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Re: Rod Action

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2008/9/12 12:41
Posts: 726
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Not to complicate matters but there are 2 different definitions of fast action – traditional and modern.

Modern fast action rods tend to be far too stiff with tips that are too stiff to protect tippets and these rods really aren’t useful trout fishing rods at anything under 60 feet. These rods are not designed for typical trout fishing situations (under 40 feet) but rather launching the entire line or for salt or heavy duty fresh water fishing. These rods generally need to be over lined to be able to fish at distances under 40 feet and a well made fast action should not need to be over lined to fish at closer distances. Examples of this kind of cannon rod are the Sage TCX and ONE, and the Temple Fork TiCr, TiCrx and Axiom (I’m sure there are others but these come to mind). These are not trout fishing rods. Another thing is most cheaper rods tend to follow this design because it is cheaper to manufacture this type of rod than a traditional fast action rod because making a traditional fast action rod requires smaller mandrels and finesse in making the tip section – the most critical part of a fast action rod – and that adds money.

Traditional graphite fast action rods have a soft tip section (maybe 24” on a 9’ rod) and they get progressively stiffer as you approach the butt section. The soft tip protects tippets and allows you to make delicate presentations at close ranges by casting off the tip. It is a fine balance between a soft tip and stiff tip because too soft, while good at close ranges, affects accuracy at distance. This was precisely the problem with the original Winston BiiX – the tip section on certain models was far too soft and you simply couldn’t cast accurately at distances over 40 feet or so. Good examples of a traditional graphite fast action rod are the Winson BiiiX, Sage Z-Axis, Hardy Zenith and Loomis NRX. Even between these 4 rods there are differences with the Winston excelling best at close ranges but maxing out at about 65 feet while the NRX has the least feel of the 4 at close ranges (can do the job) but has the most feel of the 4 at distances greater than 40 feet and also launches the most line. The Z-Axis and Zenith are probably the best rods of the 4 for “across the range performance,” from close range (but not quite as good as the Winston) to long distances (but not quite as good as the NRX). I would also throw in the Temple Fork Professional Series as being a pretty good example of this type of rod.

Medium and medium fast action rods are basically a progressive action rod like a fast action rod except the softer tip extends further down the rod (maybe 1/3 to 1/2) before becoming stiffer. Good examples are the Winston WT and BiiT, Sage ZXL, Loomis Whisper Creek, Scott G2 and Temple Fork Finesse.

Slow action rods actually have stiffer tips and butt sections and bend more in the middle section, sometimes calls parabolic action. You won’t find many graphite rods of this design and most of these are older or retro fiberglass or boo rods.

As for fishing applications, FishIdiot’s first paragraph pretty much gives a good summary. If I know I am going to be fishing a hatch on your typical PA stream (fishing under 40 feet), I prefer a medium action 9’, 5wt. If I will be fishing predominately subsurface, I prefer a fast action 9’, 6wt.

Overall most people prefer fast action rods simply because they are more forgiving and compensate for less than perfect casting technique and timing. Medium and slow action rods require more precise timing and better technique and if you don’t have it, your will struggle to cast more than 25-30 feet of line. But in the hands of an expert caster, that person will be able to cast either rod action equally well.

My suggestion if thinking of buying a new rod is what is the purpose of the new rod? How will it be fished? Far too many people walk into a store, grab a rod, and start launching 70 feet of line and they’ve never been able to do that before so they buy the rod only to find out they can’t cast it under 40 feet without over lining it. Cast and test rods under the circumstances you will be fishing.

Posted on: 2012/2/23 10:01


Re: Rod Action

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2006/9/11 11:30
Posts: 592
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My first response to getting a new fly rod is what are you looking to do that you can't do well with the rod you have? Can't quite reach the fish when casting on a lake or large river? Getting the tip hung up in brush? Having trouble mending? Can't roll cast? Most of these things are technique, but there are rods that will do each task better.

I like medium and slow rods for a completely crazy reason. I fly fish to relax and find a slow casting style more relaxing. Can catch fish with fast or slow rods - need to find out what works for you.

And watch out for the definitions of fast, medium, and slow - they mean different things to different people. Like recommended line weight - it's a fine place to start but you may prefer heavier or lighter line on any given rod. Use people descriptions as a gudie and then try outfits to see how they fit your needs.

