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It seems that one of the biggest considerations that must be made when matching a reel to a spey rod is the weight of the reel and how it will balance the rod. This seems to limit the use of some lighter reels with heavier rods. I realize that the UL series by Lamson offers the lightest spey reels, and that there are a fair number of anglers using these reels, but are their rods balanced as well as they'd like them to be?

The reason I ask is that there seems to be a way to allow the spey fisherman to balance his outfit regardless of which reel is used, and that's to allow weight to be added to the butt-end of the rod. This is common practice in spin fishing; a removable butt-cap holds washers (number used determined by the rod and reel used) in place. In this fashion the fisherman may keep the same rod over a period of years and use several different reels on it, each giving him the same balanced feel if that's what he's after. Manufacturers of new spey rods could incorporate this feature quite easily, it would seem.

Is this valid thinking, or am I way off?
 

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This is a good question as I'm always changing reels and they usually are not the same size or make. But I wonder if such a device would weaken the rod and make it prone to breakage. Also, if chris will let me add to his thread, I found this diagram somewhere and was wondering if it is OK to use as a guideline for Spey rods.

Matt Burke
 

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Mr. Mom
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flyfisha1 said:

Is this valid thinking, or am I way off?
Well, when I proposed something similar I was told that the entire speypages arena was laughing at me. I didn't even know there was a stadium let alone an arena!:chuckle:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Re: Re: Balancing Spey rods with heavy reels

Philster said:
Well, when I proposed something similar I was told that the entire speypages arena was laughing at me. I didn't even know there was a stadium let alone an arena!:chuckle:
Really? Sheesh, all we're trying to do here is enable guys to use more than one reel on a given rod and have it perform in a defined fashion every time.

Matt - I can't see why using such an appratus would weaken the blank, since the whole thing screws into a plug in the bottom of the blank. This is the general idea...
 

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How about reel weights?

I think it's Galvan, but someone just introduced a line of very nice reels that provide the ability to add weights on the spool pillar on their larger sized reels. Take them out for saltwater and add them when the reel goes on your 15 footer. I thought it was a novel idea.
 

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#&%*@^# Caster
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It seems that one of the biggest considerations that must be made when matching a reel to a spey rod is the weight of the reel and how it will balance the rod.
Really? Where did you hear this? The biggest concern in my mind is reel capacity to fit the correct line for the rod.

I use whatever reel I want and do not consider the balance point. Really only with extremely tip heavy rods (ie Winston DB favorite) is there ever a problem with fatigue and fatigue seems to be the only concern ever brought up by folks. I do not think an expertly balanced spey rod performs any better than one off an ounce or two. Maybe if you are throwing overhead all day but you are still using 2 hands....

Most of the newer generation rods are extremely light for their size and I have never got much trying to balance the rod out. It is nowhere near as important as it is with single handers.

My only concern is if the reel looks good on the reel seat and I go from there :hehe:

-sean
 

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wrap some

pencil lead around some part of the piece,when you're in action,then you'll know if it feels better,seems the more line out,,full lines of course,,the more the balance can aid you,,i WANT heavy reels,to go wit me heavy longrods,:hehe:
 

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Sean: with all due respect;

In your last few posts, you describe getting a Bougle and sticking on your Salar. A very nice, and probably well balanced set up, given that the Hardy is a fairly heavy reel.

For those using extremely light Salt water reels such as FlyFisha, with his WaterWorks, balance would be harder to achieve. A well balanced rod and reel does feel better and is less fatiguing to fish with. With that said, I am not to the point where I am changing reels to get better balance and I agree that a few ounces probably isn't that big a deal. But a tip heavy rod is not a lot of fun to fish with over the long haul.
 

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Actually is anything the bougle is too light if you really wanted to balance the rod. It looks kinda small on the salar and I am debating going with a bigger reel that looks better on the rod. The bougle looks sweet on the skagit and steelheader though.

The bougle is only 9.5 ounces compared to the ULA force 4 which is 10.5 oz (which is really the only suitable one in the line for most spey rods unless you are using 6-7 weights). You could use the 3.5 ULA and it comes in at 9 ounces which is negligable compared to the bougle but it is really only suited for lighter rods due to capacity issues.

