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For Herb Ladenheim
Posted by: Lynn Behler (---.97.252.156.res-cmts.leh.ptd.net)
Date: August 21, 2018 03:09PM

Herb, your mention of carbon fiber grips (Anthony Unger's post below) creating a shear point is the 1st I've ever read of this. I don't doubt your word, but did you learn this from personal experience or is there some place I can read more on the subject? I've only used a cf grip one time so far and it was from a supplier, but none of the suppliers that I'm aware of mention this. Perhaps they should! If anyone else would like to chime in on this topic, please do.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/21/2018 04:27PM by Lynn Behler.

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Re: For Herb Ladenheim
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: August 21, 2018 05:01PM

A reel seat or reel seat arbor creates the same situation, and you don't find rods popping at that location.

During the magazine testing to determine rod breakage causes and resulting means of using the break evidence to determine how or what actually broke the rod, we broke over 200 rods, on purpose. During the segment testing rods to absolute load limit failure, we never had one break in the area where you would have a seat or a grip. All failed about 8 inches to a foot ahead of the furthest point of effort. So put your mind at ease - your rod is not going to be compromised by using a foam-core, carbon-fiber skinned trip. It's a moot point.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/21/2018 09:18PM by Tom Kirkman.

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Re: For Herb Ladenheim
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (---)
Date: August 21, 2018 07:04PM

The first experience I had with the negative aspects of CFG's was when I installed my first on one of my personal (fly) rods.
I used it before I applied the winding check and butt wrap.
After one casting session I noticed that the blank, under the forward end of the grip, was scored by the CF skin.
After that I installed the neoprene "O" rings to prevent this from happening.

The other issue - "hard spot" - while more theoretical - is still a factor that has to be considered by the builder.
It is well documented that - depending on how far up the butt section the blank is reinforced - that a rod can be broken by grabbing the blank above the grip. How far up is safe??? You don't want to find out the hard way :-)))

In effect - the angler holding the rod above the grip has created a hard spot in the rod - or shortened the flex profile - take your pick.

A reel seat on a rod with a short grip (fly rod, one handed casting rods) does not create an valid hard spot because one of the anglers hand is always above the reel seat. Therefore the seat is taken out of the equation.

If the rod was built with a long cork grip (Boat Rod) the rod will flex under heavy load down to the butt- and through the reel seat. The rod will not break for 3 reasons: Because the reel seat area is designed to bear those loads and the flex is minimal - the seat is not long enough to cause a problem - the angler is supporting the foregrip well above the seat - transferring the major load where it belongs.

When I cast and fight a fish on a fly rod with CFG's - I feel no flex into the grip. While it is not the same as grabbing the rod above the grip - it can't be denied that you are approaching that area more than with a flexible cork grip.

I wish I could find Bob Meiser's article recommending as short-as-possible length of hardwood at the forward section of the upper grip.

I hope you didn't expect me to have an experience where I broke a rod by installing a hard spot :-)))

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/21/2018 07:06PM by Herb Ladenheim.

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Re: For Herb Ladenheim
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: August 21, 2018 07:47PM

Actually if you reach further up the rod and it breaks there, it's not because your hand has created a "hard spot." It's because the deadlift limit of the blank has been moved further forward onto an area that cannot carry as much weight before it fails. It has nothing to do with a hard spot or whatever you wish to call it.

The normal position of rod grips is well behind the area where the rod will break if you take it to its deadlift capacity, even supporting the rod at the extreme butt end. It's just not an issue. Even if it was - the foam core would crush before it would cause blank failure. It's rigid, but not that rigid...


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Re: For Herb Ladenheim
Posted by: Anthony Unger (---.direcway.com)
Date: August 21, 2018 08:59PM

I think in most applications it wouldnt be a problem.. With my situation, i got pre made split grips, they melted them down to a ring that was the exact to slightly smaller then my blank.. I scratched the blank putting them on.. In theory it makes sence and i feel its worth the precaution..

As an example, to break a glass tube, and im talking for glass work, not rods.. However more brittle, you lightly score around the entire tube and tap it on a table.. Give a perfect clean break.. Any scoring could lead to failure under the right circumstances..

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Re: For Herb Ladenheim
Posted by: Lynn Behler (---.97.252.156.res-cmts.leh.ptd.net)
Date: August 22, 2018 04:21PM

I think on bass rods eg. that I typically build you'd crush the foam core before the blank broke not to mention that rodbond has somewhat of a cushion effect. Anthony I always over ream my grips a bit (not always on purpose!) as long as the winding check covers I'm happy. Thanks for the replies.

