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Roll Casting Rods
Post 11 May 2020, 21:10 • #1 
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Bulldog1935 has several times championed short Phillipsons--especially as opposed to Fenwicks-- for roll casting. Ron, doing a little research, I found you were comparing a 6' Phillipson to a Fenwick FF605. Does your opinion extend beyond those two?

As in, how is the FF79 as a roll caster? I'm not very good at roll casting anyway, so I need a rod that's good at it (!) And in those earlier posts, I think Ron was roll casting streamers for bass. My application will be dries and nymphs for skittish trout in closed-in, gin-clear mountain streams.

Or, more interestingly to me, how do you think the FF75 is as a roll caster? I had that rod and sold it off because the backcasts were getting into the canopy, but never gave roll casting a decent try. Hmmm.

Fish on!
Peter


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Re: Roll Casting Rods
Post 11 May 2020, 22:34 • #2 
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I don't thinks the 6', 7' or 7'6" Fenwicks are natural roll casters. Short rods are harder to roll cast in general an the Fenwicks don't load as deeply as some other rods. The FF79 is a good roll caster if you can get some line out. The FF84 is fantastic (but an 8'6" rod). The fly line also makes a difference. A DT 6 would probably be the best on an FF79 (or a Wulff TT or Bario GT90 with the long front tapers) for dry fly fishing or traditional nymphing.

The extra lenght of the FF79 is nice on a smaller stream, but you have to realized you might be standing a foot or two on the bank while you cast sidearm over the crick.


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Re: Roll Casting Rods
Post 11 May 2020, 23:16 • #3 
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Peter, I've never had to go past short Phillipson or 8' E80, or System 5 to have all the roll-casting short to mid-length rods I need.
The Lee Wulff Conolons in 6' and 7' are also excellent short roll-casters.
But yes, I sold an FF605 because it wouldn't work for my daughters roll-casting in tight creeks.

Saw my buddy dry-fly fishing his FF75 a few days, and it was a champ for that task.

"Does it roll cast?" is rarely an issue in 8' and longer rods.


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Re: Roll Casting Rods
Post 12 May 2020, 00:49 • #4 
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I have four 8' & 8.5' Fenwicks .... I roll cast with a 7'6'' W&M.
St Croix and Cortland had some good roll casting rods, as did Wonderod.


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Re: Roll Casting Rods
Post 12 May 2020, 02:15 • #5 
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Location: Belgium
Roll casting and indeed all casting is 90% caster, 10% rod. Having said that it is absolutely true that some rods are easier to roll cast than others. But we should really be talking about rod/line combinations. Most rods will be easier to roll cast with one line weight more than what they feel best at for overhead casting. Rods that bend deep will roll cast with a smooth easy motion, fast action rods require a much sharper and faster acceleration at the end of the stroke which is more difficult to produce but once mastered delivers greater distance and accuracy.

Both the FF75 and more so the longer FF 79 are fine roll casters.

When dealing with canopy consider the belgian cast as a possible solution and controlling your loops keeping them nice and tight.

There's an inherent problem with a fishing set up optimised for easy roll casting on tight, wooded streams. Generally for roll casting you want to overline and overlining tends to open loops. In tight water, very often it's nice to be able to thread the needle with very tight loops and that's facilitated by soft tips, faster actions, light lines and narrow loops (see TLT technique as an extreme example).

Getting back to the ideal roll casting rod for tight places, one interesting approach is a rod that's built fairly heavy so that the rod's own weight gives you something to load against. The Ijuins from Japan - at least the couple I have - seem to be designed that way.


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Re: Roll Casting Rods
Post 12 May 2020, 06:30 • #6 
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JoJo, you're describing two things that detract from the facts - if you have to pick and alter to a specific line, and alter your technique to achieve a result, why on earth would you say that rod roll casts fine. At the very best, you could say it roll casts persnickety.
Quite clearly, if a rod does not achieve an acceptable result with the needed line and and daughter combo, then the rod has failed.

Anyone who fishes with hardware requires a good roll-casting rod, because you must use a roll cast to bring everything to the surface before you can do anything else with it.

Short rods that roll cast well (without changing lines or your technique) go against intuition, and are always a pleasant surprise when you need them to perform.
The characteristic in a rod taper that makes it roll cast well is usually a fast mid, and conversely, those that don't roll cast well often have a soft spot in the mid (CGR 7/8).


