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Thread: My real rod weights

  1. #1

    Default My real rod weights

    Inspired by the recent thread on uplining (and Diver Dan's posts about ERN) I checked out my rods. I didn't have enough new pennies, so I just busted out the trusty digital scale and did it in grams. The results weren't quite what I expected:

    Loomis GL2 7'6" 4wt was 90.5g for 1/3 deflection, which is just below the mid-line for 4wts (I was surprised by this because in the Common Cents article the GL2 came up well below the posted wt, I suppose that might come down to the shorter 7'6" length)

    Powell SSL 9'0" 6wt was 153.9g, which puts it on the high end of the7wt range.

    The Powell was the first rod that I tried to actually learn to cast with and when I first got it I was casting a WF5... that might explain some of the troubles I had trying to get my casting going.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: My real rod weights

    That's a great way to do it. They state what the weight of a penny is in the Common Cents System so if you have a really accurate scale it would be a snap. It's kind of a bummer that almost all rods are not what they are labeled as. It's all in the marketing for what they want us to think they are and what it will do. Like the rod mentioned you were inspired by to make this thread. A 4 wt. with a 6.25 ERN. Everyone knows the bigger the rod, all things else being equal, the farther you can cast. So what was the idea most likely with the builder, and some will say it right in the ads, "Casts farther than the competitions rods". Sage was, and probably still is, one of the ones most guilty of this type of underrating their rods. You will never find a distance competition 5 wt. rod that's an actual 5 wt. rod. You can stamp any rod you want as a 5 and use it in competition, or at least before the PC police came in and protected everyones feelings. I saw an advertisement for a line where they said right in the ad "Our line is a full weight (not sure which way) than the industry standard. How can you say there is a standard at all when nobody adheres to it? It's kind of the definition of standard isn't it?

    If everyone cast as well as my friend Bill and took the time to find out the ERN of the rods they have, then understood head configuration and weight, then everyone would have an easy time setting up rods for the way they cast. But everything is made to market it. In I believe, the mistaken rush to make something look like it does something better than the other guys, they make it harder for a good segment of the market and make them not like the products.

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  4. #3

    Default Re: My real rod weights

    I could be way off here but I have a theory...

    I wonder if manufacturers assign rod numbers based off of a blank or completed rod.

    To go further, I seem to recall talking to a rod build buddy of mine about a rod he was building for me, and we were talking about what different guide configurations may do to it in terms of action and casting. An example might be single foot guides vs snake guides.

    If I understood him correctly, this may possibly take a blank that measures out as a 4wt blank but when it is completely built, it comes out to a 5wt.

    Furthermore, I believe that ever rod has "spine" to it and I wonder if mass produced rods always are built perfectly on that spine or can they be off a little bit. If they are off, would that rod an ERN that is identical to a rod that was built on the same blank but directly on the spine?

    Just some thoughts....
    Less likey, more green dots
    BrookFieldAngler.com

  5. #4
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    Default Re: My real rod weights

    It doesn't change based on completed or not. You are starting off with the tip in a fixed spot. The weight required to flex it does not change. Guides will effect the recovery and the action, but not to the degree most people think it does. And you didn't understand him right. Whatever the blank is, that's what you get when you are done. That or he didn't understand it and was talking a big game to you.

    As is mentioned in the system, you need to hang the bag on the tip and then measure so that none of the weight of the bag and clip, and the guides are not counted in the end result. The spine also does not effect the ERN but it does have a lot to do with whether you can bust the rod setting a hook on a fish or not. Most rods are built on what is called 'Straightest Visual Line'. That is where every blank has a bit of curve to it. One's that don't are as rare as Bigfoot. You eye down the blank and or the pieces and orient the blank in the completed rod so that the weight of the guides pull the rod so it LOOKS straight. The spine is the only direction you can flex a blank and not have it try and twist. It is easy to see which way your rod is made. Take it by the tip in between your thumb and finger. Pick the rest of the rod up with your other hand's thumb sideways across the blank as a rest. Don't do this with the reel on it. Spin the rod slowly with the fingers holding the tip. You can feel a spot where it wants to stop. It is the spine. If the guides are anyplace but straight down on the bottom, it was built on the straightest visual line. They look good that way, but if you have ever set the hook on a fish and had your rod snap right in front of the grip by 6 or so inches, you were the victim of a SVL built rod. They do it because of the way most anglers by rods.

