Rod Taper Design Language

sweetandsalt

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Many of us favor a set of specialized as opposed to generally versatile all-rounder fly rods. Some fishers spend a major portion of their angling time on a home stream and others with similar habitats. Some, I'm one, travel seasonally and fish a spectrum of trout streams form petite to gigunda. Then there are techniques and methods that are served by particular rod taper traits. Whether Trout LL moderate or Method fast my dry fly style requires very stable and quick Tip Recovery...nothing to do with speed of casting stroke but the reaction of the rod to casting input for line control. A soft, deep flexing tip that deflects pre-recovery ruins my presentation on a 25' or 75' cast. I do not rely upon my rods' tip for tippet protection, that is my fingers job.

Also there is where a rod bends and the taper transitions from section to section. Language; this is the only easy one. Progressive Taper - it bends more in the tip, less in the mid section and least in the lower taper. This is the most popular design and a very smart one when well executed. Common examples would be G-Loomis NRX, faster progressive, Hardy Zenith, faster medium fast progressive, Orvis H tip-flex-D, medium fast progressive, Winston BIIIx slower medium fast progressive and so on. Crucial features of this design are smoothness of taper transition and the relative amount of lower taper power reserves to support the upper taper points.

Then there is what is sometimes referred to as Mid-Flex, a term and design that does not appeal to me. This style of taper involves a stiffer tip and butt with a more flexible mid section. This slows the casting tempo down permitting the caster to take his time on accurately aiming but also induces a sense of hinging in the rod's middle; a disconcerting un-smooth sensation.

Its opposite is Tip-Flex in which a medium fast to fast rod has a tip section that is disproportionally more bendy, almost as if a somewhat softer tip where grafted onto a faster lower and mid taper rod. I fished a 5-weight of this ilk for several years, Sage's Z-Axis. It cast like a faster #5 but its tip responded with a more gentle, less demanding sensation...not really soft, just more touch. The best current example of this design is Scott's Radian.

Full-Flex is self descriptive. If Progressive is one half of a parabellum, full-flex is a half of a semi-circle. Essentially a continuous curve deviating only due to the tip being thinner and the butt thicker but no compounding of the taper in between. This design is favored by some who feel the mass flex more and casting tempo is most relaxed and there is a perception of deliberate, delicate unfurling of the fly line. Such rods are most typically employed on smaller streams for shorter casts as there is a near absence of lower taper power to reach out with or support upper taper line speed generation. Full-Flex rods tend to have more loop shape anomalies due to the lack of lower taper support and handicap in-air and on-water mending as ample flex is called upon to move the line. A quality example of this style was Sage's Circa and some older light line Winstons, not to mention a good number of glass and cane rods of yesteryear.

The taper design I find most linguistically perplexing is the one typified by Sage's ONE and Method. These rods have a very steep taper with quick power emanating from every inch from a fast tip to a reserve rich lower taper. If a Progressive rod's flexural profile is like a half a parabola, ONE's profile is like half a sword's blade, or a narrow parabola with a pointed apex. Some refer to such a taper as stiff but really it is fast with super communicative liveliness of line acceleration feel minus much mass flex feel. I call these rods Technical Presentation rods but that is too subjective and non-descriptive. I appreciate such rods can be a little demanding and some try to slow them down by over lining, not me, but here is a style I need Memberships input on forming a descriptive name for.

All the above can have a place in one's kit, habitat and technique being the principle but not necessarily only deterring factor, and do in mine (except for the hingey mid-flex). In each taper style there are splendidly and poorly executed examples and they may span the range of price-points. I hope this sheds a little more light on the subject of rod selection than mere slow, medium or fast.
 

mandotrout

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Trying to stay within the descriptive style you've used for the other rods, my suggestion is you call your last category either Power Progressive or Power Presentation.

With that said, I would not likely ever fish one of these rods, and compared to what I look for in a rod, I would just call them No Flex. :)
 

mike_r

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Slow, medium, fast are to me, descriptions of how the rod tip recovers under its designed load (designated fly line number as intended from the manufacturer). “Progressive” would be how I might describe the way the rod flexes under said load. So the ‘action’ of a fly rod is the combination of tip recovery and flex profile: “fast progressive action”

To me, the best modern rod example of fast progressive action would be the G Loomis NRX in 4-6wt. Line speed is achieved as applied by the caster in a smooth, linear fashion. More of the rod butt comes into play as power is applied to the cast. The tip is not stiff, yet it does not fold when power is applied with greater force.

