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Common Cents System

2930 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  FKrow
An interesting concept on defining fly rod line weights, actions & line matches popped up on the local board the other day. I think it appeared in a magazine for custom rod builders. Suspect maybe the two closest to me are well aware of this article and are putting it to good use. http://www.common-cents.info/

I haven't gotten all the way through it yet. And I will be surprised if it covers Spey casting. But this guy is on the right track. Now how do we introduce him to Peter_S_C and the Casting Weight Model?:cool:
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I'm not sure if he is on the right track. Let me explain. The CCS will tell you what how much weight it takes to bend a rod a distance equal to 1/3 or its length when the rod is held horizontally. It will also tell you the angle of defletction of the tip when under the load needed to bend it a distance equal to 1/3 or its length. All well and good so far.

However, it never takes into consideration how much it take to bend the middle and butt sections of the rod.

I also have a problem with the way the originator of the CCS system uses it to "show" that there is no such thing as a 7 wt, or 9 wt, or 11 wt, or whatever wt rod you desire. He uses as proof stiffer tournament rods needing more wt than the standard 30' AFTMA line wt to bend a distance equal to 1/3 of its length. He also uses as proof slow, soft rods need less than the AFTMA standard 30' line weight to bend to a distance equal to 1/3 or the rod
's length.

The reason I have a problem with this is soft rods naturally will load more than the top 1/3 or 1/2 of the rod when loaded with the wt the rod was designed for. I mean that is why they are soft rods, and people buy them because they want the rod to bend more than moderate rods. Likewise, fast action rods bend less under the same load, which is an inherent characteristic of the faster, stiffer rod. And when you move to tournament rods, they are much stiffer because they are designed to be able to cast full length single-hand lines beyond 110', so of course they bend less with the line rating wt.

However, the value I see in the CCS is for rod makers and blank manufacturers to test the blank in order to make sure it falls within design parameters. In other words, the CCS is good for quality control and insuring that all the blanks of a given style and line wt from a manufacturer are within spec. For the average fishermen, I honestly see very little value to the CCS.
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Hi all.

Well obviously it would be fantastic if such a system could actually come into practical fuction.
I do however see that become a huge problem ! Whatever rod type, line type and guidelines you make, nothing can take the human differ-factor into consideration. You need no more than two or three guys using the same outfit, and they will use it and perform completely different. I know guys using same rods but loading them with different lines and weights all up to 15 - 20 grams diff. on same head length - I forinstance would use a MS 8-9-10 on my 15´rod and my Norwegian friend will use the MS 9-10-11 on the same rod - how to guide that !!!!
We get the fly out the same way/distance/accuracy/presentation.

Funny enough - I used to think that, you could tell the personality of a person by his casting style. This does not seem to stick, I know some pretty "fast" guys you would think would "punch" that rod, but no, on the river, they calm down absolutely and "do that gentle swing". Contrary you can often see that almost invisible silent guy become a monster with a rod in his hand, throwing a rough swing with an (in my terms) overrated line !

As for rod design - type ranking, we are different. A fast rod to you might be moderate to me, and the load we need to "FEEL" right could be completely different, I cannot see how to guide that.
I appreaciate that you can indicate the rods action-type and aftm-rating APPROX.

I generally only see line-and rod weight guiding as a problem to less experienced anglers, - if not guided professionally enough in the store. (This is unfortunately quite often a great problem in Scandinavia).
Experienced anglers would get a test line or go test it at a store/river/pond to ascertain correct weight at a specific rod - as it should be. You wouldnt by your shoes without trying !!!!!!

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Good points guys

Especially when you try to factor in different strokes for different folks. No way to get around the fact that some guys will really punch a rod hard and others won't. I'll conceed this article may be best suited as a tool for rod builders to check blanks.
Hi Jimmie! "The Meiz" and I were discussing this exact point only yesterday. His response, to minimize same, was a huge 'rolling of the eyes.' :saevilw: He shares similar feelings to those noted above.:razz:

He'll pass.

God I wish the weather would calm down and clean up. Motor Homes sitting on the Chetco just up from Brookings. First week was WONDERFUL; low clear beautiful fly water. Then the first storm came in .. and it hasn't stopped yet.

River blew out in less than 6 hours; low and clear to stompin. That wouldn't be so bad, other things I could do to amuse myself and the two Labs. Save for the Gale force winds that have been blowing for the past week. Blowing so hard (even a mile and a half up river) that I had to pull the slides in to stabilize the unit.

Now consider this: unit, as it sits, weights in at about 25-27 THOUSAND pounds. Even with stabilizer jacks down the wind was rocking it back and forth like a boat on the sea. In they (two 'slides') came, and back to Ashland I went.
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Sorry to butt-in guys - but

"The CCS will tell you what how much weight it takes to bend a rod a distance equal to 1/3 or its length when the rod is held horizontally. It will also tell you the angle of defletction of the tip when under the load needed to bend it a distance equal to 1/3 or its length. All well and good so far.

