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Old 02-14-2008, 01:42 PM
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Default Why fibreglass?

Greetings all from sunny (er... not) England.

I notice that some rod makers are producing very expensive fibreglass fly rods. Now I completely understand and adore the bamboo rods, and I understand the benefits of a good carbon rod. I'm not so sure of boron (Winston!) over carbon but I'm willing to accept there may be benefits. Over here boron and kevlar did have a flurry of being used in high-end fishing rods but over the years it's died away to be replaced by higher and higher quality carbon.

What I don't understand so much is fibreglass. Pre-carbon of course fibreglass was king, but these days I can't see how it can be anywhere near worth the cost being asked of them. Diamondback for example do one at $300. That's not small money.

Any comments?
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Old 02-14-2008, 03:52 PM
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Default Re: Why fibreglass?

I think the allure of fiberglass is that it is tougher, smoother, and different.

I see alot of similarity between the resurgence of fiberglass fly rods and steel framed bikes. (dominant frame material for high-end bikes has more recently been carbon as well, and aluminum prior to that) Carbon (aka graphite) is indisputably the best material if you want to build as light a bike/rod as possible for a given strength need. But steel/fiberglass offers a different feel that some people prefer over the lightest thing out there.

Do not confuse this as an endorsement of steel fly rods, I wouldn't wish those on anybody.
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Old 02-14-2008, 04:32 PM
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Default Re: Why fibreglass?

Like bamboo there is GLASS that is worthy and there is JUNK. Not as much as with bamboo. The old Bamboo were pennies back them and are not worth much more now. It is a Taper thing with both. Parabolic and quick tapers.
Glass is nothing like graphite and close to bamboo. It is lighter. For a good bamboo you are looking at around $800. and a year if you are lucky.
Glass is cheaper and already there no wait, plus that bamboo smoothness.
There are some very nice upper end glass by Steffen Bros. and Mike McFarland and then there is the less expensive Lamiglass.

I personally have two 7' 4wt bamboos and a 7' 4wt Lamiglass. All are relatively close in casting, but I would rather take the glass out in the cold than the boo. I do know wood is one of the strongest materials, but I worry splitting.
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:15 PM
 
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Default Re: Why fibreglass?

They are great small stream rods for two reasons. 1) You feel every surge of that 8" brookie as your fighting him 2) It is almost impossible (with the right line) to get a fly to land hard with a glass rod. They excel at quite presentations that are close in. They also protect tippets great, as the material has more elasticity then graphite.

They are not good at long casts into the wind, lifting heavy weighted flies or sinking heads and for the most part they have very little reserve power. Both graphite and glass have more reserve power with the right tapers. I have a Diamondback Diamondglass 7' 4 weight and a Hardy Perfection 6'6" 3 weight. They are both a blast for brookies, and they've been known to tame a decent brown or two. It's really quite enjoyable some days to slow down your casting stroke, land the fly like your dropping a feather, and fool a nice native brookie.
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Old 02-14-2008, 10:00 PM
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Question Re: Why fibreglass?

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Originally Posted by Joni View Post
Like bamboo there is GLASS that is worthy and there is JUNK.
Joni, have a fiberglass rod question for you. I still have a Scientific Anglers fiberglass System 5 flyrod from the 1970's. It's pretty flexible by today's standards (at least as I compare it to my current favorite rod, a Sage SP 589-5/6). Do you have any observations about this "obsolete" flyrod?
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Old 02-14-2008, 10:28 PM
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Default Re: Why fibreglass?

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Originally Posted by Fly2Fish View Post
Joni, have a fiberglass rod question for you. I still have a Scientific Anglers fiberglass System 5 flyrod from the 1970's. It's pretty flexible by today's standards (at least as I compare it to my current favorite rod, a Sage SP 589-5/6). Do you have any observations about this "obsolete" flyrod?

IT's GLASS, what more can I say LOL. You just have to slow way down. What weight is it? I am going to say that it is very likely a Hardey. Definitely something you would want to hang on to. Myself I would be fishing it. It is a classic, my friend.
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Old 02-15-2008, 06:12 AM
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Default Re: Why fibreglass?

Interesting answers, thanks.
I completely understand people having a liking for stuff like this (the bike analogy was good - I specifically went for a steel frame on my bike rather than aluminium, even though aly was lighter).

I have an old 5 weight glass fly rod which I never use - perhaps I should dig it out and try it! Not sure what make - it hasn't got much in the way of branding on it, just a name (which I can' remember) written on in ink. Probably a shop custom-made one.

Are modern glass blanks much different from old? I remember reading that glass was "just getting good" when carbon came and took over.
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Old 02-15-2008, 06:27 AM
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Default Re: Why fibreglass?

'Cuz it's the new 'wonder' material:

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:46 AM
 
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Default Re: Why fibreglass?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ecowarrior View Post
Interesting answers, thanks.
I completely understand people having a liking for stuff like this (the bike analogy was good - I specifically went for a steel frame on my bike rather than aluminium, even though aly was lighter).

I have an old 5 weight glass fly rod which I never use - perhaps I should dig it out and try it! Not sure what make - it hasn't got much in the way of branding on it, just a name (which I can' remember) written on in ink. Probably a shop custom-made one.

Are modern glass blanks much different from old? I remember reading that glass was "just getting good" when carbon came and took over.
The new glass blanks are for the most part a bit lighter. They have higher modulus fiberglass too. And there is a big demand for some of the better old glass rods. The Winston Stalkers, Fenwick USA (before the buyout), and Lammiglass stuff all claims a premium. Most of the cost in rod building is in the development of the rod and the actual wrapping, installing of the handle, and shipping. So glass can cost as much as graphite, but usually it's a bit less. The Diamondbacks are sleepers, still US made, nice actions and around 300$ new. Thomas and Thomas and Scott still make production glass rods, but their not cheap, right around 500$. We still have a few of the Hardys left to if you wanted to special order, around the same price.

Joni, Does Lammiglass still make that 7' 4 weight? That was a sweet rod and a good value too. It's hard to find much Lammiglass in MW these days.
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:53 AM
 
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Default Re: Why fibreglass?

Time for some pics!
Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.
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