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Is Your Butt To Heavy?

Joined:
2011/7/6 13:48
From Philadelphia PA
Posts: 1548
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Now that I have your attention! I hope this makes sense:
I have come to the conclusion that a well balanced reel and rod are important. You would think and hope that when the Rod has 6wt listed on it, that you can line it up with a reel that has 6wt listed on it. However, because many Rods and Reels are made for specific models - the variation of setup may not have the proper balance (weight ratio) that is important in keeping arm fatigue (caused by the actual weight distribution) at bay. When I first started flyfishing roughly 15 years ago, I'd get about an hours worth of casting and have to quit. My arm would be so tired because of the weight - that I said to myself "why bother" on many fish outings.


Now with a better understanding of the Art of Flyfishing, I have learned to test combos before I consider purchase of them. With the rod and reel (fully loaded) there should be a balance point that is right infront of the forward hand grip. And by placing my index finger under the rod and observing which way the butt goes.

My rule of finger (thumb) is, if the tip rises rapidly or the butt drops backwards out of my hand, I need to get a different reel or different rod. When the tip slowly rises up, this says to me the balance is good or excellent. When the reel is fully loaded the tip should rise up slowly because of the weight of the line. Why: Because the reel will never be fully loaded when flyfishing.


Please share your thoughts as well on this subject.

Posted on: 2013/3/15 11:29
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"I am respected when I walk into any fly shop. Salespeople wait on me hand and waders. I once tried underwater casting just to see if I could. I am the most admired Fly Fisherman in the world. And when I fly-fish, I use the Orvis Access. Stay Fishing MF


Re: Is Your Butt To Heavy?

Joined:
2008/6/8 19:45
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 1470
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Balancing can be pretty subjective. I've seen some guys make a science out of this. Trying different gear is part of the fun. It seems you found a good system for yourself. If I get motivated enough I will go out on the lawn and strip out 30' or so of line past the rod tip and check the cork for balance. I'm not too picky though and if it's off a little I prefer it to be butt heavy. Think J Lo.

One thing that I don't care for is a really tip heavy rod. I have a 10' 7wt and with todays uberlight reels I had trouble getting it right. That was the only fly rod I ever felt fatigued using.

Posted on: 2013/3/15 12:07


Re: Is Your Butt To Heavy?

Joined:
2007/4/8 20:43
From SEPA
Posts: 11344
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duh, tenkada.

Posted on: 2013/3/15 14:29
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Re: Is Your Butt To Heavy?

Joined:
2006/9/13 22:36
From Tioga co. formerly of bucks co.
Posts: 5544
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balance/smalance----saving an oz. or 2 from tip or butt is minimal...learning and practicing the cast is more important. most likely your arm gave out because you were not practicing and it made the muscles hurt. you have to train the muscles and the brain to fly fish. this is not a natural thing our bodies do..

Posted on: 2013/3/15 14:55
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Re: Is Your Butt To Heavy?

Joined:
2010/2/15 19:09
From Ohio
Posts: 736
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When determing if a rod and reel balance should the rod be ready to fish with the line pulled through the guides? Just curious how you guys balance.

Posted on: 2013/3/15 16:34


Re: Is Your Butt To Heavy?

Joined:
2011/7/6 13:48
From Philadelphia PA
Posts: 1548
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For me if the tip dives forward....I'm going to have a tired arm quick because the weight is outward and pulling my arm that way. I normally test it with full line on, and the tip should slowly flow upward. If say 30 feet of line is off the reel and out the tip it can hold the tip from moving either direction. If you have the line (leader and tippit) throughout the guides it shouldn't make a difference either way.

Posted on: 2013/3/15 17:00
_________________
"I am respected when I walk into any fly shop. Salespeople wait on me hand and waders. I once tried underwater casting just to see if I could. I am the most admired Fly Fisherman in the world. And when I fly-fish, I use the Orvis Access. Stay Fishing MF


Re: Is Your Butt To Heavy?

Joined:
2011/7/6 13:48
From Philadelphia PA
Posts: 1548
Offline
I guess I shoud better explain: Let's ask a few simple questions:
1. Do you own multiple fly rods?
2. Are several of them the same weight?
3. Which ones do you use the most?

If you answered yes to 1 and 2 of these questions and have a preference, then possibly the answer is the balance of the rods and reels are not set up properly. To top heavy or to bottom heavy will make other rods and reels look much better and more affordable.

For me, what happened is I own 4 flyrods in the same 5/6 wt range. Only one did I purchase through a respectful dealer (Orvis) who set it up with proper amout of backing. The other setups ....you guessed it, I set them up myself and put the backing on. My 2 St Croix Flyrods from Dicks sporting goods sit in their sleaves and have not been used in over 5 years.

The rods and reels I use the most are the ones that were properly set up by a respectful dealer. And they are much better balanced then the ones I put together that's for sure.

So with that mouthful said, please go back through your collection of rod's and reels and see if what I'm saying makes sense.

Posted on: 2013/3/15 18:48
_________________
"I am respected when I walk into any fly shop. Salespeople wait on me hand and waders. I once tried underwater casting just to see if I could. I am the most admired Fly Fisherman in the world. And when I fly-fish, I use the Orvis Access. Stay Fishing MF


Re: Is Your Butt To Heavy?

