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Old 03-12-2013, 06:02 AM
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Default Re: So what is it that makes one rod better than the next?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pegboy1 View Post
Im curious to what others think are attributes that make one red better than another?

Any two rods can have basically the same power and action. So what is it that makes one rod more desirable than another. Is it a rods general weight? Weight of a fly rod is extremely important in my book. The lighter the rod the easier it is to be felt loaded and lends to a generally more desirable feel. Is it balance? A balanced rod makes for a more comfortable day in terms of physical effort when casting a rod for any extended time. Responsiveness is also very important. A low frequency or less responsive rod also becomes harder to control in terms of loop control and accuracy.

So what do you think? What are the most important things that make one rod better than the next?
YOU ! How it responds to your casting style. Everyone has a different expectations of rod performance. Just read all response.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:43 AM
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Default Re: So what is it that makes one rod better than the next?

It is always interesting to me that "personal preference" is the pervasive response to rod performance. And it is always hard to debate that it, perhaps, should not be! Firstly, fly casting is NOT a natural motion. We are not intended to throw anything backwards with equal force to what we throw forwards...unless we play shortstop. Casting is not only a learned technique but as one who continually strives to improve my own casting ability while simultaneously teaching casting on a twice a month basis (indoors during these cold months), I am comfortable saying it is an ever evolving skill set. And I've been fly casting (or trying to) since around the time Bob Dylan came out with his first album.

I sincerely believe that, difficult to define though they may be, there are objective criteria that define rod performance. Not rod "preference" but "performance”. To employ an automotive analogy; a BMW M3 is low to the ground, has super low profile tires and a stiff, stiff suspension and a stiff clutch with close together, short-throw gear ratios. It is prone to jar over every road surface irregularity and communicate them through the steering wheel and the seat of your pants. It has little room for fly rods and growls a lot. It inhales high octane fuel and is very expensive and very costly to maintain and repair. Hit a pot hole and I don't know what one of those modular rims will set you back. But it is among the fastest, flattest cornering, perfectly 50/50 weight balanced, highest performing street rides this side of super cars. The right car for you? Not for me either though I certainly admire it. To extract even a reasonable percentage of its performance you need to have some serious track training. I "drove" one on the Nürburgring on a computerized simulator while in Berlin and had to go back to my hotel and take a nap afterwards it was so intense...the computer guy shut me down as I slid off the Nordschleife towards a retaining wall at 155 MPH. This is why a lot more Accords and Camrys are on the road instead of M3's.

If you have yet to develop the skills to drive the BMW hotrod it would not be rewarding to drive and, I argue, the same applies to Loomis NRX or Sage ONE, for example. These are not soft, sweet, gentle, pretty rods; they are super high performance, blood and guts fly fishing hot rods. These, and other no-compromise rods like them, are designed by great casters/designers in concert with highly skilled rod shop technicians for demanding fly fishers pursuing spectacular specimens in ultimate habitats. Sophisticatedly tapered to offer the caster different degrees of power accessible through stroke timing, length and speed of acceleration, the tip recovers rapidly and with minimal oscillation. The deeper you reach into the lower taper the more power you discover is available and the rod comunicates this along with evrey motion of the line and later of the fish, with transparency, directly to you the angler.

These rods have to be fine-tuned; carefully balanced with a reel of exactly the right weight with performance equal to the tasks at hand, mated with the perfect line to load the rod and execute the super tight and dead straight loops they are designed to generate and they can be temperamental. They have to be learned, you grow into them, they do not come out of the tube and make you feel like, "oh yea, this is completely natural to me and my style of casting". They push you, force you to learn and step up to their heightened performance so when a permit tails at 11 O'clock at 85' and your guide says, "drop your crab fly 2 feet in front of his mouth as soon as his tail come up again", you CAN do it...on the first cast! Or, while wading 40' off the grassy bank in the middle of the Rail Road Ranch, a tiny disturbance focuses you attention. Beneath a weed matt lodged against a chunk of basalt, a trout is bulging as PMD spinners waft against the weed’s edge. You must generate the line speed and form a loop that will permit you to reach cast to your right, form four current delaying in-air mends before your 17' long leader with 5' of 6X tippet descends to the river's surface. And then the fly must alight 3' above and 1/2" off the edge of the weed bed to curl your spinner imitation so its wing graces the grassy edge...glump! and come tight...you are on! and that colored string heading towards Bonefish Flats is you backing! Try that with a deep flexing, soft, oscillating tipped, sweet feeling rod and it would be analogues to racing your green Buick against the black M3 up Mesa Falls Highway to get to the Ranch.
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Last edited by sweetandsalt; 03-12-2013 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:54 AM
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Default Re: So what is it that makes one rod better than the next?

Quote:
Originally Posted by troutnut4 View Post
For some, price affects their opinion, for others, aesthetics (that beautiful green blank), and for others how they feel and cast. Is it a fast action, a slow action, a long or shot rod.?