However, it never takes into consideration how much it take to bend the middle and butt sections of the rod."

Well - assuming the tip is attached to the middle and butt the bend on any rod continues throughout the rod. Actually CCS techniques include considerably more than the basic deflection measurement and more recently developed methods include greater degrees of deflection and deflection of selected sections.

"the originator of the CCS system uses it to "show" that there is no such thing as a 7 wt, or 9 wt, or 11 wt, or whatever wt rod you desire."

Yes and no. Bill uses CCS measurements to demonstrate that what companies mean by 7-wt varies considerably. One need only look at comparative line-recomendations for a given rod-weight for it to become apparent there are differences between makes and models of rod - or look at the variety of opinion on this board.

"fast action rods bend less under the same load, which is an inherent characteristic of the faster, stiffer rod. "

In a manrner of speaking no. the assumption there is that rods with fast action are necessarily stiffer. The usual understanding of action has to do with bend profile. Stiffness is resistence to bending. So for example its very possible to have two rods with the same stiffness (ie they deflect by the same amount under the same load) and different actions. Compare two rods with different stiffness and similar actions and we might say the stiffer rod offers faster recovery.

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You have pointed out one of the other problems I see with the CCS and that is just as you stated so succinctly: a fast recovering rod doesn't have to be stiffer. This is correct provided we are talking about how quickly a rod recovers or returns to its unbent, static state after having been loaded and bent (or deflected). However, just because a rod has a fast recovery doesn't make it a fast action (i.e. stiff to most anglers) rod, it simply makes it a rod with fast recovery.

The rate of recovery is not measured by the CCS through either finding how much weight it takes to bend the rod the defined distance, nor does the angle of deflection of the tip (AA measurment) tell you the rate of recovery. Thus we need even more numbers to help in our quest to describe a rod, making it more and more difficult for the average angler to make sense of it.

Another problem I see with CCS is the average angler will see a 7 wt rod he is interested rated with CCS as 8.2 (rod A), compare it to a different rod that has a rating 7.1 (rod B), and still another one rated as 6.8 (rod C). Because he thinks (albeit wrongly) that the closer the CCS number is to 7.0 (the rod's line rating), the closer the rod is to a true 7 wt. This will cause him to most likely pass up the one rated as an 8.2 and the one rated as a 6.8 despite the fact that what he really likes and it looking for is a rod that bends well down into the butt (i.e. a soft rod), which would make the one rated 6.8 the best choice for what he is looking for. But because all he knows is that he wants a 7wt rod and that CCS shows one of the three he is interested in as a nominal 6 wt and the other as an 8 wt, he will pass them up since they are not 7 wts.
And average anglers will continue to do this despite Dr. Bill never having said a rod rated as an 8.2 is not a 7 wt rod.

With 2-handed rods I see even bigger problems because people are using the same rod with many different belly length lines, so they are asking the same rod to cast a huge grain window without overloading the blank. 2-handed rods are being asked to cast lines with bellies of 38', 44', 55', 65', 75', 85', 95' and 100', which is far different from what is being asked of single hand rods. Since we now have defined spey line standards for four different and distinct belly lengths, a CCS for 2-handed rods would have to measure a given rod with all four belly length weights and gather the data on how far the rods bends under each belly length weight. I see this as a problem because a given 2-hander would have at least four different and distinct CCS data sets just to account for the belly length differences.

The average angler wants a simple, easy to understand way to decide what line he should use on a rod. That is why the AFFTMA line standard for single-hand and not spey lines are so useful. A person can get a rod rated for a specific AFFTMA line number, buy a line with that number, and be reasonably sure the rod and line combo will work. Simple, easy, and elegant, which is what the average angler is looking for.

Like I said, I see the CCS having value for rod and blank manufacturers as quality assurance tool; but I see little value for the average angler.
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Hi Flytyer

What CCS figures suggest is that a stiffer rod recovers faster - simply because it is deflected less during loading. It also suggests that lighter rods recover faster. No surprises there.

Actually Bill has tools which he believes do indicate recovery speed - CCS measurement extends well beyond ERN (stiffness) and AA (Action angle)

Your example is almost exactly what I put to Bill in a long debate. First thing - the ERN scale is simply a measure of stiffness. Second - if you want a rule of thumb guide to ratings according to the ERN its 7.5 not 7 that indicates the appropriate rod stiffness for a 7-weight line.
Bill's argument is that the variation in stiffness is misleading. As a matter of fact I've tested a fair few rods and it’s not a bad guide. Hoever thats not how I currently use CCS measuement of stiffness:
A rod with ERN 7.05 - Guideline LeCie 9ft 6in #7 - has great feel with a #7 line, deals well with a #6 for long range and feels overloaded with an #8.
A TCR 5-weight has ERN 7.09 - you can guess where this is going - but it has a very light, easily bent, tip - its lightly loaded with a #5 line, can easily handle a #6 line.
A St Croix Legend, 9ft 6in #7 – ERN 8.8 – handles a #7 with ease, of course its require a reasonably narrow casting arc and suits a compact stroke - can equally easily cast an #8 line but feels very lightly loaded with a #6 line.
CCS figures are simply a useful tool for understanding rods - an experienced caster can do much the same by trial and error if he has a range of lines at his disposal. (I do) I review rods for a magazine and now do both casting tests and take measurements.

