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Rod Actions

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2006/9/23 0:52
From Lock Haven, PA
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I was curious as to what action of rods you perfer. I know the new trend is the fast tip or even extra fast tip. I have a G-Loomis 9' 6 wt GL3 I built a years or so ago. I believe it has a moderate action and I use it for nymphing and occasionally streamers. I'd say 85% of my casting is roll casts. I also have a Fenwick 8' 5 weight HMX that I use mainly for dries. I am unsure of the action in this rod. I'm curous as to what action your rod is and how you mainly use it casting wise. Whats the advantage of the action with the types of casts or fishing techniques?

Posted on: 2009/5/11 9:13


Re: Rod Actions

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2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
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I just broke my fast tip 4pc...and have been using my older LLbean moderate. For me it more like, "hey, I remember this...this is ok..." It was just different. Did have a little more effort to punch it thru a wind gust I wasn't ready for but other than that it was just different. Fish feel stronger on the softer rod but I didn't lose as many either.

Posted on: 2009/5/11 9:28


Re: Rod Actions

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2007/4/8 20:43
From Lehigh Valley
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I've had two rods since I figured out what I'm doing. One was fast, the other was moderate-slow.

I vastly prefer the slower action rod, my backcasts now end up in wide, lazy loops, however I can consistently throw them rather than mistime everything and end up with a puddle of line at my toes.

Posted on: 2009/5/11 10:02
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Re: Rod Actions

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2009/4/1 21:52
From Johnstown, PA
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It wasn't till a friend took me to Erie for steelhead that i paid much attention to rod action , they use the real soft tip (slow) "noodle" to feel the tick of those big buggers that hit so light and fast , IMO it all depends on what kind of fishing you are gonna be doin , those of us that can't run out and buy a rod for every fishing situation have to consider all the oppurtunities , then maybe pick something in between. The first couple good rods i got were from Clousers in Middletown and he let me actually try them on the stream. I'm sure some fly shops will make accomodations.

Posted on: 2009/5/11 10:39


Re: Rod Actions

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2006/9/11 13:05
From Lewistown
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I'll cast it no matter what the action is.

Posted on: 2009/5/11 11:09
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Re: Rod Actions

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2006/9/23 0:52
From Lock Haven, PA
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I'll cast it also no matter what the action is...I just wondered what actions favor certain styles of fishing and casting. I'm kind of thinking of building another rod.

Posted on: 2009/5/11 11:23


Re: Rod Actions

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2007/4/12 8:01
From Pittsburgh
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Let me preface this by saying that my favorite fishing is throwing small dries and midges to rising fish on smallish to medium size streams. I don't prefer large rivers with large flies and heavy nymphs or streamers.

My favorite dry-fly and small-stream nymph rod was an 3-wt echo classic. I'm not sure exactly how others would describe it - but I'd say it was on the slow-end of fast - but it had a "soft" tip.

What I mean is at close distances it would load beautifully - I could really feel the small nymphs and dries load the rod when casting. It would roll cast nicely too (I used it with a Wulff Triangle taper line).
But I could also punch it out if I wanted to 60- or 70- feet without much effort - with small flies.

It was not great for large bushy flies (only a 3-wt), but for most of my PA fishing it was perfect.

I now have a faster action 4-wt fly rod that I use - it doesn't give me any "feel" like the slower action rod, and I don't like that at all. It works but it is not as "fun" to cast.

Regarding building a rod: I sold the Echo-3wt to make room for a new rod build.

I'm building a FlyLogic 3/4 wt. This rod has much the same action as the echo I described. I built one for my father and I love it. You should look into these blanks if you want a small stream rod. You can get them on ebay. The one I built was an 8-ft 3/4 wt, 3-piece (I think this particular rod is no longer available). It was the FL Optimum model I believe. The blank I got was about $50. The FlyLogic site has quite a bit of info on the rods. The only place I've found the blanks is on ebay though.

