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Great info Malcolm. There’s been an uptick in greenheart related postings here on SP recently, good to have a single location for future reference if possible. Thanks.

Question - when the preferred line weights have been specified for the various greenheart rods owned by the numerous owners, do you think those are based on single hand line weights (e.g DT) or two hand (Spey) line weights? Paul
 

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Great info Malcolm. There’s been an uptick in greenheart related postings here on SP recently, good to have a single location for future reference if possible. Thanks.

Question - when the preferred line weights have been specified for the various greenheart rods owned by the numerous owners, do you think those are based on single hand line weights (e.g DT) or two hand (Spey) line weights? Paul
I think people rate them for modern spey weights which isn’t a good idea. These modern spey lines are tremendously heavy, and honestly, unnecessary with the greenheart. They were made in a time where there was one rating for fly line weights (generally speaking) There were simply single hand rods and double hand rods. These wooden beasts weren’t built for a specific grain weight and head length. My thinking is… if you want to fish a heavy shooting head with running line and the like, just stick to modern rods, which isn’t a bad idea, as it’s considerably more efficient and easier to use. Now if you want to enjoy one of these rods and how they throw a line and fish, go the whole nine yards and pick up a silk line, or a plastic DT. (My modern Bruce and Walkers throw DT’s and tips in a similar manner, great fun!) When I pick up a new rod, I start with a 7wt DT and strip out 60’ or so and see how it feels. Start light and somewhat long. Don’t think “this is the length of line that loads the rod perfectly.” Think “how do I adjust my stroke to load the rod and make the cast with minimal effort.” These rods generally load themselves and the line is just along for the ride. They are very graceful in casting and an absolute pleasure to fight fish on. The modern man is absolutely obsessed with making a task as easy as possible. Mono running lines and shooting heads, compound vs recurve/stick bows. These rods require effort to hold and fish but it is a tremendous pleasure.

Nick
 

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thanks for that link malcom . i especially love the tapering tool .
 

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Hi All,
Just a quick note on the Greenheart rods made by Alexander Grant, in 1900 he sold the patent to Playfair as he couldn't cope with the demand to give him time to go back to musical Instruments which was really where it all started, Playfair went on to sell somewhere around 50,000 Playfair Vibration rods but they were only like the real Vibration rod in appearance and really nothing more, well made rods but lacking in the accoustic tuning that made the Grant Vibration the rod that blew the fishing press away in the 1890's.
Jock Scott when trying out a real vibration rod for the first time wrote to Alexander Grant stating that while he was avid fly fishermen and of average ability he cast the line to within a British record distance after a few casts in his garden.
As well as Greenheart they produced Purpleheart, it was said that the men that worked Purpleheart in the factories ended up after a short time with pink hair.
 

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I think people rate them for modern spey weights which isn’t a good idea. These modern spey lines are tremendously heavy, and honestly, unnecessary with the greenheart. They were made in a time where there was one rating for fly line weights (generally speaking) There were simply single hand rods and double hand rods. These wooden beasts weren’t built for a specific grain weight and head length. My thinking is… if you want to fish a heavy shooting head with running line and the like, just stick to modern rods, which isn’t a bad idea, as it’s considerably more efficient and easier to use. Now if you want to enjoy one of these rods and how they throw a line and fish, go the whole nine yards and pick up a silk line, or a plastic DT. (My modern Bruce and Walkers throw DT’s and tips in a similar manner, great fun!) When I pick up a new rod, I start with a 7wt DT and strip out 60’ or so and see how it feels. Start light and somewhat long. Don’t think “this is the length of line that loads the rod perfectly.” Think “how do I adjust my stroke to load the rod and make the cast with minimal effort.” These rods generally load themselves and the line is just along for the ride. They are very graceful in casting and an absolute pleasure to fight fish on. The modern man is absolutely obsessed with making a task as easy as possible. Mono running lines and shooting heads, compound vs recurve/stick bows. These rods require effort to hold and fish but it is a tremendous pleasure.

