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Thread: Slow action rods ...

  1. Default Slow action rods ...

    In reading through my copy of Joe Brooks "Complete Book of Fly Fishing" (1958) ... it's interesting that he recommends the slow action rod for everything short of 100 pound and over fish.

    "Gradually, over the years for all types of fly fishing, I have gone to the slow action rod. Once you master the timing, you have greater ease in casting, greater delicacy of presentation and it is easier to handle the line and fly in the water."

    In speaking of a 9.5 foot slow action rod Joe says, " ...the bigger outfit makes for much easier casting and allows the angler to get the lure out with only one, or at most, two false casts. With a stiff action rod and these big wind resistant lures, it would be difficult to get distance without a great deal of false casting and the angler's arm would be worn out at the end of the day."

    He says it again in the next couple of paragraphs that the slow action rod excels at distance casting for big wind resistant flies. Odd that all I hear now-a-days is you need a stiff rod to generate line speed and distance.

    I just thought it was interesting ....

  2. #2

    Default Re: Slow action rods ...

    All the old rods were "slow" action. All the cheap rods are all slow and heavy.
    Now Brooks only uses a super light fast rod.
    Slow and fast are only things the old timers talk about. Just like the old flies, Mickey Finn, whatever?
    The best rods are the lightest rods. They just happen to be thin and fast!!
    IMHO!!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Slow action rods ...

    Quote Originally Posted by dave27615 View Post
    He says it again in the next couple of paragraphs that the slow action rod excels at distance casting for big wind resistant flies. Odd that all I hear now-a-days is you need a stiff rod to generate line speed and distance.
    Dave,
    The interesting thing is that many fly fishers are purposely slowing down their fast rods in order to take full advantage of leverage from the butt of the rod to throw big heavy wind resistant flies. Mr. Brooks may have been onto something back in the day.

    Umpqua Feather Merchants fly designer, Charlie Bisharat, uses a 9 weight Sage Xi3 with an 11 weight Rio Outbound Short to throw the his 5/0 Pole Dancer. Keep in mind an 11 weight ROS weighs 465 grains (basically a 13 weight line). I have seen Charlie cast that huge fly with that rig (its on video). His fast action Xi3 bends all the way to the grip.

    I don't know where the practice of uplining two sizes for shooting heads came from. But that has become common practice. Maybe Riptide could shed some light on that. With modern rods being quicker, it just makes sense to put more of a bend in them to sling those huge flies.

    MP

  4. #4

    Default Re: Slow action rods ...

    In order to throw big, bulky or heavy flies I have to open the loop when I am casting. I am pretty sure I am not doing anything wrong - I also don't like to "Clouser" rod blanks. I have found slower rods to be much better for this kind of casting. Casting into the wind is a different story - forces you to close the loop.
    Lee Orr - Maker
    304 Rod Company

    www.304rodcompany.com

  5. #5

    Default Re: Slow action rods ...

    I cast Joe Brook's 9.5 footer at Rhine-Main AFB near Frankfurt Germany. He also used a 7.5 foot Orvis Midge for 5wt. Both were Battenkills The big rod weighed the better part of six ounces. Meeting him was pretty much the best thing that happened to me in the Army, short of rotating out of Nam.

    Personally, I like the medium fast action that was provided by IM6 rods better than the biffo-stiffos. What I like, and a buck, will get you a cup of coffee.

  6. #6
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    Post Re: Slow action rods ...

    Quote Originally Posted by MoscaPescador View Post
    I don't know where the practice of uplining two sizes for shooting heads came from. But that has become common practice. Maybe Riptide could shed some light on that. With modern rods being quicker, it just makes sense to put more of a bend in them to sling those huge flies.
    Overlining has been pretty common around here since the graphite rod became popular. I don't think it's ever been routinely one or two line sizes. It's more like trying a few lines and seeing what works best. That may be the recommended size or it might be 3 or even more sizes heavier.

    You want to be capable of punching out large, air resistant flies into the wind with a minimum of false casts. And that takes utilizing the full length and power of the rod to do it. Not just the tip but the meat of the rod right back to the cork.
    As for shooting heads, they're just not that commonly used here in the east. We often need to cast in close as well as at a distance so the use of regular full length lines make more sense.

    For trout fishing, I like slower rods as well, especially for fishing dries. Once you get the hang of the more relaxed rhythm, you'll wonder what you ever saw in your fast action broomstick.

    ---------- Post added at 01:03 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:44 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by rickf View Post
    All the old rods were "slow" action. All the cheap rods are all slow and heavy.
    Now Brooks only uses a super light fast rod.
    Slow and fast are only things the old timers talk about. Just like the old flies, Mickey Finn, whatever?
    The best rods are the lightest rods. They just happen to be thin and fast!!
    IMHO!!
    Take the advice of someone that knows.... Don't drink and post
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements. --- Horace Kephart

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Slow action rods ...

    Feel free to correct me here, but I think Joe's comments may well have been tied to the rod building materials available at the time. Not a lot of choices (Cane, fibreglass, what-ever) back in 1958.

    And if memory serves, Graphite rods didn't come onto the scene until the early 1980's.

    fae
    When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost. - Billy Graham"

  8. #8

    Default Re: Slow action rods ...

    I know a guy that can cast an entire line through a shotgun shell hull. If you can cast correctly the material doesn't really make that big of a difference.
    Lee Orr - Maker
    304 Rod Company

    www.304rodcompany.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Slow action rods ...

    Quote Originally Posted by fredaevans View Post
    Feel free to correct me here, but I think Joe's comments may well have been tied to the rod building materials available at the time. Not a lot of choices (Cane, fibreglass, what-ever) back in 1958.

    And if memory serves, Graphite rods didn't come onto the scene until the early 1980's.

    fae
    The fast rods of today are a product of modern technology, but even back then rods came in different actions and quality. I have a late '50s Phillipson that would today be considered on the faster side of a medium, if not quite a med-fast.

    IMO, Modern rods are built to be "fast" mostly because technology allows it, not necessarily because fast action rods are a better choice as a fishing tool.
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements. --- Horace Kephart

  10. #10

    Default Re: Slow action rods ...

    "Fast" is pretty relative term. I assume that most people mean tip flex.
    Lee Orr - Maker
    304 Rod Company

    www.304rodcompany.com

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