The overhead cast has been the quintessential way to cast a fly rod for decades, and really, why wouldn’t it be? It’s incredibly effective and gives the angler the ability to cast short, medium, or even long distances. Not only that, but man does it look pretty when done properly.
An issue lies when you find yourself fishing an area that does not allow for any sort of back cast. What are you to do then?
Normally, the roll cast normally plays second fiddle to the overhead cast. However, in certain circles it could be argued that the roll cast might be the best way to cast a fly rod.
In almost any circumstance you’re going to be able to roll cast a dry or a nymph into a spot. Sure, you might not be able to get as much distance on it and you might not look as pretty Brad Pitt shadow casting, but there’s one thing you’ll be able to do though, and that’s put the damn fly in the water. Which is pretty important in the world of fishing.
The importance of the roll cast cannot be understated. This is especially true if you enjoy fishing skinny water where the area behind you is full or brush or rock where a back cast is simply not possible.
In order to be efficient in your roll casting you’ll have to take some time to practice. Take a piece of yarn and tie it to the end of your tippet. Head out into your yard or local park either before, after, or even during work. I always found it helpful to be honest with your boss when ditching work for fishing. If he doesn’t understand, then you don’t need to be working there.
However, there is one aspect of roll casting that goes under looked, and that’s using the proper line for the job. If you’ve got a few different set ups then one of them should have line on it specifically for roll casting. I know we all that one spot we throw roll casts the majority of the time. That’s the spot to use it.
Below we have the top 5 fly lines to use for roll casting. Each of them comes with own pros and cons list so it really comes down to what you’re looking for in a roll casting fly line.
|Rio Gold Fly Line||Easy loading of the rod||Not the best in wind||4/5||Check the price on Amazon|
|Royal Wulff Triangle Taper||Long Casts||Difficult to finesse||4.5/5||Check the price on Amazon|
|Airflo Super-Dry 40+||Durability||Need to trim line to fit on reel||3.5/5||Check the price on Amazon|
|Scientific Anglers Mastery DT||Great Line Control||Not the best for distance||3.5/5||Check the price on Amazon|
|Rio Single Hand Spey Line||Very Accurate||Delicate presentations prove difficult||4/5||Check the price on Amazon|
Rio Gold Fly Line
This line has a designed taper that allows the angler to load your rod with ease when casting short ranges. So, if you’re in a situation where you don’t have much room for a back cast then you’ll still be able to still get a decent cast off.
Also, because of its taper, it is made to throw flies between the size of #2 and #22, it turns out to be a pretty versatile line as well. Feel free to throw large or small flies when using this line.
It’s also 90 feet of line which should be plenty for many different types of fishing scenarios, and it also comes in a wide variety of colors that you can use to match to different fishing situations. Check the price on Amazon
|Easy to load your rod||Not the best for windy conditions|
Royal Wulff Triangle Taper
When looking for a line that roll cats the best you be checking out the Triangle Taper. Often portrayed as TT on the box. When you use a TT line there will always be a heavier section of line always turning over a smaller section until the line begins to run.
Thanks to Royal Wulff’s continuous forward taper, you’ll find that you’ll be able to achieve supreme casting distance even when fishing in tight quarters.
It’s similar to the Rio Gold in that a heavier section of line is always turning over a lighter section. Giving the best load as well as casting energy. Check the price on Amazon.
|Continuous taper||Tough to land flies delicately|
|Great Casting energy|
AirFlo Super-Dri 40+
It contains a short rear taper and a condensed length meaning it can extend your casting distance with less effort. Not only is this great for getting a roll cast, but it can extend your normal casting distance as well.
The line is also coated with polyurethane, giving it extra durability so it can last you in even the toughest fishing conditions.
Thanks to it’s super dri technology the line repels, water, dirt, and surface scum which allows it to float better and cast further.
The line also will reduce friction on the guides of your rod giving you less friction on your line and increased durability. Check the price on Amazon
|Long casts with minimal effort||Thick line won’t all fit on the reel|
|Polyurethane coating means extra durability|
Scientific Anglers Mastery DT
After a Triangle Taper the double taper is the next best line for roll casting. It allows you to cast with finesse and while it may not be able to shoot as well or as far as a TT, it’s still a great line for roll casting.
This line works best when throwing dries but is versatile enough to also ensure you can still get out and throw your favorite nymphs and streamers. The line also features identical tapers on both ends and has a long belly for extra line control. Check the price on Amazon
|Can overhead and roll cast proficiently||Not great for distance|
|Great line control|
Rio Single hand Spey line
This line is perfect for both overhead and roll casting. It works best when you’re backed into a corner and don’t have much room to move. This is probably the best fly line for roll casting for the money, in our opinions.
This line allows you to be extremely accurate with your casts as well as distance and great control. The line itself is also very sensitive which will allow you to feel any small bites or nibbles from a fish. Check the price on Amazon
|Very accurate||Tough to finesse cast with delicate presentations|
|Great Line control|
When you find yourself with your back against the wall and need to get your fly out to a fish, then the roll cast is the way to go. It can make the difference between a successful day or one of getting skunked.
Picking out a fly line specifically for roll casting can be a little tricky. Hopefully the above information has helped you out and you’ll be able to get out on the water and roll cast your way to success.