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Old 01-16-2011, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: Proper Fly Rod balance

I simply don't study or much worry about where the balance is. Using the reel I plan on using on the rod, if the rig does not feel right it simply does not go home with me. Be it butt heavy, tip heavy or whatever if it does not feel like I've come to expect and demand out of a rod I'll pass. I'll leave the calculations and deep thoughts as to why a rod does not feel right to those who build rods or who want to force a rod to feel right. I'll just move on to another rod until I find the one that makes me grin.
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Old 01-17-2011, 03:41 PM
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Default Re: Proper Fly Rod balance

Jackster, I appreciate your comments. It would be interesting to know if the rods you have the most comfort with are indeed balanced. Or if they are what you are used to???
When you walk into to a shop, do you look for a set up with rod, reel, backing and line already to go? I think it would be difficult for me to get a sence of how it would perform without actually casting a line.
I currently have a 6Wt outfit that I bought many years ago for trout and Steelhead in Oregon. The shop I bought it from set it up for me and I figured that since they're the experts, I should rely on their knowledge.
Now that I live in Arizona I have been thinking about buying a 4Wt set up for Bluegill, Crappie and the smaller Bass that are stocked here in the warmer waters. I tend to piece meal things together and I read that good rod and reel outfit should be properly balanced, hence my question.
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Old 01-17-2011, 11:33 PM
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Default Re: Proper Fly Rod balance

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Originally Posted by dave5977 View Post
Jackster, I appreciate your comments. It would be interesting to know if the rods you have the most comfort with are indeed balanced. Or if they are what you are used to??? . . .
I'm thinking that we're really over-analyzing this issue. If you're used to whatever the rod balance happens to be, does it really matter if it's optimum by someone else's reckoning?
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:44 AM
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Default Re: Proper Fly Rod balance

I agree with Joni. While I don't think it's "rocket science", a balanced rod/reel will make less work out of casting and make you less tired after the days fishing. I prefer to have my reels balance slightly behind where my index finger fits under the grip when I'm casting. In other words, I like the tip to feel lighter. I have found that some of the new reels are too light for some of my older and heavier rods so I have added some leaded line under the backing. I think Joni has also done that. I also don't think you can rely on the store clerks, even in a fly shop, to sell you a balanced outfit. Just another 2 cents worth!!

Bob
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Old 01-20-2011, 03:12 PM
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Default Re: Proper Fly Rod balance

I agree with idaho fisherman, Joni and mojo. They have explained the issue of balance and casting in a way that make sense to me. It is really the simple physics of lever and fulcrum. A third class lever to be more specific.
What is a Lever by Professor Beaker's Learning Labs

It reminds me of what it's like when your picking up alot of line off the water when fishing a swift moving river all day long and doing alot of mending. Holding line above the water and flipping it this way and that to get just the right drift. Or high stick nymphing......Every little bit helps!

Also because of my own thoughts and ghostdncr's post about just packing ones rod and reel around comfortably. I have a little arthritis in my hand and wrist. Constantly pulling my rod tip off the ground aggravates the pain and weakness, especially with the 9'6" 8wt.......Every little bit helps!

In my opinion, many of the new high tech reels made today are just too light for the rods they are meant to be fished with. They are works of art, the pinnacle of technology and very interesting, but too light and need added weigh to make them more comfortable and easier to use all day. Almost as if they have taken the lightweight technology and artistry too far. Otherwise we would not be talking about it.
That being said, I ain't given up my Galvan Standard. I'll just add some lead core and not think about it again.

Thanks for the discussion and all the informative posts!
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:37 AM
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Default Re: Proper Fly Rod balance

Sorry to resurrect this old thread but I think this is an interesting discussion and one that will never be resolved because everybody's cast is different and different situations call for different casting styles.

Casting involves some combination of wrist, elbow, shoulder and body rotations. The distribution of mass and loading varies depending how you are casting. Additionally, how you experience the loading depends on your own strength and mobility as well as your body structure, e.g. length of your forearm, upper arm, etc.

For example, if you use a lot of wrist, then a balance point near the fulcrum (your wrist) would support that rotation and reduce the stress on surrounding tissue.

If you are more of a locked wrist shoulder caster, the dynamics change. The fulcrum point moves closer to your elbow. So now you are accelerating and decelerating the entire mass of rod, reel, and line through space. One could then argue that the least massive (lightest) overall combination would be best because it would present the least inertia, least stress on the elbow and shoulder, and greatest rod tip speed.

However, you are still connected to the rod at the handle. Your wrist wants to rotate as the rod loads and unloads, so you compensate by using your wrist muscles to counter that rotation. If your combo is tip heavy, there is more inertia and pressure on your wrist. This may not be an issue when using shorter, lighter rods but can be problematic for longer, heavier rods.

To take pressure off the wrist, the solution is to add more weight to the butt end of the rod to counterbalance that rotation. But that increases overall mass and inertia and puts more stress on the elbow and shoulder.

So where does that leave us? I think at light weights, some people will prefer a "balanced" setup (whatever that means for them) but it probably doesn't make a whole lot difference for most people. As rod weights and lengths increase, balance becomes potentially more important, but where that balance point is will be different for everyone.
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