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Point Blank vs NFC X-ray
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 06, 2019 04:51PM

I recently discovered that both the Point Blank and new NFC X-Ray blanks were designed by Al Jackson, a well respected blank designer, and both use high modulus graphite in a unique scrim less blank design. Because of this, I thought it would be interesting try to give an objective and unbiased comparison between an X-ray blank with a similarly rated Point Blank.

I ordered an NFC X-ray MB736, but based on the published butt diameter (0.49”) versus my measured butt diameter (0.588"), I feel confident that I received an X-ray SJ736 by mistake. The X-ray SJ736 blank is 87” long and published to have H power, F action, 10-17 line, 1/4-1 oz lure, butt 0.57”, and tip 4.6. Neither the blank weight nor its intrinsic power (IP) is published. This blank was compared to the PB731MXF, also 87” long and published to have M power, XF action, 8-17 line, 1/4-3/4 oz lure, butt 0.56”, tip 4.5, weight 1.94 oz, and IP = 764 g.

For both of these blanks I measured IP, blank weight, butt diameter and tip size, and this is what I got.
X-ray SJ736 - IP = 674 g, wgt = 59 g (2.08 oz), butt = 0.588”, and tip = 4.5
PB731MXF - IP = 764g, wgt = 60 g (2.1 oz), butt = 0.56”, and tip = 4.5

The X-ray blank has a similar but much rougher finish then the PB, basically because it is not sanded..The X-ray blank was slightly lighter in weight, but it had significantly less Intrinsic Power (674 g vs. 764 g). So the PB blank has a higher power to weight ratio. It’s amazing how different companies rate their blanks. The X-ray SJ blank is rated as a Heavy power rod but its power is between a PB731MLF (599 g), and the PB731MXF (764g).

I did not measure action angle, because I could not get an accurate reading. All I can say is that the X-ray and the PB have what I consider to be similar F to XF actions, based on side by side loaded profiles, with the PB appearing a little faster. However, the tip section of the PB is softer (more flexible) than the X-ray. Don’t know what this means, but it is an advertised design feature. It may mean a more flexible tip allows for better loading and/or wider lure range. But I’m not an engineer, and have not made these two rods up to test cast. I measured this softness (flexibility) by holding both blanks by the tip and supporting them at a point about 8” from the tip and observed how much the butt ends deviated from each other. In other words the PB drooped further.

I also confirmed that the PB had an equiradius butt section as advertised, with the butt being 0.56” (14.22 mm) and 10” up from the butt being about 0.555” (14.1 mm). The X-ray had a butt diameter of 0.588” (14.9 mm) and 10” up it was 0.526” (13.36mm), a more traditional tapered design.

I did noticed that my X-ray blank had a production flaw, because about 10-12” from the butt, the blank had a noticeable wavy feel, indicating a quality control issue. No wavy feel with the PB..

I in summary, both NFC X-rays and PBs where designed by Al Jackson, and appear to be constructed in a similar manner using high modulus graphite fibers, to make scrim-less blanks. Both of the blanks compared are similar in butt and tip top dimensions, blank weight, and line and lure weights. They have a very light, stiff and responsive in hand feel, as expected for high end blanks. But there are some differences. The PB is much more powerful for its weight, has a more flexible tip, and an equiradius butt section. They are both excellent blanks. However, NFC did have a customer service, and quality control problem, based only on my order. Also since the NFC sale has ended, they have a higher retail price. To reiterate, both blanks are excellent, but different.
Norm

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Re: Point Blank vs NFC X-ray
Posted by: herb canter (---.atmc.net)
Date: February 06, 2019 05:16PM

Jim Ising:

" The original Point Blank prototypes were designed by Al Jackson, the guy who, along with Gary Loomis, co-designed some of the most legendary Loomis blanks "


No wonder PB's get so much praise .