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Re: Roll Casting Rods
Post 12 May 2020, 06:38 • #7 
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I have found the Lami Honey series roll casts very well: 6'6" 3wt, 7' 3wt, 7'6" 4wt, 8' 5wt.


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Re: Roll Casting Rods
Post 12 May 2020, 09:22 • #8 
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Location: Belgium
Quote:
JoJo, you're describing two things that detract from the facts - if you have to pick and alter to a specific line, and alter your technique to achieve a result, why on earth would you say that rod roll casts fine. At the very best, you could say it roll casts persnickety.
Quite clearly, if a rod does not achieve an acceptable result with the needed line and and daughter combo, then the rod has failed.


I see things a bit differently. Any rod is capable of casting a range of line weights just like it's capable of casting at different distances. Technique adapts to gear and not the other way round - otherwise there would only be great casters and very rich rod makers. But you are right in that if you have to adjust technique too far it can take things out of the comfort zone or simply take some pleasure out of the whole exercise.

I am only suggesting that when it comes to gear everything is a trade off and that the first place to look for a solution is in the right technique which should not be all that difficult to acquire.

It's not very hard to roll cast 35' with an FF75 and 5wt cortland peach WF (so nothing "optimised" for roll casting). The FF79, the rod specifically asked about, will do better - both because its action is better suited to roll casting and because it is longer. Both rods, being rated 5-6 wts, will be more comfortable (require less effort) for roll casting with the 6wt.


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Re: Roll Casting Rods
Post 12 May 2020, 10:13 • #9 
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I promise you our OP would rather have my daughter's simple answer.

What you may not be seeing, if a rod fails to pick up a weighted hinged fly or a BS-100 on a roll, what you're going to do next is start from scratch rather than continue fishing.
The rod that does this correctly makes stealthy presentations over and over.
Also, the rods I'm talking about will shoot that Teeny head on a roll cast out beyond 40'
Image


Last edited by bulldog1935 on 12 May 2020, 10:16, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Roll Casting Rods
Post 12 May 2020, 10:14 • #10 
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giogio wrote:
It's not very hard to roll cast 35' with an FF75 and 5wt cortland peach WF (so nothing "optimised" for roll casting). The FF79, the rod specifically asked about, will do better - both because its action is better suited to roll casting and because it is longer. Both rods, being rated 5-6 wts, will be more comfortable (require less effort) for roll casting with the 6wt.

I can’t comment on the FF75, but I agree that the FF79 is a good roll caster, and better with a 6 than a 5; in fact that’s a reason I’ve gravitated to a 6 for my uses for it. I think when you’re at 7’6” or more in the mid line weights, pretty much any glass rod will to the job, some better than others of course.

And to Peters’s original post, I think a lot of the discussion about how different 6 foot rods roll cast is because of why they’re often chosen; when I take a rod that short, it’s because of stream cover. Even then streams vary, and some might require more sidearm casts under the rhododendrons, some more roll casting, some more aerial presentations, but roll casts are almost certainly part of the decision, and there are definitely differences in how those short rods will serve that function. But you get up past 7’ or so and a) most glass rods seem to fill the need well, or at least adequately, and b) conditions are rarely so tight as to require roll casting to be the primary factor in choosing that rod, or else I’ve taken a shorter rod. So at 8’, I pretty much don’t worry about it. That said, if you were to ask which of my 8’ 4-6 weight rods is the best roll caster, my response is, I don’t know. FWIW, the FF79 isn’t the automatic answer, but neither is it immediately placed at the bottom of the list - and neither is any of the other 5 or so rods in that length/weight range. They all do the job.


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Re: Roll Casting Rods
Post 12 May 2020, 10:23 • #11 
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Anyone brave enough to put up their roll casting video for the discussion?


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Re: Roll Casting Rods
Post 12 May 2020, 11:19 • #12 
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you could ask her
Image
I'm also invited to teach a weekend seminar to Texas Women Flyfishers on this water next month, if the organizers keep it going.
The rods I'll be taking are Phillipson FF66C, RWF66C, St. Croix 7790XL, and System 5 for the wide spaces.


