Rod tech. & materials

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Scotty MacFly 1 year, 4 months ago.

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    Scotty MacFly

    I was remembering what the folks from Scott were saying about how they are always looking for better materials to make their rods with. But for right now, there is nothing out there.
    Fly rods have been around a long time, and have gone through so many diverse designs. Some will say they are better today, and others might say the rods today are missing something the older ones have. We all have our personal likes and dislikes when it comes to rods. And I think because of that, there is a rod out there for everyone.

    But are we coming to an end? I’m not a builder of rods, but it seems to me that sometime in the future the manufacturers will take fly rods as far as they can go. With the new nano resins being used and such, graphite rods are reaching over the $1,000 mark. That’s out of my budget for sure.

    If there is nothing new in the materials, so they say, and sooner or later they can only tweek a taper so much, when will it be when they say, “we can’t go any farther. We have hit the end and can’t come up with anything better.”?

    But if they do continue to find better ways, how much will it cost us to purchase one?

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by  Scotty MacFly.


    If you can take a rod and put the fly exactly where you’re looking every time no matter what the rod material is made of. Why do you need a rod that’s better? Better in what way?

    I think when they say it’s better they mean it cast farther. maybe they do, but who gives a rats ass about that? How far can you see a dry fly and the farther away the harder it is to have line control.

    Nothing needs to be made better for the dry fly fisherman. We have all we need now. If you want to sling steamers 150 ft. Get the latest rod and over pay for it. It’s your money, but there’s a lot of us laughing at you.

    I see the same thing happening to muzzleloaders. Everybody wants the latest and they’ll pay anything for it. I still take game with an old 1820 replica of a Hawken. It works just fine.


    Scotty MacFly

    To add what you said Creek, I personally don’t need to cast farther. The rivers and streams I fish haven’t gotten any bigger. I don’t think I cast more than 40ft. on the bigger rivers, and I know I don’t cast more than 30 max on the smaller. Just about 1 and a half rod length of line out the tip does me well on smaller waters.

    The Scott guys said the G series is exactly the same as the G2 series, but with better resins and components. Ok, that’s all well and fine, but I can put the fly where I want it on my cheaper rods.

    As for casting farther, Sage tapers allow that because that’s how the get the younger generations eye. In my experience, farther means nothing. Accuracy is way more important. Besides, hooking a fish at 100ft., chances are you’re not going to get a decent hook set.

    I was just wondering how long will it be before there isn’t any new material, and tapers to try. Will we see the end of the latest and greatest in fly rods during our lifetime? I don’t know. But my mid priced graphite rods do me very well. But not one of them feels as sweet as my bamboo. And even one of those new $1000 Sage rods don’t feel as nice as my boo I bet. Not only that, you can buy the newest in fly rod designs, and match it with the wrong line, and it won’t perform like you want. Good line will bring even an old rod to life.



    The G was sweet and I owned a lot of them. The G2 is a faster rod. They can say it’s the same rod, but when you change the material it’s not the same anymore.

    Winston will try and tell you the boron wonder rods are the same classic feel as the old rods. Funny.


    Scotty MacFly

    Sales pitch?

    Ok, so a special resin will make a rod stronger, and I’m thinking of the Orvis H2 and now the H3 which is said even stronger. Ok, great. So what.

    I only broke one rod in my life and that was my grandfathers rod when he was teaching me to cast. Ever since then, I have been careful and not broke one since then. I don’t believe stronger in some aspects is better. One should know how to work a rod and avoid doing something that will break it. Accidents happen, I understand that.

    When I casted all those Scott rods I will say I liked them. They casted well and smooth. Accuracy was there for the normal casting distance I do. I can’t say anything bad about Scott rods. Well, the Tidal can be tweeked a little better, but all in all I enjoyed how they felt casting. And I think that’s what we look for ultimately, isn’t it. We try out rods and choose the one we personally like because of certain aspects, and feel is very important to me. Parking lot casts are a waste of time in my opinion. I don’t mind opening it up and letting the line sail as far as I can, but only after I check out the other practicalities of the rod. I still like the feel of the Redington C.T. Series, and they aren’t new. Not as old as the Winston W.T. rods, but even they have a loyal following because folks like the way they feel. I have not tried one, or ever seen one, but maybe someday that will change.

    This is just my opinion, but the root definition of change is, it’s what we do because we didn’t get it right in the first place, or second, or third and so on. I had one guy at work tell me change is constant. I asked why? He said he couldn’t answer that. I said, because we didn’t get it right….stupid. At work I have seen things change so much, it’s gone full circle. And by the time it does that it’s because we have an entirely new engineering group who never saw the old ways. Will fly rod designs go full circle? I don’t know. I’ll tell you now I think cars were better built 50 years ago, and they were simple. Now a days, with all the technology, they are not better. They just turned out to be overpriced headaches that cost more to repair. And the more bells and whistles it has, the more problems you will have. Sorry, I’m getting off track here.

    I like some of the older rods that I have been blessed to fish with. Not all, but some. I guess it comes down to that saying, ” if it aint broke, don’t fix it.”, but if you want sales, you better keep up with the Jones’s.
    It’s a shame sometimes.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by  Scotty MacFly.


