View Full Version : Question about rod action, ferrule

Tiger fly
10-11-2007, 11:48 AM
I'm still a beginner myself and I'm looking to make a rod upgrade. I have been told to buy the best rod I can afford. Right now I have my eyes set on a St. Croix Avid 4wt. or Ultra Legend 4wt. I've casted my roommate's Ultra and it is super sweet. He said the reason it cast the way it does is b/c it has a tip flex. I trust him since he used to guide. Online the action for the Avid says mod/fast and the Ultra's is fast but a tip over butt for the "ferrule". I'm not sure what ferrule means. Anyone care to explain the difference? What would be a better rod for the Smokies?

Paula Begley
10-12-2007, 09:45 AM
Tiger fly

I moved your post to tackle and gear to give it visibility where people would be more likely to respond.

I am sure someone will pipe up soon.


Tiger fly
10-12-2007, 10:09 AM
thanks Paula

10-12-2007, 12:26 PM
If you live close enough go to LRO and cast a few rods. I am not sure if they carry St Croix but they do have a lot of diffrent rods and the guys/gals there are very helpfull. Check out the 7'9 TFO finnesse rods, they make great smokies rods. Or if the funds are good the 8 ft winston B2X is as good as they get and has a soft tip too.

10-13-2007, 07:10 PM
As of yesterday, I am the proud owner of a 7'9" 4wt TFO Finnesse. Haven't gotten out on the stream yet but dry casts in the back of LRO have me itchin to get out. It's a really sweet rod for the bucks.

Thanks to Paula for guiding me through my rig purchase.

Gerry Romer
10-13-2007, 08:18 PM
As of yesterday, I am the proud owner of a 7'9" 4wt TFO Finnesse.

You have chosen well, Grasshopper.... :smile:


10-14-2007, 12:13 AM
TFO and St Croix rods in my personal arsenal :). If you decide to go with St. Croix, one advantage is that it is an American made in the USA product. The Avids and Legend Ultras both come with lifetime warranties last time I looked.

One thought about the Legend Ultra as compared with the Avid is that the Legend Ultra, in my experience, seem to take a bit more line to load the rod. Meaning simply that my Legend Ultra in the 4 weight, 8'6" is a bit difficult for me to use in tighter casting situations such as most of the Little River in the park. My Avid in the same weight and length is great, though my preferred rod in the park is a 7'9" 3 weight Legend Ultra. Fir some reason I can get the 3 weight to load better than the 4 weight in those tight situations.

Having said that, the TFO's may be imports, but they are very sweet casting rods and also have a great warranter. I am pondering the 4 weight 7'9" TFO Finesse myself.

When all is said and done, it might really serve you well (as others have already said) to stop in LRO to test cast several of these rods that the responses mention. If you don't live nearby, what better excuse for a visit to the park than the complicated and oh so important task of selecting just the right rod :).


10-14-2007, 04:28 AM
The 7' 9" Avid is an absolute sweetheart of a rod. During my "ultimate SMNP rod" search, the Avid was my #2 choice, second only to the 7' 6" Sage SLT. Fantastic rod.

I had a pre-IPC St. Croix Legend Ultra a couple of years ago, and I flat could not make it work. Of course, it was an odd size - 7' 6" 5wt. Very, very stiff rod.

10-14-2007, 01:07 PM
A friend has a 5wt ultra. I loved the way it cast. I'm pretty sure it was a 9ft,4pc. Very smooth. We fished it on the Clinch and I feel it is a good rod for the money. LRO carries St. Croix last time I looked.

10-15-2007, 08:30 AM
I'll break this to ya in two ways....There are a multitude of rod actions to suit a multitude of reaction times/casting styles! In short form it looks something like this:

1)Tip Flex or Fast Action
2)Mid Flex or Medium Action
3)Full Flex or Slow Action

Rod manufacturors will refer to their rod as a one or the other using either a specific FLEX or a specific ACTION and won't mix the two...Orvis using FLEX and Sage using the word ACTION....It's kinda confusing but they mean the same thing in reality.

What's the difference??

1)A tip flex or fast action rod will only bend at the tip (under load or at the extention of your cast as your line unrolls) or just past the tip section making the rod ''LOAD'' faster and creating a quicker response time by the caster, there for or in most cases creating a tighter loop! A faster action rod will also have better wind cutting abilities than a slower rod.

2)A mid flex or medium action rod will bend in the middle making the road load a little slower than a fast action and a little faster than a slow action rod. This creates a middle of the road response time. This is why a medium action rod is reccomended by so many people for beginner casters! By using a mid flex/medium action rod, once you become accustomed to using it you should be able to make the transition into using a tip flex or full flex rather easily! A vast majority of rods being used on streams today are mid flex, which is the predominant rod you will see in a fly shop or when being guided on a stream, brought by the guide for you to use! The "usual" reccomended weight, reccomended by most fly shops, will be a 5 or 6 wieght. Usually a 6, same factor applies here! It's the middle of the road fly line and usually allowst the beginner caster to make cast's of 30 to 60 ft will relative ease after initially learning casting basics!

