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  #11  
Old 01-21-2009, 10:51 AM
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Thank you GMREEVES that is excatly what I was expecting to hear from you. And I totally agree. I do not build any rods but that is what I see everytime I pull out a cane rod to use. It is very similar to tying up your own flies with natural material over store bought. Just the feeling of appreciation for the time and craftsmanship. Thank you for that very indepth answer where I feel as if I were standing beside you as you take every step of the way.
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Old 01-21-2009, 03:24 PM
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Any graphite rod enthusiast willing to share?
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Old 01-21-2009, 04:43 PM
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The best I can say for graphite is that on the salts no worries. And as far as trout fishing with graphite, WINSTON IM6. The greatest graphite rod ever built. I still like my cane though. But winston IM6 is my favorite of graphite. I am only priveledged to own 2.
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Old 01-21-2009, 05:29 PM
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This is an interesting thread. Like most of you have already stated, it all comes down to personal preference. I've never had the opportunity to fish with a bamboo rod, but I'm sure I would enjoy it, if given the chance.

I prefer a rod with a medium to medium fast action, depending upon the circumstances under which I am fishing. For example, if I'm casting dry flies, I want a slower, medium action rod, and there are plenty of graphite rods out there that fit the bill. The Scott G2, which is very delicate in hand, is one of my favorites. In addition, I also enjoy the buttery smooth action of the TFO Finesse series rods. However, when I am throwing nymphs, tandem rigs, or wooly buggers, I tend to reach for my Winston LT5. These rods are stiff enough to throw heavier flies to distant targets, without feeling like a broom stick.

Although the industry is moving toward lighter and lighter rods, I feel like I have more control with a heavier rod. For this reason, I would like to give fiberglass a try. Dave Lewis of Performance Fly Rods builds some nice glass rods, as well as graphite rods. I encourage you all to visit his site (www.performanceflyrods.com), and browse through the photos of his rods. His work is amazing.

Grousegunner
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Old 01-21-2009, 05:46 PM
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Very nice. I looked at that site. Very nice.
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:12 PM
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I agree. Dave Lewis does some fine work. The varnish work is amazing on his wraps. He does not use epoxy anymore and uses varnish like most of the bamboo guys do.

There are so many rod manufacturers these days they are bound to have just about everything available in the graphite world. It seems that all of the hype though is with faster is better which I tend to disagree with especially for a beginner caster. Those broomsticks make it very hard for someone learning to feel the rod and get the timing down. I like them for certain circumstances but usually that is only wind. I find a slower rod easier to cast the weight because I can open up my loops easier and tend to get less foul ups when throwing double nymph rigs with an indicator. I have yet to cast a TFO or even hold one. There Finesse series rods may be to my liking.
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:26 PM
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Forgive me if this sounds bad. But I just can handle the made in korea stigma with TFO. That is why I have went to custom fiberglass or cane. Made in america by true worksman who are trying to turn out quality and reputation over mass production. They are good rods don't get me wrong, but where is the bueaty of the workman spending 60+ hours at a bench to turn out that rod that he would be proud to past down through 3 generations. Also my problem with alot of graphite rod companies these days.
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:52 PM
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I'd like to step in here with a bit of engineering analysis on why we see so many fast action rods on the market today.

Have you ever cast or seen someone who is new to casting using a cane rod have the line just drop on the forward cast and end up in a tangle at their feet? The way a cane rod loads and unloads due to its modulus of elasticity leaves a very small "sweet spot" in the timing of the casting stroke to properly execute a cast. With the invention of higher modulus fiberglass, and then even higher modulus graphite, the design and engineering of the rod was adapted to allow for a much wider "sweet spot" with respect to timing of the cast. This broader response of the higher modulus materials allows those of us that do not have perfect form and timing to make decent casts with the high modulus rods. The manufacturers of rods realize that not everyone has that perfect form and timing, and have continued to develop rods that are capabale of energy transfer to the line over a wider time period.

As the technology for the graphite rods continues to improve, we have seen lighter and faster rods being made, as well as some moderately "slower" mid-range action rods developed. These rods have all been engineered with the larger sweet spot in the timing of the casting stroke to allow them to be effectively utilized by a wide range of casting styles. This technology gives the graphite rods an edge over the traditional cane rods, as the cane rod's modulus of elasticity cannot be as easily controlled as that of graphite or fiberglass. I imagine it would be possible for a custom cane rod to be made that has a larger sweet spot for casting, but it would have to be made from individual pieces of cane that were selected and matched by modulus. I think that would be an exhausting and frustrating process with the natural variation one sees in nature.

I have a dimensional analysis of the physics of the loading of a fly rod during the casting stroke that is based upon Buckingham's Pi Theorm if anyone would like to go through the math to understand this further. Just let me know and I can email it to you.

Cane rods are beautiful pieces of craftsmanship and a part of fly fishing that should not be lost. However, for those of us like me that do not have that perfect casting stroke, the high modulus graphite rods make up for a lot of our errors with technology.

Just my two cents from the engineering veiwpoint.

Bob
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:14 PM
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rgp

I to am a mechanical design engineer and that is some deep stuff you are bringing to the table. That is why we have this forum. So that we can learn and man you are doing some teaching. Thanks for the imput.
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:45 AM
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I wasn't aware that the TFO's were manufactured out of the states. I just assumed that a product by Lefty would have been American. That is interesting. I know a lot of manufacturers are over seas but . . .

I have seen many of new casters with any rod end up with a tangled mess at their feet due to not understanding the fundamentals of the fly casting stroke regardless of the material used in the blank. I was one of them. I agree that graphite is more forgiving but it is not a good learning tool. I first learned to cast with a graphite rod. I fished for a few years and while I was catching a lot of fish, my cast never improved. About two to three years after I began fly fishing, I began working at a fly shop. I was offered free fly casting lessons from the FFF certified instructor that was employeed by the shop. He pointed out all sorts of shortcomings that I had in my cast. At first, I blew his pointers off becuase I was catching fish and that was all that mattered. But then I realized after heeding his advice that I was capable of a lot more. I began listening and realizing that while I could cast good enough to catch fish, the fast graphite rod was only a crutch. I couldn't reach my full potential as a caster and fisher until I practiced and learned how to read each rod by feel. After a few lessons while we were free of customers, my casting greatly improved. Now this was probably 10+ years ago and I don't go out in my yard and practice but I still feel that I am a more than adequate caster. When I pick up a fast graphite rod in a shop and go out and cast it, I feel like this is a great tool for certain circumstances. I don't feel like it is good for the beginner. Yes it may be forgiving but do we really want to be forgiving to someone who is learning? I had some really bad habits that were formed from forgiving rods and it took some time to break these. I learned a lot from casting lessons but in the end it all came down to feel and how the rod actually loaded and unloaded. I have only made close to 20 bamboo rods. Some have been adequate and only good for certain situations but the majority have been great and would be good for a beginner to learn on. The engineering behind the larger sweet spot is only a crutch in my mind and a way to get past one's shortcomings without learning how to properly cast. There are plenty of rods being produced today that you can feel the rod loading and unloading with a small amount of line out and I think that benefits the beginning fly caster a lot more than a crutch. I think all rods have a place in the market whether it be cane, glass, or graphite but I would suggest to a beginner angler to choose some thing in the moderate to moderate fast action so they can actually feel what is happening in the rod during the casting stroke. As I am only beginning to play with forming my own bamboo tapers, I would love to hear how the larger sweet spot is made and how the modulus of elasticity plays a part. I am not an engineer but I will try and keep up.
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