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Old 02-23-2012, 05:45 PM
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Default Re: Reels to balance a rod?

A Borger is a Borger: Gary Borger » Blog Archive » Rod Balance
I like Gary Borger, and think he is a class act in the realm of fly fishing. I've also taken the reel off my rod, and cast in my backyard. It was okay, but it wasn't that great. Rod and reel referred to in my first post: Z-Axis 590 and a Ross Evolution 3. It was a fine combo, but when I began using it on the Delaware River, it became tiring. I was casting Clouser Minnows 45-60' for hours. The shoulder that I smashed in a 2002 bicycle race informs me when things aren't working out. I started using an 8'6" 4wt until my shoulder recovered. One day I pulled the Z-Axis out of the quiver (I have a multi-rod quiver/tube ), and slapped an Okuma SLV that happened to be in my Jeep on the rod. I immediately felt that moving the rod through the casting stroke was much easier, and I fished it for hours....for the rest of the summer! I recently bought a couple of Ross Rhythm 3 reels, and dialed in the weight to something between the Evolution and the SLV by using XXX amount of backing (the Rhythm is NOT a heavy reel, but holds more backing than the Evo LT). I do use light reels when fishing 4wts on small and medium streams, but they're another ball game.

Bottom line: I'm not going to abandon what I know works for me. We can discuss physics all day long, but I have a shoulder that knows what it knows... In the article I linked above, Borger tells a story of taking a grossly heavy rod and reel, and then adding lead shot to balance the combo. I don't think that anyone is suggesting that! The question Borger is answering has to do with 3/10ths of an ounce, and not adding lead shot to an already heavy reel.

Borger ends the blog entry by saying:
"I also advise trying a rod with several different line weights at distances that you normally fish before deciding what line to put on a rod. I regularly “underline” rods when I’m casting consistently long or tossing shot and big flies at distance. I “overline” my rods when consistently working short or using extra long leaders, tossing shot and weight nymphs at very close range, etc."

Borger easily dismisses the notion that a reel can balance a rod by saying "At what point?" I could just as easily dismiss his notion of adjusting line weight to the distance cast by saying he's using the wrong rod weight for a particular situation, or that he should take some casting lessons. I'm not suggesting Gary Borger take casting lessons, but I hear that said so often when an angler complains that XXX rod doesn't do well in close or out far. The Borgers, Krehs, et al, make their living from writing articles and speaking. Dispelling "old myths" is one way to create new articles and speaking topics. Fishing isn't all that complicated, and we can decide these issues ourselves. If an author wants to offer something to consider, that's fine. Just don't pass it off as gospel.

Stick your reels on the end of the rod, in your pockets, or up your nose. Just as long as it works for you. The last two sentences are directed at NO ONE PERSON, AND ARE MEANT TO BE A JOKE....except the "whatever works" portion.

---------- Post added at 06:45 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:59 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by wjc View Post
The really important thing to balance is the weight of the line being cast to the power of the rod. THAT balance is why there are so many overlining/underlining questions and one that is not possible to answer for another person.
BINGO!!!!! There's only one person on this planet who knows what works best for you. Suggestions can be made, and there are some principles of casting that should be followed (along with sharp hooks, etc), but it all comes down to discovering for yourself. I'm not saying we should all re-invent the wheel, however......
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:50 PM
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Default Re: Reels to balance a rod?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankB2 View Post
Stick your reels on the end of the rod, in your pockets, or up your nose. Just as long as it works for you. The last two sentences are directed at NO ONE PERSON, AND ARE MEANT TO BE A JOKE....except the "whatever works" portion.


Strikes up good debate. I figured this post was going to develop at least two camps.

BTW It was pointed out that my earlier post directing to the article in CAPs might convey that I was angry. Rest assured I am not angry.......simply didnt notice I hit CAPs lock.........
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:18 PM
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Cool The devils advocate???

I was going to quote and comment but that would even be more confusing I'm a tad bit confused as it is!

