parabolic vs progressive

The Forum is Closed. Forums The Rodsmiths parabolic vs progressive

This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Dry Fly Guy 3 years, 4 months ago.

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    Scotty MacFly

    I just finished reading the thread on parabolic rod design and it leaves me curious and wanting to ask, so I will.
    Some of the members here seem to like the parabolic tapers I take it, and on a few posts the weights of the rods are mentioned, one was a 5wt, and the other an 8wt if I remember correctly. I know in spey casting parabolic rods are popular, and so are the boo/graphite combos are becoming a trend I guess, and have the parabolic tapers as well. But that’s spey casting wet flies and nymphs with heavier rods. Is there a pattern here that I am seeing? I also have read that parabolic rods in smaller weights like 3’s and 4’s are also good for wets and nymphs. I don’t fish nymphs anymore, and the only wet flies I use are the North Country Spiders which I consider to be semi-dries.

    Question: how about dry flies? Or is a fast progressive rod better for dries?

    And from reading the posts it seems as though parabolic rods take time to get used to and the lift isn’t as good as a progressive because of a soft butt section. ( there is a window wide open here for a joke, but I will keep this professional.)

    I know a lot of you have bamboo rods, and you know a lot more about this than I do, so I know I’ll get some really good honest opinions and advice asking, but which do you prefer, para, or progressive? And why? Which is better for what reason?


    Dark Waters

    Scotty, it comes down to personal preference really. I recently got my PH Young midge copy rod back into fishing shape and it’s not as smooth as my other rods, but IMO it still presents flies in close better than 97% of current production graphite and glass rods. It’s a 3/4 weight to me depending on the line. To me, that’s what bamboo (probably some glass) does best, the in close stuff that rods that perform at 50′ just can’t match.

    A parabolic rod is going to flex more just beyond the grip, if you like it and it works for you then you’re all set. If not, and a progressive rod is better, same result.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by  Dark Waters.


    Personally, I didn’t like the parabolic action rod I had. It had sort of a second kick to it that I found hard to judge the distance for dry fly fishing.

    I’m much more accurate with a progressive action rod, so I stick with those.


    Scotty MacFly

    DW, you are correct about it being personal preference. What I’m trying to do is gather as much information as I can from people who know what their talking about so I know what to expect from the decision I am going to make in the near future.

    I will be trying one very soon, and I want to be able to experience the rod and knowing and understanding what the rod is actually doing and be able to say in my mind, ” ok, that’s what people are talking about.”

    Creek, you mentioned the second kick these rods have. I have read about the kick and understand what it’s purpose is. I have even seen these rods at work in spey casting and am able to see the bend in the lower butt section and the second kick happen. So with what I said above, I want to feel it and not be surprised by it when it happens, but know what it’s doing. Then I can make the decision of a progressive or parabolic bamboo rod.

    I know some people like parabolic rods very much, and some don’t. And soon I will know where I fit in with all this, but for now, I’m just wanting opinions, full well knowing that no one is right or wrong in their opinions. Just “gained knowledge” for me going into a world I am unfamiliar with, that’s all.


    Dry Fly Guy

    I played around with this quite a bit and gained my own perception of what the differences between these “actions” is. Bottom lineā€¦ In my ignorant opinion, I don’t think one has any advantage over another. Maybe in a more capable casters hand than mine there is. But for me it is completely a matter of how you like the rod to feel. Nothing more. Nothing less.

    Confidence and simply “liking” a rod is (for me anyway) a big part of my success in using it. So I echo Dark Waters. It’s just personal preference and everyone has one.

    ~ DFG

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