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Old 01-20-2009, 04:15 PM
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Default Cane, glass or graphite

I just thought I would start a small thread about what material rods everyone likes and why. I love cane due to the craftmanship that is put into it and that each rod is just a little different than the other. I love the fact that someone took a living thing and turned it into a piece of artistry and functionality. I cant help but enjoy fiberglass also. No other reason than I just have a love for it. What are some of your thought on this subject. Troutman and GMREEVES I am calling you out on this one. I definately want to hear from you guys.
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:26 PM
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I'd have to stick with graphite...this stuff is STRONG...although, I have my great grandfather's fly rod, and it's fiberglass...great rod too, I use it for small streams.
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:44 PM
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That is true. However, my six weight cane rod, I would definately be happy to tie into a brown trout that could break it. Also, I feel with the cane it tends to give to its natural abilities thus making it strong in its own rights. But I will not argue tarheel I have plenty of graphite also. (especially for saltwater and large carp.)
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:47 PM
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I think it is awesome that you are still using the older rod of your grandfathers. That I believe is an awesome way of remembering him and keeping a part of him alive. I have my great uncles shotgun I still bird hunt with.
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Old 01-20-2009, 05:24 PM
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I've always used graphite (mostly fast action), but my grandad's fly rod has a slow action, so you can feel the power of the fish that's on the other end of the line...I'm planning on keeping it for a long time...
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Old 01-20-2009, 05:44 PM
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Default You ask!

I prefer to fish glass rods from 3wt to 6wt in 6.5' up to 8ft lengths. I like to feel the rod loading from tip to butt and a nice relaxed casting rythym where the rod does the work, not my arm and shoulder. I'm not in any hurry and not trying to win a distance casting competition.
The old glass rods had a tendency to be heavy once they were beyond 8ft and lots of people think of glass rods as older technology. There are a few small rod makers that use a material, newer s-glass is even stronger and slightly faster actions and are being used in some of the best casting rods made.
sadly, most of the main manufactures are still trying to make everyone believe stiffer and faster is better and look where the industry is going... out of business. maybe once they build affordable rods again for people who enjoy casting a rod at normal fishing ranges instead of offering only rods designed to cast 100 ft of flyline and having to make special flylines 1/2 to 1 times heavier just to load the rod at 30 ft, the AFTMA standard. Look how many people on this forum that are overlining their rods just so they can cast easier at short distances like in the park.
I like glass because its fun to fish and the fact that it cost less, I can have several rods in different lines weights for the price of 1 or 2 high priced premium graphites.
Anyone that has ever fished with me when i've got a big smallie on my glass knows why I like it!

I only have one boo rod and it is an older H-I factory rod from the 50s, not one of the best tapers but it loads well with a 6wt. I fish it occasionaly. I appreciate the artistry also that goes into building a fine bamboo, but for the moment, its out of my price range.

My graphite selection of rods are usually the last ones I reach for anymore. I still like them in the 7 and 8 wts for chucking big heavy streamers and air resistant poppers out on the main tailwaters. They are what they are. get the job done, but not as much fun to me.
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Old 01-20-2009, 05:52 PM
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Troutman I agree. Your post over the last year is what made me look into fiberglass. And I love it. I have a diamond glass rod in a 8' 4wt and it is exactly what you said it would be. FUN. I wish I had a few of the older rods. I am currently looking at a mcfarland rod. But 650 bucks and i could almost by another boo rod.
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Old 01-20-2009, 06:01 PM
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Yep, Mike Mcfarland is probably one of the finest rod builders out there and his 1 year waiting list just keeps getting longer. A Steffen Bros. would be another good one to look at.
Hardy Greys has some nice new s-glass offerings this year.
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Old 01-20-2009, 06:18 PM
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I checked out the steffens bro. web site. I like the price but Mcfarland stream grades are about the same price. I wish I had got a T & T fiberglass before they quit making them.
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:30 AM
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I think that the material of the rod has a lot to do with what you are wanting the rod to do on the water. If I am wanting to fish small blue lines around the SE, there is no reason that I can think of to use a fast action graphite rod. On the other hand, if I am down on the flats casting to a school of cruising bones or a lone permit 100 feet out with a nice cross wind whipping through the air, you won't see a cane or glass rod in my hand. I think the middle of the road though is kind of a draw. For normal day to day fishing situations, I can cast both but prefer the one that brings me the most joy. I am not the best fly fisher. I normally catch a few fish and have some really good days and get the occasional skunk. I don't fish to catch fish. I go fish to get lost in the outdoors for the day, kick through water, explore, etc. The whole time, I am fishing though. I can get lost in the moment casting to a rising fish and I won't even think about the cast or the rod. I just stare at the fish, watch the line roll out, and the fly drift over his nose. If I don't get a take, I repeat. I think that casting is an amazing part of fly fishing. It is graceful and when done right, it one of the most gratifying things in the world. I don't think that the fast and stiff graphite being mass produced allow me to "feel" the rod working and the mechanics of the cast. That is why I have sold all of my graphite rods except my winston IM6. It is a wonderful moderate action rod that has been with me since my beginnings as a fly fisherman. That only leaves a few other options like boron, fiberglass, bamboo, and greenheart. I have cast fiberglass and think they are fantastic! I don't own any but see myself building a few in the future. My real passion though is cane. I got into wood working and building things about two years ago and a little after that, I decided I wanted to build a fly rod. I figured why order all of the parts and just glue them together when I could make the whole thing if I went with Bamboo. The rest is history. If I want a rod, I make it. When I can't go fish, I can be at home and be thinking fishing with each pass of the block plane over a freshly split piece of bamboo. When it is below freezing outside, I can be at my bench wrapping guides with fine silk while drinking a cup of coffee. The smell of the varnish when I take the rod cap off of the tube streamside. I can go on and on about why I like bamboo but I don't think I could ever really explain it to someone that doesn't have the same feeling. There are a lot of myths about bamboo that are complete myths. Bamboo is far more durable than graphite or fiberglass. Many distance casting competitions are won with bamboo. Weight can be overcome with new building techniques that are being applied by modern makers. Cost is another myth. There is a rise of hobby builders that can make a cane rod of the same quality as a full time builder. Many small time builders would love the chance to build a rod for someone and would do it for less than some big name grahite rod manufacturers. The question of "why bamboo?" comes up on many other bamboo related forums and I have always declined to answer because I am new to cane rod building and fishing. There are others there that are way more experienced than me and can explain it better. Here bamboo isn't brought up much. I think that is because this is more a fishing forum than a rod building or classic gear forum. I don't think there is anything wrong with other materials or the people that like to use them but I think for the practical fishing scenario, there are better choices on the market than graphite.
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