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The physics of fish-rods
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: February 27, 2019 09:45AM

I still prefer scientific data over hearsay to evaluate a rod blank. Every rod blank oscillates with its own harmonics, and high speed cameras can easily record these patters of oscillation, quantify them, and compare then to other rod blanks. This equipment and procedure are not terribly expensive or difficult and rod builders who are more interested in building the most efficient tool rather than the most beautiful rod could make good use of this information. I have to wonder why rod marketers have steadfastly avoided releasing such information about their products?

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Re: The physics of fish-rods
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (172.58.45.---)
Date: February 27, 2019 10:10AM

Lots of info you'll like from Emory Harry's posts and articles.

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Re: The physics of fish-rods
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: February 27, 2019 10:26AM

My search for "Emory Harry rod blanks" yielded only a definition of technical physics terms but no mention of how they relate to any specific rod blank(s)?

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Re: The physics of fish-rods
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: February 27, 2019 10:29AM

Hardly any fishermen and most rod builders are not going to get that deeply involved. This is why rod marketing people don't get into this sort of stuff. Colorful language and superfluous technical jargon do the job for them.

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

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Re: The physics of fish-rods
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: February 27, 2019 10:33AM

Wine and fly rod descriptions are written by the same people. :-)

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Re: The physics of fish-rods
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: February 27, 2019 10:41AM

I'm guessing there are some less-than-$200 blanks out there which are physically superior to blanks which cost two or three times as much but have a small advertising budget. No amount of roadbuilding skill can turn a mediocre blank into a high-quality rod, no matter how much that blank costs or what components are used or how much skill goes into the build.

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Re: The physics of fish-rods
Posted by: Ron Weber (---.tc.ph.cox.net)
Date: February 27, 2019 10:48AM

Yep gotta take that ultra high dollar blank to be built on to catch them fish

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Re: The physics of fish-rods
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---.dsl.pltn13.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 27, 2019 12:12PM

Phil, the reason is...................because most of us are not interested in the minutia! We know what works for us and our customers.

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Re: The physics of fish-rods
Posted by: Dennis Danku (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: February 27, 2019 12:22PM

It makes me wonder sometimes, What cost more, the blank or the decal that comes with it.

Dennis J. Danku
(Sayreville,NJ)

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Re: The physics of fish-rods
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: February 27, 2019 01:04PM

Phil: I disagree. A signifiant number of rod builders are obsessed by minutiae. No harm in that. But consider the number of concrete physical facts versus the number of vague claims in advertising and discussions of minutiae in guide trains which rod builders and rod component advertisers obsess over - when they have only hearsay and advertisements for the performance of the blanks and components they build on! In fairness, what "works" for rod builders and voters varies wildly and without respect for performance.

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Re: The physics of fish-rods
Posted by: Matthew Paul (---.lightspeed.milwwi.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 27, 2019 01:21PM

Dennis Danku Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It makes me wonder sometimes, What cost more, the
> blank or the decal that comes with it.

that is very true a big part of the cost of a blank/rod is the branding that is where the $$$ come from

The best day to be alive is always tomorrow !!
Think out side the box when all else fails !!!
Wi.

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Re: The physics of fish-rods
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---.lightspeed.lsvlky.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 27, 2019 02:25PM

Every time my primary flight training instructor exited a plane with a student the instructor would say "Once again we have proven fear and superstition inferior tp physics and reason." He could not have written ad copy for any rod manufacturing company's marketing folks who know full well the more outrageous the claims for casting ease, distance, and accuracy the better.

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Re: The physics of fish-rods
Posted by: Jonathan Hotham (199.247.45.---)
Date: February 27, 2019 03:25PM

