Ran across this statement in an article on rod balance and assessing a fly rod.
I must say, I am in total agreement with this statement, and was wondering what others think?
"I can honestly say that there has been a whole heap of rubbish talked about using a reel to balance the rod. The reel does not balance the rod, it is irrelevant: take it off and stick it in your pocket and you'll see what I mean. A rod which is 'tip-heavy' is one which feels unnecessarily heavy up top and will never feel pleasant, no matter how heavy a reel you stick on the other end."
I would agree with that statement to a point. I wouldn't want to put a Gulfstream on my Leonard 7' rod, but then even Forrest Gump wouldn't do that. As far as I'm concerned, lighter reels are obviously easier on the muscles for casting, just as lighter rods and lines are. But I pick the rod and reel for the fish the conditions and the pocketbook at the time. I have never stuck a reel on a rod to balance it before so I really have no idea where it "should" balance at.
In distance casting competitions, you are required to have the line on a reel attached to a rod. So I would guess that a line on the floor without a reel would give that guy an advantage. Kind of shoots down the balance theory.
Rather than to disagree outright with someone making such a 'Devils Advocate' type of statement I will say this. The person who authored that remark is free to do exactly as he professes, however I do hope that not too many will take the statement seriously.
If you wish to put your reel in your pocket then you are welcome to do so. If you wish to use a 2.5 ounce reel mounted to a 10 foot 6 weight rod you may do so. In turn, if you wish to place an 11 ounce Odyssey on the seat of a 6'6" bamboo flea rod, you may in fact do so.
When the author or any of the converts to this new & novel approach to matching their tackle use their outfits I wish them all the best.
Now let me address that whole 'rubbish' thing..........................
Location: Lake of the Woods/Rainy River Minnesota Canada border
Re: Reels to balance a rod?
Originally Posted by wjc
I would agree with that statement to a point. Cheers,
Same here. Except the Cheers Jim part. As far as single hand rods go, it's hard to screw up bad enough you could actually tell you did. Maybe something like a PENN 4GAR on a 7' 6" 4wt. might do it, but who would do that Mom doesn't make wear a helmet and ride the short bus?
Now here's the "to a point" part. If you have a double hand rod, you need to get it to balance so that it is balanced where your top hand is at the top of the top grip and the line out and swinging. This actually matters unlike most of this single hand noinsense. Finding a reel in todays "It's so light a good breeze will blow it away" and "ported to the point it makes a wiffle ball look solid" world we now live in, is harder than finding Bigfoot and costs more money than the last Bigfoot TV show I saw. Tibor makes a spey reel that's 12.5 ounces and will only set you back $850.oo. To top it off, 6 years from now they may not have parts for it. I'm very dissapointed with Tibor. I told them so on the phone just for good measure. Even more annoying, that still may not be heavy enough. There is a market driven pile of nonsense causing reel manufacturers to rush headlong into making the lightest reels they can. For what? It doesn't make any real sense with a singlehand rod, and they are sure not helping the spey guys out. Companies that make Spey Reels that are heavy enough still costs you the best part of a grand and may give you the Tibor middle finger salute. Can you say E Bay?
The lighter your entire setup is, balance is less of an issue. The bigger and heavier your setup becomes, balance becomes increasingly noticeable and important, particularly on long days. Ard will be able to testify with his 15' Winston, a notoriously tip heavy rod. To shrug that rod off as tip heavy and therefore unpleasant no matter what, is pure bologna. Properly weighted in the rear, it is not troublesome in the slightest. To say reel weight makes no difference whatsoever is hogwash.
I have a premium 9' 5wt, and liked it much better with a reel that is an ounce heavier than the original. The Borgers have been saying balancing a reel makes no difference in casting distance, and they use a robotic device to demostrate this. I'm sure the robots were glad to hear this, and if they had pockets, well.... I'm not a robot, and my tendons feel the difference when reel weight is varied.
I'll also agree, but only to an extent. I'm not putting my reel in my pocket. I'll also agree with it being more important to have some degree of balance, the heavier the rod. For example, on my 10 wt, I have a reel that's intended for a 11/12 wt rod. I also have the same reel listed as a 9/10 wt reel. The slightly larger reel is slightly heavier, but on that rod is more comfortable for me to cast all day, as it balances with that rod better. Sure, I can use either reel, and the lighter reel reduces the overall weight, but it still doesn't feel any better to me for casting. I think that's important too.
This balance & weight thing can be taken to extremes one way or the other, and individually we all have a comfort zone. For me, as long as I'm comfortable with the combination I'm using, I don't really care about actual weight or perfect balance.