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Discussion Starter #1
It always surprises me that if you know the custom builders you will find that their rods are seldom more than a few dollars more expensive than a factory clunker. But a world of difference in the quality of the rod;assuming of course he is really a custom builder not a backyard builder.
I have two older Sage 16 foot rods both built by the same builder from identical blanks. One was built just as it came from the factory and is next to useless as a spey caster except with short head windcutters,but is an excellent overhead rod.
The second was built as a proper speycaster. The stiffness of the middle and butt sections was balanced by lapping out the inside of the blank.The guide spacing was adjusted and the guides were wrapped oscillating style. Finally a butt wrap of pattern silk thread to smooth the transition from handle to butt was installed
This rod is a true speycaster and handles the long double tapes with flawless ease.
Needless to say the rod was built by a man who had been building speycasters for 50 years and was a master craftsman.
In this world you get what you pay for but you dont have to pay much more to get mastercraftsmanship.
 

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custom rod modifications???

Bud wrote:
>The stiffness of the middle and butt sections was >balanced by lapping out the inside of the blank.
Lapping the inside of a blank sounds dangerous. Doesn't it remove/weaken the scrim that provides hoop strength?
>The guide spacing was adjusted and the >guides >were wrapped oscillating style.
IOW, the guides are spiralled around the blank:confused:???
Is this an example of two countries separated by a common language:D?
 

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Custom rods can be a thing of great joy.

We have a fellow (Gary Anderson in Gold Hill, OR - just a bit north of Medford) who is a true artest with a rod blank. Uses higher end guides, reel seats, etc., and still sells the rods for less than the manufactures listed price. You get handed your new rod and take an involentary breath. And they cast just as well.

:smokin:
 

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I too wonder about "lapping out" the blank. If you're talking about removing material, there is no question this will reduce bending strength and also produce stress concentrations. That aint good in my book. Perhaps I am misunderstanding what you mean by lapping.

I also don't know about oscillating wraps. I too envisioned guides which spiraled around the blank at first. Perhaps this refers to wrapping style and not guide placement?

I do agree some custom makers do beautiful work. I don't own any custom-made spey rods though have been thinking of rolling on of my own. I've always had a preference for the simple but elegant look of single color wraps coated with nothin' but good ol' spar varnish.

pescaphile
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Guys: Your right its a ticklish business lapping out the inside of a blank. It does remove material,but that was what made the rod too stiff in the first place ;too much material.
Of course it voids the guarantee but I`m not worried.If the butt section breaks I`ll just remove the guides and use the middle and tip to make a single handed 10wt.
Fortunately rod blanks are improving but still few of them are able to properly handle double taper lines without shooting line.If the rod were proper you wouldent need to shoot.
Oscellating guides are also a time consuming process.The technique was developed by Grant many years ago. The center of the guide is set on the rod centerline but the feet are twisted left or right in alternating sets of three. This produces an aperature which is eliptical . It allows the use of larger guides without giving a larger hole . The line is thus prevented from sliding backwards when the rod is in a vertical position.I find that they also increase the sensativity of the rod. If you carefully analyze the cost of custom rods you find that these craftsmen are charging about 20 dollars per hour for their work Thats pretty cheap for mastercraftsmanship
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I guess that the thing which scares me about spey caster rods is that the marketing and design boys have the bit in their teeth and are going for the biggest buck.
Lets face it its much easier to learn to throw line with a windcutter line and a firm rod than it is to learn to cast a long double taper with a classic spey rod.
So what we are getting is rods which are over stiff for classic casting.
If mending line were not such an important part of catching fish it wouldent matter but it is and its damned tough to get a good dead drift with a windcutter.
I think the problem is modulus .We have gone whole hog for high modulus because its light but its difficult maybe impossible to build a classic spey caster with high modulus.
I think the better way to go is to lower modulus, smaller diameter butt sections and thicker walls that will give a soft action to the butt but will retain power.
I get the impression that this is the direction that Lamiglass has gone but unfortunately they have descided to buid 4 piece rods rather than 3 .That extra furrel would appear to defeat the softness they have built into the rod with low modulus.
If we could train all those fish to chase fast stripped flies like Per has we would be ok but we would have to use genetic engineering to do that.
I just dont know what the future holds but it looks black to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Peter: I think it is correctly a matter of action. To me a spey caster should have a fairly firm tip wirh a somewhat slow action capable of feeding the energy down into the mid section.In turn the mid section should be soft enough to feed the bend right down into the butt section which should flex fully but should not be wimpy.
You can usually tell ,if the tip is too weak it will not lift line cleanly and smoothly from the water. If the middle is too firm the flex will not be felt down into the butt.And if the butt is too wimpy it will have trouble firing the forward cast.
Presumably since your gives you good casts with a double taper and if it rolls the line out rather than firing it through the air then it must be a suitable action. for the classic speycast.
Please understand that I am not a spey rod designer I only know what the old rods were like and what I like in the new materials.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Peter: I dont know how Dana casts but you can get a pretty good idea of the fast firm rod action looking at Jim Vincents Tape on spey casting. To me his action is very fast and strong. when he forms the d loop it is beside him rather than around and behind .He uses a very amputated cresent path of the rod tip
In his forward stroke He blocks very strongly and drives the energy into the line. as a result the line flips right off the water and shoots forward rather than rolling out smoothly. In most of his tape he is using a windcutter .In his forward stroke he makes great use of his top hand and shoulder rather than developing incremental power by pulling with his lower hand. I get the impression he has been very strongly influenced by Goran Andersson and his underhand spey. However from what Per has said it works fine on Atlantics in his cold rivers As he says he has to strip fast and uses little dead drift and gets lots of fish.
He gets a lot of distance but I still find it difficult to see how he can mend line properly when 30 feet of running line is outside the tip.
 