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Re: Point Blank vs NFC X-ray
Posted by: David Baylor (---.neo.res.rr.com)
Date: February 06, 2019 06:21PM

Norman, that's a pretty intensive comparison. I've ordered 3 of the MB736 X ray blanks. The measurements of the butts on the 3 blanks range from .593 to .599. Personally I assumed a misprint on NFC's web page. Reason being, and granted I haven't seen many blanks, but I haven't seen any mag bass blanks with a butt of .49. My limited experience is a blank with a butt diameter of .49, is a spinning rod blank.. But, your assuming you got an SJ instead of an MB has some validity. The MB736 has an advertised tip of 1.7 (I assumed mm) which converts to pretty much 4.3/ 64ths. Now based on the tip measurements of the three blanks I have here, two of them I sanded the entire blank and the tips of those two measure 4.5/64ths. The unsanded blank, which is the one I referenced in my thread "What would you do ...." has a tip measurement of 4.9/64ths. The above makes me think a 4.6 tip and SJ.

Something fishy, that's for sure. As for the numbers you came up with. They're surprising to me. And they just go to show that manufacturers can name it any power they want. The PBs you measured are labeled medium and medium light. The MB736 is labeled medium heavy, and as you said, the SJ736 is labeled as heavy. I will say this, whatever the blanks I have are, either MB or SJ, they are more powerful than any labeled medium power factory rod I've ever owned, and any labeled medium power blank I've ever built on. I certainly wouldn't call them heavy powered, and your numbers bare that out.

My new home has a basement, so now that I have a place I can easily set up, I'm going to do some CCS testing of my own, and see what I come up with for the NFC blanks I have, and for some of the rods I've built. I'm really curious what the IP for the rod I built on an Immortal IMMC72MH is. That baby has got some serious power. I just need to get a scale, because I'm not going to count pennies again. I did that once and well ..... it made my eyes hurt from checking dates to make sure I had the right pennies lol

And Norman, I know you can only go by feel. Based on your feel, which blank feels more sensitive? My guess is the X ray simply because you mentioned the tip is more stiff. But the PB has the power to weight ratio advantage.

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Re: Point Blank vs NFC X-ray
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 06, 2019 07:47PM

It could very well be a misprint on the NFC website, but it would not make a big difference in my comparisons. Whichever blank it was, it still had an IP of 674 g. So if was mislabeled on the website, the X-ray MB736 is still listed as MH/F, with a similar line and lure weights and a published weight of 2 oz, basically the same as the X-ray SJ736. I also measured a NFC705HM blank for comparison, because it does have a published IP (608 g), wgt. (2.1 oz), and It is also listed as a MH/F, with a butt of 0.59”, and lure wgt of 1/4 - 3/4 oz. I got a measured IP = 635 a little more power than published, but still a lower power to wgt ratio than the PB731MXF. I think these IP measurements makes one realize that going by the manufacturer’s power rating can be very misleading. As far as sensitivity is concerned I had a hard time telling them apart, if there is a difference it is small. I did not spend a lot of time on this because it is subjective. Supposedly the PB equiradius design is supposed to amplify vibrations, but don’t know. I do know that the PBs I have made up are subjectively very sensitive to me, as are most of the high end blanks I have made up and used.
Norm

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Re: Point Blank vs NFC X-ray
Posted by: David Miller (---.triad.res.rr.com)
Date: February 06, 2019 11:07PM

I was about to CCS measure my X Ray SJ 732 , took a good look over and noticed some flaws near the tip that made my heart sink. Looks like some scrapes going from the tip to 3 inch down. If it was near the butt I wouldn’t worry about it. I am certainly not a complainer but it looks like I need to contact North Fork Composite. The Delta blank that I ordered with it looks fine.






Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/12/2019 09:40PM by David Miller.

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Re: Point Blank vs NFC X-ray
Posted by: Jim Ising (---.dyn.centurytel.net)
Date: February 07, 2019 11:23AM

Great work Norm! Pretty good company for POINT Blank considering the legendary status of the guys who just introduced the X-Ray. We also have a new blank that has just arrived...the first Moderate Action 7'6" we've done. I'll be posting specs prior to the show.

