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Full wells or half wells that is the question
Posted by: Mark D Schulte (---)
Date: January 03, 2020 04:38PM

I have a guy wanting a fly rod built. It's looking like a 9' 5wt. My question is does it matter if it's a reverse half wells or full wells? He's a big dude so I wouldn't think it would matter but I'm still a novis fly fisherman and don't really recognize the difference. One more thing , this will be his first fly rod if that matters.
Thanks as always. Mark

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Re: Full wells or half wells that is the question
Posted by: Bill Hickey (---.nycap.res.rr.com)
Date: January 03, 2020 05:19PM

That should be up to him as to what type of grip to make. Have him try out several different styles and see which one he would find most comfortable

If you don't have several models of grip lying around as samples, send him to a fly shop.

Fly Rod grip styles are pretty much all over the map, I know what I like in a grip and that also depends on what type of fly rod I am using for myself. I always get my customers to pick their own style of grip and size of it. What I like could be left field compared to someone else. .

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Re: Full wells or half wells that is the question
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 03, 2020 06:24PM

Use a full wells. If he does not like it, you can sand it into a reverse half wells. But you cannot do the reverse.

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

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Re: Full wells or half wells that is the question
Posted by: Lynn Behler (---.97.252.156.res-cmts.leh.ptd.net)
Date: January 03, 2020 06:39PM

Mr. Kirkman, top notch response, easily overlooked option.

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Re: Full wells or half wells that is the question
Posted by: Mark D Schulte (---)
Date: January 03, 2020 06:50PM

Tom, brilliant! Thanks

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Re: Full wells or half wells that is the question
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 03, 2020 07:43PM

Right. That's why they pay me the big bucks...

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

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Re: Full wells or half wells that is the question
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---)
Date: January 03, 2020 07:49PM

Mark

Perhaps more important than Wells vs reversed half Wells is the grip diameter. Many factory rod grips are too small and tiring to fish all day. And too large is also uncomfortable. Just right for most folks is when the the rod is griped the middle finger does not quite come around to make contact with the hand. So, take Tom K's suggestion one step further and leave the grip just a little 'fat' and reduce as needed after test fitting and casting.

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Re: Full wells or half wells that is the question
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---.dsl.pltn13.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 03, 2020 09:56PM

In my experience in building 100's of fly rods, I find that in most cases, the half wells or western grip is best for lighter rods (4wt and below) while the full wells is better for heavier rods (6wt and up) the 5wt is an in between that often goes either way.

Casting style also makes a big difference! On lighter rods many place their index finger on top of the grip. This works better withe half wells, while on heavier rods many place their thump on top of the grip which works quite well with the full wells.

Bottom line......it is still personal preference! I will hand a client both grips and ask them to grip it, to see how they grip.

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Re: Full wells or half wells that is the question
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---)
Date: January 03, 2020 10:24PM

The biggest advantage for the buyer of a custom built rod is it's a rod built specifically or him (or her). Extensive participation of the buyer in the selection of the types, sizes and colors of components used in the rod usually results in the buyer's increased satisfaction.

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Re: Full wells or half wells that is the question
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 03, 2020 10:29PM

Also consider what is often known as the Fenwick (Western) grip. It is often the best all-around grip for nearly any fly rod.

The Ritz grip is similar. Hard to go wrong.

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

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Re: Full wells or half wells that is the question
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (---.lightspeed.rcsntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 04, 2020 08:10AM

I used to build my personal fly rods with full wells grips at 7" - 7.25".
Now all of my personal grips are Ritz at 6.6". I find that my old rods with full wells and at 7.25" are clumsy to use. Puts the reel too far back for proper weight distribution
I no longer subscribe to principal that grip should be longer to be able to move your hand up and down the grip to prevent stress to the casting hand.
Also - if you are going to start building fly rods for customers - turn 3 grips - small circumference - medium circumference - large circumference.
The guys are right - let the customer decide.
On a 5wt - he'll probably go for the full wells.
Herb

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Re: Full wells or half wells that is the question
Posted by: Mark D Schulte (---)
Date: January 04, 2020 08:39AM

Lots of great advise. Thank you all. I've been buying up a few blanks for personal builds so I can show different handles , styles, cork and carbon.