Posted on: 2012/2/23 10:38


Re: Rod Action

Joined:
2010/3/9 11:28
From near Hershey, Pa
Posts: 109
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I agree with alot of what has already been said but just want to add that fast action rods are easier to cast, as others have mentioned, and can help you overcome the wind if you take advantage of their potential to throw tighter loops.

The trade offs are that, in general, they do not cast as well in close as they do at longer distances because they are harder to load, as others have mentioned, and they do not allow you the flexibity to easily make different casts such as curving left or right, checking your cast softly to drop you fly delicately, or piling up your leader if you have to cast over a current or cast downstream. Doing these things is harder for me with a fast action rod because the tempo of a fast action rod does not give you as much of a window to squeeze the rod handle or tilt your wrist slightly just before the line straightens out.

I grew up fishing small streams with a short medium action fiberglass rod. When I got older and began fishing larger streams I could not cast very far and thought it was the rod so I saved up and bought a graphite rod. A 9' 5 wt. entry level rod that had a medium fast action and it helped me become a better caster. However, it was not until I set aside my pride and took a casting class that I got to be a proficient caster.

Conciquently, last summer while rearanging my fishing gear, I took my old fiberglass rod out in the back yard and it now casts much better than I remember.

These are just my experiences. I also think that todays entry level rods will do 90%+ of what the top-of-the-line models will do in regular fishing conditions.

I hope that adds something to what was already mentioned,

Shock

Posted on: 2012/2/23 14:12


Re: Rod Action

Joined:
2012/1/13 23:36
From Landenberg PA
Posts: 211
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Thanks for all the replies guys!

Again I learned with my St Croix and it has been good to me. I am still working on a lot of my techniques. I have noticed setting the line down is a bit more difficult to finesse. I have only casted a few rods in my life and my Imperial has taken up the majority of that.

Most of the fishing I do is on creeks <50 ft. and smaller from there. It seems to do pretty well for that level of fishing.

Part of the reason I asked this in the first place was I came across a good deal on a Winston Ascent. One of their "lower end rods" but was interested in the fact that it was longer than mine and a 6 wt. I was wondering if I do decide to get a new rod, should I stick with the style I am used to or expand my horizons more and look into a slower rod. Plus the fact I don't have a back up outfit yet either. Also, I think a 6wt rod will let me get more line out if I decide to fish larger streams or lakes.

I cant recall who said it, but most graphite rods I see now are all mostly fast action. I think I am over thinking this, wait, I know I am over thinking this, but I am not sure if I want to mind screw myself looking for something outside my box right now.

Also, anyone have any experience with the Winston Ascent?

Thanks again!

Posted on: 2012/2/23 14:24
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I like my fly rods fast and my women even faster


Re: Rod Action

Joined:
2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
Posts: 19931
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You really should cast any rod before you buy it. It's the only way to tell for sure. You could very easily get mixed reviews on the ascent since it's so subjective. For example, I strongly disagree with greenweenie's characterization of some of the rods that he considers too stiff for trout fishing, as do many accomplished anglers. Some of the others he mentioned, I am in agreement. Doesn't make him right or wrong, since it is a matter of opinion.

With rods, beauty and effectiveness is 100% in the eye of the beholder.

Posted on: 2012/2/23 15:32


Re: Rod Action

Joined:
2008/9/12 12:41
Posts: 726
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Paulson,

Check your PM. If you have trouble accessing your inbox (there have been issues), when logged on go to the Site and Forums Announcement forum and the go to Page 3 of the PM thread for a link on how to backdoor access your inbox.

Posted on: 2012/2/23 15:40


Re: Rod Action

Joined:
2008/9/19 21:04
Posts: 23
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For what it is worth...rod action is purely personal preference.

Rod action has absolutely nothing to do with line speed, loop size, casting into the wind, curve casts, casting long distances, etc, etc, etc. All of these things are directly related to the skill of the caster, not the rod. If you disagree, I'd label you as someone that would greatly benefit from some casting instruction and practice.

An argument can (and should) be made for line weight helping/hindering in some casting situations that folks attribute to rod action, like casting heavy flies, casting into the wind, etc, etc, etc. Fish an appropriate line weight to what you are fishing/conditions and all will go much better...1 weights aren't the best tool to cast a double bunny into the wind, but the opposite isn't necessarily true...a 6 weight is perfectly fine to gently drop a size 28 spinner pattern on a glassy pool on a calm day (this again comes down to casting skill).

