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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 03-13-2013, 02:57 PM
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Default Re: So what is it that makes one rod better than the next?

As I said in at he beginning or my post here, it is hard to debate that personal preference should not be the deciding factor in rod selection. I too love the rich flamed color and individualistic character of fine cane. Swelled butts, silk wraps with inlays, nickle silver ferrules that go pop! when you take the rod down to wipe it with a soft cloth. The sense of familiarity with a rod I've fished for a long time and associate remarkable memories with it, some of which bear a resemblance to the truth. Beautiful rivers, old friends I shared good whiskey with after the spinner fall, the patina of time... But I don't think the originator of this thread, a rod designer, was looking for what makes us comfortable and content.

I employ the sports car analogy because acceleration, breaking, skid pad, slalom, etc. are empirically measurable. They don't tell you how the car "feels" only how it "performs". This is why so many sports car aficionados yearn for the day their MG-A or Austin Healy 3000 was brand new. Like many of my old rods, these roadsters had a lot more charm than performance. But when they tried to reintroduce a "new" MG...no one wanted it because, like Orvis's super expensive "new" CFO; it may have better construction (machined not cast) than the old but you can't manufacture an old CFO's "charm".

So new rods MUST enhance our angling experience by being lighter, stronger, truer tracking and offer more "feel" or communication as I prefer to call it, while generating tighter smoother loops with the potential for higher line speed than our denser, thicker walled, larger diameter earlier technology rods. This is what "new" has to offer; it will have to develop its own beloved history with each angler over time but can attract us by enhancing our fly fishing experience with its ever improving material and construction technology and increasingly sophisticated taper design. My preference in progressive, quick recovering rod action is based on the type of technical presentation I favor but rods like Sage Circa and some of the also advanced technology Helios 2's illustrate that the small stream, deeper flexing style of rod suited to others of you can be improved upon as well.

Before his untimely passing last year, Sam Druckman, former Scott, Winston, Sweetgrass and, lastly, Freestone rod designer, was working on a computer program that would predict, before a prototype ever had guides taped on it, before a flag of carbon pre-preg was even cut, where unwanted oscillation would occur and how to counter dampen it to design an ever smoother, sweeter casting fly rod for the future.
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Old 03-13-2013, 03:11 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 pegboy1 View Post
Im curious to what others think are attributes that make one red better than another?
Just looking over my own collection, a lot of the best ones seem to be named for guys named Gary. Loomis, Borger, LaFontaine....

So there's that.

---------- Post added at 03:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:04 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetandsalt View Post
...no one wanted it because, like Orvis's super expensive "new" CFO; it may have better construction (machined not cast) than the old but you can't manufacture an old CFO's "charm".
Or maybe you can, but nobody wants to pay three times more for the exact same thing than it used to cost.

In Econ 101 it's called "price elasticity of demand".
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Old 03-13-2013, 03:28 PM
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Default Re: So what is it that makes one rod better than the next?

The taper, components, manufacturer, but most of all casting style and preference.
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Old 03-13-2013, 05:42 PM
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Default Re: So what is it that makes one rod better than the next?

I too have to agree with sweetandsalt on this point. I have 34 G.loomis rods (not all fly rods) and I can tell you that Steve Rajeff who designs for 'loomis can do things with those rods most of us will never do. Having said that, I can take a 7' GLX bass rod and a shimano reel and throw a lure a very long ways. I did not start that way, the rods pushed me to get every once of performance out of it, over time!

Same with my GLX fly rods. I could not double haul worth a nickel. Steve taught me to double hual and improved my distance quite a bit. However the rod, tallant and time will give you that which you want. Might not be a G.Loomis NRX, maybe a ONE, but it is something each one us can do if the desire is there to try different brands and see what each one will do in our hand.

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Old 03-13-2013, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: So what is it that makes one rod better than the next?

ok but for 99.9 percent of my fishing i dont need to double haul. and i think that is part of the point part of what makes one rod better than another is how it servers each anglers purpose for the way he or she fishes.I tend to favor more medium fast rods in my 3,4,and one of my fives in the scott g2s and winston b2x. As my rods get bigger (one of my fives and my six and eight) and distance fighting wind and bigger flies become an issue my rods tend to become faster and more powerful.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:42 PM
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Default Re: So what is it that makes one rod better than the next?

