Thursday, March 8, 2012


In one of my earlier posts I talked about using lightweight reels. I believe in using these because it moves the fulcrum up out of the grip area. In years past I always bought or made reels that balanced the rod in hand. I no longer believe that.

Why should the fulcrum be moved up? If you ever read anything that E.C. Powell wrote about fly rods he talks about them being two types of machines: simple-lever and complex-spring. If your hand is directly over the fulcrum what control are you going to have over both sides of the lever? You will have very little control. The spring mechanism works more effectively when it is allowed to fully recoil and load. This occurs when the fulcrum is in the middle of the butt section and you control the power output to the other side of the lever. This is a discussion that can go on for ever, but I wanted to briefly describe it and explain why I like lightweight reels on bamboo fly rods. On a different note this doesn't work as well with graphite/fiberglass  rods because the tips are so light. Bamboo tips are much heavier and require action at the butt section for them to coordinate correctly.

A little story. Last summer I went to a gathering of builders in Island Park. I cast several rods by Per Brandin. I had never seen one of his rods and I was very curious because you hear he is the best.  I cast his rods for about an hour. They are different than other rods and I couldn't figure out why. On all of the rods he brought each rod had a cork reel seat and lightweight british made reels. I just thought maybe he REALLY liked that set up. However, later on I realized what I was feeling in his rods. He had moved the fulcrum up and thus created a more powerful rod. I don't know if he did this intentionally, but I liked what I felt. So, after that I changed how I built my rods and what I know use on them.

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