Fly rod action

scotty macfly

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What determins the action of the rod, the flex profile or the recovery speed? I believe I understand that you can have a fast flex profile with a fast recovery, which makes the rod a fast action rod. But what if you have a fast flex, but a slightly not so fast recovery, would that be a medium fast action?
 

sweetandsalt

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Thank you for posting this Orvis article. It makes many points and it would take me all day to dissect many of them so I will only comment on a couple of ideas.

Recovery rate is not simply a function of action, where a rod bends and how much. It has much to do with design in harmony with materials as mass and refinement of taper (along with the big variable, casting stroke development) dictate how quickly and precisely a section of rod returns to being straight and stable after unloading its stored energy into the cast. Recovery, particularly in the upper third of the rod, has a lot to do with the smooth loop shape formation but, the cast itself aside, is critical in precise mending maneuvers as in adjusting the drift of a dry fly.

Brilliant and influential tournament caster, Mel Krieger, had a substantial impact on rod design ideas in the 1980's and 90's. His opinions on consistency of rod action across a given spectrum of line weights had an impact on Scott G's, Loomis GLX's and ultimately, the flex rating system devised by Orvis. But anyone with insight into the creative process can easily understand why rod designers of vision would not touch this designation method with a 9' pole. Complexity of compound taper design, diameter, wall thickness and material science are the stew of variables that give rods their personality as well as performance parameters. A Siem, Rajeff, Bartschi or Crostin have very specific and individualistic concepts of how and why they build their rods the way they do...and this is why, with comparison and experience we develop a strong preference for the kind of rod we choose to fish.

While clearly imprecise linguistically, I suspect we all understand terms like Full Flex, a kind of uniformity of bending from tip to butt such as in an Orvis glass rod, Slow Progressive, bending in the tip section deep into the mid section then beginning to stiffen a little into the butt, like Sage Circa or Douglas Upstream, Mid Flex, an anomolitical stiffer tip morphing into a bendier middle, Moderate Action, exemplified by Scott G or perhaps Sage MOD, surely old Sage SP, Medium Fast, far and away most popular, a progressive but less deep flexing concept represented by (at differing rates of recovery), Orvis Tip-Flex, Winston BIIIx, Hardy Zephrus, NRX LP and new Douglas SKY and, like them or not, Fast rods like Hardy Wraith, Sage ONE, Gary Loomis EDGE and Loomis NRX.

Regardless of rod designs' implications as to stroke acceleration speed to match its flex profile, all well designed rods should resist excessive counter-flex or fibrillation which impacts smooth loop formation. Anything, be it in intrinsic design/fabrication or angler input that throws undulations into the loop shape effects accuracy and, when called upon, distance. As the great Formula 1 driver, Jackie Stuart, repeatedly opined, "Performance is all about smoothness".
 

ia_trouter

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I wanted to better understand the term recovery so I did a search and found this informative article. Thought everyone might enjoy it.

The amazing part is I did my search shortly after you posted your question and already, your post was on the first page of the search results. The world is an amazing place!

Cheers!

Understanding Rod Action and Choosing the Right Rod for You - Orvis News
Thanks Bill. That was a great article, whether the entire industry adopts the definitions or not it is a sound explanation. As far as the search results finding this thread instantly at the top of the Google page.... I noticed that too and it is why I cringe when we get too loose with specific fishing spot recommendations. This forum pays the search fees and it happens everytime. You just shared your favorite spot with 100,000 of your closest internet fishing friends. That won't end well. PM is the way to be generous but responsible with current fishing spot info. That wasn't directed at you personally of course.
 

sweetandsalt

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i a, Despite some comments about sharing "fishing" in Ard's post on the Good Old Days, because of your point and long standing fly fishing tradition, I limit my commentary to gear and technique. I am happy to share thoughts and ideas but not what rock to sand on. Sure, I will tell a fish story, even mention a location but that is a. to illustrate a point and b. I only will mention a place that is famous and widely known, never a stream the regulars would rather not have overrun.
 

scotty macfly

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I wanted to better understand the term recovery so I did a search and found this informative article. Thought everyone might enjoy it.

The amazing part is I did my search shortly after you posted your question and already, your post was on the first page of the search results. The world is an amazing place!

Cheers!

Understanding Rod Action and Choosing the Right Rod for You - Orvis News

Wonderful article Bill, thanks for shareing that. I did find that on the Scott fly rod web site, when you click on a rod and scroll to the bottom, it shows the flex and recovery speed together. Reading the article Bill posted and seeing it on Scotts web site pretty much clears up my confusion.
 

cab

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When I saw the OP's question, "What determins the action of the rod", the first thought that popped into my pea-sized brain was : The person describing it. Some, like S&S, do a better job than others, like me.

HTH,
CAB
 
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