The best thing you can do is cast a bunch of rods and get the one you believe FEELS best to you.


Posted on: 2012/2/23 21:09


Re: Rod Action

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2007/7/2 19:40
Posts: 15165
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nice to know those of us who have been at the game for a half century don't know what they know,from experience.lol

Posted on: 2012/2/23 21:17
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Obstrification> The fine art of confusing liberals.


Re: Rod Action

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2008/9/19 21:04
Posts: 23
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Quote:

pete41 wrote:
nice to know those of us who have been at the game for a half century don't know what they know,from experience.lol


I can only say that just because you've done something for a relatively long time doesn't mean that you are any good at it.

Posted on: 2012/2/23 21:21


Re: Rod Action

Joined:
2010/6/19 16:43
From Clinton County, Pa.
Posts: 1811
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Quote:

tomitrout wrote:
Of course, the real trick is to become a proficient enough caster where rod action just doesn't matter. Where you can pick up any stick, fast, slow or in between, wave it around and be able to lay out the line as you desire.
+1 I could'nt have said that any better. IMO you are 100% correct.

Posted on: 2012/2/23 21:42
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"Even the thousandth trip to the same familiar stream begins with renewed hope and unfailing faith." ZANE GREY


Re: Rod Action

Joined:
2012/2/7 19:41
Posts: 57
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Jeep, rod action has nothing to do with line speed? I get what your are trying to say but you are making asinine comments that are refuted by many experts.

The Winston Tom Morgan Favorite is generally regarded as the absolute best dry fly rod yet the consensus of everyone is that rod is good only up to 45 feet. The Tom Morgan Rodsmith rods, specifically the 8.5' 5wt rod, is generally regarded as the sweetest casting 5wt out there kept yet every proficient caster who casts it claims it max's out at 50 feet.

Sorry we are not all superior proficient expert casters like you, who can obviously do wonders with any rod and put the industry experts to shame. Please volunteer to give a casting demonstration at this years jam, it would be very enlightening. If you want a competition to challenge your superior skills i will challenge you to a distance and accuracy competition. Since all rods are equal and it is the skill of the caster that makes the rod, I will use a 9' Loomis 4wt NRX to help compenste for my admittingly less than perfect technique and you will use the 8', 4wt Winston TMF because your technique is obviously flawless so you should kick my ass.

Posted on: 2012/2/23 22:04


Re: Rod Action

Joined:
2012/1/13 23:36
From Landenberg PA
Posts: 211
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Whats with all the tension? Everyone needs a beer...or five!

After the casting competition of course

Posted on: 2012/2/23 22:15


Re: Rod Action

Joined:
2009/6/11 1:27
From York, PA
Posts: 1415
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I agree, it's a personal preference.
My fave rod is a Orvis Helios 3wt mid-flex. Some would say that a tip-flex is what makes a fast rod...... but I disagree. It's the high modulus and taper design.
Usually, I overline my fast rods to slow them down a bit. But today I was tossing dries at Yellow Breeches and this 3wt with 3wt line is spot on.
Also, I like the rod to snap at the end of a cast and the most important to me is a super light rod. The Helios is the lightest rod in the world. Super powerful and super light.
With a small 10" trout, I want the rod to bend and give me a thrill when I play the fish.
So, it's really hard to measure...... just use what you like to fish with.

Posted on: 2012/2/24 0:30


Re: Rod Action

Joined:
2009/5/29 6:40
From harlansburg
Posts: 4457
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ok, enough! just pick one that's a pretty color!

Posted on: 2012/2/24 7:07


Re: Rod Action

Joined:
2010/6/9 12:35
From down the block from the Letort.
Posts: 929
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Quote:
Sorry we are not all superior proficient expert casters like you, who can obviously do wonders with any rod and put the industry experts to shame. Please volunteer to give a casting demonstration at this years jam, it would be very enlightening. If you want a competition to challenge your superior skills i will challenge you to a distance and accuracy competition. Since all rods are equal and it is the skill of the caster that makes the rod, I will use a 9' Loomis 4wt NRX to help compenste for my admittingly less than perfect technique and you will use the 8', 4wt Winston TMF because your technique is obviously flawless so you should kick my ass.



Well, if ya'll are 'gonna take this outside', then what you really need to do is switch rods after you've each used your favorite and combine the scores for each from your little contest to determine who's the best.

Posted on: 2012/2/24 7:27



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