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Re: Point Blank vs NFC X-ray
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 07, 2019 12:59PM

Thanks Jim. I assume you will bring some to the Expo so people can give them a wiggle along with the other models.
Norm

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Re: Point Blank vs NFC X-ray
Posted by: Lance Schreckenbach (---.hfc.comcastbusiness.net)
Date: February 07, 2019 06:18PM

Great comparison Norman. I think the biggest difference that will affect the characteristics / performance of the rods is the taper of the blank near the butt. To me it is the parallel taper (equiradius?) of the PB and the soft tip is going to have a wider range of lures and weights that can be used. Where the NFC is going to flex more toward the butt and have more of a specific use. This really is the comparable difference between golf club shafts; one labeled "Stiff" flexes more toward the tip, and one labeled "Regular " flexes more down the shaft. Even if they are rated the same action and power they will definitely feel different when casting and retrieving. With both being similar in sensitivity due to the construction of the thin tube walls and materials. I don't believe a blank designer will design every blank the same but rather design to a particular performance enhancement. Give and take. Then it is up to us through guide placement and handle design to take it to it's full potential. That is what is so great about building rods; even if it isn't the greatest rod built it is the best in our minds. LOL

David, I have had a lot of problems with shipping damage recently on my blanks, but considering the CF grips I have received from NFC I would have to assume there is QC issues at the plant. I will, however continue to buy NFC blanks.

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Re: Point Blank vs NFC X-ray
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 07, 2019 07:11PM

Lance you are right, a couple of things I that have noticed about PB Rods is their unique feel and ability to easily cast a wide range of lures and weights. I just love the way they cast with a flick of the wrist, I also have rods made up on NFC HM, St Croix 5 and Eternity blanks, among others, but none have the same feel to me. However, I really do like a rod that feels light and responsive in hand, and I realize this is entirely subjective. Have not made up the X-ray blank yet. But since it has a more traditional taper, I think its overall feel will be similar to my other high modulus rods. A great thing about rod building is everyone has different likes and dislikes, with a constant quest for the perfect rod, and my perfect rod will be different from yours. Fun hobby!
Norm

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Re: Point Blank vs NFC X-ray
Posted by: Mark Talmo (71.147.59.---)
Date: February 07, 2019 09:10PM

Very impressive, in-depth and novice-numbing post and replies. I want to be just like you guys when I grow-up!!!

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!!

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Re: Point Blank vs NFC X-ray
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 07, 2019 11:25PM

Thank you Mark. For most people when when the conversation turns to CCS data such has Intrinsic Power, Action Angles, ERN, and the such, their eyes glaze over! The take home message is that similarly rated blanks from different manfacturers are different.
Norm

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Re: Point Blank vs NFC X-ray
Posted by: David Miller (---.sub-174-194-18.myvzw.com)
Date: February 08, 2019 10:00AM

Where is the dead lift till breakage test Norm?

????


I agree with you manufacture ratings are all over the place due to subjectivity and intended use ie inshore vs bass.

Could the X Ray blank due to it’s design have more material weight right near the butt than the PB which is canceled out strength wise using CCS measuring as it is below the 10% of the blank?

It also seems faster action blanks show higher IP numbers than a slower rod at the same weight too with CCS.

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Re: Point Blank vs NFC X-ray
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 08, 2019 11:47AM

I’m not about to do a breaking strength test, I’ll let you do that one! IP calculations objectively determine the amount of weight it takes to bend the rod 1/3 its total length; nothing more, nothing less. The Action Angle (AA) measures the angle the tip takes at this 1/3 bend point, nothing more nothing less. Both blanks had similar AA based on side by side comparisons. Total weight measurements do not take into account how this weight is distributed along the blank. So based on these measurements the only conclusion that can be reached is that the PB731MXF is more powerful for unit weight than the X-ray SJ(or MB?)736. My made up flexibility test indicated that when held by the tip and supported 8” away, the butt of the PB was deflected more than the butt of the X-ray. What this told me was that either the tip section of the PB was more flexible, or its butt section was heavier. I chose more flexible, but it could have the the other way around. No matter which was true, the IP numbers still say the PB is more powerful.
Norm

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Re: Point Blank vs NFC X-ray
Posted by: David Miller (---.sub-174-194-18.myvzw.com)
Date: February 08, 2019 12:42PM

I was joking around about the break strength test. The ???? was a smiley face yomogi. It is fun Friday.

Looking forward to your review of the X Ray when you fish with it. I was going to start my build once my carbon fiber grips arrive but it looks like it will get pushed back after this blank issue is handled. I understand mishaps happen and still plan on buying from North Fork Composites in the future.

