Good question. Well, Simon casts a stiff rod - that will do it for a lot of folks. But I think this is akin to the myth that shortbellies are for beginners and long-bellies are for experts. Once again different strokes for different folks.
I think that skill level does play a role in some people liking stiffer rods, however, IMHO it is the other way 'round. Less accomplished casters will often be more comfortable with a stiff rod as it allows them to compensate for a lack of technique with brute force ... we've all been there - "when in doubt, just hit it harder!"
Not sure where it comes from but it is not entirely true and I think falls into the personal opinion realm. Most accomplished casters I know of are using what most would term medium-fast actions that bend into the butt. Cause if you are not bending the butt you are not going to ever get huge distance. Some of the 'fast' rods out there are near impossible to really transfer a good load into the butt of the rod which is why I feel you do not see them used by comp casters , at least the cream of the crop casters.
That being said the rods they are using would be termed by most on the faster side of medium fast. They have strong tips and strong mid sections that handle most of the duties of the lift. Looking at the pictures of the guys on the other side of pond casting you would think they are using noodles with the way the rods are bent but in fact they are surprisingly stiff, they have just learned to put the hammer on them. Pick up the clan 15' 10/11'and you will see what I mean.
The snowbee rods have this characteristic as well. Full flexing ''fast'' rods are what I think are the ticket for big distance casting. Not that I am a great caster or all the accomplished but I have gravitated more to this type of action. I own a few T&Ts which are still nice rods but I just wish the tip was not so wimpy.
The action I now look for are rods that hold the initial lift load in the top and mid section of the blank. The aforementioned snowbees do this as well as the CND Solstice 16'. Labeled as completely different actions but when you really get into the blank the difference is not as vast as some may think...
I like to refer to it as the Tom Sawyer syndrome. The sentence "Not just anybody has the timing and technique to consitently get a good load on a rod this fast/stiff" sells alot of rods, both single and doublehanded. Sometimes it's the challenge that attracts people, and sometimes it's pure ego. I sold alot of Sage SP+ rods and the original Abel saltwater rods back in the day because of this syndrome.
How many people buy lines from Rio's "A", or light line recommendations who really shouldn't? Same issue.
I personally think that owning and practising regularly with a challenging rod is a great thing. I also think fishing with a "self-casting" rod is an even better thing:smokin:
state=`most people only buy one rod',how's that work? ,i think you need to at least fish a pile of rods all along the way(freinds,claves,demos,etc.) or what are you learning?,:tsk_tsk: ,,it's a new year with all sorts of `new',i'm going to wag a few `new'this year myself:hihi: ,stodgy old pharte' that i am i know i need it:lildevl:
I have to disagree somewhat.. frankly i think a rod that is challenging to cast for anyone who knows how to cast is by deffinition a poor rod..
I am not a huge distance caster and maybe this is more about my preference than anything else but a rod that is difficult to cast, is difficult to learn to cast, or has to have a specialty line for it to cast well is a poor rod. Thats just my opinion...
A good rod should cast itself.... there are stiff rods that do this and there are grandpa slow rods that do this so it has nothing to do with the action but the quality of the design...
is the Bruce-Walker~Bruce~,Hex.,,it's been touted as being `slow' yet i've read or have been told it's the `Dog's Bollix' `you can do anything with it',`it's better than the Walker',,,by three members here,,i've never even seen one in person but the term `slow' flies in the face of what's considered state of the art or cutting edge doesn't it
hammer i have never cast a BnW.. In fact in recent years i haven't cast a lot of variety in rods.. however I have a freiend who has an OLD scott 1409 it is a very slow rod but it outperforms and is easier to cast thah many of the newer faster rods i have cast..
I think that style is important and machismo aside, some people just prefer a crisper action. Kush is right that fast action rods allow some "to hit it harder" and this covers for lack of technique at times. It is equally true that some technically sound casters prefer the crisp feel of fast actioned rods. I would argue that often times, from a timing point at least, faster rods can be more demanding to cast.
Whichever you have, you get used to it and adjust. My trouble comes when I switch from one action to the other -- for example when I have been fishing one of my T&Ts for a few days and then switch to one of my CNDs. Both makes are fantastic casting rods but the same stroke on one will not work on the other.
In my limited experience I have found "stiff" rods more fun to play fish on than "really soft" rods. For me, the really soft rod cushions the movements of the fish more than I like. While that may help prevent a break-off, I like being more connected to the fish and feeling each and every movement transmitted more intensely through to my hands. The stiffer rod seems to do that for me.
Maybe a minor point, but important to some.
I think Kush brings up a very good point. Most casters abilities (even if they're really pretty good) hit a point with rod length that 'more is not better.' As an example I have an 18' B & W, purchased same as I wanted 'a manly man's' rod. Hasn't been out of its tube in over two years.
Other than it's ability to toss a HUGE weighted fly, I can do a far better job with my one and only 15 footer (Sage 9150-4). Distance casting? Not a heck of a lot of difference between what I can do with a 13-6 .. but with lighter line/fly(s).
we're going all different directions on this thread now,but i'l say this,every rod i've owned= i should have never sold it!:tsk_tsk: ,IMHO i could choose a dif. rod for every month of the year,even different sections of river:Eyecrazy: ,i love the one 18 i have because it's totally progressive,it's the taper of the blank that `makes it' work not the stiffness nor the length per se but the combination of all those factors,once you get the right line on it,now the `other' 18 i've never really been able to adequetly line it to my satisfaction and it's reggressive = stiff in the middle soft on each end a `short hop' is what it likes,i love the 16's!!,the `right':smokin: 16r' gives you the length plus the distance,i'm not going to bad mouth any rod because i know what the shorter rods can do but it's not my style,they make my elbows ache,but i need either micro speys for boatwork or `give me the big one!',i thought `spey' was about `longrods' i personaly don't like the shorter speyrods if i'm fishing the bank,but that's me and i'm a minority,,and i intend to stay in the boat as much as possible this year,,now when the new Alltmors hit the shore here this year,i'll be looking for them!:hihi:
Green Butt, of all the reasons for preferring a stiff rod, you've recounted the one that I've never been able to understand. The casting aspects make some sense to me (I don't personally enjoy them, but I can relate). However, I've never been able to understand how one derives enjoyment from fighting fish with the feeling of an overtightened guitar string just before it snaps. It always feels "brittle" to me, not smooth (that is just my take, certainly not a value judgement)
I seem to prefer spey rods on the slower end of the spectrum. At base, I think I have a near-ideological affinity to "traditional" spey casting, within the limits of practicality: longer rods, heavier lines with long bellies (yes, including double tapers), the double spey cast, spey and Dee flies, etc.
But there are limits. I have three extra-slow 15-foot rods: two Bruce & Walkers and a greenheart. The modern fly caster in me wants a rod to have enough zip to throw at least a semi-tight loop when needed, and these rods just can't do it. They lob semi-circular arcs of line, often to impressive distances when I get the timing right, but the aeronautic ineficiency is apparent. I think that a shorter spey rod could be an excellent fit for spey fishing smaller streams, say for 50-60-foot casts maximum. Like a 7-8-foot small-stream trout rod, slow would be pleasant and appropriate there.
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