Jump Roll – may also be called Accelerated Roll, Switch Cast, Forward Spey, Live Line Spey

The names above are all different names for the same cast. The advent of the last three names being used for this cast is American in origin. Traditionally, and still among most casters in Europe, a cast with the word Spey being used involves a change of direction. A switch cast was also traditionally used as a name for a type of aerialised Spey cast.

This cast is almost always referred to as the jump roll cast in Europe. The jump roll is made by bringing the line back through the air under the rod tip instead of dragging it slowly along or through the water. At one point because of the increased tempo of the leverage, rod loading and rod tracking applied, the line breaks free of the water surface. It then travels through the air momentarily and then the end of the line touches down on the water again. The end of the line should touch down out to the side of the angler and slightly in front of him. The part of line that touches the water forms the anchor and ideally it should be straight and always kept as straight as possible, ideally as if it were straight line drawn by a pencil. This cast is also made without a change of direction. It may be executed on either side of the angler, usually the loop is kept on the downwind side. It is a great cast for shooting line for extra distance when used in combination after a change of direction cast.

There are some general rules to Spey casting that are applicable to the jump roll, and initially Spey casting technique is best learned by practicing a jump roll. It is the basis of single Spey casting. What a world of technique is within the jump roll.

A jump roll is in itself the last part of a three part learning system based around the incline exercise. There are many variations on a jump roll. The cast can and should be practiced with many differing final deliveries. It should also be made in continuous motion without a pause, when that is fully understood it can be made with a slight pause or hesitation. It can be made with emphasis on upper body movement and minimal upper hand movement except for that which the body gives it, or with less body movement and more upper hand movement. The jump roll is made with both top and bottom hands curving. The curve is so utterly different from overhead casting. Spey casting is largely about curves.The bottom hand curves as if stirring a pot of soup, the top hand curves in a smooth concave climbing curve at the same time.

The differing technique from short line to long line can be explored, the circle up behind done far enough back to balance the stroke, allowing the lead in with the butt for a few inches with both hands pulling forward before the angle change.

The Lift
There is an initial lift. The lift is not a hinging lift but a shotgun lift which keeps the rod tip well away from the angler and does not use up sweep space unnecessarily. At the height of the initial shotgun lift the rod is then immediately turned out over the river and into the curving sweep steadily and seamlessly without any hesitation, drop back or run back of the line on the water, or loss of tension on the rod tip.

The Sweep
The rod loading on the curving sweep is created from the leverage of both hands working in opposing directions at the same time, and also from simultaneous change in position of the rod from upper body rotation and sometimes weight shift. The bottom hand pushes out steadily to change the angle of the rod as the top hand steers back and up in a rising elliptical curving motion to form the D loop. By steering up and hooking in, the top hand stops the rod tip from dropping behind as the bottom hand is pushed out.

After the rod tip passes the anglers position on the way back it must be rising. Usually the line breaks free from the water about the same time as the rod tip passes the angler’s position and the rod tip is raised with the top hand curving up to the correct elevation. There may be a slight dip made before the rod passes the angler. An overall concave or low to high movement of the rod tip is necessary to form a D loop.

The Final Delivery
On a jump roll or single Spey cast circling up behind in continuous motion blending immediately into the forward cast without any pause is the most efficient technique. The final delivery must be a smooth acceleration to a stop with a relaxed dropping of the rod afterwards as the line unrolls out.

Do not rush. Smoothly and steadily blending the component parts of a cast seamlessly into one flowing movement is the objective for an efficient cast. There is no sudden or erratic movement necessary.

eye - ear – eye. On a Jump Roll Cast, a good analogy for learning is eye - ear – eye. As mentioned in Al Buhr's book on Two Handed casting.

When wading, if the thumb of the top hand is raised with a shotgun lift to come between the line of sight to the near end of the fly line on the water, then is swept round in an oval curve slightly dipping initially then rising and curving to top of ear or forehead level in elevation (an overall rising motion). Also for someone looking directly from the side, the hand is coming up at ear position or further back because of the use of upper body rotation and the hand is not rising in front of the angler. As the top hand rises to the key or firing position and slides in to the forward casting plane the motion is simply continued to make the forward cast. The top hand ending up at the stop in front of the eye again, where it was on the height of the lift.

The top hand moves in an oval shape, (the tilted oval). There is no straight line movement of the top hand on the sweep or no sudden tug by the top hand. The bottom hand steadily pushes out on the sweep for rod loading. The bottom hand is pulled in on the final delivery.

A jump roll is a most useful practice cast and is the basis of the single Spey cast. It is also a most useful fishing cast and is often used as an extra final cast to shoot some line in combination casting. It is often used just after a single or double Spey to gain extra distance by shooting line.