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Old 03-30-2006, 04:13 PM
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Question What role does length play?

Just curious as to what role the length of a rod really plays? If you use a 7ft and 9ft both with the same line weight whats the difference? I would guess just the ability to manuever in tight spots but is there something else? Thanks
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Old 03-30-2006, 07:55 PM
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Default Re: What role does length play?

Well yes, your right but also a 9' rod will cast much farther than a 6' or 7' rod. The longer rod will get less pressure on one spot than a shorter rod when your fighting a fish, because the shorter rod is smaller and if you get the same size fish on both it's going to put more pressure on the shorter one than the longer. I don't know if you understand what I mean its hard for me to explain.
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Old 03-31-2006, 09:32 AM
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Default Re: What role does length play?

Its generally true that you can cast further with a long rod, but the reasons why are sorta complicated. A longer rod will keep your line higher off the water, especially when wading, and this sure helps you cast farther. Because its a longer lever, a longer rod should help you generate more line speed, helping you cast farther, but a good caster can probably cast further with a 5' rod than a beginner can with a 9' rod.

Longer rods help a ton with line control when fishing moving water where you're trying to reach over currents. They also generally work better for roll casting as well. Its also often easier for a beginner to feel a longer rod load, which can help them improve their timing.

Shorter rods are generally easier on the wrist, more accurate, and can make landing fish easier. (unless you bring the leader to line knots inside the rod tip and have a hard time getting them back out)

Many folks advocate short rods for fishing in heavy cover, but i often find evidence to the contrary. If you're going to be roll casting alot in that tight cover, you might be better off with say a 8'6" rod than a 7' rod. A longer rod in tight cover also gives you the option of dappling/reaching the fly over where the fish is with no cast involved whatsoever.

To wrap all that up, I think if you need the rod to reach over currents, roll cast long distances, or cast a long way, a longer rod will be a better choice. If you want to make short accurate casts, cast overhead in heavy cover, or feel light in the hand all day a short rod may be just the ticket.

But that's just me.
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Old 03-31-2006, 12:50 PM
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Default Re: What role does length play?

I really can't add much to what BigCliff has said. He's right on.

I too favor an 8', 8'6" or sometimes even a 9' rod when fishing small creeks in tight cover. I'm simply rolling, dipping and dapping... no need for a back cast. Now... I'm even eyeing a custom built 10' 2wt... be fun to try.
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Old 03-31-2006, 09:09 PM
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Re: What role does length play?

Ah contraire mon frairs. It depends on what the rod is. Plastic, glass, bamboo. Take a 5' boo or glass in tight quarters. Kicks @ss on roll casting, bow and arrow casting and so on. Because of the softness of either boo or glass a short rod will be perfect in that scenario. With a plastic rod (graphite) you will be using the upper half more. Also it depends on the weight of the line. On a larger river you'll be hard pressed to find a better choice then the longer rods. Unless you like to relax and enjoy the fishing. Stalk the fish with a shorter rod. It looks nice to see a great caster throw bamboo.
All in all, fish with what you feel comfortable with.
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Old 03-31-2006, 11:11 PM
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Default Re: What role does length play?

I used to go with nine foot rods for most all that I did but lately I have been more into the 8.5 and 8 foot rods. I know that it is not that much of a length difference but I think it makes a lot of difference in the casting. I can still throw just as much line (not that you need to though as the vast majority of my fishing is done within twenty feet of me) but I find that the shorter rods are much more accurate. There is less tip bounce and it tends to track the line in a straighter path. With that length, there is not issue with mending either.

I have been using an eight foot five a little now and love it. I think it is a much finer stick then my nine footer.
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Old 04-02-2006, 01:28 PM
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Default Re: What role does length play?

A few thoughts -- from my manuscript, Fly Fishing for the Rest of Us.


The Long and Short of it
Short Rods
Advantages
  1. Ease of transport: A more expensive travel version is not required
  2. Maneuverable: Easy to cast in confined areas - trees, brush, small streams.
  3. Lighter in Weight: Short rods weigh less than long rods of the same weight.
  4. Fun--A Challenge: Not forgiving of casting errors. Requires best effort.
  5. Fast: Develops high line speed easily; throws a tight loop.
Disadvantages
  1. Mending Line: Comparatively speaking - difficult.
  2. Hard Work: It takes more effort to be efficient.
  3. Short Lever: Increases the difficulty of lifting the line into the backcast.
Long Rods

Advantages
  1. High Backcast: Enables a higher backcast with comparative ease.
  2. Long Lever: Comparative ease in lifting line from the water.
  3. Mending Made Easy: When mendng line is critical, do it with ease.
  4. Casting Error: Long rods are much more forgiving of mistakes.
Disadvantages
  1. Weight: Length adds weight.
  2. Awkward and Clumsy: Easy to tangle in close quarters.
  3. Casts a Wider Loop: Don't kid yourself, the short rod has advantages
  4. Advantage Fish: In the landing zone, it's advantage fish.
Doug
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