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Balancing a new blank
Posted by: Keith Langford (---)
Date: April 19, 2020 09:26PM

So , I am new to rodbuilding. Built my first one last week, a 7" spinning rod, medium/ fast for drop shot and shaky heads, gave it to my best friend. Turned out really good especially for my first time. So now I am building myself a 7'2" rod for the same thing. Got a MHX Elite blank, fuji reel seat and guides. So I was fitting everything up for the handle and thought. If I put the real I am going to use and move the real seat back and forth until it balances out perfectly that would be good. So my long winded question is . Am I correct or does it matter. Thanks for any and all help, all I know is I have already spent about 2 grand in equipment and parts. Dont tell the wife. LOL

Keith Langford

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Re: Balancing a new blank
Posted by: John DeMartini (---.dhcp.bhn.net)
Date: April 19, 2020 10:56PM

It only matters if the rod doesn't feel right or handles poorly.

There is nothing more tragic than building a rod, fishing with it and being dissatisfied or not happy with the way it handles.

I try to keep an open mind between balance and handling. When practical I try to make a "mock up" before the components are permanently assembled. The rod is given trial runs, reel seats are moved handles made shorter or longer, guides are moved, until the rod feels good and is easy to handle without strain. If in the end the rod becomes "balanced" then that is a plus. This method adds a lot of time to the build but it is worth the effort.

If it handles easily and is a pleasure to fish with, it is not important if it is "balanced".

PS

What kind of slight of hand do you use on your wife to launder 2 grand without her knowing it? I use the miraculous garage sale "finds" or an acquaintance quit the hobby and is selling his stuff cheap. Survival of the fittest.

Have fun



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/19/2020 11:01PM by John DeMartini.

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Re: Balancing a new blank
Posted by: Steve Gardner (---.inf6.spectrum.com)
Date: April 20, 2020 06:54AM

Copied this from a post I placed 11 years ago, it was in reference to adding weight to balance a rod, it applies to what you are attempting to do (DO NOT ADD WEIGHT TO YOUR DROP SHOT ROD)

While adding weight to balance a rod may take away from its sensitivity, it adds to its bite detection.

Example;
If your rod is tip heavy; its natural tendency is to pull down towards the water and fish.
If a fish lightly picks up you bait just slightly moving off (which often happens while bass fishing in structure) you will not feel the bite as well (or at all) because your rods tip is trying to go the direction of the fish anyway. The only thing stopping it are the restraints being put on it by your hand and wrist.

If you rod is tip light; its natural tendency is float up and away from the fish and water.
Now, If a fish lightly picks up your bait just slightly moving off, it stops dead the rods tendency to float up and reverses the direction.

This action in itself increases your awareness that something is happening at the end of you line -Increased bit detection.

Also a rod that is tip light allows your hand to be in a more relaxed state while fishing allowing for increased sensitivity and comfort simply because you are not fighting the weight of the rods tip to keep it up out of the water

Which reduces strain and fatigue to the wrist enabling you to better concentrate on the fishing, and not the pain in you wrist, which by allowing you to focus better on the fishing. Increases bite detection even more.


Copied form a post I made about the same time

I can't speak for any one else but I balance mine with the reel on, line on, threaded through guides;

What I do is to balance it so that the tip is neutral to minus (tip tends to float up) weight, when held in horizontal positions 3:00 or 9:00 O'clock depending on if you are right or left handed.

That way I know that any angle above that automatically has the rod tip light.

Now the only rods I do this with are slack line technique rods were I tend to hold the tip up. (Worm, jig, Tube, dropshot, shaky head ECT.)

When fishing tight line techniques (spinner baits, crank baits, buzz baits, top waters, jerk baits ECT.) I do not bother to balance these rods. Same reasons

1-I almost always fish these rods tip down so I tend to make them butt light so the tip floats down instead

2- The lures on tight line techniques create so much drag that it negates the advantages of balancing the rod tip up.