To Phil Ewanicki

I typed up what I thought was a very well worded response to your original post, hit the submit button and poof gone.. Oh well. Let me start by saying that I share your sentiment whole heartily. I work in the automotive engineering industry specifically in NVH (Noise Vibration and Harshness). It is quite literally my daily responsibility to take, analysis and present objective, analytic scientific data. In my opinion and in summary of my previous missing post, it all comes down to the mighty dollar. I am responsible for a device known in the industry as a scanning laser vibrometer. This piece of equipment is one of only a couple such devices that can measure operating deflection shapes using non-contact methods. the tool its self starts around a quarter of a million dollars, and that does not include the shakers that have to provide consistent repeatable excitation to the test sample. Or the associated cost with training, overhead, disposable materials etc etc. This is only one such tool in an arsenal of capital investments covering tens of millions of dollars at my disposal. When a company makes these kinds of investments, its all about return. If a tackle company wants to provide their customers with objective data using scientific methodology, they need to calculate how that investment is going to increase their revenue. But wait, in addition this data is still meaningless to you and I when we want to cross shop manufacturers to find the best blank for our dollar. So unless an industry wide standard were to be developed, and a third party entity established to verify testing methodology between manufacturers (ISO), we could only compare products within a single company's catalog. Even still a company could, after making such an investment only prove that their product price point is inferior to the competition. This would be shooting yourself in the foot. More directly associated with your initial question. Only last week, I worked with a company called Trillion. They use a high speed camera vision system to measure stress/strain using non-contact methods. They also sell the tool they use, which starts at around $750,000 and goes up from there. The cameras are one of the cheaper parts of the tool they sell.

Then you have the public at large. Most individuals do not understand the basic principles of the scientific method, or how they apply to product testing, or what test results have merit over others. One company we can all guess at, would tell you that a good rod should not break if you bend the tip-top to touch the butt. You may indeed be discerning enough to gain real product knowledge from said information and use it to gain a better cost to performance ratio from your rods. unfortunately you are only one customer and your impact doesn't change the industry trend.

Instead I think we must gather information from individual, independent sources. Tom Kirkman, and rod maker magazine have published many articles that are quite objective. We can also use youtube and internet boards such as this one, and apply the scientific method ourselves. For example, if you see 4 youtube videos from four separate individuals, and read from multiple message boards from yet dozens more individuals the same information then we must assume statistically that it has merit. I am talking about specifics here to. If four thousand people review a product and give it five star ratings, that doesn't mean its right for you. However if you are looking for a stainless steel guide that holds up well to salt water and wont rust out immediately, and many people repeat that guide A has lasted longer then guide B then that has merit.

We will always see "Test results" used in marketing to say a product from company A is better then company B because of test C. The information you and I want isn't going to come from the manufacturers however. Unfortunately we must be our own scientists and rely on our own experience and the experiences shared with us by our peers.

As an example, I am starting down a path of testing many different braided fishing lines. I intend to test casting distance, strength to weight/diameter ratio, relative stretch and the effect of different rod guide technologies on casting distance. In order to do this however I must first establish the objective repeat-ability of my methods and the inherent accuracy. To do this it is going to take a large time investment and a fare amount of my personal cash investment. My objective is to gain the knowledge associated with the results from this testing to increase my cost to performance ratio of the line I buy and to additionally gain more awareness in social media and industry. So it all comes back to the all mighty dollar.

I would love to continue to have a conversation about objective scientific differences in rod building components. I love learning!

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Re: The physics of fish-rods
Posted by: herb canter (---.atmc.net)
Date: February 27, 2019 04:15PM

Jonathan Hotham:

" I would love to continue to have a conversation about objective scientific differences in rod building components"



That will never be possible with " Components " and the differences between components is not what Phil was inquiring about when he started this thread , Phil is interested in better ways to judge "Rod Blank" performance potential & capabilities BEFORE components come in to the picture since components can easily be judged like guides for example by how much they weigh , design , ceramic properties , material properties etc... a builder has complete control over the build and will choose components based on what the owners preferences are .



Phil is Mr. Fly Rod and the below info i believe is what Phil questions , it's from a recent shootout of 4 weight fly rods:



"Eliminating the variables"


As in our past Shootouts, it is important to keep everything apples to apples in an effort to eliminate the variables that will have an effect on the scores. In order to do this, we set each rod up with the same reel, line, amount of backing and leader, length of tippet and the same size yarn indicator.


By having all the rods set up in an identical manner, it is easy to take a few casts with one rod, at say 40 feet, then pick up another rod and do the same without having to strip the line off one rod and take the time to load up another. Also, by having 8-10 rods set up, 2-3 testers can simultaneously do the casting. First we try to determine what we felt were the best performing rods. Then we progressed to the mid-priced rods and finally the least expensive rods. We kept the best rod in each category, high priced, medium priced, and inexpensive category handy for comparison. This made it easy to judge one rod against another. We also kept on hand, and compared, what we felt was the very best rod – the Hardy Zephrus.