3)A full flex or slow action rod will bend all the way into the butt section of the rod, or all the way into the cork/handle. This rod usually creates a relaxed casting style and a slower response time. I will say this rod usually has the best "FEEL" for what your line is really doing without having to watch your cast. This rod will also usually cast more open loops (less tight).

Now, all that being said there are drawbacks to all three rods! It all depends on your specific condition. Which is why so many of us are for ever in debt to LRO! Several rods to cover a wide spectrum of fisheries/tributaries/tailwaters A fast action rod will usually cast heavier rigs (ie;larger weighted streamers) and will usually cast that rig better than a slower action rod at greater distances. Slow action rod's will delicately lay a dry fly, causing little disturbance to the water...It's all gonna break right down to how good of a caster you are! No matter how good you are you'll fall victim to liking one specific rod action better than other two! Just remember different rods, different water, different presentations..So you may want to let your sales person where you will be doing most of your fishing and where you may spend some time fishing on the side! This could be the difference between a 7.5' slow action 3 wieght and a 9' fast action 5 wieght rod, trust me there is a huge difference!

Ferrule-this is simply the term used for the part of the rod that slips over another section of rod....Where the rod pieces come together to make one section. Ie; a four peice rod will have four ferrules...Tip over butt, meaning where the tip sections (upper) cover the butt sections (lower) of the rod when putting your rod together creating a taper to the rod!

Technology-Todays technology beats that of the past. That being said todays four peice rods bend or "FEEL" just as good as a one peice rod! Rod makers are spending a tremendous amount of money and research on new ferrule technology to eliminate and stiffness in the sections of rod. Basically not allowing a ferrule to interfere with it's bending properties! Ferrules used to have a habit of making a rod stiffen up in the ferrule! So when buying your rod don't be distracted with trying to buy a rod with fewer or no ferrule's....Make it packable,so you can take it with you where ever you end up!

I hope I didn't ramble to long and I hope that answered your question to the fullest ability I had available. Good luck on your purchase!


10-15-2007, 04:38 PM
This is exactly why newcomers to FFing need to read this board regularly. Many thanks to LRO for providing this forum. Every day is a new education on a new topic whether it's gear, technique, places to fish and how to fish them and on and on.

Thanks Brett for taking the time for your explanation. Much appreciated by all of us who are learning as we go.

10-16-2007, 10:04 PM
What ever I can do to help someone out, I'll do it! Anything to strengthen the sport! I was there 5 years ago and have been pationately pursuing it for about 4! I've read countless magazine article's and books. I've spent many hours picking minds of the good folks at LRO. I've been fortunate enought to spend time learning with my dad and learning from some good friends of mine as well as his. Hey, you gotta start somewhere and where better than a dedicated forum. It's only going to get better, easier and bigger! The great minds at LRO are stirring something good up! Stay tuned and I'm sure will all be able to learn alot more...As Byron said in his fishing report, one of the great things about this sport is there's always something new to it! No matter how basic the sport really is there's always some new spin on a technique or some new fly we all have to try! It's always something new, which open the doors up for open minded people! That's why I like this sport...It's the people, the people that take up fly fishing always seem to want to learn!

I was interested in goind to the Joan Wulff school..for those who don't know Joan is a president on a dollar bill to this sport! She makes incredible casts, at incredible distances....and it's all packed into a frame around 5'05'' tall and probably 115 lbs...She's amazing...I was Googling one night and ran across an interview with Joan about her school...She mention's alot of things but she said one thing that stood out in my mind..."It all starts by making a cast that catches a fish, then it's on to making the longest cast you can possibly make, finally it's about making every cast perfect in it's presentation!"

That says alot about casting, one single aspect in this sport! But what makes it so perfect, is the simple fact it's so true!!!

Great people, that is what makes anything worth while! There's alot of great people in this sport and we all can learn from eachother!


Tiger fly
10-17-2007, 11:57 AM
thanks everybody for the advice. with my budget, it's going to be a huge purchase and it's good to hear from some folks with experience!

10-18-2007, 09:00 PM
Regarding your budget, to give you a frame of reference, the entire rig that I referenced in my earlier post with TFO rod, Orvis reel, fly line and leader together cost right at $400. Not cheap but much less than many other options.

You were telling me about a guy who promotes a bare bones approach to fly fishing with Wally World rod and reel, vaseline as a floating aid, etc. Is there an on-line reference to this guy that you could pass on to Tiger fly?

10-19-2007, 12:52 AM
I have a friend that used to guide part time around here who: only owned one rod, which he purchased from walmart, never even used floatant (despite fishing mainly dries) did not own a pair of waders, a vest or chest pack. he had one fly box which he kept in his pant pocket which was full of flies he tied on the cheapest vise imaginable, with cheap hackle that he trimmed to size. he wades in combat boots and wears a black tshirt in the summer, if its chilly he wears his german military surplus jacket. last time I fished with him he was using a braided leader that he claims he's had for the past few seasons. I don't know where he got his tippet, as he never had a spool on him that I know of. He's not rich, but he certainly makes enough money to afford some decent gear, he just doesn't want it. he also only drinks expensive import beer.

the guy knows all of the TN side park streams like the back of his hand, and always outfished me to an embarrasing degree.