Some of the Sage rods, like the examples of the One and Method, given by SS are truly more complex, and difficult to define. Their actions are more rangy and fine tuned to line and specific delivery intensions. These rods flex under load in extremely specific areas of the rod blank as designed to produce very specific results. Far less linear than the more generalist NRX rods. I suspect that the blank composition is such that even the density of flag material is calculated precisely into each specific rod in order to achieve a certain level of response from that exact area of blank. A caster can assume that the current Sage rod’s material science certainly will favor rapid recovery: this being a constant, the rest of the equation is pure wizardry and yes, hard to define.

Many users of Sage rods will write-off a given series as too stiff: especially when they struggle to “feel” it load with intended fly line. Some Sage rod series, such as the XP and ONE are specific, results-oriented designs that require good technique from the caster in order to truly appreciate their given application. Unfortunately, many models may not seem instantly adaptive, forgiving or given to a wide variety of applications. These are purpose driven designs for accomplished casters.

If an NRX 590 is a “fast/progressive “ action; then a Sage ONE 590 I would call a fast/Preceptive action.


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dr d

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hi s+s,


sometimes ago i read from a experienced nz - guide :"pancake parabolic curve" ...;)


stay healthy.


thomas
 

sweetandsalt

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mike_r, I mention Tip Recovery up top as a salient quality I seek. I don't think it is definable within the context of flex profile or rod "speed" though. For example; I'm always interested in spring creek intended 8 1/2'/#4's and compared new Sage Trout LL and Winston AIR. They are both at the medium end of medium fast Progressive, however, the T LL has very quick and true tip recovery while the AIR's tip returns to straight less quickly and with more counter flex. This is not rod "action" but more material and design matters.

You are right, and Sage is hardly the only one, but combining taper design with "modulus placement", differing stiffness's of carbon fiber at different points in the taper is an invisible but truly meaningful aspect of more sophisticated rods. G-Loomis, in new NRX+, is also moving material altering wall thickness as an added component of taper flex and strength too.

It is also true and this is a bit of a separated story, but some rods are almost immediately, intuitively friendly to cast from the moment you pick them up while others, often with more complex performance aptitudes require a learning curve and only yield their virtues with practiced familiarity. This can be off-putting in the test casting pre-purchase phase but extremely valuable in experience angling with such a rod.

Keep the words coming for that steeply tapered, scalpel-like ONE please..."No-Flex" is pretty good.
 

czando

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I think it should also be mentioned that technology has allowed designers to balance feel with rapid recovery. You can have a rod like the asquith bend fairly deeply to give great feel but recovers super fast with explosive line speed. Those materials didn’t exist 10 years ago with this level of durability.

My new Sage LL 9’ 4 is a moderate version of above, bends nice and deep with enough recovery to create fast line speed.

I got rid of my radian because the soft tip transitioned into a too stiff mid section. I loved it and fished it for years until the asquith came along that was smoother, lighter with higher line speed at all distances.With some new materials the next version of the radian will be awesome!


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FlymanSJB

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I think its good we have a definitions thread, its easier to understand fly rod tapers because there is a common understanding at least with the posters on this forum, many times I read about fly rods and either the writer is using loose definitions and then contradicting themselves. Which makes me wonder if they even know what they are talking about.

Some rod reviews are that way and do not explain how dualities exist or work together in the taper.

Slow rods can have decent tip action and dampening, I have a fast modern glass that is pretty fast with a sloppy tip which is kind of annoying to fish, no consistency on the cast or the hook set, the window between too much and too little is very tight, accuracy is ok though surprisingly. Odd rod.

And then there is modern parabolic rods that can be just a delight to cast such as CBarclay`s shorter 8wt, such an amazing rod with power, feel and distance and its a slow to medium rod with excellent tip dampening and control.

I have been studying bamboo tapers and trying to understand the math a little more, there are old tapers that are wonderful and some are just good utilitarian workhorses.

With modern materials and tapers it get much more complex, dualities exist and with the right taper they are very interesting rods.

I dont believe in the common cents system all that much, Ive done the math and found my rod scores a 1wt while its listed as a 4wt and casts a 4wt perfectly and a 3wt line works but just isn't quite enough.

