Classical and modern casts

Spey casts can be divided in two main groups:

As I already wrote, the switch cast is not a cast by itself but the foundation of every true spey casts.

Roll cast and overhead are the link in between traditional fly casting and spey. The only two classical spey casts are single and double spey.

They are named classical as it is the same casts that were used by the 17s century speycasters. In fact, it was the only moves that were available to their equipment. Could you imagine casting all day long with a 17 feet long rod weighting about 10 or 12 pounds? The gravity centre was so high that you couldn’t flick it under 80°. Even the line made of horse hair soaked with water was taxing the cast. As the result, the moves must be simple, fast and without any flourish.

I had the opportunity to watch an old movie of a very respected caster, fishing guide and spey instructor and it has been a discovery. The so famous caster was executing figure of 8 casts so badly that it was a pity. the line was stiff, the rod was massive and everything look awkward.

The modern era of spey casting is mainly due, in my humble opinion, to the new rods lighter and stronger and to the line quality. With these new tools, it is fairly easy to aerialize 80′ of line and carry out multiple loop snake roll.

But, the reverse proposition is not true. Better hardware doesn’t give better casters. Don’t buy the most expensive rod thinking it will help. Get some teaching and then practise and practise more.