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Re: For Herb Ladenheim
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---.dsl.pltn13.sbcglobal.net)
Date: August 22, 2018 05:39PM

I have built 100's of fly rods with carbon fiber grips, not one has broken at or near the grip, I believe it is a none issue!

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Re: For Herb Ladenheim
Posted by: Bill Sidney (---.gci.net)
Date: August 23, 2018 01:32PM

there are a couple of things # 1 i one once of prevention is work 2 LBS. of cure , #2 as they say the dead lift of the rod ?? [ small fish or BIG fish ]
we all want our rods to last a life time with lots of use [ I think ]

William Sidney

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Re: For Herb Ladenheim
Posted by: Bill Falconer (---.dhcp6.chtrptr.net)
Date: August 24, 2018 09:55AM

I am really interested in all things carbon fiber and build a lot of rods with carbon fiber grips. Theoretically, I understand exactly the concerns everyone is expressing above. In my actual experience I have had zero such failures on heavy duty spiral wrapped rods utilizing carbon fiber grips for the last 10 years. These rods have landed grouper over 46#, Amerberjack over 80#, and YFT up to 136#. In all cases anglers were fishing with actual measured drag of 25# - 35#. My personal belief is these rods would have failed if they were going to. Might they still fail? Yes but I doubt it.

I have several hundred fly rods in service with CF grips (including a few glass blanks) ranging from less than a year old to 15 or so years old. To date zero failures zero issues, although I have come to omit the rubber winding check and wrap thread directly to the edge of the CF grips for my fly rods. For some reason the ones with winding checks often crack the finish...those without don't. But zero blank failures.

The only CF failures I have had to date were on a set of trolling rods where I accidentally used 4# pour foam cores for the carbon fiber butt grips and mounted the rubber gimbals directly on a tenon on the Carbon Fiber grip. Over a period of three years - coming in and out of the rod holders under tension - these two grips got 'squishy' at the butt. I ended up removing them, putting on new butt grips with 8# foam, and mounting aluminum gimbals straight to the blank. Five years later they are still working fine. And to be clear - the grips did not break the rod blanks - they just wore down since I used the inappropriate foam core for that application.

Nothing is absolute and there is a first time for everything, but I am 100% confident in using carbon fiber grips for these applications. But that's just my opinion based on my personal experience. Good luck and tight lines!

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Re: For Herb Ladenheim
Posted by: Anthony Unger (---.44.102.191.res-cmts.ovr.ptd.net)
Date: August 24, 2018 11:21AM

I would say that using the extra precaution just ensures the rods you build are "that much better," the ones that have been made without the precautionary measures from what ive read, and minimal knowledge of stress on multiple diffrent types of materials, should be perfecty fine under normal use.. I would think a failure would happen elseware before the grips failing due to stress points.. As long as everything is epoxied correctly.. No loose ends, or twisting grips.. Theres enough cushion there anyways.. With all things concidered, i would rest assured that your rods are in no hazard of failure... But from here on out, why not go the extra mile... Couldnt take more then a few minutes of work to keep your mind at rest. I know im going to be taking precaution from here on out..

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Re: For Herb Ladenheim
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---.dsl.pltn13.sbcglobal.net)
Date: August 24, 2018 05:51PM

My question...........what is the "ounce of prevention?" If it is not using carbon fiber grips, as I suspect Herb was indicating, it is a solution in search of a problem.

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Re: For Herb Ladenheim
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (---.lightspeed.rcsntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: August 26, 2018 12:58PM

Hi guys/gals.
All blanks are engineered differently.
I.E. CTS' blanks do not have to have their ferrules reinforced by wraps - so the wraps can be small. Gatti (Italy) requires 15mm wraps for warranty to be in force - at least they used to have that requirement. In fairness I have not built on one in 5 years. I cracked a ferrule on a #10 blank just searching for the spine. And the ferrules were taped from the factory.

I an sure that some blanks must have varying degrees of strength built into the butt extending to various degrees up the blank. Some more that others. Which are which - I have no idea. I am sure that some rods will not break when "grabbed" above the grip for leverage while fighting a fish - some will. I have no idea which. So we just don't do it with any rod.

Which blanks are susceptible to breakage using a CFG - I have no idea. Maybe none. But I do know that the odds of breakage are less with a cork grip.

There are other reasons I do not like CFG's.
1. While they get more "grippy" when wet with fresh water - my experience is that they are slippery when wet with salt water. And I mostly fish the surf.
2. After some time casting with a #10 rod - they are tiring on the hand. Not forgiving at all. Too hard.

But some like them. I donated a #9 rod with a CFG to a disabled vet. After a year I offered to remove it and replace it with a cork grip. He declined - being quite happy with it.

All in all I had CFG's on 3 of my saltwater rods. They were all removed and replaced with cork.

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