It's a good time to be a fly fisher, I can see it getting to the point where there is no trade off, where almost every desirable aspect could exist in one rod for dry fly fishermen. It's tough to describe tapers, rod speed does not tell the story.

I still believe my distance record is on my old 8wt FF858, the one Jim Green is casting on the video, and that rod is slow medium. all the line came off plus shot a bunch of backing. Power performance and rod speed doesn't quite tell the whole story either.
 

loomis303

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It would be nice if Akos from Stickman could come in on this. I have owned many of the top line rods over the years, but the T6 i recently purchased off Akos is without exception the best 6 weight I have cast. It combines easy loading at ALL distances and a very smooth bend profile, yet packs a tremendous amount of power down low. The swing weight married together with unmatched feel is something I have never ever experienced in a fly rod. It has a delightful crispness but with an incredibly quick tip recovery. I have no idea how Akos has achieved this, but it made enough of an impression on me to order his P5 without casting it.
 
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dr d

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hi,


maybe painstacking progressive tapering with exact multimodular placement of carbons,bihelix technology for less wand - thickness

and therefore less swing weight and quick recovery>>>also more power and stability.they do not use 3m resins ,a.s.o. imho.

now i´m curious if i´m a little bit correct;).


stay all healthy.


thomas
 

sweetandsalt

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"I got rid of my radian because the soft tip transitioned into a too stiff mid section. I loved it and fished it for years until the asquith came along that was smoother, lighter with higher line speed at all distances.With some new materials the next version of the radian will be awesome!" czando

Radian was a risky rod for Scott but they hit a home run with it. It still sells well and is loved by many. Less so by me as I am often switching between more than one same size rod and comparative design elements tend to pop out at me...maybe not right away but over some time. I'm familiar with the Radian idea of fast with softer tip as I fished Z-Axis for some time but that rod had notably smoother taper transition between the tip and the rest of the rod...hard to pull off when flex rate changes in the tip section. Radian's taper transition actually throws a dipping loop leg anomaly into its cast...not immediately obvious but it is hard once aware of it to ignore. R2 will be smoother. It is perplexing to compare most other rods to Asquith

"I don't believe in the common cents system all that much, I've done the math and found my rod scores a 1wt while its listed as a 4wt and casts a 4wt perfectly and a 3wt line works but just isn't quite enough.

It's a good time to be a fly fisher, I can see it getting to the point where there is no trade off, where almost every desirable aspect could exist in one rod for dry fly fishermen. It's tough to describe tapers, rod speed does not tell the story." Flyman

Common Cents makes no sense to me either. Variations in tip and overall taper defection rule the degree to which the rod will bend with a bag full of coins on it's tip. A very fast rod that the test says is an 8-weight cast a true to weight #5 just right. Who came up with this idea?

And it is true, it is hard to describe tapers...the point of this thread. I grasp that only some of our membership will participate in this more abstract dialog compared to 'what rod should I buy?' type threads but, hey, a lot of us are self quarantined at home. But I suspect there will always be trade offs on rod characteristics. There always have been and though new material science affords the skilled taper designer unprecedented opportunities, to be optimized for a given situation the designer must focus on those performance aspects abandoning some other traits. This is fine and why many of us fish a breadth of differing designs. Also, how many truly skillful rods designers are there anyway

"It would be nice if Akos from Stickman could come in on this." loomis

Well, one of the few is Ákos Szmutni and I would not be surprised if he is monitoring this thread waiting for just the right moment to pounce...now?
 

mike_r

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Perhaps not a term that describes a given rod taper, yet one that has been ponderous for me is the term, “Power” as applied to a rods’ description. G Loomis fly rods and I believe conventional fishing rods were described by two attributes:
Action
Power

An example would have been the Stream Dance GLX HLS Fr1085-4
Action: Fast
Power: Med-Stiff

What in the World is “medium stiff” supposed to mean? How does a caster relate that term to how a rod might (with an appropriate fly line/leader) deliver a fly? I might only surmise that type of term to be a carry over from conventional fishing rods and how one might expect a given rod to fight fish?



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myt1

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So far this has been very informative, albeit very confusing at the same time. The above post is a classic example of the confusing part. Some of the manufacturers get pretty free and easy with their terminology. I'm sure marketing has a lot to do with this.

