Plenty of instructors express doubts about the effects of hauling the line during the cast; however lots of discussions on basic physics and some video experiments (vimeo.com/album/1532129) seem to have had an effect on how some of them address this issue lately.

Nonetheless a last objection remains: They say that, although hauling obviously does load the rod, mentioning it is misleading, since the main goal of hauling is to give more speed to the line via the line hand.
And this is very true: rod loading is only a byproduct of the haul; but why point out this issue only when it comes to hauling? In fact rod loading is always a byproduct of the casting process.

For years flycasting has been summarized in sentences like “loading the rod and then unloading it to propel the line”. This mantra, repeated so many times, led to the idea that every action by the caster that results in rod loading is good just due to that; logically, from that we should deduct that our casting problems come from failing to load the rod.

This is totally misleading because the main use of loading/unloading the rod is not to propel the line whatsoever. The function of rod loading is to allow us to apply force in the direction of the target along a longer distance, so we can transfer more energy to the line.

And you might be wondering: What does all of this have to do with the title of this experiment? Is this guy getting mad? Well, not totally… yet. :-D

The difficulties of practicing roll casts on grass have been traditionally explained by "the grass doesn't grip the line like the water does, so the rod doesn't load, making the cast more difficult". And what I had in mind was: if supporting that hauling loads the rod (something that, in fact, does) is considered misleading, what to say about defending that the anchor in a roll cast loads the rod, if, in fact, it doesn't?
This has encouraged me to edit some new footage to analyze the origin of the problems with the roll cast.

This previous material might be of interest also:
vimeo.com/aitorc/anchor-and-loading

And also this one:
vimeo.com/album/1529848

I might be wrong in my analysis, so any feedback will be very welcome.

Edit 25/8/011:

I have found a comment:
sexyloops.co.uk/cgi-bin/theboard_07/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=24;t=13718
It says that "the anchor loads the rod" isn't a very common concept among instructors.
Well, I have read that statement so many times that I think just the opposite: "the anchor loads the rod" has been the most common explanation of the role of the anchor in roll and spey casts.
Just one example taken from page 9 of the book Two-Handed Fly Casting by Al Burh (member of the FFF's Board of Governors and chairman of the Two-Handed Casting Instructor Program):
"The line that is allowed to anchor or rest on the surface will in turn be the resistance or load for the forward cast."

Loading more stuff…

Hmm…it looks like things are taking a while to load. Try again?

Loading videos…