Switch and Spey Casting Primer: Part II – Anchor Groups

Anchor Groups

In this article, Switch and Spey Casting Primer – Part II, I want to discuss Anchor Groups.

The anchor for your spey cast is the portion of line that is lying on the water once you form your “D Loop”. All spey casts will fall into one of two anchor groups, either the waterborne anchor group or the airborne anchor group.

Airborne Anchors
The first group are “Airborne Anchors”

  • An airborne anchor cast is where the line is in the air, lands, splashes and goes. This is often referred to as a “Touch and Go”.
  • A good cast to perfect and practice setting up an “Airborne Anchor” is the “Switch Cast”
  • The “Snake Roll” is an example of an “Airborne Anchor” cast.
  • The success of any airborne anchor cast is dependent upon timing the touch down properly.
  • You want to time your cast so that the forward cast starts just as the end of the fly line and nail knot touches down.
  • The advantages of airborne anchor casts are that they are a quicker change of direction. It takes about 4/7th’s of the time compared to a waterborne anchor cast.
  • Another advantage is that it doesn’t make much disturbance on the water. The waterborne anchor casts make a lot of noise when you rip the line off the water.
  • The airborne anchor casts are silent if done correctly.
  • Using an airborne anchor cast with sinking lines doesn’t allow them to sink during your cast.

I’ll discuss the fundamentals of a spey cast using an airborne anchor when we review the “Switch Cast” in a future article.

Waterborne Anchors
A waterborne anchor cast is a cast where the anchor is set up on the water, it settles, it stays in the water as you come around to form the “D Loop” and only when you start your forward stroke does it lift off the water.

  • A good cast to perfect and practice a “Waterborne Anchor” cast is the “Roll Cast”
  • A “Double Spey” is an example of a waterborne anchor spey cast.
  • These tend to be the easier casts to learn because you can break down the waterborne casts into segments.
  • Waterborne anchors also casts work well with large flies.
  • We will review the fundamentals of a “Waterborne Anchor Cast” when we review the “Double Spey” cast in a future article.