First let me state where I am coming from, the longer I fly fish, the more I appreciate a (1) light first and then a (2) balanced outfit. Balanced with the line weight and flies being cast. Balanced with the use whether it be Bonefishing or casting for Bluegills. Lastly I like it somewhat balanced in hand.

Try this on for size. If you do not let your rod do the work, most generally you'll find casting a tiresome chore and not be very good at it for certain as forcing the rod is a poor substitute for skill. Not only does balance plays a part here, it's two fold in it's application, and we have (1) static and (2) dynamic balance that is of concern. Carry a tip heavy outfit from your car to the stream (realitively static) and you risk drooping that tip and snapping it off! Cast an outfit where the reel/backing/line doesn't somewhat offset the length of that fulcrum and line paid out and again it's not pretty to watch and is tiring while becoming much more so with heavier and longer outfits. With todays rods and reel outfits being so light and lively we find much of the balance of which we speak is a given and built in.

Speaking of line speed during the cast and you'll find that if you get more than a line size or two off the recommended size your line speed goes haywire! Line, line length out, the lines weight, the length of the rod and even the flex of the rod (that determines effective rod length when moving) all determines a good match when it comes to a dynamic balance.

When speaking of line speed coupled with the line's weight we are speaking of momentum, not energy as it's simple momentum that will or will not carry line in the shoot phase of that cast and it's minute adjustments with your hand and wrist that keeps the entire casting plane where it should be. The minute that gets a bit out of kilter your casting distance suffers and accuracy suffers even more.

From above, "The longer the cast, the lighter the reel end of the rod becomes and the greater the variation of the force on the rod tip. I suppose that if you make very long casts on a routine basis, you might prefer a heavier reel to counter the forces on the rod tip... "
Good point and that's likely one of several reasons that the Charletons, Tibors, Abels and Pates and all their copies (all high capacity, heavier reels) are often the premier choice for salt water fly casting reels.


Although the rod and the reel are on the same side of the shoulder-elbow fulcrum when we cast an unbalanced outfit the applied torque on wrist and hand joints will try and bend the hand and wrist causing fatigue, accuracy and distance problems.

One thing is for sure that todays rods and reels are much lighter so we can go for an ultra light reel and it will balance the rod which are much lighter also. When fishing with most fresh water outfits the weight is so neglibible when compared to rods and reels of old that it's hard not to balance the outfit when it comes to reel weight/size compared to the rods.

On fly shop testing: yes a certain amount of testing a rod is done in shop with and without a line loaded reel preferrably. If it balances about midway down the handle give or take an inch with the reel on, it should later feel good in hand when casting. Being careful to not hit display cases, etc wiggle the tip and watch the rod. This tells you how responsive the rod is and how quick it returns to the null position once flexed and then relaxed. It also begins to tell you whether the rod is fast, medium or slow. Place the rod tip on the carpet and holding the handle about waist high observe the flex obtained with just the rods weight minus the reel. Again this helps sort out the flex of the rod whether it be full flex, tip flex, etc and when done with another manufacturers rod beside it in a similar flex gives you some idea on which manufacturer has the fastest or slowest rod for a given stated line weight.

Lastly though you should try before you buy and at least lawn cast the rod, of not cast it on a practice pool whcih some shops have. Note the feel of the rod with the reel supplied and from that you'll perhaps decided you'd like a heavier but more often than not a lighter reel.
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:50 PM
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Default Re: Reels to balance a rod?

Speaking of lighter reels, about 5 minutes I bought an 11/12 Nautilus. With the 12 wt spool in it, it weighs 8.6 oz. My Gulfstream weighs 11 oz. Both have the same capacity spool.

I just weighed my Gulfstream loaded with backing and line. It weighs 16 oz. even- almost 4 times the weight of most 12 wt rods.

My rods all have high end cork handles. The rod handles last in proportion to the weight of the reel, the lighter the reel the longer they last. One reason is that you need to grip the handle much harder when casting with a heavy reel, especially if you are casting sidearm to keep the rod profile lower to the water.

