Spey Casting Basics – Roll Cast

The Roll Cast is the most basic form of spey casts and yet perhaps one of the most difficult to deliver efficiently. It teaches the fundamentals of spey casting and is often the starting point for all spey casting lessons.


  • Essential cast for straightening slack line
  • Often used to lift heavy flies and sink tips to the surface
  • Teaches the key spey casting principles
  • Note – always keep D-loop downwind of body by altering which shoulder you cast from.


  • The cast requires very little space behind you.
  • It’s a great cast to practice the forward stroke, power application and creating narrow efficient loop shapes


  • Limited change of direction
  • Limited in casting distance


  • Stand in a comfortable position facing your target down stream with the rod tip at the water. Righthand uppermost then right foot forward and vice versa.
  • Hold the rod with a nice loose relaxed grip
  • Lift the rod upwards until the rod is at 45 degrees in front of you
  • Begin a slow backwards movement dragging the fly and line slowly through the water, with the rod angled slightly outwards this is called the sweep
  • As the D-loop begins to form behind you shoulder lift your upper hand into the key casting position
  • As the D-loop just begins to sag beneath the rod tip deliver the forward cast.
  • Forward cast is a smooth acceleration to a positive stop using both hands pushing and pulling the rod through a straight line path.
  • With forward cast aim close to and parallel to the anchor in front of you on the open side.