I do use a ross BG7s which are 9.2 oz on my T&T 1409 and 13'8" which most would consider to light.

It is just in my opinion I like to keep the weight of the whole outfit down to as little as possible. These sticks are big and heavy enough that I really see no need in adding even more weight.

That is unless you are swinging something like a DB favorite which feels like there is a brick taped to the tip. That is when you buy a non ported abel like Ryan has.

-sean
 

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Sean,

Hey, thanks for setting me straight! Next time I try to give you a hard time, I'll do a little more homework:chuckle:
 

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Dr.

I usually agree with your positions, however on this one I am ambivalent. I agree with Sean's original statement - that it doesn't really matter.

I will qualify this with a bit of a political statement. I view this kind of issue in much the same vein as fly choice. I don't think it really matters - unless it matters to you. In other words, if you want to balance your rod to your reels because you think it is better - by all means go for it - you will be more comfortable because you believe you will be more comfortable. This to me is a good enough reason to do it.

I don't think it matters so I won't bother to do it - that is fine too.

A couple of thoughts re the actual balancing. Be sure to do the balancing with the length of line you most commonly be fishing off the reel - or it won't balance right. Secondly, is the balance for casting or fishing? It very well may be that the balance point you want for the casting motion is very different from the balance point most comfortable while you fish the swing.

Finally, if you are looking for a cool little unit to use for holding the weights look into a fighting butt kit that Struble used to make. I have them on a number of my single hand rods and they would be perfect for your purpose.
 

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I lean towards the "it doesn't matter much" school but it does matter a little to me. Kush hit the nail on the head with the balance for casting vs. swinging with line out comparison.

While I have never noticed a bit of difference in the casting phase, I can tell in the swing phase. Very light reels on longer rods can be a bit of a issue in that you are constantly compensating with your wrist for the dangle of the tip during the swing. After a half day of this, I can feel it in my wrist. For example, I think my Bougles are too light on my Salar. A 4" Perfect though (weighing in at over 16 ounces with line) makes this rod feel light in the hand.

my $.02
 

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"Sing"
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torque not weight

You can't just chart out what net weight of rod requires what weight reel tor rod balancing.

It depends on where the center of gavity of the
rod is, where you're holding the rod, and where the
reel is attached. You need the balance the moment,
not the mass. It's the torque that matter.
A rod with a center of gravity closer to the butt is
has a wider tolerance to reel weight variation.

A perfectly balanced rod is not required for good
casting. Strong and trained arms can counter for
the "imbalance". It's like a racket, sometimes some
weight helps cast farther.

It all depends on the individual's taste. Some like
to feel the weight of the rod "tossing" the line out,
and others like to feel like all the line speed is
generated from the arm stroke.

-S
 

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Indicators Anonymous
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Don't Knock it Til You've Tried It

sean said:
That is unless you are swinging something like a DB favorite which feels like there is a brick taped to the tip. That is when you buy a non ported abel like Ryan has.
I would be hard pressed to find a more enjoyable way to spend the day then swingin' flies with a perfectly balanced two-hander. An unbalanced two-hander comes in a close second!

I am very anal about the balance point of my rod during the swing.

I want the rod to balance in my hand on the cork so that the tip faces towards the water and is just an inch or two above the surface. A balance point that is too far up the rod forces me to grip the rod above the cork (blah!) or actually hold the rod up on the swing (double blah!) and a balance point that is too far down the handle forces me to push the rod down to keep the tip pointed down, just an inch or two above the surface.
 

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let's see

strong and trained arms,my arms are small,but i've worked em' all my life,,,no need to write a book,,,,but,,,,if i've had a normal day,energy level wise,or a bad day,IE,,pissed off,,it don'matter,let me on dawatta,please,,,,,,but,i'll admit,that at times,,the butt has felt light,,ooooh,,sounds sexy!,,,so one time, went back to the suburban and dug in a back pack,,by the ice chest!,,took some drift lead back with me,,,!,,did seem to make a dif.,,so ,i've played with all my rods this way,just to see,,like the line thing,,what felt,or might feel better,so,hey,,wrap some tape on the reelseat below the reel,grab yer' led,,you have nothing to lose,might be a revelation,,,hmmm,sixteen ounces on those hardys,,,wow didn't realize they were ~WELL BUILT~,,,not being derogetory,,,guess i'd better hussle these teens outta' here,,,!:D
 

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Mr. Mom
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While I always advocat a big reel, big and heavy are two different things. Tough to find a heavy reel that wasn't designed before 1978!