Joined:
2013/1/27 10:24
From Sweet Valley
Posts: 186
Online
1. Yes, I own multiple rods
2. Yes, I have a few same size/weight
3. Which one/ones do I use the most?

I am very picky with my rod/reel balance when looking at new rods/reels. I am addicted to 9ft 5wts and I own a few rods under 3 ounces and I had a very hard time finding reels that were heavy enough so the balance wasn't too tip heavy. I have found that a reel that weighs about 5.5 ounces before line and backing balances a 9ft 5wt rod just about perfect.

I always balance on the spot my thumb usually rests on the cork. I read that is where you should balance them too when I was in H.S. and I have stuck to it. Works for me.

Very few new reels weigh enough to balance modern rods, IMO, but I think you have to sacrifice perfect balance if you want to match a high end rod with a high end reel. That is because high end reels are way too light.

I have either sold my rods/reels that didn't balance well or I have swapped reels/rods to make them balance better. Because I NEVER used them once I found the balance that I liked.

To sum it up: IMO what you said makes perfect sense.

Posted on: 2013/3/15 20:15


Re: Is Your Butt To Heavy?

Joined:
2011/6/12 20:15
From Newville, PA
Posts: 416
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I purchased a Grey's Streamflex 11' 3 wt last spring. Every trout reel I own did not balance the rod to my liking. I tried lead tape that i use to use in balancing golf clubs, but could not add enough weight? I read a tip on this site about adding lead core line under the backing. It was a cheap fix. If you try this, please spend and extra buck or two and buy a lead core line that will not bleed its color onto backing and line. I used Cabela' Sufix 12 pound.

Posted on: 2013/3/15 20:51
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Re: Is Your Butt To Heavy?

Joined:
2011/7/6 13:48
From Philadelphia PA
Posts: 1548
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You may need a large arbor reel to offset the weight of the rod being 11'.

Posted on: 2013/3/18 8:28
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"I am respected when I walk into any fly shop. Salespeople wait on me hand and waders. I once tried underwater casting just to see if I could. I am the most admired Fly Fisherman in the world. And when I fly-fish, I use the Orvis Access. Stay Fishing MF


Re: Is Your Butt To Heavy?

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13453
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Yes, balance is enormously important to me. I fish everything from light graphite sticks to a very heavy 8'6", swelled butt bamboo. It's not weight that leads to fatigue, it's misbalance. Balance it and even a heavy rod will not lead to too much fatigue. Aside from fatigue, the casting itself is improved with proper balance. If where you're applying power (your hand) is too far from the center of gravity, physics is working against you, and it's harder to quickly accelerate and stop the rod, which leads to open loops and sloppy casting.

I suppose my method is similar to yours. When the reel is loaded with line, and put on the rod, I want the balance point to be ON the grip. Anywhere on the grip is ok, and perfect is in the middle of my hand.

But, as you say, when you string it out, that balance point moves up a little. So your strung - balance point just in front of the grip is probably about the same as my unstrung - balance point on the grip. We prefer the same balance, just measure differently. And your method is more accurate, as it would take into account differences in the line weight/taper, etc. Ultimately, I think the differences in weight due to those are insignificant. They may move that balance point a half inch or so, but it doesn't have to be perfect, merely reasonable.

It's a bit of an issue for me that modern, high quality reels are too light. In a rod made of any material, I prefer "power sticks", which tend to thick near the handle and taper slowly until the tip, where they taper more quickly. This leads to a "tip heavy" rod compared to the noodles out there like Superfines and the like. And it requires a heavier reel to balance. I have been known to wrap lead around parts of the reel.

Posted on: 2013/3/18 9:16


Re: Is Your Butt To Heavy?

Joined:
2006/9/11 13:33
From Lehigh Valley
Posts: 3323
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You guys aren't looking very hard. Here's some premium "modern" reels and their weights:

Abel Super 5N - 5.0 oz
Nautilus NV 5/6 - 5.10 oz
Hatch Plus 4P - 5.20 oz
Galvan Torque T5 - 4.80 oz
Lamson Guru G2 - 4.90 oz
Orvis Mirage III - 4.8 oz
Orvis Hydros III - 5.0 oz

A nice reel at a good price point is the Allen Trout II, size 2 - it's 5.5 oz.

I have an Abel Super 5N on my 9' 5wt Z-Axis, and it balances about 2" back from the tip of the cork, without backing and line.

Posted on: 2013/3/18 10:05
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Re: Is Your Butt To Heavy?

Joined:
2011/7/6 13:48
From Philadelphia PA
Posts: 1548
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It's not just about finding a reel..it's about the combination of the two (Reel and Rod) to make a balanced set up.

Posted on: 2013/3/18 15:47
_________________
"I am respected when I walk into any fly shop. Salespeople wait on me hand and waders. I once tried underwater casting just to see if I could. I am the most admired Fly Fisherman in the world. And when I fly-fish, I use the Orvis Access. Stay Fishing MF


Re: Is Your Butt To Heavy?

Joined:
2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
Posts: 7633
Offline
I think balance is important, but I may be in the minroity. But what I know is you can have too much back on the reel even though the rod and reel are balanced. One reason I recommend anyone buying a rod and reel cast them first, don't buy anything without trying it out. Now that being said, the same reel will not necessarily balance on 2 different 6 wt rods.
After a full day of fishing and catching I sometimes have a tired arm, but I'm never in pain from casting and retrieving..

Posted on: 2013/3/18 18:19
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