Nick
Thanks for your insight Nick.
I am definitely leaning away from the shooting heads, despite the videos I've seen by Ian Gordon underhand casting greenheart.
One question though, the DTs that you are casting (and also on Malcom's link on the rodbuilding forum which I also found in my searches) where entire DTs are being thrown, are these being shot, or are they cast like Alexander Grant did, with the whole line outside the tip? If you are then there are a lot of grains in a full 90' or more DT. I can imagine a DT 7 of 90' is over 600 grains which is equivalent to a heavy shooting head (albeit over a longer section)?
I did see some videos of Stuart Tod casting his silk line which is 140' continuous 4wt-12wt, but he actually shot some of it, not casting the whole line as Grant did.
Cheers,
Steve
 

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Hi All,
Just a quick note on the Greenheart rods made by Alexander Grant, in 1900 he sold the patent to Playfair as he couldn't cope with the demand to give him time to go back to musical Instruments which was really where it all started, Playfair went on to sell somewhere around 50,000 Playfair Vibration rods but they were only like the real Vibration rod in appearance and really nothing more, well made rods but lacking in the accoustic tuning that made the Grant Vibration the rod that blew the fishing press away in the 1890's.
Jock Scott when trying out a real vibration rod for the first time wrote to Alexander Grant stating that while he was avid fly fishermen and of average ability he cast the line to within a British record distance after a few casts in his garden.
As well as Greenheart they produced Purpleheart, it was said that the men that worked Purpleheart in the factories ended up after a short time with pink hair.
Hi Gordon,
Is the difference only in the tuning? That is, are the Playfair rods built to the same tapers of Grant?
Have you ever put a tuning fork on your assembled Grant Vibration? :) I'm wondering if these frequencies could be recorded and reproduced for a modern made rod, that you could have one that is more like a real Grant Vibration. Were the Clan rods just newer versions of the Playfairs?
Cheers
 

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Spey Is The Way
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A question. What type of action is a greenheart or bamboo rod considered to be? In today's terms.

Leo
 

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A question. What type of action is a greenheart or bamboo rod considered to be? In today's terms.

Leo
No one has made a modern greenheart except Clan which I believe were reproductions of earlier ones. I believe greenheart action is very slow but from what I can gather, self casting.
Modern bamboo like those by Clay or James Reid can be anywhere from Scandi tip actioned to a more regressive like a Meiser MKS.
Due to hollowing, they are normally much more quick recovering than the older solid bamboo rods like Sharpes, and as a result much lighter. A 12' #8 modern bamboo is only likely to weigh about 12oz, which is entirely fishable over a long day and a few days consecutively.
 

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Gaelforce
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No one has made a modern greenheart except Clan which I believe were reproductions of earlier ones. I believe greenheart action is very slow but from what I can gather, self casting.
Modern bamboo like those by Clay or James Reid can be anywhere from Scandi tip actioned to a more regressive like a Meiser MKS.
Due to hollowing, they are normally much more quick recovering than the older solid bamboo rods like Sharpes, and as a result much lighter. A 12' #8 modern bamboo is only likely to weigh about 12oz, which is entirely fishable over a long day and a few days consecutively.
yup the clan reproduction is quite nice but oh soooo slow lol
i definitely agree the modern boos being a huge upgrade, as I love my David L Reid bamboos
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Hi Sevilla315,
Playfair made quite few changes to the rods to mass produce them, no accoustic tuning, the way the wood was selected and cut and adding cork handles, it was really what the customers wanted, so they added what would help sell the rods, Alexander Grant was pretty scathing of what they had done to his Original rod and how they had not followed his instuctions after he had told them all the detail in the making of the rods.... and the constant taper lines which again were like no other line in design, line speed was unbelievable but then he was a master mathematician who could work out in his head and on a scrap of paper what each rod he made could lift and accordingly cast with ease.
 

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Hi Sevilla315,
Playfair made quite few changes to the rods to mass produce them, no accoustic tuning, the way the wood was selected and cut and adding cork handles, it was really what the customers wanted, so they added what would help sell the rods, Alexander Grant was pretty scathing of what they had done to his Original rod and how they had not followed his instuctions after he had told them all the detail in the making of the rods.... and the constant taper lines which again were like no other line in design, line speed was unbelievable but then he was a master mathematician who could work out in his head and on a scrap of paper what each rod he made could lift and accordingly cast with ease.
Thanks Gordon,
Is there a record of how many of the originals besides yours are in existence? Are they in private collections or in a museum?
It would be an interesting exercise if these designs and instructions were actually available to make a real Grant Vibration. And if not to make some to the specs of an original as a blueprint rather than a Playfair. And then work with a current silk line maker like Phoenix or Terenzio to create some constant taper lines to cast them.. In that way there'd be no risk in damaging a priceless artefact.
Regards,
 

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For those of you interested in the history, I've located some copies of Fine and Far Off, by Jock Scott. They are surprisingly hard to find, and prices seem to have risen sharply.
Please ping me by PM if so.
 