    Go to a tackle shop any busy day and watch people look at rods. They pick it up, wiggle it and then eye down it. I got a DVD back about 10 years ago from a major rod maker. They showed the factory tour, bragged about the rods and then said they build them on straightest visual line. I was a tad shocked. It was a fly rod company by the way. Graphite has com a long way and the busting rod problem is less than it used to be, but any rod not built on the spine is at risk of busting in a hook set. It's not the bending that breaks them, it's the sudden shock/twist that busts them. You can slowly bend them past the point they would break that way and be fine. It's not the bend, it's the twist that gets them. As for the worst spot to build them off of the spine is 90 degrees.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: My real rod weights

    Rod Length Marked Measured
    Cabela/Cahill 9' 0" 5wt 6.075
    Echo Shadow PE 10' 0" 3wt 4.716
    Olympic Glass 8' 0" None 7.097
    Redington CPX 9' 0" 3wt 4.865
    Sage Z-Axis 8' 6" 5wt 4.895
    St Croix Avid 9' 0' 4wt 4.534
    St Croix Imperial 6' 0" 2wt 1.065
    St Croix Legend Ultra 7' 6" 2wt 2.223
    Walmart Black Eagle 8.6" 5wt 4.126-4.895 (6 of them)

    These are some of mine. Most are close. Some are way off.
    I used the bag of shot/postal scale method rather than pennies.
    On the ones that were way off I repeated the measurements several times.

    (Does anyone know how to make a table here that looks like something?)

  7. #6

    Default Re: My real rod weights

    Kind of wishing I had done this before I ordered that new 8wt, since my "6wt" comes in at about 7.75wt. It'll be interesting to see how close they come in, I guess at least the fighting butt and 9'6" length will set them apart. Now I feel like I need to go buy some heavier line...

  8. #7
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    Default Re: My real rod weights

    I like some Sage rods, so I'll come to their defense. A Sage ZXL and TCX in a 5wt configuration are certainly not going to feel the same. They are designed to be completely different rods, with completely different purposes. Sage describes the TCX series as one that "redefines the extreme distance category in rods". A quick look at the ERN chart over at Sexy Loops shows the 590 TCX has an ERN of 7.40, and the 490 ZXL has an ERN of 4.7. My ZXL rods work fine at all distances with a GPX line, so that sounds right.

    If Sage made a rod for casting distances, and it had an ERN of 5, it would probably be a dog when trying to cast 100 feet of line. I don't think anyone makes these purchases blindly, and if you buy a TCX, you probably know what it's for. I have a 590 Z-Axis, and it will cast a 4, 5, and 6wt line easily. The soft tip allows it to load in close with the 4wt line, and the stiffer mid and butt allow a 6wt GPX to be cast a fairly good distance without the rod behaving poorly. I use a 5wt GPX most of the time, but have used a 6wt GPX line in strong winds. It allows the rod to flex more deeply, and hurl heavy flies into the wind. The ZXL is never over-lined, and is my all-purpose stream rod.

    I would agree that rod manufacturers are deceptive if they don't describe the particular model's intended purpose. If a Sage rep told me that the 5wt Circa will cast 100 feet of line just as easily as a 5wt TCX, he'd be nuts, but they don't make such claims. When the TXL was being marketed, Sage was very careful to say that while it could cast past 40 feet, that wasn't its intended purpose. I'll never own a TCX type rod, but only because I like 4 and 5 weight rods that cast well in close, and out to 50 feet.