I'm embarrassed to say I had to google the word parabola, but once I did I immediately understood the bend that a progressive rod makes. It is important to realize not all parabolas are the same; some are very narrow and some are wider.
 

sweetandsalt

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Yes, myt1, hence fast and moderate progressive tapers. And, mike_r, I have tons of respect for G-Loomis rods but I know for a fact that the rod designer is not writing their marketing descriptions. If there were better linguistic terms for rod design styles, marketers would still abuse them but we would have better reference points. So I asked a rod designer from a prominent company at Edison, what terms would you use to describe the taper of your new wonderful fly rod? He said, "I don't know, really good?"

As I've used as a comparison previously, if your shopping for a new car you can read a comparative review of similar models in Car & Driver with numerical measurements of horsepower, braking, slalom, 0 to 60, even fore to aft weight distribution. No such data can be applied to fly rods so terms like Power, Recovery, Line Speed are relative and subjective. Even much used "swing weight" is more felt than measured. Only actual weight can be measured and even line weight is an area for some disagreement. Most all us good casters know power when we cast it but then what are we using it for? Trout fishing is not a drag race between Mustang and Camaro.

Any way, keep it coming, this thread is my preferred COVID-19 isolation pastime until the beginning of cocktail hour.
 

okaloosa

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Yes, myt1, hence fast and moderate progressive tapers. And, mike_r, I have tons of respect for G-Loomis rods but I know for a fact that the rod designer is not writing their marketing descriptions. If there were better linguistic terms for rod design styles, marketers would still abuse them but we would have better reference points. So I asked a rod designer from a prominent company at Edison, what terms would you use to describe the taper of your new wonderful fly rod? He said, "I don't know, really good?"

As I've used as a comparison previously, if your shopping for a new car you can read a comparative review of similar models in Car & Driver with numerical measurements of horsepower, braking, slalom, 0 to 60, even fore to aft weight distribution. No such data can be applied to fly rods so terms like Power, Recovery, Line Speed are relative and subjective. Even much used "swing weight" is more felt than measured. Only actual weight can be measured and even line weight is an area for some disagreement. Most all us good casters know power when we cast it but then what are we using it for? Trout fishing is not a drag race between Mustang and Camaro.

Any way, keep it coming, this thread is my preferred COVID-19 isolation pastime until the beginning of cocktail hour.
wondering what you think of this (I enjoy his euro nymph rod reviews very much)
Fly rod review protocol | Trout & Co
 

FlymanSJB

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Rod taper equations and designs is super secret stuff which is usually math in computers, micrometer measurements, and computer aided manufacturing, with graphite alignment and resin mixtures.

Even bamboo guys are not willing to share their tapers. So I don`t fully understand that stuff unless explained by a professional because I dont make fly rods, but there are amazing custom tapers where the rod practically casts itself.

Just a good groove for me and it seems to translate to a number of flymen.


So we get general statements, fast, slow, etc... Ive seen reviews from different fly shops and rod aficionados and everyone thought the rod was different. Fast, slow, powerful tip, weak tip, too middy, power from the butt, power from the fast upper section and tip.......

I find the rod lacking...---------------Lacking in what?
Its a bit too soft...---------------------Where in the taper does it feel soft?
It didn't cast my favorite line well...----Does your favorite line cast well on everything??? probably not.
The best- That rod sucks....--------------Why? why does it suck?
Tip is too fast accuracy suffers...----------------------------Really?

and on and on and on.
 

mike_r

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Taper is an interesting term with regard to fly rods. At a time when Bamboo was the primary material, a rod taper meant even more when planing down a 6 strip, what will become essentially a solid blank. Much of the action of the final product was determined by the remaining material profile, or taper.

With all of the modern material advancements, perhaps the taper of the rod is less significant to the final product. Every fly rod has a taper if it is going to turn over a line and enable it to be cast. Still a relevant term?

I think the subjective matter of establishing a standard for characterizing fly rod attributes is futile at best. While a valiant attempt, I don’t buy the whole common cents system. Aside from aesthetics of a rod, the only to describe how a rod performs (or rather ‘should’ perform) is to get out and cast/fish it with a known “standard” fly line ie. SA Mastery Trout or RIO Gold. If the IFFF would establish certain fly lines as “standards”, once generally accepted by the fly fishing community, we might all have a better tool to judge rod action. Of course that may not be fair to the line manufacturers who give us many options to tune our fly rods to our precise desires.