Posted on: 2009/5/11 11:42
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Re: Rod Actions

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2006/9/11 13:05
From Lewistown
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I nymph most of the time, so I like a long rod with moderate/moderate-fast action. I use my new avid that I built. I like the feel as the nymphs bounce along the bottom and the twitch of fish nibbles.

Posted on: 2009/5/11 12:40
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Re: Rod Actions

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2008/1/21 13:28
From South Central PA
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I prefer stiffer and longer for nymphing, softer for dries, and compromise with various moderate and moderate fast action rods in 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9 ft. depending on stream size.

If I have a hunch that I will more than likely be nymphing, which is often on the wild trout and special regs streams of medium size and up, I use the stiffest 5 or 6 wt of the bunch.

For small streams that usually means dry flies and my 7 or 7.5 footers for 4 or 5 wt. with 7 ft leaders. Easy loading is a big plus in small spaces and the softer moderate actions allow that. There are so many good, inexpensive rods in this size range that I would not build one unless you just like to build things and want to fill the small stream niche in your collection.

In general, the longer the rod and larger weight the line, the more expensive and perhaps faster the rod needs to be because the lower priced rods in the 9 ft for 6 wt. and larger tend to be too heavy and tiring. I only buy rods about 3.75 ounces or less for trout.

I bought a 10 ft, 5 wt Pacific Bay blank about 10 years ago that was supposed to be fast action, but after building it turned out to be the slowest rod in my collection. I guess the lesson for me on that was to take the advertised action with a grain of salt.

Outfits like St.Croix have fancy equipment to line guides up quickly and perfectly, plus lots of quality control checks and experienced artisans. It is very difficult for an individual to do better as far as rod performance goes. However, I wish the manufacturers would get a grip on grips. Everything you see on a 6 wt or less is a reverse half wells. I prefer Fenwick/half wells or full wells. And everything on a 7 wt and up has a fighting butt, often not removable. And all reel seats are uplocking. Altering those options are the kinds of customizations that I would make if building a rod strictly for my own use (as opposed to selling on speculation).

If you haven't already, you might want to check out some rod building boards where your inquiry would be right up their alley. I am not familar with them but a quick google should do it.

Posted on: 2009/5/11 21:47


Re: Rod Actions

Joined:
2007/7/2 19:40
Posts: 15011
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'I'll cast it no matter what the action it is"

I have to admit I would go to Dan Baileys and ask

"What rod is best"?
They would rod me up.
-never tested them but would glance at the label.
Scientific Anglers-glass
Fenwick-then Sage so I don't know if they were right for me but happy with them.lol

Posted on: 2009/5/12 7:15
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Re: Rod Actions

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2007/4/20 19:31
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First you need to understand exactly what you mean by action. There is a lot of confusion out there about action. A fast action rod is one with a weak tip that tapers into a strong mid and butt section quickly. A slow action rod has a stronger tip that gradually tapers into a weak mid and butt section. This is what causes slow action rods to flex "into the handle" . Short, delicate, small fly presentations work best with something slower. Long, wind cutting big fly presentation work well with a fast rod. If you have to pick up lots of line off the water, fast is what you want.
The confusion is compounded by manufacturers descriptions. The posts above have examples. Just because manufacturer A describes a blank as fast, what does that mean? Faster than what? Is it faster than Manufacturer B? You see the problem. It is also implied by many manufacturers that the material the rod is made from contributes to the action ie. generation 3 graphite is faster than glass, and that fast action is higher quality. You also can't change the action of the rod by putting a heavy line on it to slow it down. That just overloads the rod and deepens the flex making it feel slower. You can't change the way a rod flexes by adding or subtracking the weight.
Send me an e-email to onebyonerods@comcast.net if you want to discuss further. It can get a little lenghty on a forum like this.

Posted on: 2009/5/12 7:28


Re: Rod Actions
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2006/9/9 19:16
From Dallastown, PA
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Abbrod,

Thanks for the description. My understanding is as you describe. When I heard "fast action tip" it threw up a red flag for me. I am glad you took the time to respond. Please feel free to get "lengthy" on the subject in the forum.