More fish are spooked by the rod waving than the line landing. So when you have a full pound cantilevered off the handle, you have to squeeze the handle harder to hold it in the same plane as the rod is traveling. That is also putting a torsional load on the cork as well as a compressive one.

The reel I bought has a gaudy pinkish lavender colored spool and drag knob. I'm not kidding either. It is disgusting, and my daughter will likely love it. But thankfully, it's the spool for the "giga" arbor some of you like, and is intended for a 9 wt line.

So I will buy a 12 wt spool for it in a manly color, like Avacado-Lime, so it will match my Guy Harvey cape shirt for after my daughter goes off to where ever she plans on going to next.

Edit: I figured you'd think I was just lying again so I grabbed the ebay picture to show you.



Click the image to open in full size.

Update; I had the reel changed to a right hand wind and shipped back with an extra black spool (full capacity). When I opened it up downstairs it looked like this:

Click the image to open in full size.

Wayne called about going over to his place for fresh grilled Cero Mackerel and I told him that the reel came, but they screwed up and sent a purple one instead of the pink one. He wanted to see it, so I took it over. While I was fending off his dogs, he opened the case and said "This isn't purple, it's bright red". I went over and sure enough it wasn't pink or purple but bright red.

This thing is like a psychodiillic chamelion or something. Changes colors depending on where its at and what kind light it's in. Actually, it's pretty cool. It's also extremely light and seems very well put togther. Hopefully, I'll put the drag to the test soon, but I expect nothing but superlative performance from it.
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Last edited by wjc; 03-01-2012 at 11:38 PM. Reason: update
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:52 PM
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Default Re: Reels to balance a rod?

Sweet reel~! Love those colors!
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:48 AM
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Default Re: Reels to balance a rod?

this has been a good and informative thread to read.... I know in my own personal experience as a new fly angler, I opted for the Hatch over the Ross for the simple reason (oddly) that it was a bit heavier and felt more balanced with my reel... the salesman felt the opposite way. It's likely subjective in terms of how a reel feels balanced to some and not others, but I can see even as a new guy how critical that is for the type of feedback you need to cast.
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Old 02-24-2012, 11:13 AM
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Default Re: Reels to balance a rod?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pegboy1 View Post

Since I have never cast a spey, or switch rod I can not comment on it one way or the other. I am speaking of one handers.
Fair enough. I will say balance is far less of an issue with rods 9ft. and under. When that tip starts reaching the 13/14/15/16ft. range....it becomes more important,..and not for casting, but for simply holding it level throughout a swing.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:13 PM
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Default Re: The devils advocate???

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck s View Post
I was going to quote and comment but that would even be more confusing I'm a tad bit confused as it is!


Carry a tip heavy outfit from your car to the stream (realitively static) and you risk drooping that tip and snapping it off!
Simple solution is to carry the rod with the reel facing forward and hold it at the upper end of the handle. This will place the tip behind you and unless the tip end of the rod is very heavy, it will be tip up. Even if it is still tip heavy, just move up the rod until the tip is up. Rod balance when carrying a fly rod is a nonissue IMHO

You can wind your way through the trees and the rod will follow you. One caution is to put the line through the guides and put a fly on the end of the tippet. Then rotate the rod so the leader spirals down the rod and clip the fly to the lowest guide. This leader wrap prevents loops of fly line from getting caught on branches. If you don't do this, a twig could catch the rod and pull off the top section og your rod and you will lose it.

When prospecting and walking up the bank, alway carry the rod behind you in the hand that is away from the river. If you carry it forward in the hand closest to the river, it will wave over the river edge ahead of you and spook the fish upstream and these fish will spook other fish.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck s View Post


When speaking of line speed coupled with the line's weight we are speaking of momentum, not energy as it's simple momentum that will or will not carry line in the shoot phase of that cast and it's minute adjustments with your hand and wrist that keeps the entire casting plane where it should be. The minute that gets a bit out of kilter your casting distance suffers and accuracy suffers even more.

