Rooger wrote:In this respect, rods are very similar to golf clubs. In golf, you try to optimally match the shaft flex to a player's swing speed and club head weight. The end result is getting the club to "load up" during the backswing and downswing and to release maximum energy or speed at impact. Players that use shafts that are too stiff for their swing speed will never generate enough flex to get the proper whip action at release. Players that use clubs that are too flexible can occasionally time the release just right to create the perfect impact, but it's very difficult to control. A lot of your "long-drive" contest competitors will use extra long, super whippy shafts, but they can be all over the place if not timed absolutely perfect.
When fishing with light to medium action rods, I can cast lightweight lures much further, however as I get to 1/2 oz or more, the odds of getting the right flex in the rod combined with the best accuracy definitely favor a heavier action. The heavier the bait, the more backbone you'll need in the rod. As mentioned earlier, there are many more factors involved as well.
I would also like to add blank and guide ring insert material (or lack thereof) & guide type/placement into the equation.
While on the surface a Shimano Voltaeus may appear to be a great rod considering the Shimano name and warranty, but when you look at it in comparison to the Falcon, it falls short. The Voltaeus is a 3 material composite blend with carbon & t-glass being the two most significant. The Falcon rods, as far as I know are all graphite rods. The addition of glass in a rod blank will slow the action of the rod down. Basically it will make the rod bend more and further down from the tip during a cast when compared to a graphite blank of the same power.
What this means during a cast is the rod will load up faster with less weight, but will require better timing to be more accurate. It also means that your rod will resonate or continue to flex more after your lure is released. While your line is running through the guides on a cast this added vibration will cause line slap along the blank and added friction against the guides effectively slowing down the lure at the end of your line.
Another thing to consider is guide ring material. The Voltaeus rods use a stainless ring vs. the Falcons that use a Fuji (ring type unspecified) guide. I would venture to guess based upon price alone that Falcon uses Alconite or SiC ring Fuji guides which are outstanding IMHO.
What rings do is provide a smooth surface for your line to run through. In the old days it was thought that any old smooth surface would be fine as long as it was free of nicks or burrs. What manufacturers have found since then is that materials with an extremely low coefficient of friction will actually increase casting distance, prevent premature line wear, and the lighter weight materials prove to hamper the action of the blank less. On a Vickers scale, Alconite and SiC are among the highest rated for hardness. This means the material is extremely dense and therefore in it's polished state, extremely smooth.
Guide placement is my last rant.
- There are many ways of determining proper spacing and application of guides on a fishing rod. I subscribe to the New Guide Concept put forth by Fuji. I have done enough research and seen enough evidence on the water first hand to know that this method of guide type and placement plays a significant role in the practical performance of a fishing rod. I could go into the specifics, but I don't think anyone reading this right now needs a nap.
Basically the New Guide Concept calls for more guides (specifically smaller guides in the final section of the guide train), guide rings closer to the blank and better following the natural bend of the rod under load, and specific stripper guide (first guide above reel) placement based upon the angle of the reel axis.
It's based much more soundly on science than the old way which was to lay them out so they look even.