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Fly Rods Post any comments or questions regarding fly rods...

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Old 12-29-2015, 10:37 PM
fictitious fictitious is offline
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Question Compound Rods

Did a quick search on the forum but was unable to find any info on this subject.

Here is a list of a couple websites that produce these "Compound" rods:
index.html
https://www.instagram.com/colterflyfishing/
Danielsson Compound Fly Rods

In a nutshell, it sounds as though these rods have a stiffer butt section with much softer tip. There is probably much more to it than that, but that's why I'm wondering if you guys have had any experience or opinions on this style of rod.
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Old 12-30-2015, 09:28 AM
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sweetandsalt sweetandsalt is offline
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Default Re: Compound Rods

While there are some rods that simply taper straight from a thicker butt to a thinner tip, most well designed fly rods, going back to the era of cane, feature compound tapers. The rod designer utilizes changes in blank diameter and wall thickness to make a rod bend more here, less there. Think, for example, of Orvis H2 9'/#5 tip-flex vs. mid-flex; same length and weight but bend in very different places and cast very differently from one another.
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Old 12-30-2015, 11:35 AM
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Default Re: Compound Rods

Compound taper fly rods are nothing new. They have been around since bamboo fly rods. It seems to me that someone is trying to sell some koolaid.

Compound taper just means that the taper is not straight and that it varies from tip to butt. It does not mean that the tip has to be soft. Obviously, since the rod taper can vary in any conceivable way, a compound taper rod can have a stiff tip and a soft butt or a soft tip and stiff butt or anything in between.

https://books.google.com/books?id=zY...0taper&f=false

https://books.google.com/books?id=ZL...0taper&f=false

"Describing Fly Rod Actions - Fly Angler's OnLine"[COLOR="Silver"]

As sweetandsalt noted that compound tapers go back to bamboo fly rods. Most bamboo rods are solid, and with a solid fly rod, the external taper is compound.

However, with hollow tubular fly rod, the external taper is not the only taper that defines the fly rod action. There is an internal fly rod taper and that taper can also be compound so that the wall thickness is defined by both the external and internal taper.

So even if the external taper is straight, the rod can be a compound taper because the internal taper is compound. Or both external and internal tapers can be compound.

The internal taper is the result of the mandrel and the external taper is the result of the shape and thickness of the flag and scrim that are wrapped around the mandrel.

A previous thread discusses the internal and external taper:

Doing a term paper on fly rods and the natural resources used in them

The articles below discuss fly rod blank production in greater detail.

"Once cut, these sheets are called “flags” or “patterns.” For U.S. manufacturers, they always take the form of a trapezoid of some kind, since the tip will always be somewhat narrower than the butt (this goes for every section of the rod). According to rod designer and casting guru Jason Borger, these trapezoids may still wind up being quite complex, with multiple compound angles to create different actions."

From Scratch - How Fly Rods are Made

How Fly Rods Are Made | MidCurrent

So compound tapers are the standard in modern fly rod production and not some special method that only the fly rod makers in the first post have access to. Quality fly rods depend on the most modern materials and production methods combined with the best rod designers and not "compound tapers" which date back to the early pioneers of quality bamboo fly rods.
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Old 12-30-2015, 02:18 PM
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Default Re: Compound Rods

Thank you for all the information.

It's really nice to have knowledgeable members like you guys around for us newbies.
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Old 12-31-2015, 08:45 AM
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Default Re: Compound Rods

Back in the 1970's, the founder of Scott Pow-R-Ply and rod design genius, Harry Wilson, inserted thin, hollow, sleeves, the power plys , inside his translucent fiberglass blanks to compound his tapers...even the hollow tapered spigot ferrules were brought into the flexural profile design equation.

Today at Scott and others, first introduced by original Redington in seminal Nti and later perfected by Sage, the flags that get wrapped around the tapered mandrel not only contribute to the sophisticated tapering of the rod blank but may be of different modulus of elasticity types of carbon fiber at different points in the taper. So, in addition to the taper design, even the material selection contributes to fine points of fly rod flexural action and recovery properties.

Add to this the complex and labor intensive craftsmanship of melding the irregularly shaped flags of pre-preg of differing properties so the individual fibers are longitudinally parallel in alignment around the compound tapered mandrel and you begin to comprehend what goes on inside a top quality blank fabrication process that is invisible to the eye.

OK, you can not perceive compound tapering and multi-modulus material science via visual inspection but when an angler with developed casting stroke skills fishes one of these fine quality rods, that is when it communicates its intrinsic characteristics to him.
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Old 12-31-2015, 11:17 AM
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Default Re: Compound Rods

To all my fellow fly rod fans who participate in our Forum, Happy New Year and may an unexpectedly wonderful rod find its way into your quiver before Spring hatches commence. S&S
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Old 12-31-2015, 03:46 PM
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Default Re: Compound Rods

I think the term "compound" refers not to angle or taper, but to material. There seems to be a number of rod manufacturers who are experimenting with different materials throughout the length of the rod.
Example: graphite in the butt and mid-section, fiber glass for the tip. Giving the strength and stiffness of a fast action rod with the forgiveness of a fiberglass rod.
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Old 01-01-2016, 07:00 PM
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Default Re: Compound Rods

Mike, While it is true that rod makers for many years have experimented with different materials in different parts of the rod or, as I outline above, integrating multi-modulus fiber placement seamlessly, "compound" refers to variations in taper that define a rod's action and performance. Fly rods are first and foremost about the taper design to which materials may contribute additional related characteristics. This is why I continuously emphasize the creativity of the rod designer and material science personnel over brand or price in selecting a rod for our individualistic angling applications.
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Old 01-01-2016, 11:03 PM
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Default Re: Compound Rods

When considering the overall physical characteristics of one's preferred instrument, I confess that I tend to prefer a softer butt that still has some supple, muscular character and fairly lively response.

You know, kind of like the Spinal Tap tune, the one that goes "the bigger the cushion, the sweeter the pushin'" that kind of thing.


Hope I didn't offend anyone, but the language here is occasionally ripe for humor, as we all know...

Last edited by guest65; 01-01-2016 at 11:04 PM. Reason: apologies
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Old 01-02-2016, 09:05 AM
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Default Re: Compound Rods

There are also compound taper fly lines as noted in the discussion below. The term compound taper to describe fly rods is the identical meaning as for fly lines.

It means deviation from a straight taper. As noted by sweetandsalt, compound tapers began with bamboo fly rods when the only rod material was bamboo and some glue, well before compostite materials.

CastFlys.Com - Taper Design
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