rod actions

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Scotty MacFly 11 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #5585

    Scotty MacFly
    Participant

    What determins the rod action, the flex profile or the recovery speed?

    #5599

    Dry Fly Guy
    Keymaster

    I am not sure I understand your question correctly, but I’ll take a stab at this one and see what kind of rebuke/correction I get from those smarter than I. (most everyone)

    I tend to believe that in the jargon being thrown around to describe a rod (fast, slow, etc) most angler’s are (without probably even knowing it) referring to the recovery speed of the rod. “Recovery speed” being the time it takes for a rod to return to an “unloaded” (straight) state.

    The flex profile is though (in large part) what will determine that. Let’s think for just a moment in completely ridiculous terms to illustrate this.

    Take a very very stiff “butt” section of a rod. (Let’s say a piece of steel rebar that comprises 99% of the entire rod length.) Now add a “flexible” tip that is the same “thickness” as the rebar to complete the rod. (The final 1% of the rod’s length) This rod’s flex profile is definitely a “tip flex” rod, and it will recover very very quickly from a “loaded” (bent or flexed) position, because all that ever “loaded” (bent) in the first place is the 1% of the rod at the tip. The length of rod that needs to return to a “straight” position is hardly anything. So it might be considered a “fast” rod.

    Now take that exact same rod and flip it around. The butt section is now the flexible 1% of the rod, and the “tip” section is as stiff as they come. But getting all the tip (now 99% of the rod’s length) to return to an “unloaded” status (straight in line with the “butt”) takes a heck of a lot more doing and time. (Especially if you consider oscillation (tip bounce) as well.

    Yes this is a ridiculous example, and a true rod is much more complex in the flex profile it exhibits, and how that translates to “rod action”. But regardless, I believe the principle is the same. The less a rod “loads” (bends), the faster it can recover (straighten). And the less the length of the material (and/or mass of that material) affected by the loading of the rod, the faster it will recover.

    ~ DFG

    #5604

    Scotty MacFly
    Participant

    DFG, that my friend was NOT a ridiculous analogy. That was actually the best example I have heard. Thank you for not throwing in huge words to get me confused like the articles I have read on this.

    Scott Fly Rod co. has the flex profile and recovery speed for all their rods, and it helped me a little, but still left me a question or two. I always thought it was the flex profile that determined the rod action, but I guess I was wrong.

    I can see now how the recovery speed is very important. I have noticed rods that are deemed medium fast but each has a different recovery speed. The Scott A4 has a slower recovery speed than the Orvis Recon, but the flex profile is the same. I have heard that rods with faster recovery are more accurate, is that true, or is it just user experience as in someone can be very very accurate with a soft tip because they know that rod well?

    #5606

    Dry Fly Guy
    Keymaster

    Well let me give this a try with another ridiculous analogy….

    Pretend that I give you a pencil that is nine-feet long and I take you out to a tall wall that has a black line running along it at the twelve-foot high mark. All I want you to do is trace that line with the pencil while standing on the ground. How successful do you think you’d be? In my case… I’d not be very successful. I’m sure I’d dip here and be too high there. I may be close a lot of the time, but I’d be above or below the mark more than I’d actually be on it.

    Well… Welcome to the world of fly rod casting. But to make matters even more difficult, let’s make that pencil very flexible, and cause it to gradually bend more as you move along the wall tracing the line. Now we are really talking!

    See the truth behind accurately casting a fly line ultimately comes down to how well the caster is at drawing a line through the air with the rod tip. That may sound strange, but if you think of the rod tip as the “barrel” of a gun, or more accurately the path of the rod tip through the air is the “barrel” of the gun, then it may start to make more sense.

    In a cast, the rod tip will scribe an imaginary line through the air, and in turn will “pull” the fly line along that path. That is the “aiming” part. When the rod tip “stops” the trigger is pulled, and the line is “shot” from the path (“barrel”) which has just been scribed by the rod tip. If that path is a straight line, the result is also “straight”, and if the caster is skilled enough to point that barrel in the right spot, the result is a line flying true to the target.

    Now think about that rod flex profile you asked about…

    I’m sure that you can understand that it would be easier to draw a straight line if the pencil didn’t bend as much.

    That’s only part of the story, and I’ve seen very very accurate casters using “curved” casts to hit their target. So don’t think that a straight line trajectory is the only way to be accurate, and we haven’t even touched on the velocity or timing issues associated with flex profiles and accuracy. So again, I’ve provided my thoughts on only part of the story. But in my opinion, it is the main reason why you often hear that a fast (tip flex) rod is very accurate. It is simply “potentially” easier for mere mortals like me to draw a straighter line with.

    ~ DFG

    #5607

    Scotty MacFly
    Participant

    I agree about a straight line being more accurate and keeping that straight plain with the rod tip while casting and not letting the tip of the rod arch. So the gun barrel analogy is perfect.

    You did very well helping me to understand this much better than I did before. Great lesson, thank you.

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