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Re: Point Blank vs NFC X-ray
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 08, 2019 01:30PM

I know you were kidding, just throwing it back to you.
I was not trying to dissuade anyone from buying from NFC, they make a very fine product. I was trying to point out that there are a lot other high end products out there, that are also excellent products at a lower coat. I know the Loomis name is legendary, and a lot of people are willing to buy their product at a higher price without knowing anything about how their product compares to other brands. I think its mostly based on the false perception that price is directly related to quality, and this perception leads to a biased subjective perception.
I still remember my conversation with Dale Clemens many years ago at his shop in PA. I asked him why are fly rod blanks so much more expensive than spinning or casting rods, are they better engineered or use better materials? He looked me square in the eye and said ‘heck’ no, fly fishermen just have deeper pockets, and think higher price means higher quality. That statement has stuck with me from that day to now. In my opinion, the law of diminishing returns certainly applies to price vs quality. I hope this does not offend anyone, my intent was solely to do an objective comparison between two high end blanks. I think both are excellent blanks just different, and I am totally unwilling to state which one i feel is better, because that would be a subjective opinion.
Norm

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Re: Point Blank vs NFC X-ray
Posted by: carol staiculescu (107.190.36.---)
Date: February 08, 2019 01:59PM

Well this is the type of comparison I was hoping to see more often, thank you Norman Miller. As a matter of fact, I was expecting something like this to be done in a workshop at the Expo blanks with similar characteristics from different vendors can be easily compared to each other and give us a better idea what differentiates one from the others and which one is best suited for our customers specific needs. I do understand that no vendor is interested in doing that cause nobody wants to come in the second place and everybody wants to sell but , rod builders on the other hand, can and should do more side by side comparisons to help each other gain a better idea of what's on the market ( and what they can recommend to a customer with specific needs). Unfortunately those of us from abroad or those who find the trip to the Expo to be out of budget, do not have the chance to a real side by side comparison and we have to buy blindfolded on a trial and error system in the absence of such reviews.

kingofbeasts custom rods

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Re: Point Blank vs NFC X-ray
Posted by: herb canter (---.atmc.net)
Date: February 08, 2019 02:30PM

Norman Miller: " I think its mostly based on the false perception that price is directly related to quality "


I don't think it's a false perception at all , fact is high mod blanks are up to 5 times more costly than standard modulus blanks . When companies advertise blanks as being high mod but with a much lower price than what one would expect somethings up , you can be sure that whatever percentage of legit high mod material that blank contains is minimal and probably used in the butt section.

PB blanks are expensive blanks just like NFC's X Ray blanks , i don't think anyone doubts they both contain more legit high mod carbon than many others and their cost reflects it . Lets not make it sound like PB blanks are a real bargain their price is what one would expect to pay for a legit high performance blank .

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Re: Point Blank vs NFC X-ray
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 08, 2019 02:38PM

Carol, I completely agree. It would really be a helpful thing if the Expo set up a CCS station, where people could bring blanks they are interested in buying and get CCS data on them. I don’t know if this would scare away any sponsors or not. If you have noticed, when blank reccomendations come up, I have recentlbgive IP numbers if I have them. I have to admit I have been very remiss in measuring IP on the all the blanks I have bought over the years. I wish I have done more. Very few manufacturers have published CCS numbers on their blanks, and most of those that did no longer do so. However, some of this previous CCS information has been archived on the internet.
I guess that if someone wants CCS data comparing different blanks, they could post their question here and hope someone has measured CCS values on the blanks in question.
Norm

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Re: Point Blank vs NFC X-ray
Posted by: David Miller (---.sub-174-193-159.myvzw.com)
Date: February 08, 2019 03:14PM

I just saw online that Tackle Tour did a comparison of the X Ray MB 736 vs a MHX of the same length and rating. It was 547g but in RDA which is higher than the listed specs of the PB 73mxf. Blank weight from them and rodhouse.fr is 2.3 oz for the MB 736. I really like all of the deflection comparison pics at roadhouse.fr , hopefully they will do the same with the x rays.

Mudhole could sell some CRB deflection tools by setting up a station to see how it is used at the ICRBE.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/08/2019 06:20PM by David Miller.

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Re: Point Blank vs NFC X-ray
Posted by: David Miller (---.sub-174-193-159.myvzw.com)
Date: February 08, 2019 04:31PM

Rodhouse has SJ 736 at 2.2 oz .57 butt and MB 736 2.3 oz .58 so not a huge difference between the two.

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