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loco alto!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
to me, the fundamental feel of a rod - any rod action - is vastly different when belly line is held in the guides versus when an entire head is outside the tip. Across all belly lengths, for equal grains outside the tip, some weight in the guides seems to impart load that affects casting feel. Part of it is tip bounce and recovery, but I think there is more to it.

I think through action rods and long rear tapers may come into play as well. Together they seem to give the widest windows of good feel. Hard to pin but maybe its about using line to load the mid section, and only the mid section. Then load the butt either by swing weight of the rod, or the power snap, but not the weight of the line else the rod will bog down.

my own ramblings to identify the causes and mechanics of feel.

thoughts?
 

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About 8-9yrs ago, I built a 3wt fly rod from a blank that was identical to that of a factory rod that I already had. I used the same guide spacing and guide types but used compact wrappings and thin coatings of spar varnish for finish instead of the widely-used epoxies. The result was a rod that is noticeably lighter to hold than its factory counterpart. The custom rod is livelier and recovers much quicker.

Your observation about having a heavier load from the line strung in the guides produces the same effect I noticed on those two light trout rods. It's analogous to usprung weight on a spring. Simply put, less weight on the rod will on allow the rod to dampen quicker.

I chose the spar varnish out of aesthetics when wrapping that rod and was pleasantly rewarded with a superior casting rod. I've since desired to construct a two-handed rod using the same materials but have yet to do it. While I suspect the effect will be felt greeatest on light-weight rods like the one I wrapped, the distribution of the weight to the blank should also affect the feel and performance. And 15' is a long lever arm!

Incidentally, the 3wt is a Sage 389LL and is my favorite little rod. It performs great and the aesthetics of the finish of spar varnish sans color preserver is simple and understated yet elegant IMO. The downside of the spar varnish is that some of the varnish has drying out and yellowing. It is in good shape but needs a little TLC. I guess the best way to do it would be wrap a new two-handed rod and re-apply varnish to the 3wt when I apply finish to the long rod.
 

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wish i could tell....

when i picked the line for my rod, i chose the 1 for advanced users/those who like a faster rod (rio line recommendations). not only do i like fast rods, but i can't feel the rod load. do to severe nerve damage i don't have the feeling, so i'm a visual caster. i have to see what's happening or i can't cast. maybe if i grossly overloaded a rod i could feel it... just before it broke. so for me the whole "feeling" thing is out the window.
 

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Mr. Mom
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pescaphile said:
About 8-9yrs ago, I built a 3wt fly rod from a blank that was identical to that of a factory rod that I already had. I used the same guide spacing and guide types but used compact wrappings and thin coatings of spar varnish for finish instead of the widely-used epoxies. The result was a rod that is noticeably lighter to hold than its factory counterpart. The custom rod is livelier and recovers much quicker..
I used to have to sit through an annual "education session" with our sage rep. One of his demos was to have two identical naked 9 foot blanks, one with a tip top epoxied on, one without. The difference between the two, whether wiggled or swung was so huge, it really made the demo the highpoint of an otherwise trying annual experience. a little weight added to the swingweight of a rod makes a huge difference, especially if it is out by the tip, so I firmly believe belly in the guides vs. running line in the guides definitely changes feel and performance. I could be wrong, but all my experience points to it being true.
 

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Here we go again!
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With regard to tip deflection, have you found that with long bellies when the meat of the line is on the spine of the rod that the rod not only has more feel in the mid and butt areas but the tip deflection is also lessened? I noticed this especially on long bellies and heavier shorter heads. Seems that the overall smoothness of the cast is improved when stripping in a bit.

As an opposing (sort of) observation, when using a line that runs on the light end of the scale (say, a 6/7 short head on a 6/7/8 rod, rather than a 7/8 line)
then a satisfactory feel is achieved with the head fully outside the rod tip. Does this have more to do with tip deflection (or lack thereof) than weight sitting on the spine of the the blank?
 

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loco alto!
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Moose, I agree on the long belly part, they seem to yield lower-than-expected tip deflection when line is held in the guides. But then again, when was the last time I compared it to casting an XLT with the entire 100' head outside the tip top? umm, that would be never.

theory: perhaps the entire rod is deflecting on the stop when using a longbelly with line in the guides ... so we just finish higher and the overall deflection is less noticeable?
 

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Here we go again!
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That's kind of what I was thinking too Steve, that the deflection is being handled deeper into the blank and not just off the tip, however I think that a lot of this also has to do with how the forward cast is made with these longer lines. With a long belly the forward stroke is made with a long forward motion finishing farther out away from the body thereby leaving the tip in a flatter plane relative to the rod and although there is a great deal of energy applied, the deflection will be less. You sort of cast through the deflection point. This thought goes back to a discussion here last year when Kush and I were making the baseball pitcher analogy where when you throw a pitch the hand travels down a plane following through to the release, but even with all of that energy and velocity there is little shock to the hand at the end of the pitch. This, versus the high hard stop of an underhand cast where there will be a pronounced shock to the tip, would have a great deal to do with the percieved feel of a rod and it's abillity to recover.

With so many subjective variables to the perception of a rod's "feel" I really don't know how the great rod builders do it:Eyecrazy:
 

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I have found a big difference between short belly(especilally skagit lines) and long belly lines such as the slt. The short belly lines have very little rear taper and have much more grains per foot in the belly section. Thus if you have a significant portion of the belly inside you should experience a much slower action and more tip bounce than if you have a portion of a long belly inside - long bellies also have a much longer rear taper that also contributes to less grains per foot near the back end of the belly. Tip bounce is more pronounced with a short belly line with the belly inside. I do much betterwith teh entire head outside. As Steve indicates, I do not normally have the entire head of an xlt out - this exact point is not near as easy to define as on the short head lines
 

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I recently saw a post from Simon on another BB where he suggests it is usually best to keep the color change on long belly lines at your hand and not at the rod tip - this allows deeper rod flex which helps in casting long belly lines.

I have noticed I can cast much more easily and shoot more line if I keep a portion of the belly on the original 7/8 xlt inside the rod with my Scott 1287
 
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