Someone else from above mentioned that using "noodley" rods in Erie allows for a sensitive feel of the bite on these finicky fish...Another misnomer. The soft tip and mid section of a noodle rod (spinning) or medium action fly rod of a length over 9' allows the flex to carry over a longer distance giving the rod more cushion on the hard fast surges and runs the steelhead make often during the fight. However, it is important to have a rod that doesn't flex into the handle so you can turn the bohemeth when they sulk in a fast run. Faster action rods can't cushion that blow as well and break offs happen.

Thanks for posting

Posted on: 2009/5/12 8:14
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Re: Rod Actions

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2007/4/8 20:43
From Lehigh Valley
Posts: 11193
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I, for one, look forward to a long post on the subject.

Its just one more thing that would fit nicely into a FAQ for these parts. Maybe if you post it, I'll be so motivated as to save it for such a project...

Posted on: 2009/5/12 8:54
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Re: Rod Actions

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2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
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Quote:

bigjohn58 wrote:
I'll cast it also no matter what the action is...I just wondered what actions favor certain styles of fishing and casting. I'm kind of thinking of building another rod.


I would just look at what I don't have that might be fun. Buying a complete rod I might take an entire other approach.

Posted on: 2009/5/12 9:04


Re: Rod Actions

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2008/9/12 12:41
Posts: 726
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Good post by Abbrod. A few more things.

Forgetting action for a moment, there are basically two types of fly rods made today - one designed for fishing and one designed for casting? Most less than high-end fast action rods made today are designed for distance casting and not fishing. A lot is marketing hype convincing everyone that a rod that throws 80 feet of line is better than a rod that only throws 60 feet of line. The fact remains that a well-made fiberglass fishing rod from 50 years ago is still a well-made fishing rod today. The only thing that went obsolete with that well-made glass fishing rod was the marketing not the rod design.

Slow or medium action rods require a more relaxed casting stroke and you really need to let the rod do the work and these rods are not exactly forgiving to goofs in timing. Fast action rods are more forgiving to timing goofs and the fact is most fly fisherman don’t have good casting technique. Most are too rushed and overpower the rod not letting the rod do the work and a fast action rod is definitely more forgiving to less than perfect technique.

Regarding rod design/taper, no matter whether slow, medium or fast action the rod’s design/taper is all based on a certain amount of weight that can be carried in the air without overloading and stressing the rod. The reason most fast action rods carry and cast more line than a medium or slow action rod of the same line rating is simply because most fast rods are underrated while most medium and slow action rods are true rated. The rating standard is supposed to be 30 feet of line from the rod’s tip and 30 feet of 5 weight line weighs more than 30 feet of 4 weight line, which weighs more than 30 feet of 3 weight line. So most fast action 4 weight “labeled” rods that can carry 60-70 feet of 4 weight line in the air are really 5.5 - 6 weight rods based on traditional 30 foot ratings. Try fishing that 4 weight fast action rod at a distance of 25 feet with a 7x tippet and see how well it fishes and protects tippets. Conversely, take a true rated 6 weight slow or medium action rod and underline it with 4 weight line and you will be able to carry 60-70 feet of line in the air.

Another problem with most fast action rods (excepting high end rods like Sage Z-Axis, Winston Biix, etc.) is the tip is too stiff because mfgs use larger diameter mandrels resulting in extra material because overall it is easier and less expensive to make a straight rod this way – but the tip section is far too stiff for the rod and it doesn’t protect tippets nor allow “feel” when working in close. This is one reason why many fisherman over line their fast action rods for working close distances – the rod is not properly designed and cannot effectively load the rated line. A well-made high-end fast action rod (Sage Z-Axis, Winston Biix) doesn’t need to be overlined for working at close distances.

Lastly, as others have said, there are no standards for rod ratings. Sage’s medium action is basically Winston’s fast action.

Personally, I prefer a medium action rod simply because I enjoy casting a medium action rod and also because a medium action rod is better able to protect fine tippets and absorb the initial shock of sometimes violent hits especially when fishing streamers downstream when the full weight of the fish plus the current is instantaneously.

Posted on: 2009/5/12 11:05



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