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…but then he was a master mathematician who could work out in his head and on a scrap of paper what each rod he made could lift and accordingly cast with ease.
This is quite complicated both from a physics standpoint as well as mathematically. Lots of variables. It would be tremendous if this was available. I’ve only been able to find one mathematical delineation of the fly cast.

I‘ve never liked the fast/slow descriptions of rods, however I completely understand the relationship of the description to rod recovery. But it tends to force casters into motion reactions that don’t match the rods (I‘m speaking from my reactions to this). While greenhearts are slow in recovery, they require constant hand motion because the rod has to start to move into its next stroke much much earlier than fast recovery rods. Hence my hands are always moving when casting my greenheart (and to some extent the same with my 5105-3 bamboo Spey rod). Nothing slow or fast, but rather continuous versus go/hold/go motion.
 
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This is quite complicated both from a physics standpoint as well as mathematically. Lots of variables. It would be tremendous if this was available. I’ve only been able to find one mathematical delineation of the fly cast.

I‘ve never liked the fast/slow descriptions of rods, however I completely understand the relationship of the description to rod recovery. But it tends to force casters into motion reactions that don’t match the rods (I‘m speaking from my reactions to this). While greenhearts are slow in recovery, they require constant hand motion because the rod has to start to move into its next stroke much much earlier than fast recovery rods. Hence my hands are always moving when casting my greenheart (and to some extent the same with my 5105-4 bamboo Spey rod). Nothing slow or fast, but rather continuous versus go/hold/go motion.
I'm not sure what a 5105-4 bamboo spey rod is but I have a large collection of JMR bamboos of different actions and can say that depending on the cast, line and the rod, they can be be both a continuous cast or a cast with a slight pause.
 

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5wt 10-1/2’ 4 piece - but it’s actually a 3 piece lol so a 5105-3.

I cast James’ 7119-3 spliced summer weight bamboo rod a few years back. I should have picked one up then before the wait time went nuts. It was going to replace my TCX 8119-4 so you can see what I thought that rod was like comparably. It threw the 450gr Rio Steelhead Scandi magnificently. Completely different build than the rod mentioned above.
 

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yup the clan reproduction is quite nice but oh soooo slow lol
i definitely agree the modern boos being a huge upgrade, as I love my David L Reid bamboos
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Hi Sevilla315,
Playfair made quite few changes to the rods to mass produce them, no accoustic tuning, the way the wood was selected and cut and adding cork handles, it was really what the customers wanted, so they added what would help sell the rods, Alexander Grant was pretty scathing of what they had done to his Original rod and how they had not followed his instuctions after he had told them all the detail in the making of the rods.... and the constant taper lines which again were like no other line in design, line speed was unbelievable but then he was a master mathematician who could work out in his head and on a scrap of paper what each rod he made could lift and accordingly cast with ease.
gordon ,
i was hoping you would chime in . we are anxiously awaiting your book on grant and the rods !
bruce and nick ,
how about some video of you boys casting the g-hearts ? bruce , what line(s) are you using ?
 

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Gaelforce
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This is quite complicated both from a physics standpoint as well as mathematically. Lots of variables. It would be tremendous if this was available. I’ve only been able to find one mathematical delineation of the fly cast.

I‘ve never liked the fast/slow descriptions of rods, however I completely understand the relationship of the description to rod recovery. But it tends to force casters into motion reactions that don’t match the rods (I‘m speaking from my reactions to this). While greenhearts are slow in recovery, they require constant hand motion because the rod has to start to move into its next stroke much much earlier than fast recovery rods. Hence my hands are always moving when casting my greenheart (and to some extent the same with my 5105-3 bamboo Spey rod). Nothing slow or fast, but rather continuous versus go/hold/go motion.
I would have to say slow is accurate for greenheart which means that it bends deep very easily more so than modern bamboo, so moving the hands very little or minimally will maximize the rods potential.
here is a video I made for a friend showing this as he was having issues with his normal casting stroke converting to boo. It should be noted as well that the bottom hand is definitely the hand that should be moving the most With boo or greenheart
 
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