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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,
I have built a few spey rods now and as I was looking for another project I thought a dedicated shooting head rod taper might be fun. After reading a little bit about the whole skandi-underhand casting style, my question is this: Should the balance point on a underhand rod be located much further back than a normal rod? I don't know much about the physics of these things but it would seem that since you are moving the lever more with the bottom hand you would want the balance point to be closer to if not on the bottom hand. Please let me know if I am way off on this one.


Portland spey

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2,829 Posts

with Ozzy as fishing is how you spend the most time with the rod and you do not want to use more force than necessary to balance the rod and line while fishing. If it is tip heavy or too light, you will be fighting the rod all the time you fish.

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1,174 Posts
I also agree 100% with Ozzy <> The swing is the thing.

Just a couple thoughts....

Not sure how long this rod will be, or if it is inherently a tip heavy blank by design....

<> But if the rod is indeed going to be built primarily for low hand / underhand power casting techniques; you may not need an upper grip of a length normally needed to accomadate the deliveries requireing a wide high hand / low hand spread. IE long belly distance casting.

The upper grip (depending on the blanks length) may only need to be 12.5" to 13.5" long : With a grip OD profile that will allow a comfort zone on the lower end of the upper grip for delivery, as well as a comfortable OD profile on the upper part of the upper grip for the easy swing.

If the rod blank is tip heavy on the swing: Build the reel seat as a down locking; this will move the weight back to help counter the tip.

....If this is not enough: You can extend the length of the upper grip a bit to allow a higher balance point while holding the rod on the swing....This too will get weight to the back, and counter the tip for the easy swing.

Neither of these things will add any appreciable weight to the rod in it's construction, and will still allow the use of a light-in-weight framed reel.

Options such as using the heavier reel can work, and adding additional weight to the butt of the blank can work....But the bottom line is that you as the angler will still be carrying around that additional weight all day, and it will pay it's toll by the end of the day.

Best to avoid these options if you can get away with it.


· Registered
71 Posts
Rod building

Completely agree with Bob and Ozzy.

Balance MUST be at the top of the handle or just a finger or two above the handle when horisontal. Otherwise you will be fighting the rod when fishing, and it might even be worse than an old cane that "balances well" !
(a lot of guys actually spoils their great rods by mounting too light reels)

I any case the balance on a rod would have little to do with any casting style or action, ie, fast, slow, deep, top action or so on. Balance is one thing and action a different matter. But any rod-action type should balance (with the correct sized reel). Personally my perfect balance lies and hand grip above the top of my cork. When I swing the fly, I relax 100% with a streched arm dangling the rod just above the cork handle in just two or three fingers, a very relaxed and sensitive way to "work" the river day long.
To estimate/calculate the balance with a blank only, can be guess work, unless you have made a few rods first. As Bob says, you can compensate by either up or down locking the seats, or you can differ between snakes or single foot guides, and believe me, 8-10grams at the two top secs can feel like a mountain.
And further, the layer of varnish/glue can change weights more than most would think.
Using flex cote light estimate 1 - 1,5 gram per snake guide.

A couple of years back I build two identic rods (same blanks) . One with snakes and the other with single foot guides. Result was two completely different rods, with different casting feeling and different performance. And this even if they balanced nicely. The difference was the individual weight differ on guides, varnish and stiffnes on wraps. Wraps on snake guides takes up 3/4" but wraps on singles takes perhaps 1/8".
Note - the more snakes and varnish you mount, the more weight and the more you slow down the rod action !

Happy building.

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