Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: S Ontario rivers plus various lakes for warm water species.
I would add that it is little if anything to do with balance, both up and down locking would be no different if the reel remains in the exact same position on the handle. Reel lower down the handle feels a little different, however with light weight reels on graphite that would be neglegable. The holding hand would need to remain in the same position to feel any difference in two inches of the metal screw thread taking the reel weight to a slightly lower (or upper) position. I know the position of my rod holding hand is always altering position looking for that balance point, where it feels most comfortable.
'Balance' is a stange topic as far as rods are concerned, James Hardy once wrote that a fly rod balances best with no reel on it, which makes little sense unless said rod would be held in the middle.
His uncle L.R Hardy wrote in 1957: 'BALANCE You will, no doubt, have watched an angler when handling a rod in a tackle shop poise it upon his fingers in order to see whether it balances at the correct point. This point of balance, with the reel in position, is usually from 2 to 4 inchesforward of the cork handle, dependent on the type of rod, but it will vary according to the length of the handle, and also to the taper of the rod. A slow taper being tip heavy, and a quick taper lighter at the point. Also the point of balance will alter according to the weight of the reel and with the weight of the line.
Now all this applies only to a rod in it's inactive state. When a rod is in action - literally a fishing rod - many more complications are apparent and the term 'balance' becomes a very different thing, for balance will not only greatly vary with the weight of your line but, most of all, with the length of the cast you are making.
So, when I think of balance I prefer that this term should apply not to the rod alone, but to the whole casting instrument, rod,reel, line, cast and fly. There should be a balance or complimentary relationship between all these components if they are to put up good performance.'
I feel up-locking look and work best for all rods, even spinning and baitcasting rods, for no better reason that while holding them the hand is more comfortable with cork under than metal screw thread. On s/h trout fly rods the reel remains closer to the hand and away from the ground which feels better in that casting stroke, less pendulum swinging. With double handed rods the same, up locking means the screw thread is above and out of the way. Longer rods, of any material, mean more weight out front, I would say that 'the balance' is more desirable while holding rather than casting. A rod feels light in the hand when held at the place on the handle where the rod in front does not need to be held up or lowered down while fishing. As L.R wrote that balance will alter as the rod is fished and line would be outside over the river, rather than on the reel.
This is of particular relevance making bamboo rods which is a heavier material than graphite, yet it's mass does not need a line to load it in casting which creates a very different experience, to the point that I prefer casting a 11' bamboo rod over a graphite all day, any day; I seem to cast just as far and find it no more tiring to use, but the reel weight is more important.
Ironically, 'inexpensive' imported rods (of all types) have threads below the screw reel fitting, 'quality' rods, threads above, for the most part.
Last edited by MHC; 05-18-2019 at 03:44 PM.