I do not balance a rod to increase sensitivity. (Although I have seen no proof that it decreases sensitivity in actual field use)

I balance a rod to increase bite detection and comfort.

By making a rod more bite detectable, that also allows a person to concentrate on the fishing because it is not causing undo fatigue, makes it more sensitive.

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Re: Balancing a new blank
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: April 20, 2020 08:13AM

Balance is nice, but one important thing to watch out for when moving the reel seat to achieve balance is the tendency of butts that are too long getting tangled with the elbow of the fisherman, especially if it's a rod that will be used often with rain or winter clothing. I never add weight to achieve balance and build with the above issue most in mind. I just build with the lightest guides that will do the job and use the lightest blanks I can for the application I'm building for. Long rods are harder to balance than short rods, of course.

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Re: Balancing a new blank
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: April 20, 2020 08:38AM

I have never attempted to balance a rod I built. What benefit(s) do you expect to come from "balancing" your rod? Will you consider the weight of your lure and sinker when you determine the balance point?

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Re: Balancing a new blank
Posted by: Keith Langford (---.hfc.comcastbusiness.net)
Date: April 20, 2020 08:53AM

Thank all of you for the replies and info, I will definitely put it to good use, thank you Steve that makes perfect sense and I am going to do exactly as you recommend. John, believe me she already knows, we always discuss any purchases over $250 but she is a great wife and does not say anything about any of my hobbies nor do I about hers as long as all the bills are paid, seems to work for us. She is balking me on the new Allison I want to buy though, she cant quite understand I need a $95,000 bass boat. lol.

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Re: Balancing a new blank
Posted by: John DeMartini (---.dhcp.bhn.net)
Date: April 20, 2020 09:21AM

Keith, I understand, just playing along. My wife is a winner also. I am rooting for you on the Allison.

Have fun

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Re: Balancing a new blank
Posted by: ben belote (---.zoominternet.net)
Date: April 20, 2020 09:31AM

no need to add weight..use the foregrip and the tip will come up..even for crankin" use the foregrip, the resistance will keep the tip down..you get snappier hook sets and the rod butt is easily pulled into the body for leverage..no longish butts they get in the way..

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Re: Balancing a new blank
Posted by: Steve Gardner (---.inf6.spectrum.com)
Date: April 20, 2020 09:47AM

there is no need for a fore grip on a drop-shot rod.
Is just more unneeded-unnecessary weight in front of reel throwing off balance point

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Re: Balancing a new blank
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---)
Date: April 20, 2020 10:57AM

I think that Ben is saying with a foregrip, or longer foregrip, you can move your hand forward on the spinning rod, three finger ahead of your spinning reel's stem, or all finger forward, than the reel naturally counterbalanced the blank and it's components, giving the same performance you're looking for and grip length on the arm at hookset without adding undue weight. It's a long known design called a Skamania grip in some circles of rod building.

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Re: Balancing a new blank
Posted by: ben belote (---.zoominternet.net)
Date: April 20, 2020 11:55AM

that,s interesting Spencer..i did not know there was a name or even a rod built for simply using the forgrip..lol..it,s an easier way to change the balance without adding weights..

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Re: Balancing a new blank
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: April 20, 2020 01:16PM

Keith,
Actually I always check the balance of the rod blank. Then, I just place the reel seat at the balance point on the rod blank. I put on a rear grip - full or split, and tie on the guides. For nearly all rods that I build I no longer use any fore grip.

The exception is the rod used for salmon fishing with a set back reel and a long cork grip to accommodate the hand at the balance point after the line has been cast from the butt section of the rod.

I frankly really don't worry about a rear grip being too long. Any more, I always cast two handed with one of my hands on the butt cap to give maximum acceleration to the lure or bait being cast for maximum distance - if that is what is desired.

Then, I fish with my hand on the perfect balance spot on the rod where the reel is located and enjoy the day on the water.

Best wishes.

