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Old 01-13-2011, 10:47 AM
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Default Proper Fly Rod balance

The Up or Down reel seat question triggered another question I have about my fly rods balance. I have a 9' #6w with an up reel seat. It has a #6w double taper line, I find that the balance point is about an inch or two in front of the cork grip with the reel seated. I have always thought that the balance should be in the grip somewhere. In your opinion, does it matter? or could it improve my cast if the balance was in the grip?
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:11 AM
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Default Re: Proper Fly Rod balance

If you are comfortable casting that rig all day, I would not worry about the balance.

MP
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:29 AM
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Default Re: Proper Fly Rod balance

Totally agree with Dennis...don't know where the balance point is...I just try a rod with different reels and take the one I feel comfortable withonce I added a little peace of lead on the reel seat...
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:35 AM
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Default Re: Proper Fly Rod balance

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Originally Posted by MoscaPescador View Post
If you are comfortable casting that rig all day, I would not worry about the balance.

MP
MP is right, but what you've described makes me think your reel is too light for that rod, IMO.

One variable is whether you're talking about just mounting the reel on the rod, or if the rod is strung and the fly on the keeper or on a guide after the leader's wrapped around the reel.

I prefer a rod to balance where my index finger sits in a normal grip position while the rod is strung as described above. That means I often pick reels that are larger/heavier than what is viewed as ideal for a given rod. Though that increases the total weight of the rig, balance point is more important to me.


All that said, there's about a dozen things that will do more to improve your casting than miniscule improvement in your rod's balance point.
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Old 01-13-2011, 02:49 PM
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Default Re: Proper Fly Rod balance

Wow, I hope you forgive me for being nit picky. But this sort of thing is why fly fishing interests me. I found an article about balance after reading your replies and thought maybe this guy is right… With my rod balanced forward of the grip, I have a light reel. And I feel the same things he describes. I paraphrased here a little to shorten his points. As my wife would say “ What Y’all think?”

Match a Fly Rod and Fly Reel - A Question of Balance

A Question of Balance By Joseph D. Cornwall
“The lightweight reel made the rod tip feel heavy no matter which line I used.* The actual, physical balance point of the rod was several inches in front of the grip before I even strung line through the guides!* Poor weight distribution had put undue pressure on my wrist and caused my timing to be off.* In an attempt to force the rod to behave I used more “arm” and less body English which resulted in a further loss of power and control.* Bad balance made casting the line a chore and limited my best distance to something under 60 feet.
With your fly rod, reel and strung line, for best feel and performance, should achieve fulcrum balance at about the point where the index finger of your casting hand grips the cork.
See if the rod will balance, teeter-totter like, on your finger at the point where you feel a comfortable grip. If the tip falls down, you need to add a more weight to the reel. If the tip cocks up, you need to remove weight from the reel.”
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Old 01-13-2011, 05:15 PM
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Default Re: Proper Fly Rod balance

Here's a picture from an in-process review of a LaCrosse rod I've got going in another thread. In this picture it balances a bit farther down the cork than I prefer, but you guys probably already noticed the line isn't strung through the guides. It's a 7' 2-wt and I'm hoping it will balance between my middle and forefinger with the line in the guides.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:25 PM
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Default Re: Proper Fly Rod balance

Joe Cornwall knows his stuff. That's for sure.
Swing weight is want you're looking for. Like a custom golf club.
I'm going to agree with the rest that your reel is a little light for the rod. Try taping some lead strips to the threaded end of the seat, or some nickels to help balance it out.

Ghostdancer, I wouldn't worry about the balance point on your setup, seeing that it's just a 2w rod. Anywhere on the grip would be good.
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:40 PM
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Default Re: Proper Fly Rod balance

If weight is needed, a nice young lady on this forum had a good suggestion awhile back.
She suggests that one puts lead core underneath the backing on the reel.
Sounds easy if I determine the amount of weight needed with the reel mounted and line strung and weight added. Weigh the amount I added and put that much lead core on the reel.
I have not tried it yet, but I plan to on an outfit I have that balances about an inch in front of the cork.

In retrospect, I wish I had purchased the 4pc rod instead of the 5pc because of the few tenths of an ounce difference in weight.

Besides any casting issues, it's a pain to carry around a rod that doesn't balance at the grip and is constantly nose diving to the ground. On the one I have the issue with, it balances right at the hook keeper.....OUCH!!
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:23 PM
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Default Re: Proper Fly Rod balance

Mojo brings up a phase that I'm not sure what it means --> Swing Weight <---. Is this what you feel when the line loads the rod in the forward cast and back casts? If that's true, then when you double haul, you're feeling more swing weight because you're loading the rod more???
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Old 01-14-2011, 07:07 AM
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Default Re: Proper Fly Rod balance

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Originally Posted by goldentrout View Post
She suggests that one puts lead core underneath the backing on the reel.

Besides any casting issues, it's a pain to carry around a rod that doesn't balance at the grip and is constantly nose diving to the ground.
I've used the lead wire trick a couple of times and it works beautifully. I placed a wrap of tape over the lead before installing the backing, just to keep the two from mixing.

In case this trick isn't common knowledge, I always carry my rods backward and held loosely. With the tip trailing behind me, damage from ground contact will likely be limited to scuffing the tip-top. Carried forward, contact can snap the rod.
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