How long is yours?
So I’m doing the home office thing today and during the mid day break, I start reading about balancing outfits. Which is an age old subject that if you‘ve spent enough years working behind the counter of various fly shops, hung around fly clubs, or just had one too many tailgate chats with other anglers, you‘ve probably heard plenty of great arguments both for, and for not worrying to much about.
That’s when I start thinking, is the balance of any one particular outfit, reproducible in another, even where the same weight and length rods and reels are being used. Sure, we could go way off course here and say, well that system #1 used less backing, but was loaded with a 100’ long bellied Hi-D sink tip and system #2 consumed much more backing, but used a relatively short, 80’ generic floating weight forward and therefore, the balance would be shifted slightly…maybe more.
But then I told myself, nothing else in fly fishing has to follow the guidelines and further more, are there really any guidelines, if nobodies following them? Hooks from one company to the next rarely fit an absolute shape or sizing profile. Fly lines don’t actually have to stay within the formulaic standards handed down. So should we just accept that our rods are actually as long as they’re marked?
What’s this? Is it possible that they jipped us out of an inch or more of that fine American hand laid mat? Or did they graciously give us more than we paid for?
So I ran a quick a check of a few nine foot Name Brand rods nearby and sure enough, while they’re all marked as nine footers, they’re not all nines. Most were pretty close - a quarter inch either way, others fell in a range that spanned three inches. From 8’10” to 9’ 1”. All were assembled as they would be for fishing. None were put together loosely or jammed together, so as to fudge the outcome.
So while it’s true that not all five weights are actually true five weights, it’s also possible that not all nine footers are indeed nine footers. Wonder what influence that would have on a side by side shoot out of nine footers, of a given weight?
Three inches doesn’t sound like much, does it? But what effect might that length, plus or minus have on a shared reference to balancing an outfit, even if the two rods being considered were of the same weight?
Remember those old 7’9” Far & Fine rods. What would have happened if the model actually measured just two inches longer, at 7’ 11” - I guess they’d have had to borrow that tag-line from the well known convenience store chain… “ Oh thank heaven for 7 - 11 “.
This concludes today’s completely inane installment of, " As My Mind Wanders ".
P.S. Anybody calibrate their grain scale lately?