As to balance, I agree with those that say the time balance really matters is on the swing, not on the cast. Since my favorite rod "feels like there is a brick taped to the tip" :D I do a number of things which are not original to me, but which work. As you follow the drift:

1. Hold the rod so the top of the cork grip rests on the bottom of your wrist/forearm, or elbow.

2. pull the rod butt into your generous, expansive middle (the generosity and expansiveness of your middle will vary depending on lifestyle, diet, and genetics) and hold the rod near its balance point.

As an added benefit both these techniques allow you to learn how to fish off your weakside. Many cast off the weakside, but I've seen few fish off it...
 

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JD
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reels

I like long belly lines ,,,,,,,,,so I usually don't have the problem of tip heavy feel while swinging. A reel large enough to hold these lines is usually heavy enough. And with a working length of line out on the water, I can usually just let the rod hang on my fingers without having to really grip it too tightly.

I did, however, rig up a reel with a Scandinavian shooting head system. And to make up for the lack of line weight, I wrapped about 30 ft of old lead core trolling line around the arbor. Works for me.

Hey,,,,,I can see it all now.........Large arbor reels,,,,,,,,,solid, non vented arbors,,,,(drum roll please),,,,,,,,,mini stick on wheel (reel) weights,,,,,,like they use on fancy mag wheels. :smokin:
 

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Guys,

I tend to go with those that feel rod balance is very important.

This issue will often come up in the discussion as to how a comfortable balance can best be acheived when the long rod is built.

...And is always a topic of discussion when long rod builders compare notes at gatherings.

Lots goes into the formula, and acheiving a comfortable balance with a given rod/reel/line marriage in two handed fly rods is often as simple as reversing the down-lock reel seat into the position of an up-lock...Or visa- versa

Part of the reason I will use wood, or composite cork materials on the lower grips is to counter "tip".

Most two handed anglers seem to perfer, and will request that their rod be balanced to their matched reel/ line.

What becomes scketchy, is once the angler's memory becomes acclimated to the "feel" of this marriage, it becomes somewhat ingrained.... Especially after working the rod for many consecutive day/hours with a given reel and line.

Taking the same rod and clamping on a heavier or lighter reel will often tweek this memory a bit, and throw off the cast for a while.

And for some spey folk, this issue can become a real burden.

Especially to those that for one reason or another do not have enough muscle to easily overcome the difference, and will tire by the end of a long day of casting.

One of the most clever (and oldest) types of reel seats for the long rod is the infinitly adjustable ring and hood.

I could see where these seats would really come in handy for adjusting the reels location on the grip to best meet the balanced marriage.

Actually just spoke with Adrian about this, and he suggested this type of set up on one of his rods. These seats inherently will have larger hoods, and will acommodate the legs of the classic UK reels, which was Adrians original concern.

I feel that these seats could offer a real advantage to adjust balance variables right on the rod while the angler presents... Regardless of the reel /line weight.

Hammer is right-on with the lead counter balance, as this procedure (or others like it) is commonly done on lots of long rod types to acheive balance.

....I just think it would be really cool if this desired balance could be acheived without adding additional weight to the formula.

The adjustable seat could do just that.... As they have done for many generations of Bamboo and Greenhearts.

Been thinking about these seats since a I saw an old Hardy bamboo Salmon rod set up this way a while back, sure was beautiful.... And functional.

Meiz
 

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Up here North of the 49th, sliding reel seats were the norm on our 10-11' float rods. This allowed each angler to customize his set-up, it worked very well.

The classic seat was made by Pac Bay and was metal and is no longer made. The modern one is graphite and is made by Fuji and is still (I believe) available. The advantage over the old sliding ring set-up is that both of these - but particularly the newer Fuji seat actually presses down into the cork as you lock the reel down and provides an extremely solid seating. It would work great on spey rods - and it even looks okay!
 
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