Mark me down for all of the above!
Though there is much to consider when buying a rod it really doesn't seem that way when the above and more are considered. Price and prettiness are evaluated, usually decided on quickly then forgotten sometimes until you're just about ready to pull the trigger.
Where you plan on using the rod will help detemine the action and size.
I'm big on buying domestic rods for quite a few reasons so that factors in to my buying decision.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:06 AM
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Default Re: So what is it that makes one rod better than the next?

I want a rod that can cast close with the tip and yet has "reserve power" to cast up a line size. Even if the action and power are equal, they can be unequal in many other important ways such a overall weight and how that weight is distributed along the fly rod.

I look for a low overall weight and a rod that is tip light so the "swing" weight is minimized.

I want vibration damping but not so much that it feels dead in the hand. Feedback without excessive vibration or damping is important because you want to be able to feel the "ticks" as the fly bounces along the bottom.

A fly rod does not just flex back and forth. It also can twists during the cast. I want a fly rod that is torsionally rigid that resists twisting. If you want to curve the cast by a placing a hook in the rod tip path, you don't want the fly rod to absorb that hook by twisting.

A fly rod must also be able to resist impact damage and delamination. Fly rods can have identical action and power but resistance to impact and breakage can differ. So the best materials and resins are needed with the best manufacturing technology. Materials rolled under higher pressures generally make for more durable rods.

So give me a light fly rod with low swing weight that is sensitive and yet durable, resists twisting, has a great warranty at a low price and I'll be happy as a pig in mud.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:11 AM
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Default Re: So what is it that makes one rod better than the next?

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
So give me a light fly rod with low swing weight that is sensitive and yet durable, resists twisting, has a great warranty at a low price and I'll be happy as a pig in mud.
I'm sure that the above is about as good a synopsis as you'll find....and the thoughts of sweetandsalt make perfect sense as well. I appreciate the idea of matching my Buick or Chevy skill set with a Ferrari of a rod and how that could work out. yikes!

As a guy with modest skills, yet great enthusiasm I'm drawn to rods that help me out...The CT's of the world, if you will...and I'm certain that there are more helpful rods for a little more $$$.

There are aesthetic or romantic inputs to this, though as well...(this is my $.02) that make me want to fish the 1970 glass Daiwa piece of poo that I keep hauling around, because it fishes like wearing a pair of old slippers...and it's got 2 replacement guides wrapped with thread that almost, kinda matches the remaining original wraps. It has an old Pflueger Saltrout on it...and when I outfish my buddies and their Winstons and Sages with it...well, as a competitive goon, that's pretty cool...

At the same time...when I go seriously trying to hook up a steely or I'm drifting the Madison (for more $$$ than I paid for my first car) I've got a Sage in my hand too, with a strong Orvis reel and I'm looking for the "best" I can have at my disposal to enhance my performance.

So...if you are talking about the technical, verifiable criteria that make a rod superior, that's one thing. What makes a rod "special" is clearly in the eye of the beholder and can be situational in my mind.

We need winter over and the passes to open...-Mike
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Old 03-12-2013, 03:02 PM
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Default Re: So what is it that makes one rod better than the next?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetandsalt View Post
It is always interesting to me that "personal preference" is the pervasive response to rod performance. And it is always hard to debate that it, perhaps, should not be! Firstly, fly casting is NOT a natural motion. We are not intended to throw anything backwards with equal force to what we throw forwards...unless we play shortstop. Casting is not only a learned technique but as one who continually strives to improve my own casting ability while simultaneously teaching casting on a twice a month basis (indoors during these cold months), I am comfortable saying it is an ever evolving skill set. And I've been fly casting (or trying to) since around the time Bob Dylan came out with his first album.

I sincerely believe that, difficult to define though they may be, there are objective criteria that define rod performance. Not rod "preference" but "performance”. To employ an automotive analogy; a BMW M3 is low to the ground, has super low profile tires and a stiff, stiff suspension and a stiff clutch with close together, short-throw gear ratios. It is prone to jar over every road surface irregularity and communicate them through the steering wheel and the seat of your pants. It has little room for fly rods and growls a lot. It inhales high octane fuel and is very expensive and very costly to maintain and repair. Hit a pot hole and I don't know what one of those modular rims will set you back. But it is among the fastest, flattest cornering, perfectly 50/50 weight balanced, highest performing street rides this side of super cars. The right car for you? Not for me either though I certainly admire it. To extract even a reasonable percentage of its performance you need to have some serious track training. I "drove" one on the Nürburgring on a computerized simulator while in Berlin and had to go back to my hotel and take a nap afterwards it was so intense...the computer guy shut me down as I slid off the Nordschleife towards a retaining wall at 155 MPH. This is why a lot more Accords and Camrys are on the road instead of M3's.

If you have yet to develop the skills to drive the BMW hotrod it would not be rewarding to drive and, I argue, the same applies to Loomis NRX or Sage ONE, for example. These are not soft, sweet, gentle, pretty rods; they are super high performance, blood and guts fly fishing hot rods. These, and other no-compromise rods like them, are designed by great casters/designers in concert with highly skilled rod shop technicians for demanding fly fishers pursuing spectacular specimens in ultimate habitats. Sophisticatedly tapered to offer the caster different degrees of power accessible through stroke timing, length and speed of acceleration, the tip recovers rapidly and with minimal oscillation. The deeper you reach into the lower taper the more power you discover is available and the rod comunicates this along with evrey motion of the line and later of the fish, with transparency, directly to you the angler.

