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Old 05-01-2013, 03:10 PM
silver creek silver creek is online now
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Default Re: Swing weight question ?

There is the elusive property of rod/reel balance and then there is swing weight. They are not the same.

Swing weight is both the difficulty in getting the rod to move/swing and the difficulty in getting the rod to stop moving/swinging. It is NOT decreased by getting a heavier reel. Actually swing weight is increased with a heavier reel because now you have the heavier reel that you need to both start and stop moving.

Swing weight is a combination of the total mass of the rod and the distribution of the mass. Greater mass toward the tip end of the fly rod increases swing weight because the end of the fly rod has to move faster, and the increased velocity increases the energy to both get the object moving to that velocity and to stop the object from from that velocity.

In practical terms, swing weight is how tip light or heavy the fly rod is. The ultimate fly rod/reel combo would have no mass. We would only be dealing with the mass of the moving fly line when we cast. We could stop the rod and start the rod much more easily and we could hold the tip of the rod up for nymphing more easily.

We now have 10 and 11 ft single handed fly rods because of the lighter and stronger modern graphites and resins that allow the production of low mass rods that keep the swing weight down to a level where we can comfortably fish them.

Think of swing weight this way. Think of a 4 lb bag of sugar. Think of hanging it off of your belt and spinning in a circle and having then to come to a complete stop. Now think of holding that 4 lb bag of sugar at the end of your arm with your arm extended and spin and stop at the same rate. You could not do it because with the bag of sugar extended, the angular momentum or torque required to start and stop it is much greater with the mass further from the center of rotation.

A fly rod that is casting also has a center of rotation and the further the mass along that fly rod is away from the center of rotation, the greater the "swing weight" or angular momentum.
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Silver

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Last edited by silver creek; 05-01-2013 at 04:41 PM.
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