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Customized Action on CTS Affinity X 7'6" 8wt
Posted by: Matt Muschalek (---.bcstcmta04.res.dyn.suddenlink.net)
Date: December 04, 2018 02:35PM

Many thoughts have been floating around in my head, and while I simply don’t possess the experience, knowledge, or the time to acquire either, I would still love to straighten things out in my head. Hopefully for projects to come.

I was thinking about how I could take a CTS graphite blank, Affinity X specifically, and make a specialized redfish fly rod for close, accurate, and quick casts inside tight spots (30ft casts on the furthest end); and something that can handle the occasional heavy crab fly, somewhere in the 7’6” to 8’6” range.

A possible model for this fly rod might be the Sage Smallmouth Bass II. Designed for high line speeds and large flies, Sage lists this rod as a fast 7’11” rod and is paired with their 290gr fly line. I’ve fished this rod and line together as a close quarters creek rod and was impressed by how well it fished the tight stuff (most noticeably with heavier, weighted flies we occasionally have to throw), compared to your conventional fast action 9’ 8wt saltwater rod. Another one to look at might be GLoomis 8’6” fast action 7wt designed for somewhat similar circumstances, possibly paired with 240-280gr (7-8wt) SA Bass Bug.

As CTS allows for customizable action on their blanks, I was simply imagining the rod blank as a 7’6” #8 with slower action towards the butt for close accurate casts and delicate presentations, with a faster tip for quickness…
(Butt reduce 1 line wt | Tip reduce 2 line weight)
Essentially, it would be an 8wt base blank with a 7wt butt and a 6wt tip.

Along with other things, I have read that slower action results in easier casts in close, as the rod naturally flexes with less line. Additionally, with a faster action, you get quicker rod load and quicker shots. It is impossible for me to judge whether mixing both would be a good idea or bad idea. I also believe there are many interrelationships between the sections of the rod, and was confused if giving the rod more bend through the butt would inherently effect or prohibit a faster tip?

Taking into consideration that the rod would be 7’6” in length, could this potentially allow for the shorter quicker casts I’m after in of itself? If this were the case, I could keep the rod fast throughout. As a newbie, this would seem to make sense as all of these manufactured short rods are listed as fast action. Maybe the heavier wf fly line would provide the easy casts in close as well, as it would essentially slow the rod up by loading and flexing the rod more, hence you'd want to keep the rod fast. So many interesting aspects to consider.

Bottom line is that I want a short specialized rod which can excel at tight, accurate casts, and can punch heavy flies to a target. Might be overthinking it. At this stage, overthinking it may be a great opportunity for me to learn something.

Any thoughts or comments?

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Re: Customized Action on CTS Affinity X 7'6" 8wt
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---.lightspeed.lsvlky.sbcglobal.net)
Date: December 04, 2018 03:30PM

Matt

A simpler way to your objective is to line up multiple weight lines on spare spools for an 8' 6" 8 weight. Neither the fly fishing police nor the fly fishing purist will take exception, and you'll have a rod capable of performing at multiple venues from salt flats, where longer casts might be needed, to fresh water bass. There is nothing wrong with casting a 9 or 10 weight line using an 8 weight rod to load the rod quicker for the shorter casts.

I'm not a believer that accuracy is primarily a function of a fly rod. Sounds good in marketing text but you're the guy holding the rod and you're the primary driver for accuracy, wind not withstanding.

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Re: Customized Action on CTS Affinity X 7'6" 8wt
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (---.lightspeed.rcsntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: December 04, 2018 04:29PM

Matt,
WOW
I only have an hour or so before I have leave. So it'll have to wait until another time to give it justice.
I will say that you are contradicting yourself in a couple of spots.
I do feel your pain because - being a Striped Bass fly fisherman who mostly blind casts - I am the worst sight fisherman in the world.

When I have built a CTS rod for Chico Fernandez - he does specify shorter than 9'0" for red fish. So there is one very good fly fisherman who agrees with you.
Anyway - let me digest this.

But - nothing wrong with Donald's resolution to your problem.
Herb
U.S. Distributor, CTS Rod Blanks

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Re: Customized Action on CTS Affinity X 7'6" 8wt
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: December 04, 2018 04:43PM

Donald: I think you nailed the accuracy issue. An accurate rifle always puts the bullet in the same place, even if it's not on target. It's the shooter's responsibility to put the place the rifle shoots on the target. Same with a fly rod. Unless the grip, the reel seat, the ferrules, or the guides are loose that rod will cast to the same place. It's the caster's job to make that place his target.

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Re: Customized Action on CTS Affinity X 7'6" 8wt
Posted by: Matt Muschalek (---.bcstcmta04.res.dyn.suddenlink.net)
Date: December 04, 2018 05:08PM

I understand where y'all are coming from as far as accuracy being the casters doing, not the rods. Thank y'all for any input.

Assuming that I'm a decent caster and could hit my target spot on from 10-30ft ten times out of ten, and disregarding any consideration for increasing accuracy in the build of the rod now, how might I digest the above mentioned factors to get the result I'm looking for in the blank?

