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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
How much difference does a foot of rod length make for short to mid bellies?

I'm just kinda wondering how much difference 6" to 12" makes for using mid bellies. A 48' to 60" head would be great for some of the rivers I fish but was wondering if I should start looking for a 13'6" or 14' rod rather than a 12'6' to 13'er?

I played around with a St Croix Imperial 14' 9/10 (really an 8/9) throwing a ballistic vector 8/9 and it handled it nicely. Almost made it easy for a sub-optimal caster like myself.

So, I suppose the gist of the question is, are 12' to 13' sticks best used with 40' to 50' heads (remember, not the most talented caster) and longer bellies to longer sticks 13'6" and greater?

thanks,

Tom
 

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IMHO only.

Longer heads require a longer rod as you'll be lifting more 'grains.' Would six or 12 inches matter? I rather doubt it.
 

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Tom,

It sure doesn't hurt. :chuckle:

A 13' rod will handle a 60' head no problem IF your technique is good and you are not wading too deep and .... A 14' rod will handle it as well and be a little more forgiving plus you can wade deeper. A 15 or 16' rod and it becomes easier yet.

Personally, I don't own a 14' rod anymore, I will fish a 13 or jump up to a 15 or recently 16. If I only had one rod for summer runs, I might choose a 14 but I don't have those constraints.

sinktip
 

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Two feet = large and obvious differences in performance and capability, e.g. 13 to 15

One foot = noticeable differences in performance and timing, some adjustment needed e.g. 15 to 16 or 13 to 14

Six inches = differences perceptible by an experienced and attuned caster

For a head in the 50s range, I would probably not buy a 14 over a 13, but I would prefer the 14 were both offered to me to cast. I might buy a 13' 6" over a 12' 6". Maybe.

A head in the 60s range really deserves a 15.

Statements like this reflect highly highly personal preferences.
 

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''Speydo-masochist''
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A head is best defined as medium or long by reference to the rod you are using to cast it.

Therefore, a 65 ft head would be classified as long on a 13 ft rod [5x rod length] & equivalent to an 80 ft head on a 16 footer; whereas the same 65 footer would be a medium head on the 16 foot rod [at just over 4x rod length] & the 80 foot head, whilst do-able, would be a bit of a hand full on the 13 foot rod as it would be slightly in excess of 6x rod length.

I would rather cast a long belly line on a rod designed for such lines with a stiffish tip & a fast recovery rate but flexing right down the blank than on a tippy rod designed for scandi style heads or a pupose built skagit rod which is too slow to effectively lift & break free a long head from the surface consistantly [doubly so with sinking lines].

In short you can throw overly long heads [relative to the rod length] but it can be hard work & requires you to maintain focus & concentration, which can be a bit tiring when you just want to relax & enjoy the experience - so a longer rod will make life easier, say not exceeding a 5:1 ratio of head to rod length.

That's my preference after throwing them for 20 odd years anyway, others may differ...

Regards, Tyke.
 

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Hooked4life
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I'm just kinda wondering how much difference 6" to 12" makes for using mid bellies. A 48' to 60" head would be great for some of the rivers I fish but was wondering if I should start looking for a 13'6" or 14' rod rather than a 12'6' to 13'er?

I played around with a St Croix Imperial 14' 9/10 (really an 8/9) throwing a ballistic vector 8/9 and it handled it nicely. Almost made it easy for a sub-optimal caster like myself.

So, I suppose the gist of the question is, are 12' to 13' sticks best used with 40' to 50' heads (remember, not the most talented caster) and longer bellies to longer sticks 13'6" and greater?

thanks,

Tom
A long rod helps, but current speed, wading depth, fly drag are all factors as well as the rod action. I've found that soft tip, stiff butt type rods require more 'touch' in making clean lifts of long lines vs. rods that bend through to the handle. I'm not talking about soft vs. stiff rods, just differences in where they bend. Think Scandi rod vs. UK rod of similar overall stiffness. The through action rods make for an easier lift. Once the line is up, both rods can throw the line a long way.

One general rule that I've found always held that Tyke has already mentioned: the maximum amount of line that can be comfortably lifted is five times the length of the rod. Differences in wading depth, rod action and casting skill impacts that ratio.

Adding sinktips also changes this as the tip alters the lift. I've also cast full intermediate lines and after rolling up, they lift and cast just like a floater. So for my fishing I've settled into a pattern of using longer rods, usually 15', with long lines in floater and intermediate, resorting to shorter heads when tossing sinktips. If I'm just out with shooting heads and sinktips, then the shorter rods get more use.
 

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Technique or rather good technique IMHO makes all the difference..

I know a champion caster who uses a 65' carron on a 1307 T&T...makes it look so easy I have bought that line TWICE and still don't care for it..LOL..

Single spey left hand and right hand high is what has made the biggest difference for me when using longer lines on shorter rods...a double spey is too much work and never seems to have the power of a well executed single spey...

all that said, for me I practice with longer lines but tend to fish with shorter ones as I would rather focus on the fish and not the cast...
 
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