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el jefe

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So I asked a rod designer from a prominent company at Edison, what terms would you use to describe the taper of your new wonderful fly rod? He said, "I don't know, really good?"
OK, that's by far the best answer to that question I've ever heard!! ROTFLMAO!!

This whole exercise reminds me a bit of golf shafts, especially graphite shafts in drivers. For that matter, you could consider driver clubheads in this category, too. In each of these disciplines--fly fishing, golf shafts, and golf driver heads--we can take both static and active measurements, objective data. Heck, we can even quantify swingweight. But when it comes to humanizing these measurements in a way that is meaningful to us--subjectivity--it all breaks down, and it always will, in my opinion. It is both science and art, and the art is what we feel, what we try to describe to others after casting a line 70 feet, or hitting a drive 300 yards. Some will understand us, others won't. There is no bridge between the science and the art that we can all walk across so that we all have the same experience, the same reference point.

That is not to say it is not enjoyable to have these discussions, and I like participating in them, but I do think they are self-limiting from the outset because of...well...ourselves.
 

proheli

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The rod deflects, and then it recovers at a speed which is relative to the other top current high-tech rods. This is the easy one, simply a rod recovers to straight, either slow, medium or fast.

Next is taper, which gives us a flex profile. Each materiel, needs to be a certain thickness to give a certain resistance. The tip is light on materiel, and the butt is heavy in materiel. I’m going to just Say, that a rod is a 4 wt. because that is the line it throws best. No matter what the manufacturer says, if it throws a 4 wt best, then it is a 4 wt. If it throws a 4.5 best it’s a 4.5 weight rod.

Now, we simply cast ALL the rods that are true 4 wts, and we hang a weight from All of them and we can create a deflection chart. This is important because BECAUSE, we CAN at least get a Mean, and see if anyone deviates from the mean, because, and we see that many companies maybe have a 3 wt at the tip, but a 5 wt at the butt, SO, in that case you would have a very steep taper: it goes from a 3 to a 5, and ends up being a 4., but someone else makes a rod, and it’s tip is a 4, and it mid sections are 4s, and it’s butt section is a 4. This would be a standard or normal taper. So the Taper, actually moves in a scale from Normal to Steep, or instead of Normal, maybe we should say Evenly Progressive, because obviously we are are talking about Progressive Tapers right now. “Progressive” where is bends a little in the last inch of the tip, and then it bends slightly more in the second to last inch, and so on and on until you reach the very stiffest part of the rod, the last inch of the butt section, always becoming a little stiffer.

Then finally, we do have specialty tapers. Any Taper that does not follow the rule of “Progressive” - gradually getting stiffer, is going to be a Specialty Taper and there could be a million of these, and then we would have a million different names for them. The most well known is “Parabolic” we’ve all heard of that one. Parabolic is a bit of a catch all, because it simply means using less materiel at any given spot, so that the rods bends More right there on that spot than it would if the rod was purely progressive. So you break your Progressive Taper for a few inches. For example, my experience of the Sage X, is that is has a lightly parabolic spot midway in the third section. (third section down from the tip.) Get it? The rod starts out progressive but if you swing hard enough to use the third section of the rod, it will give you an exaggerated bend right there. This is strategic because now, as your forward cast comes through the tip and second section can remain straighter since the third section is bending prematurely. Not “prematurely” in a bad way, because this parabolic spot is allowing the first and second sections to stay straight, giving you the accuracy of a super fast rod, though the X is a med-fast trout rod.

My guess is that the 4wt X is really a 5wt at the Tip and Second section, and then it is a 4wt in the third section and again a 5 in the butt section. Oh, not that severe, but that general idea. Now you get a 4wt rod that has the juice of a 5 if you bend it a little more and get into the bottom reserves.

So we have recovery speed: slow, med, fast. And Taper. And since 98% of rods are are Progressive, even if they are not Perfectly Progressive, they are still Progressive. Yes, you could get into your own rod and map it out. Like a Winston TMF. You’d find that the the first two sections are 3.5, and the bottom two are 4.0, you can see how this rod could be sublime at short ranges with a double taper line. So, you really just have to know if your progressive taper is Steep? A 3 at the tip, TAPERING STEEPLY, down to a 5wt butt, or an Even Taper, where each section of your 4 wt rod was a 4 from tip to butt. Or it tapers from 4 at the tip to 4.5 at the butt. You can just play around with this model and see what you’ve got.

(Im sure I need to come edit this so it is easier to read - I’ll do it later.)
 