The person on the river with the biggest grin is having the most fun, so therefore his rod is better than the guy's next to him!
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:43 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 troutnut4 View Post
I do find it interesting that your favorite rod is from a "custom manufacturer" states: (one size fits all). .
I find that a tad interesting myself. I have built more custom rods than I can even count at this point, and the very rare occasion that I made two identical rods, it was for a person that wanted both of them.

I also think that what most people who think they make custom rods do is not custom For example, the ones you see on Ebay. Guy gets a blank and turns it into a rod and calls it custom. Custom is what a CUSTOMer wants made. Not what a builder wants to make and then find a customer.

What Pegboy is asking is a really hard question to answer. In my case though, it is good components put on in a professional looking manner. I don't care about color. I care about the performance of the rod. It does not need to be the fastest or lightest blank on the market. I think weight is a bunch of nonsense at the point blanks are at now. You need a very nice scale to even tell there is a difference. Same thing thing with the skinny, wind resistance stuff. For those of you who took physics and didn't sleep through class, work it out and ask yourself what the difference in a fat vs. skinny blank in terms of force is and if you are a fine enough instrument to even detect it. Most of what's going on is marketing driven and not actually for the rod. In fact some of what is being done is marketing driven is not even helpful, and like the overporting of reels is making weaker more easily damaged products.

Then there is price. I don't mind paying a lot for a good rod, but if I can do as well or better for less I am not going to be running out and buying the spendy one just to impress the folks who see me fishing with it.

I had a phone call that kept me from looking over and finishing this post. On the marketing driven side of things is stuff like Sage building on straightest visual line. Tracking is important in a long cast. How do you get good tracking with a rod that twists when you flex it? Being that the guides are off the center axis on the blank, it would cause an eliptical wobble in the rod tip. But look at the way people do with a rod in a shop. Pick it up, shake it, eye down it. Kind of forces a company not to build them the best way.
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Last edited by Guest1; 03-13-2013 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:38 AM
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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
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
I think this could be very misleading to some. It's as if your stating that because one's preference is for a slower action rod they might not be as skilled as the guy who likes the fast action rods. If I were a newcomer to our sport I might read that and think "well gee regardless of my preference I must not be a good caster because I don't care for the fast broom stick feel of the Sage ONE or the Loomis". Fast action rods teach one to cast a fast action, its not the end all be all of fly rods. Is the guy who can cast a glass rod to a tailing bone or permit at 85' and drop the Merkin Crab 2 feet in front of the fish any less skilled than another guy who does it with a new "hotrod". Which is why at some point personal preference has to take over. Skill develops with the chosen tool, and performance is an individual experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetandsalt View Post
But I don't think the originator of this thread, a rod designer, was looking for what makes us comfortable and content.
No offense to the OP but as a "rod designer" than he should already have a firm grip on what makes a rod "perform". As I said in one my posts, the stress curves of a taper along with the materials used decide rod performance. I think as a "designer" it would make more sense to ask what the individual deems as a performance rod based on their own preference. Objectivity can only take us so far, without personal input from experience and preference we would all fish with one style rod, one style of fishing, and so on. I'm not tying to single you out sweetandsalt but I just think you are being too general and overly objective when it comes to topics like this. All in all I think it makes for a better discussion to have both sides of the coin heard from. As someone whom also designs tapers I have to allow a customer to decide what they deem as their "performance" rod which could be a noodle compared to what I would want or find to be the best performing taper for a given situation. One driver might be into the Euro Tuner styled cars while another is into America Muscle, both are equally skilled drivers with different styles and preferences.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:53 AM
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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
As I said in at he beginning of my post here, it is hard to debate that personal preference should not be the deciding factor in rod selection. I too love the rich flamed color and individualistic character of fine cane. Swelled butts, silk wraps with inlays, nickle silver ferrules that go pop! when you take the rod down to wipe it with a soft cloth...