I disagree.

My apologies for being technical but, I think we need to be very exact when we use physics terms in describing the cast.

My second point takes issue with use of the physics term "momentum" when considering the distance of cast. Momentum (P) is often confused with Kinetic Energy (KE) because they both are the result of Velocity and Mass. In fact, KE is the calculus derivative of momentum. While momentum is MxV, KE is .5MxV^2. It is kinetic energy and not momentum that actually results in the distance of the cast.



Both mass and velocity affect the distance of a cast, but velocity is much more important than mass. The momentum equation states that they are equally important; but you do not need to be a physicist to know that a double haul shows that to be false.

We all know that a short tug or a "haul" on the fly line creates a much longer cast than one would expect from the small amount of velocity added to the cast. The reason is that KE varies by V^2 (Velocity Squared). It is that second power rather than linear relationship to velocity in KE that amplifies the effect of a relatively small velocity change.

If it were momentum that increased the distance, how would we explain how a haul that actually removes mass by pulling in line and decreases the momentum by removing mass, could result in more distance? It is the second power or V squared that not only compensates the the removal of mass, but allows us to shoot line adding even more mass. If it was momentum we could not shoot line because adding mass would have to decrease velocity linearly to keep the momentum constant after the haul. With KE, shooting line decreases velocity just a bit because of the V squared effect.

We also know that it is air friction or "drag" that limits the distance of our cast. Well there is symmetry in physics because Drag also varies by V^2. Click on Drag below and you will see that velocity in the formula for drag is noted by "u" and drag varies by u^2.


When we consider that drag is related to the surface area of an object, and that fly lines are tubular; therefore drag varies linearly with the circumference of the fly line. This explains why additional mass adds distance to the cast. The mass of a fly line varies with the cross sectional area of a fly line which is square function of the radius. So for an increasing mass of fly line, mass goes up faster than surface area, and adds more energy than drag can take away.

We also know that "momentum" cannot be stored in a bent fly rod, but a bent rod does have "potential" energy. When a rod unloads it does not release potential momentum but potential energy into kinetic energy. So the concept of energy in its kinetic and potential forms explains the distance of a the fly cast.

Momentum is has a directional component and energy does not. So momentum gives the cast it's direction but it does not determine how far the cast goes or how aerodynamic drag affects the cast.

The physics of fly casting has been discussed in the physics literature by G. A. Spolek (Am. J. Phys., 54, 832-836, 1986) and by J. M. Robson (Am. J. Phys, 58, 234-240, 1990). Momentum does not enter in their discussions. It is all about kinetic energy.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:46 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Reels to balance a rod?

"It is kinetic energy and not momentum that actually results in the distance of the cast."
Sorry silver but you're explanation is a bit tarnished. We'll have to agree to disagree and that's from a National Physics Honor Society member with a near 4.0 gpa and several graduate degrees..

I will give you this in that the rod does store energy and releases it to the fly line but once the line is moving it's simple momentum that carries things along moderated by the drag of the air, wind, wobble, your tight loop or not, etc.

had you stuck to the first part of this sentance you'd have it right: "Momentum is has a directional component and energy does not. So momentum gives the cast it's direction" momentum also has a linear component as you recall with this: "an object in motion..."

Appreciate the thought though and no need to muddle minds futher as we'll just have to agree to disagree. Here's some easy reading on the double haul from my favorite web fly magazine and information sight. The Double Haul | MidCurrent note the references to momentum! Here's another but this once speaks of being relaxed which pertains directly to a balanced outfit: The Double Haul | MidCurrent

and here's a link I happened to have in my favorites for any doubting my momentum call: (math/physics heavy) http://castanalysis.com/links/jsv2003.pdf
Enjoyed the discussion all!
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Old 02-25-2012, 09:19 AM
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Default Re: Reels to balance a rod?

So as not to bore everyone, Chuck and I are discussing by PM.
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