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sweetandsalt

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At a time when Bamboo was the primary material, a rod taper meant even more when planing down a 6 strip, what will become essentially a solid blank. Much of the action of the final product was determined by the remaining material profile, or taper.

With all of the modern material advancements, perhaps the taper of the rod is less significant to the final product. Every fly rod has a taper if it is going to turn over a line and enable it to be cast. Still a relevant term?

I think the subjective matter of establishing a standard for characterizing fly rod attributes is futile at best. While a valiant attempt, I don’t buy the whole common cents system. Aside from aesthetics of a rod, the only to describe how a rod performs (or rather ‘should’ perform) is to get out and cast/fish it with a known “standard” fly line ie. SA Mastery Trout or RIO Gold. If the IFFF would establish certain fly lines as “standards”, once generally accepted by the fly fishing community, we might all have a better tool to judge rod action. Of course that may not be fair to the line manufacturers who give us many options to tune our fly rods to our precise desires
Many a fine cane rod maker had his own ideas of how a rod should bend and planning six strips of aged Tonkin offers many variables. More today then in the Golden Era cane rod builders have gotten into Hollow Builts...removing the inner pith below the outer fiber rich part of the triangular in cross section strips. Todays superior glues make this more realistic.

One of the most taper knowable men I know is superb bamboo man, Per Brandon. No, I do not own any of his magnificent rods but have had the opportunity to fish several...hollow built all the way out to the tip with beautiful actions. Maybe 20 years ago he was a dinner guest at our old, no linger available, camp on the Missouri in Montana. I told him I had a great prototype graphite rod, a 9'/#5 I was loving but for a dip I as getting in the lower loop leg consistently. He asked to try it and he too got this anomaly in the same spot. He put the reel end down on the grass, closed his eyes and ran his fingers up and down the tip section making shorter passes each time until he grasped a spot some 5" below the tip-top, opened his eyes and said it is here, the taper is off right in this spot. This was before cell phones and I called on a pay phone the main man at the rod company and told him of mine and Per's evaluation. He said thank you and went to the expense of building a new tip section mandrel. The resultant finished rod was great with totally smooth transitions and tight parallel loop legs.

With multi modulus fiber placement, wall thickness variations and internal and external compounding taper methods, today's graphite rods can be just as subtly varied as to where and how much the bend as great cane. Perhaps not as individualistic though thus more consistent for manufacture.

And IFFF does have a standard line for Certification, SA Mastery Expert Distance Taper, true to weight with a long head and long rear taper.

Some rod tapers, Tom Morgan's Favorite 8'/#4 are full flexers that cast a DT3 or WF 3.5 line best and smoothly loads with touch from close out to 40'. Part of that smoothness comes from using the whole blank shaft leaving little lower taper reserves of power so, as you extend more that 40' of line out there is no more butt to work with and things get out of control. Conversely, take an 8 1/2'/#4 Sage X with a true weight #4 and it loads fine up to 40' too but is using at that point the upper half of the rod. As you extend line in the air thus increasing line mass out the tip-top, you reach lower into the taper supporting the 6-weight equivalent with 50+ feet of line held in the air and the butt power reserves are built in (the Sage motto) to support your effort. Both rods feel great, do what they are supposed to do, just achieve it differently with significantly differing personalities.

There is a synthesis of Art, the taper design and Material Science in every rod, including cane. Each contributes to our subjective experience fishing. Weight, recovery, line speed, smoothness, differing dialing during the stroke of separate sections of the taper, "sweetness", fluid, transparent communication with the line, whatever enjoyable aspect of the cast and presentation is your personal thing.

It is not and I'm sure never will be the same for each of us as, yes, we are individuals. It does remain my hope though that we can better and more tellingly describe the design attributes that differentiate different types of rod action beyond our current limited vocabulary.
 

e caster

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Clarifications...


The Fly Fishers International - FFI (newest iteration of FFF, IFFF) does not have a standard line for certification exams or otherwise, that I am aware of. It has for their exams a few specs that the line must meet; nothing out of the ordinary, and so many different lines are allowed. For the single-hand exams, one of the most common used lines is Sci-Ang's ED, and recently Lee Davison's Ballistic Vector (a well thought out Steelhead taper in hot orange).

ps - Per Brandin is also a mighty fine caster! ... and his Competition Dry Fly rod is a marvel.

Carry On,
Craig
 
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