... My preference in progressive, quick recovering rod action is based on the type of technical presentation I favor but rods like Sage Circa and some of the also advanced technology Helios 2's illustrate that the small stream, deeper flexing style of rod suited to others of you can be improved upon as well.

Before his untimely passing last year, Sam Druckman, former Scott, Winston, Sweetgrass and, lastly, Freestone rod designer, was working on a computer program that would predict, before a prototype ever had guides taped on it, before a flag of carbon pre-preg was even cut, where unwanted oscillation would occur and how to counter dampen it to design an ever smoother, sweeter casting fly rod for the future.
I believe I am clear in my own personal preferences and how and why they have evolved for me. Too, I readily acknowledge others individual preferences to be great for them as well and how current advances in deisgn and technology improve all flex profiles of rods. Clearly, the same rod I favor on the Missouri would be an unlikely choice for me to rig up to fish an intimate PA Limestoner. In my edited quote of myself above, I thought I had already addressed much of this. I will persist, however, in maintaining that knowledge is expanded by experimentation more than by repetition of known habitualized behavior. I am not suggesting that this is WT Bash's, who does explain his reasoning, or anyone elses modus operandi but there is a great deal of non-critical opinion involved in, "what feels right to (a given individual)" and too little "objective" reasoning and explanation as to WHY a particular design of fishing tackle is optimal for the individual and the specific angling environment. I am probably reacting, to a degree, of the plethora of opinions like, "its right if it makes you have fun", and the dearth of critical comparative analysis.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:59 AM
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Default Re: So what is it that makes one rod better than the next?

Its all fair dinkum sweetandsalt I know exactly where your coming from! This thread turned more into personal opinion than actual design ideas on the first page. Going into the math and trial and error involved in taper design would fly over the heads of alot of people. Myself to degree as well. To attempt to bring this back to a more scientific taper design aspect, is almost mute by know. But I'll try and I should say that this is based on cane rods, I can only imagine the same would apply to a mandrel for graphite and glass rods.

Click the image to open in full size.

The black line represents the dimensions or measurements of the given taper, starting low on the graph and ending as high as it does this rod would be consider "crisp" or fast in the cane world, maybe more progressive for arguments sake. The tip is soft yet responsive transitioning into a midsection that would appear somewhat soft but as you can see in the green line as well as in the black the slight rise in the stresses and "dip" in dimensions is a "soft spot", this is what will aid in dampening as well as provide the reserve power to help a 7'6" have some reach out and touch someone capability. Where you see the two lines abruptly turn away from each other is where a "swell" is added to keep the energy from escaping through the handle forcing it into the cast. To go into why the stresses do what they do is a lesson in "Garrison Math" I don't really want to go into. This taper is what I would consider a "hot rot" in terms of dry fly fishing, also keep in mind that cane will always feel "slower" to graphite and even glass due to the weight and its a natural material that doesn't like to be rushed. Some Gillum tapers have a reputation for being really fast and comparable to today's fast actioned rods. I'm not entirely sure if this helps or confuses the issue even more but it is my attempt to show what goes into taper design and what adds to the performance of a rod.

On a side note: Only Adipose, this will be your rod! Its getting there, I just needed a slight break from it after last nights straightening bonanza!

---------- Post added at 10:59 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:27 AM ----------

For comparisons' sake here is the taper of a rod that could by all accounts be considered semi-parabolic although I'm not a fan of that term.

Click the image to open in full size.

I left the swell out on this graph but its less severe than the first. This rod would feel very slow but the tip is fast moving into a softer mid and back into fast before the butt. The butt softens up a hair roughly 10 inches before the swell (this is why its a gem to roll cast). Where I feel this rod shines is roll casting and single hand spey. Dan, you would be shocked at what this little 88" rod can do! Maybe this misses the point as to why one rod out performs another but it provides a glimpse as to goes into a taper to get a certain level of performance.
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Last edited by wt bash; 03-25-2013 at 09:47 AM.
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