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Re: Roll Casting Rods
Post 12 May 2020, 13:57 • #13 
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Just a couple more things:

FF 79 is not the best tool for chucking big streamers it is a trout rod.

If you are looking for the best roll casting Fenwick 8 footer that will also handle somewhat bigger stuff look no further than the FF80 - 3. It's marked for lineweights 5 to 7.

Fenwicks have uncommon grips with a long downlocking reel seat. I find the cast much more effective when gripped low over the reel seat like Jim Green does in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVGHjL4zRy0
See around 6:50 where he talks grip. This applies to roll casting too.

For those gin clear mountain streams I don't understand why you didn't hold on to that FF75.


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Re: Roll Casting Rods
Post 12 May 2020, 14:10 • #14 
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Agree, would probably never let go of an FF75 because it is such a good dry fly rod.


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Re: Roll Casting Rods
Post 12 May 2020, 14:26 • #15 
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I think both giogio and bulldog1935 are completely correct, I have never found a rod that would not roll cast. I feel confident that with the right line I could make a fair roll cast with an eight foot or longer broom stick. By picking and choosing lines and varying my stroke I managed some 40'+ rolls with the CGR7/8, but I didn't like or keep that rod.
When I like a rod for roll casting it needs to be fairly effortless to hit 45', not that every cast will be that far but far to many rods that will roll to 30' or so won't have the backbone to lift heavy stuff to the surface on the first go, then as bulldog said it's start over rather than pickup and lay down.
Length is obviously an advantage simply because a longer rod hangs a bigger heavier dloop, but several of my favorite roll cast rods have been under 8'.
I think typically I like rods with a faster mid section and rather soft in both the but and tip. My current favorite is the 7'6'' Denco, it is far better for me than the FF807, FF85/8 , FF85/7-8-9, or the Phillipson DFS all of which do roll cast moderately well, not great. My old yellow St Croix 7'8''/8wt is a natural roll caster as was my 8.5' FR2000/8 and my 8.5' SC DoublePower/9wt and a few others that fell into "the rod is heavy enough to fully self load but strong enough to cast rather than collapse" category. The 8.5'-9'/8wt Wonderods were great roll casters for my friend, with long even bends like my Denco.
Two of the best roll casting rods I have ever used were graphite 9'/5wts, one an Orvis Clearwater and the other a custom made on unknown blank- but both were best when lined with TT7 or DT7F lines.
I'm a mediocre caster that rarely gets past 50' by any method (except spinning) but I want a "roll cast rod" to reach out just as far as I can reach by back casting the same rod line combo.
And giogio is right again when he says the FF80 is good, it is by far the best Fenwick that I have handled.


Last edited by Trev on 13 May 2020, 08:58, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Roll Casting Rods
Post 13 May 2020, 08:28 • #16 
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I just got a 6’6” 6pc. Brush Creek Companion built on a lami blank.If you liked your fenwick and need a shorter rod because of the canopy this is one of the sweetest roll casters I ever had maybe do to it’s slightly heavy swing rate just a natural fished it with a old Lazor WF 4.....Now I know why Paveglass was so upset when he lost his 6 pc. Lami.........Aurelio


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Re: Roll Casting Rods
Post 13 May 2020, 12:28 • #17 
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I find the 7' and under wonderods,in their different models excellent roll casters and water loaders.I have 2 of the Browning/Silaflex glass ferruled in 6' and 7'.Nave been fishing the 6' 5 wt alot and it is an excellent roll caster.Was getting flies to a log/brush pile 40+' across a channel.No room for any kind of backcast.Many places i fish are not flycasting friendly so a rod that roll casts well is necessary .


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Re: Roll Casting Rods
Post 27 Jun 2020, 21:29 • #18 
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In my experience, the best rollcasting rods have a soft butt relative to a stiffer tip. That's because a rollcast requires you to force a bend into the rod because you don't have the full weight of the line aerialized behind you. You have only about half the line to load the rod, so you need a more forceful stroke to load the rod than with an overhead cast. Stiff-butted light tip, i.e. fast rods, are the least effective rollcasters because it's harder to bring the entire rod into the cast. That's why they require a line size heavier to make the rod bend down on a roll cast. Other things being equal, longer rods make rollcasting easier because you can get more line off the water into the D-loop behind you.


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