These rods have to be fine-tuned; carefully balanced with a reel of exactly the right weight with performance equal to the tasks at hand, mated with the perfect line to load the rod and execute the super tight and dead straight loops they are designed to generate and they can be temperamental. They have to be learned, you grow into them, they do not come out of the tube and make you feel like, "oh yea, this is completely natural to me and my style of casting". They push you, force you to learn and step up to their heightened performance so when a permit tails at 11 O'clock at 85' and your guide says, "drop your crab fly 2 feet in front of his mouth as soon as his tail come up again", you CAN do it...on the first cast! Or, while wading 40' off the grassy bank in the middle of the Rail Road Ranch, a tiny disturbance focuses you attention. Beneath a weed matt lodged against a chunk of basalt, a trout is bulging as PMD spinners waft against the weed’s edge. You must generate the line speed and form a loop that will permit you to reach cast to your right, form four current delaying in-air mends before your 17' long leader with 5' of 6X tippet descends to the river's surface. And then the fly must alight 3' above and 1/2" off the edge of the weed bed to curl your spinner imitation so its wing graces the grassy edge...glump! and come tight...you are on! and that colored string heading towards Bonefish Flats is you backing! Try that with a deep flexing, soft, oscillating tipped, sweet feeling rod and it would be analogues to racing your green Buick against the black M3 up Mesa Falls Highway to get to the Ranch.

Bravo!! Bravo!! Now thats what I'm talking about!!! Things to think about like will a lighter rod transfer more energy into a line at the cast? Will oscillation/frequency(responsiveness) make for a crisper, tighter loop? Some things to think about. Exactly what is it that makes one "perform" better than the next?

---------- Post added at 02:02 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:59 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver creek View Post

So give me a light fly rod with low swing weight that is sensitive and yet durable, resists twisting, has a great warranty at a low price and I'll be happy as a pig in mud.
100% agreed..
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Old 03-12-2013, 03:20 PM
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Default Re: So what is it that makes one rod better than the next?

I have the same question everyday.
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Old 03-12-2013, 03:42 PM
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Default Re: So what is it that makes one rod better than the next?

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Originally Posted by sweetandsalt View Post
fly casting is NOT a natural motion
Which is exactly why my personal preference is to find the rod/action that makes it feel as natural as possible. Take sweetandsalt's Rail Road Ranch analogy and scale it down to 4 back from the bank hiding on Falling Springs Branch at the Quarry Rd access during a Trico spinner fall, I don't want a tight fast action rod because it doesn't feel organic and natural to me I want the rod flexing into the mid section where it meets enough reserve power to turn the 18" brown away from the cress and elodea, why because its my personal preference. Now put me on a jetty with a blitz of bass and blues frothing a good 60 to 70' out with some NE wind and a 2/0 Deceiver, what feels natural is a fast tight rod because I want that punch along with the line speed to cut the wind and put a big wind resistant fly out there. Personal preference has to play a role at some point in time otherwise fly rod makers/builders would have only one taper available. Glass rods would not becoming back into popularity at the rate they are and cane rods would be long gone. Does a carpenter who works with old fashioned hand tools have any less skill than one who works with the "best" new tools? What makes them different? Personal preference.


As far as what makes one rod outperform another is all in the materials used, the stress curves of the taper, and the ability of the user.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:52 PM
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Default Re: So what is it that makes one rod better than the next?

I like a rod that casts great,looks good and is made to last.
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:08 PM
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Default Re: So what is it that makes one rod better than the next?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetandsalt View Post

I sincerely believe that, difficult to define though they may be, there are objective criteria that define rod performance. Not rod "preference" but "performance”. To employ an automotive analogy; a BMW M3 is low to the ground, has super low profile tires and a stiff, stiff suspension and a stiff clutch with close together, short-throw gear ratios. It is prone to jar over every road surface irregularity and communicate them through the steering wheel and the seat of your pants. It has little room for fly rods and growls a lot. It inhales high octane fuel and is very expensive and very costly to maintain and repair. Hit a pot hole and I don't know what one of those modular rims will set you back. But it is among the fastest, flattest cornering, perfectly 50/50 weight balanced, highest performing street rides this side of super cars. The right car for you? Not for me either though I certainly admire it. To extract even a reasonable percentage of its performance you need to have some serious track training. I "drove" one on the Nürburgring on a computerized simulator while in Berlin and had to go back to my hotel and take a nap afterwards it was so intense...the computer guy shut me down as I slid off the Nordschleife towards a retaining wall at 155 MPH. This is why a lot more Accords and Camrys are on the road instead of M3's.
Your description is exactly why I own and drive a M3. I did the BMW ring taxi thing at Nurburgring a few years ago & that was quite the thrill...yet I will take my progressive actioned bamboo rods over my Z Axis any day! I think the anglers casting stroke and skill has to match (be in synergy with) the rod action / feel to extract the most enjoyment and benefits
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