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L A,

There is only one way out of all this - we must meet on a river bank and compare notes. I realize it must be hard to believe that I can men my heads to great effect - like the way you describe it. But I really do!

I will be over to BC in September and have not decided dates. Too bad a clave not can be had that late, if I understand Dana correctly. (Skeena is starting to pull people north?) Maybe we can have a "mini-clave" around Smithers???

Also I want to point out that there are times, like the early season, when I too have to fish my flies deep&slow....

Take care,

Per
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi Per: Well if you say so it must be possible but so far I have been unable to understand how. I gather you have perhaps 30 feet of running line outside the tip.The weight of this line per foot is about 1/10 of the weight of your head/foot. Therefore the only way you can lift the head is by applying tension on the whole line. As soon as you do this the fly must rise substantially. Our fish dont seemto like this in fact they may never see that rising fly.
Steelhead will of course rise to a waked fly on the surface but they rise to the surface disturbance not the fly per se and they seem to only do it in shallower water of tailouts early in the season .
I dont think I can make that trip to Smithers again It smacks to much of "carrying coals to Newcastle"; Smither to Smithers is just too much. As an alternative I suggest you make a video of you mending method and we can circulate it in the group .Then we can all benefit. i just cant figure out how we are going to know whether you have pulled the line or not and whether the fly has risen .maybe what we need is an underwater video.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi Peter: Your right with those heavy sink tips you cant really mend other than to keep your floating line from dragging . Those heavy tips go where they want to in the current . I must confess I hate casting them I`d rather bottom bounce with lead and a fly.
 

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L.A.

From what I'm hearing you have a lot more in common with Mike Maxwell than just a fondness for scotch. He too professed that all this fast action stuff was going down the wrong path, we would all be better off with DT's and low modulas "english" actions.

Then he went from "unusable" in his rating of the first reverse compound tapered 9140-4 he ever cast, to "now they've been listening to me finally" a week and several casting lesson later with the same rod. (not my lessons, but I sold the chap the rod, and then sent him to Mike)

My point is the Sage took the path to use higher modulas materials (because it lightened the rods) and developed tapers to best utulize their properties. (Actually Harry Lemire did, but they took his lead) Fast recovery but with a flex into the butt.

Your comment on wall thickness is exactly what they did, but they reversed it so the diameter of the butt was less than the second section, but the wall thickness greater...this was followed by a stiffer, thinner walled, higher diameter second section to give stiffness in the midsection, followed by the third section & tip.

People like this design...the 9140-4 may have been a bit soft in the tip for sink-tips but the design is now utulized on the 8150-4, 7136-4, 9150-4 and so on because it worked. What I would do for a boxcar full of 8150's now.

Hand a cherry speycaster an older 15ft traditional action rod and DT line and he'll run like the wind back to a single-hander. (or his physiotherapist.) Mass weight and excessively long bellied lines are not required to efficiently cover water or be a "pure" Speyfisher anymore.

Ironically the Lamiglas rods you speak of were designed by Mike, however, by the time they got them out, the market had passed them by. (again.) The rods are heavy and overly soft. They cast well enough but not better than rods 30% lighter.

Mike now uses Accellerator lines, as did Jim in his video, you can tell by the wedge in the loop, the same shot is on his line boxes...he's using a 15 10/11 IMX Loomis rod in the Vid as well.

\My last name is McGarva, so I guess I should qualify initially.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi McGarvey: I hear what you are sayng however in discussions with Todd the designer for Lami I understand that he designed their new range of speycasters and merely sent them to Maxwell for testing. This came directly from Todd in a chat room.
The reverse taper butt thing started with Jim Green originally of Fenwick. He saw my buddy Lynch spey casting on the graveyard and became enthused.This was about 15 years ago. He visited Scotland and saw reverse butt cane spey casters and came away with the idea it could be useful in graphite. I handled one of the first test models and concluded that it simply wasent practical for graphite. This was confirmed by Lynch a former rod demonstrator and builder for Sharpes of Aberdeen.
I am glad to hear that Sage is improving their rods they could stand a lot.My question would be "to which knoledgeable Scots spey caster did they send them for testing. failure to do this is what led us into this mess in the first place.
Lynch builds a lot of Sage custom rods each year.He keeps careful records of all rods he builds including any breakage. He finds that three times as many Sage rods will break as compared with all other brands he builds . Needless to say this is an expensive business for a custom builder since he must absorbe all the costs of rebuilding..
Lynch in addition to demonstrating rods was also the junior spey casting champion of Scotland back in the sixties .It is worth noting that Talon is the only firm which has taken the trouble to send their spey casters to him for testing and subsequent modification.
Hopefully someday we will get a superior design of graphite spey casters but much work is needed and solving the problem by using crutches like short head windcutter spey lines is not the way to go.
 

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Hi LA...

I'm sure there are numerous bits of insight, from various designers that went into the reverse taper concept as it extends to graphite rods...your comment about reversed cane rods is interesting, as I've never heard of such a thing. I'm keep my eyes open for one in the antique rods catalogues...

(I'm sure you are aware that Jimmy Green spent a fair amount of time in the last decade providing design to many Sage products, with various prototypes being tested out on the Skagit river, where many different anglers pawled them and offered advice.)

On the Lamiglas front, there is always two sides to every story...I'm sure Maxwell will get/take credit if it suits him or sells more rods...I fish with the former Lamiglas rep. and heard about the "pending design" for years...Ironically, John Posey from Lamiglas, walked into our shop today with the 13ft 7/8, which I'm sure is as close to anything Scottish/English I've felt in years, and compared to those "new" UK rods I cast at the show, I'd say it was considerably softer into the butt...so the old dog(s) do learn a few new tricks...

Cheers...
 
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