the rod tip skyward, and snap the rod forward, unfurling an on-target cast. —K.D.