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Re: Customized Action on CTS Affinity X 7'6" 8wt
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---.lightspeed.lsvlky.sbcglobal.net)
Date: December 04, 2018 05:35PM

Matt

Maybe I did not carry my suggestion far enough. An 8 weight rod should load with about 30' of 8 weight line beyond the tip. That's the sweet spot. For casts under 30' the weight of the line is not sufficient to well load the rod so line speed suffers. Add to that a wind resistant bass fly and life is trying. But, with a heavier weight line the rod will load more, line speed increases, and you can punch that bushy bass fly to target.

Conversely, for much longer casts, a lighter weight line, together with a haul, can reach way out to something easily spooked on the flats.

It's not that you cannot trim blanks to change action or mix and match sections. But it's a hit and miss thing that can make fly lines look cheap.

Good luck.

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Re: Customized Action on CTS Affinity X 7'6" 8wt
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: December 04, 2018 05:40PM

Action has little to do with rod loading. Fast action rods load just as easily and quickly as a rod with any other action. All it takes is having the right line on the rod to load it properly at the distances you plan to fish.

............

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Re: Customized Action on CTS Affinity X 7'6" 8wt
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: December 04, 2018 05:47PM

Another factor is that most rods are actually about a half rating weight up from nominal. Every fly rod i've measured CCS data on is this way. Most 8's are almost 9's. Which means the optimum line, as described above, for shorter casts will be a 9 wt line , or more.

I am not a great fly caster, and I ended up with a Rio Quickshooter line that is called an 8 wt line. I weighed the first 30 feet and if my numbers are correct it would be considered the fly line organization to be almost a 10 wt line (for the first 30 feet). I use it on my Eternity 2 8 wt. It loads beautifully on short casts, and since I can't cast the really long casts, it doesn't seem to overpower the rod for what are my longer casts.

It is generally considered that moderate actions rather than fast cast easier for those not experts, but if you are going for big flies and windy conditions, I would not shy away from fast actions. If you're a decent caster, go fast.

I don't know how to mix a fast action with a moderate action. The rod will have an action, and that will be it.

From all the discussion, I think your solution is to simply get a fast action rod in the length you want and over line it at least one, or go with a line like the Quickshooter with the same number as your rod.

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Re: Customized Action on CTS Affinity X 7'6" 8wt
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---.lightspeed.lsvlky.sbcglobal.net)
Date: December 04, 2018 06:26PM

Michael D makes a great point. Just because a blank is marketed as an 8 weight (or any weight for that matter) and the fly line box is labeled the same weight is no guaranty the rod and line will play pretty together. I might be (and probably am) the odd fellow out who enjoys the challenge of figuring out what lines work for which rods at what distances though it can be disappointing to find what you hoped would be a killer 3 weight is really a 5 weight in drag.

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Re: Customized Action on CTS Affinity X 7'6" 8wt
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: December 04, 2018 09:49PM

Learn how to double haul and you can cast 30' of 6 wt. line ( ~ 160 grains in the 1st 30 feet) just fine with an 8 wt. rod, although I'm not sure why you would wish to do so. No matter how much craft goes into building a rod it can not compensate for weak casting technique.

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Re: Customized Action on CTS Affinity X 7'6" 8wt
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: December 04, 2018 09:49PM

Learn how to double haul and you can cast 30' of 6 wt. line ( ~ 160 grains in the 1st 30 feet) just fine with an 8 wt. rod, although I'm not sure why you would wish to do so. No matter how much craft goes into building a rod it can not compensate for weak casting technique.

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Re: Customized Action on CTS Affinity X 7'6" 8wt
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: December 05, 2018 09:25AM

Phil, that may be a way to cast that first 30 feet, but I argue that it is far from the easiest and most efficient way, especially for us who are not experts.

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Re: Customized Action on CTS Affinity X 7'6" 8wt
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: December 05, 2018 10:53AM

Apparently I failed to make my point clear. I do not advocate double-hauling severely underlined rods for short casts - Why would you wish to do so? But tight loops and high line speed get casts deep into tight places, and double hauls facilitate high line speed, no matter what rod you are using.

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Re: Customized Action on CTS Affinity X 7'6" 8wt
Posted by: Eugene Moore (---.dhcp.stls.mo.charter.com)
Date: December 05, 2018 02:57PM

Matt,
Allow the fly wind resistance and the wind conditions you encounter to determine the line weight you need to execute the cast.
This will give you a minimum line weight for your fishing.
Wind resistant fly and heavy winds are a pain with a 3 weight. Even a double haul is incapable of overcoming the fly if the fly line mass is insufficient. After selecting the proper line weight look for a rod capable of handling 1 line weight higher.
The Sage Bass II are very capable rods and the choices are suitable for casting and fish fighting.
Your casting ability will adapt to handle your technique once you have a fly line capable of achieving the task.
You may need to find a Sage distributor and experiment with the various rods and lines.
Make-up a fly leader combination that can be attached to various lines and see which you find most satisfying.
Once you've selected a fly line you can use any length rod capable of casting that line.
Another choice is the St Croix Mojo bass, though blanks are not available. You'd have to buy a finished rod and adapt it to your liking.


Gene Moore

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Re: Customized Action on CTS Affinity X 7'6" 8wt
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: December 05, 2018 05:38PM

Phil, "Why would you wish to do so?" I wouldn't, but your post sounded like that was your suggestion for Matt and I didn't want him to think that was the best answer.

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