    ERN numbers and testing are interesting enough to me, but not evidence of any deception by rod manufacturers. In fact, I suppose many distance casters would get very excited to see that a 590 TCX is rated at 7.40.

    Dan Wrote:
    "How can you say there is a standard at all when nobody adheres to it? It's kind of the definition of standard isn't it?" That's actually pretty funny, but raises a good question. How should a standard be arrived at? Do we say that 35 feet is the most line anyone needs to cast, and therefore a measurement of rod deflection with the equivalent of 35 feet of line is the standard? We could say that with distance casting rods such as the TCX, 90 feet is a standard cast, and the amount of force/weight needed to deflect a rod increases. While the 590 TCX might have an ERN of 7.40, I doubt most casters are going to be happy casting a 7wt line at extreme distances with that rod. It's sort of like talking about torque and two different cars. One can generate tons of torque at lower rpm's, while the other needs to get into its mid-range before the torque gets turned on. Which car you buy depends on the type of driving you intend to do.

    P.S. Caberguy: What rod did you buy, and have you tried it yet? I wouldn't run out and get a heavier line right away. If you're the type that tears phone books in half, or bends quarters with two fingers, you might do well with the rod's stated weight.
    Last edited by FrankB2; 01-10-2013 at 04:39 PM.

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  10. #8
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    Default Re: My real rod weights

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankB2 View Post
    Sage describes the TCX series as one that "redefines the extreme distance category in rods". A quick look at the ERN chart over at Sexy Loops shows the 590 TCX has an ERN of 7.10, .
    That's so the rod loads right when you have a seriously long carry. Like 80'+ line in the air. The problem with that is some guy who wants to put a 5 wt line on it and cast 40 feet is going to hate it. A gut trying to bust 100' will love it. Most people just see 5 wt. and think it's a 5 wt. It isn't.I may be misremembering this but I think Bill likes a 7.5 ERN or so for casting a 5 wt line for distance. That's why they do this. It would make life easier on everyone if the put the ERN on the rod instead of what they want you to think it is, but as I said, this is a lot to do with marketing.

    Actually that line thing is another one. A line is rated by the weight of the first 30' but the heads can be any length they want. I have a Barrio on my Flying Pig that has a head that like 72 or 74 feet long. How much do you think that first 30 matter once you start to carry the whole head? How does it relate to a line with a 40 foot head? It would make everyones life easier with that also if they just put the line weight like they do followed by the total head weight and length. Names like Titan and Clouser etc. do nothing to tell you what the head really is. Again, the industry standard is not really a standard.

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  12. #9

    Default Re: My real rod weights

    I just ordered a Redington CPX 9'6" 8wt, haven't received it yet... if what I've read is accurate it should like a slightly heavier line. I do have some WF8F coming for that. I was thinking of picking up some 7wt at least for the Powell, which I've always had a bit of trouble casting comfortably, because as it turns out it's always been pretty seriously underlined. Putting 7wt line on the Powell does make it awfully chunky for an all-arounder. I've always had a much easier time casting the Loomis, which I attributed to it having a slower action and generally being a higher quality rod.

  13. #10
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    Default Re: My real rod weights

    Quote Originally Posted by caberguy View Post
    I just ordered a Redington CPX 9'6" 8wt, haven't received it yet... if what I've read is accurate it should like a slightly heavier line. I do have some WF8F coming for that. I was thinking of picking up some 7wt at least for the Powell, which I've always had a bit of trouble casting comfortably, because as it turns out it's always been pretty seriously underlined. Putting 7wt line on the Powell does make it awfully chunky for an all-arounder. I've always had a much easier time casting the Loomis, which I attributed to it having a slower action and generally being a higher quality rod.
    I sent an email to Redington asking why my CPX 3 wt was so far off.

    I asked: "Are CPX rods generally like this? That is, do they generally act heavier than the marked weights? Or is this particular rod an anomaly?"

    This is their reply:

    "They are true fast action rods and typically like a size heavier line. Depending on your preference and casting style, they can be right on or you may need to go up a full size."

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