Double handed rods - again the ERN is not meant to be a way of rating a rod – in its basic form its one simple number which indicates the stiffness of that rod using a standard method of measurement. It depends what stiffness the angler wants for his #10 or #9 or whatever line.
As you already know there’s a problem with both the dead weight and the casting weight and/or head length - so how one applies a line to a DH rod is problematic whether or not you know the stiffness. Have a look at the Rio line recommendations if you want to see how much help the average angler need.

But hey, take this back to single handed rods and the AFTMA ratings are not that helpful either. So I know the weight of my XXD or TT or Rio Grande at 30 ft - great - but I have no idea what the head actually weighs. Hmmm....well even the idea that I know the weight at 30ft assumes the makers stick with the AFTMA – having tested a number of lines – they don’t. For example GPX and 555 lines are slightly heavier than their designated weights. I have had examples which are 2 line classes heavier. And that’s all at 30ft. Line tapers are no longer simple we now have tapered and stepped bellies and extremely long rear tapers – much, even most of that change in mass happens out-with the portion of line used to designate line-class. Again that leads to difficulties.

So, let’s suppose I know the weight of a line at 30ft. Was the rod rated for that length and weight of line? In the vast majority of cases I rather hope not. I can and do carry far more than 30ft of line on many if not all of the single handed rods I cast.
In the UK a reasonably typical rod for reservoir of Loch trout fishing is a 10ft #7 - I don't know of any that are rated for 30ft of line – I expect to carry far more than 30ft with that style of rod and expect to cast a full line all day. Or take a little 7ft #3 - should that be rated for 30ft of line? I’d guess that would typically be used at distances up to 30ft – perhaps carry 20ft and shoot 10? So I’m looking for a rod which is rated for rather less line than the AFTMA standard measures.

Or, I like spey casting with a single handed #7 rod and prefer a reasonably limber rod with a sufficiently stiff tip – but all the 10ft #7 rods are too stiff. So – maybe - ignore the maker’s line rating - look up the stiffness measurements and find one which suits – who cares if the maker calls it a #6 or even a #5. Pretty easy really!

Yes CCS may well have application in quality control. But if you are interested it means you can do those same checks - its for the enthusiast.

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But CCS doesn't take into consideration the recovery rate of the rod after it has been deflected, not does it take into consideration a blank design that uses different modulus graphites with different stiffnesses and recovery rates in different sections.

For example, take two rods with the same ERN and AA; but have one made out of 44 million graphite and the other out of 57 million graphite. These rods are going cast and feel very different due to the recovery rates being different. Likewise take two rods with the same ERN and AA that use 56 million graphite in the tip section; but one of the two uses 44 million graphite in its butt section. They are also going to have very different casting characteristics despite have the same ERN, AA, and recovery rate of the tip sections.

I see this as a problem even though I agree the CCS is for the enthusiast or blank maker. I don't see a lot of usefulness of the CCS for the average angler though.

Recovery rate is mostly a function of stiffness with a little weight factor thrown in for good measure.

Blank makers use a variety of prepreg for different reasons. Mostly, low modulus carbon offers higher strength – to achieve a given stiffness requires more material than a rod with more high modulus in the layup. High modulus carbon is stiffer and a lot more brittle. If you can find two blanks with the same stiffness, one made from high the other low modulus carbon there will be a very distinct difference in weight.

So, assuming the rods built with those blanks include similar fittings, we know the stiffness of both rods and the weight of both rods – it ain’t rocket science to work out which will recover more quickly.

Your example of two rods - same stiffness and AA – one made from 44 million modulus the other from 57 modulus prepreg. Ok – which is heavier? Which will recover more quickly? I can tell you which blank will be heavier. But which built rod?

In all likelihood (assuming similar components and build) the high modulus rod will be lighter, and have a lower swing-weight. It’ll take a similar amount of effort to deflect either, the greater mass of the heavier rod means it’ll take slightly longer to recover and will deflect for slightly longer post RSP – none of this has to do with CCS.

Of course the frequency of those will be different – and CCS does include a method for measuring that.

I don't see it as a problem - CCS measure some aspects of rods.

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The CCS is a static test system.

It is fine for comparing two similar rods for deflection and angle at 1/3 the rod length. Harry Wilson of Scott Rods did this graphically in the 1970's with a choice of three rod actions for a given length and line weight. In the rods of 8wt and over, we had four relative stiffness or bending curves to select with the Scott Rods. He graphed much more than the initial 1/3 length curve. This of course was done with fixed weights.

The CCS tells little about how a rod will cast and feel to the FF. It is an interesting varation on some earlier concepts.

Fred Krow
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