    They keep coming up with stronger materials so they can make the rods thinner which is lighter. Whether it’s the material the blank is made of, or the resins to hold it together. It’s lighter, stiffer. I don’t think there’s a big concern if it’s stronger. There’s little doubt a lighter, stiffer rod will cast farther if you have the timing for fast rods.

    My natural tempo suits a heavy med action rod. I feel like i’m barely casting the rod and it still slings out a long line if I want it. I let the rod do all the work.

    I get a kick out of guys with fast rods. It seems like a contest of how many false casts he can do in 3 seconds. Machine gun casts. I never make more than one slow relaxed false cast and lay down the fly. Why does Fast Freddie need 25 false casts? It’s silly.


    Scotty MacFly

    I think you’re right about stronger materials for thinner, lighter rods creek. That makes perfect sense. The Scott Flex is thinner I have noticed. Scott does make their blanks with a larger diameter, which they say allows them to make thinner walls. Which is why they have the unsanded blanks for strength as well. I agree with their thinking, but really just like the looks of them.



    I have a custom built rod on an old fisher blank. It’s an unsanded blank and the sweetest casting rod i’ve ever cast. 8’1′ for a 4/5wt. Just relax and let the rod do all the work. Fisher used to make blanks for the original Winston IM6 rods. That was way back in the beginning for Winston.

    I believe Fisher made blanks for Scott and Orvis too a long time ago. All the blanks look the same. Unsanded Orvis rods like the Far and Fine and also like the G Scotts.

    That was a time when fly fisherman wanted the graphite rods to feel like cane and glass. I love a rod that loads all way down into my hand. Why not use all the rod? A stiff butt that doesn’t move makes no sense to me. All it does is make the rod longer, but contributes nothing to the cast.



    I’d like to weigh in with the cynics on this one. I have no doubt that the rod companies and materials manufacturers are making quantum improvements (and by ‘quantum’ I mean ‘minuscule’, not HUGE (or YUGE) as the media appear to believe it means – like in the meaningless expression ‘quantum leap’ – it means baby step.)
    I believe as fly fishermen, we are pigeon-holed by the marketers as having considerable discretionary income. Obviously not true in many cases, but that was certainly the target market that emerged after A River Runs Through It movie made fly fishing the cash cow it has become. Flip through a magazine (remember them?) and note the ads that use a fly fishing scene: they’re not marketing the Costco-sized pack of disposable diapers.
    Lets be honest: most of us have all the fly rods now, that we’ll need til be can no longer totter down to the stream. The used market has a ton of barely used fly rods. (think of all the people who went down to the Orvis shop and fully outfitted after watching THe MOvie, then found what they really liked was the IMAGE of fly fishing, not the actual fishing.)
    I believe the new rods can improve casting, particularly for those who are already very accomplished at casting (not me, for sure). But as you guys point out, casting is only a small part of fly fishing. Doesn’t make you a better fly fisherman; just makes you more fun to watch. As a golfing friend told me, he is often tempted to ‘invest’ another few thousand in new, improved clubs, but the realist in him knows that he could spend a fraction of that on a handful of lessons and more effectively improve his game.
    But lets face it: once the market is saturated, the manufacturers need to put their effort in convincing you that the rod they sold you two years ago as the best, most advanced rod available, is now woefully inadequate for your needs. Its the same marketing basis of the automotive and electronics industries.
    Please don’t think I’m saying people should not buy these new toys. I’m perfectly fine with people spending their money however they please, and I do understand the ‘collector’ mindset. I just don’t think that the major rod companies (or their stockholders) have any interest in deciding they’ve made a fine-looking, long lasting and well functioning rod and stop there.
    On those days when I’m feeling a tad dissatisfied with my fishing, I cannot say I could honestly say that the rod was to blame.


    Scotty MacFly

    Brent, with all due respect my friend, I think you went way out and took this somewhere it was not meant to go.
    Let me quote you, “On those days when I’m feeling a tad dissatisfied with my fishing, I cannot say I could honestly say that the rod was to blame.”
    In no way am I saying the new rods today are not better, or worse. I’m just wondering if there will be a time when all fly rod companies say that they have gone as far as anyone can, because there isn’t any better material out there to use.
    Or am I misunderstanding your post? It does make sense though. I like the part about the market being saturated with older rods that were top shelf, and the manufacturer trying to convince us that the rod I bought two years ago is now obsolete. I didn’t think of that scenario. Good point.

    I must say, as for the new Scott G Series, I wish the 904 felt like the 884, and the 884 felt like the 804. As the rods got shorter, they got softer.



    Scotty: yeah, I do that sometimes. Sorry. I guess my point was simply that, even if that point of diminishing returns in rod research and development arrives, the rod companies have absolutely NO interest in saying ‘we’ve developed the ultimate rod, and henceforth will sell only these models’. Not in this marketing culture of ‘new and improved’.


    Scotty MacFly

    Ah, ok, I understand now. Thanks.

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