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Re: Balancing a new blank
Posted by: Keith Langford (---.hfc.comcastbusiness.net)
Date: April 20, 2020 01:29PM

Roger, that's kinda what I did, no fore grip small 2 inch rear grip and 2 inch butt grip, came out to 11 7/8 to center of reel seat, used aluminum winding checks at front of reel seat, behind rear grip and front of butt grip.Fuji TVS reel seat with Kevlar insert. I am going to start gluing the handle up tonight, glued the Kevlar insert in the reel seat last night.

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Re: Balancing a new blank
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: April 20, 2020 02:00PM

Rear grips being too long can definitely be a problem on finesse rods where the rod is constantly going from down to up and vice versa. Or one handed casting.

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Re: Balancing a new blank
Posted by: ben belote (---.zoominternet.net)
Date: April 20, 2020 02:28PM

Steve Gardner Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> there is no need for a fore grip on a drop-shot
> rod.
> Is just more unneeded-unnecessary weight in front
> of reel throwing off balance point

no unnecessry weight if using a tennessee handle with the reel mounted towards the back of the grip leaving more grip to use on the forward end..

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Re: Balancing a new blank
Posted by: David Baylor (---)
Date: April 20, 2020 07:45PM

Steve buried a 16 penny nail in a solid oak board with one swing of he hammer.

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Re: Balancing a new blank
Posted by: ben belote (---.zoominternet.net)
Date: April 20, 2020 08:13PM

David, that,s not the first time that i have been accused of having a wooden head, and i,m sure it will not be the last..lol.

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Re: Balancing a new blank
Posted by: David Baylor (---)
Date: April 21, 2020 06:24AM

lol ben ....... no no nooooo lol I was talking about Steve's first post. His feelings are the exact same as mine. I have zero problem adding weight to the butt of a rod to get the desired tip light feeling that I like.The rod may be heavier but you don't feel it. And actually it will make the rod feel lighter in your hand because you aren't working your forearm and wrist. The only area Steve and I would be in disagreement is in that he was emphatic about not adding weight to a drop shot rod. I on the other hand would not hesitate to do so, if need be.

The last thing I would do is use reel seat location to balance a rod and reel combination. It's just not that effective. I'm not saying it wouldn't or doesn't work, it's just that it requires the seat being moved a substantial distance before it has any real meaningful affect. And I am in the same camp as Micheal, I'm building the rod for ease of use first and foremost. And that means a rear grip length that lets me manipulate the rod in any manner I may need.

And as John mentioned earlier, you have to love the way your rod handles. If not it's just taking up space on your front deck or in your rod locker, because if you don't like it, you won't use it.

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Re: Balancing a new blank
Posted by: ben belote (---.zoominternet.net)
Date: April 21, 2020 10:02AM

lol, my mistook David..the whole balance thing is overplayed to me because fishing forces or resistance of all sorts keep changing..i have converted to using the tennessee handle on just about all my spin rods mainly because it is easier to adjust my grip position..if i want a neutral balance rod it,s no problem to move the reel and grip at the reel stem..if i want a tip-up rod i can grip in front of the stem, etc..it seems we talk so much about adding weights and nobody talks about grip position which is the easiest thing to change..maybe that,s the problem it,s too easy, it,s better to impress people with all the complications of adding weight and how much..lol.

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Re: Balancing a new blank
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: April 21, 2020 11:04AM

Ben,
Actually, with a fixed reel seat, and a fixed position for the reel, one always keeps his hand in one location on the rod.

Hence, in spite of what others may say, I will just balance the blank and locate the center of the reel at that point of balance on a bare blank.

Then, after putting on the rear grip and guides, the typical rod remains balanced.

If this equates to a 10 foot rod having a 2 foot rear grip, so be it.

I no longer ever cast with only one hand, so by putting the non casting hand at the butt cap of the rod, I can exert maximum acceleration into the tip of the rod to get the full rod length to aid in the casting acceleration and force on the lure or bait being delivered to its target.

Then, I continue fishing with my hand in its optimum balanced position in the normal location for a hand with respect to the reel..

Be safe

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