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Re: Full wells or half wells that is the question
Posted by: Mark Talmo (71.147.59.---)
Date: January 05, 2020 12:08AM

Billy,
You have confirmed that I was ignorant to what you are attempting to accomplish. I am not qualified to assist you but hopefully fly-guys such as Phil Erickson, Herb Ladenheim and others will notice your post and reply. Good luck.

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

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Re: Full wells or half wells that is the question
Posted by: Mark Talmo (71.147.59.---)
Date: January 05, 2020 12:27AM

Oops, sorry! My reply was meant for one topic down.

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

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Re: Full wells or half wells that is the question
Posted by: Tom Ciannilli (---.phlapa.fios.verizon.net)
Date: January 07, 2020 11:19AM

A five weight rod is considered the prototypical trout rod. Of all the manufactured rods you search, I don't believe you will not find any five weight fly rods on the market today built with a full wells grip. FW grips are used for heavier rod weights, not trout weight rods. Some fly-fishers use an index finger up grip on the blank for casting lightweight rods. Anyway, I would not build a rod for a customer that's considered a unicorn unless it is requested by the customer. From your OP it appears your customer is a beginner and does not posses the knowledge to direct you to make a custom grip. That being the case, I recommend you go with conventional wisdom and choose a reverse half wells grip for his rod.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/07/2020 11:21AM by Tom Ciannilli.

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Re: Full wells or half wells that is the question
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 07, 2020 12:44PM

One reason that custom rods are often superior to commercially made models, is that instead of following conventional wisdom or tradition, they feature aspects that are better and in this case possibly more sound ergonomic principles. The line weight the rod is rated for will have less to do with the proper grip shape than the length of the rod does. If you allow most people, with an open mind, to try almost any 9 foot rod with both a RHW and a FW, 90% will choose the FW.

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

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Re: Full wells or half wells that is the question
Posted by: Drew Pollock (---.201-34-174.ftth.swbr.surewest.net)
Date: January 07, 2020 07:48PM

Yep. And for my own personal 4 and 5 wt rods, they have a full wells grip and a small fighting butt. It's what I prefer even if it "looks funny" to others.

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Re: Full wells or half wells that is the question
Posted by: Tom Ciannilli (---.phlapa.fios.verizon.net)
Date: January 08, 2020 10:24AM

Tom Kirkman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> One reason that custom rods are often superior to
> commercially made models, is that instead of
> following conventional wisdom or tradition, they
> feature aspects that are better and in this case
> possibly more sound ergonomic principles. The line
> weight the rod is rated for will have less to do
> with the proper grip shape than the length of the
> rod does. If you allow most people, with an open
> mind, to try almost any 9 foot rod with both a RHW
> and a FW, 90% will choose the FW.
>
> .............

There's a difference from being custom-made to work best for an individual and just doing something different to be different. I'm a fly casting instructor and have taught thousands of people to fly cast. Before choosing any type of grip for a caster, the best way to make choices would be to determine what type of method the caster uses to grip the rod > V Grip aka 3 point grip, forefinger on top grip, or thumb on top grip. Also the diameter of the grip should be tailored to the size of the users hands. Without taking in consideration the aforementioned, one is just guessing as to which grip will work best. I will say, choosing a full wells grip limits the options for the type of grip method a caster can employ. The advice given in one of the above posts about having the user try different grips to chose what's best for the individual is a good one and will likely end up with a rod that a customer will appreciate and use for many years to come.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/08/2020 10:29AM by Tom Ciannilli.

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Re: Full wells or half wells that is the question
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 08, 2020 10:29AM

The RodMaker series on grip and handle ergonomics covered all these points, and quite a few more.

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

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