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Re: The physics of fish-rods
Posted by: herb canter (---.atmc.net)
Date: February 27, 2019 04:24PM

Tom made a great point yesterday , even though this shootout is testing 4 weight fly rods if you did a CCS on them there are clearly power differences between them so Phil makes great points, the testing methods are not truly an apples to apples comparison . I give the people who put it together credit since it's better than nothing for sure.

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Re: The physics of fish-rods
Posted by: David Baylor (---.neo.res.rr.com)
Date: February 27, 2019 04:39PM

If you want the majority of the peoples faces to go blank and their eyes glaze over, just start talking about the harmonics of one rod blank versus another.

As far as "No amount of roadbuilding skill can turn a mediocre blank into a high-quality rod," goes. I totally disagree. If a person can take a beautiful blank and totally gunk it up with poor component choices and placements, and it most certainly can be done, then a builder most certainly can turn a mediocre blank into a high quality rod.

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Re: The physics of fish-rods
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: February 27, 2019 04:56PM

While the shoot-out may be successful in determining the preference of the casters it does not yield anything that will allow one to duplicate that winning rod. Or system. Suppose the Hardy Zephurs is no longer available. How do I select another blank that will build into an equivalent performing rod? I can come close knowing the CCS values for the Hardy and all blanks under consideration, that is another step beyond the shoot-out.

Even then I cannot duplicate the system if the line used becomes obsolete unless I know objective values for its characteristics, like weight distribution, stiffness, etc. The same for the leader/tippets/indicator, but it's getting simpler.

Bottom line is that in order to duplicate performance one has to know objective values. It's not rocket science, and it doesn't take expensive test equipment to come pretty close to using objective values to guide us.

By the way, I think the shoot-out is in fact comparing apples to apples, but it is not telling us anything objective about the apples. So we cannot accurately select another apple equivalent to those tested.

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Re: The physics of fish-rods
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: February 27, 2019 05:04PM

David, it depends on the definition of "high quality." If high quality means something like "great performing," then it cannot be done. If it means "looks good," then yes, it can be done.

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Re: The physics of fish-rods
Posted by: Jonathan Hotham (199.247.45.---)
Date: February 27, 2019 05:15PM

Herb,

Sorry if my post was a bit of a ramble. You are of course correct about a rod blank versus a built up rod with thread guides and epoxy. When I think of components I personally include rod blanks in that list. My statements were only meant as examples. I understand Phil is only asking about rod blanks. I also completely disagree with you about the ability to have a conversation about objective differences in components. We could easily talk about two guides of the same "Size" and spend hours discussing the differences in the stamping techniques and finishing procedures use in production. Let alone the alloy of the metals and so on and on. But I digress. Please take no offense herb, i respect your experience and knowledge as much as any one else.

Yes Dave you are right. I actually have a Modal(not model) analysis up on my laptop next to me showing the mode shape of a test fixture, and a vibrometry animation of a component test in the background of this PC as I type. Whenever family and friends ask what I do for a living its usually a short conversation, or I try and simplify it as much as possible. To a large extent I try to use laymen terms on message boards as well. It is never my goal to attempt to use big words and confusing terminology to try and make a point. I am very new to the rod building community and have a mountain of knowledge to gain. However a lot of materials and component level testing I have done in the past transfers easily to this topic. I actually just bought two rod blanks from the same manufacturer with the same specifications but of different quality levels, so that I can gain a better personal understanding of price to performance ratios when I build my own rods. Some differences are apparent and I can measure them with a scale, or a dial caliper. Others have much more to do with the stiffness or harmonics and "feel" of them as Dave mentioned.

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Re: The physics of fish-rods
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: February 27, 2019 07:40PM

Scales, tape rulers, and cameras do not lie, and they can easily be used to quantify the physical characteristics of rod blanks. It's not rocket science. Rod blanks are used to perform a physical task, and the task they perform is not terribly complicated, nor are these measuring instruments terribly expensive. I would add one precaution while testing: neither the tester nor the person who provided the blank would know who made it or what model blank it is - just a number code - a "double blind" test. Advertising does funny things to the brain, making real things that are not and denying things that are. Don't believe it? Think politics.

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