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What's New?
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---)
Date: October 11, 2020 12:25PM

In your opinion what is the most significant change in rod-building techniques or materials over the last ten years or so?

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Re: What's New?
Posted by: Robert Ford (---.hsd1.ca.comcast.net)
Date: October 11, 2020 01:40PM

Carbon fiber handles.

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Re: What's New?
Posted by: Bill Sidney (---.gci.net)
Date: October 11, 2020 01:44PM

guides , type of rings , an style of frames

William Sidney

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Re: What's New?
Posted by: Kent Griffith (---)
Date: October 11, 2020 01:56PM

Advancements in guide placement science.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/11/2020 01:57PM by Kent Griffith.

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Re: What's New?
Posted by: Kendall Cikanek (---)
Date: October 11, 2020 02:06PM

I’d say it is close to a three-way tie for significant changes:

1. The choice and improvement in guides has been quite outstanding. That titanium frame, thin ring option s clearly amazing on higher-end builds. This technology really does surpass that of ten years ago. The top online store series is an incredible value/performance ratio that just wasn’t available ten years ago. Filling these options out is a bunch of well conceived specialty guides.

2. The bad, neutral, and good changes in grip options has been astounding. The reduction of cork quality and escalation of prices is the bad. The availability of nice looking and feeling soft grips that wear poorly Is the neutral. The advent of carbon grip materials is the good.

3a. The upheaval in the selection of blanks available to custom builders has been significant, with very mixed outcomes. The value choices are very abundant. The premium choices have been changing with some upward and some real downward trends. The loss of most of two major blank lines has been a big negative. Those venerable lines had hundreds of options. You only needed to have experience with a few rods in those lines to have a good understanding the entirety of the line. They were very consistent in action and incremental in power relative to their companion products.

3b. The upstart makers just haven’t arrived in the regards of choice, consistency, and predictability. The relationship between ratings for action, power, line weight, and lure weights are quite varied within a single blank and more so relative to companion blanks. The blank tables for the builder I most want to try is a complete mess. Rods with the same line and lure weight ratings vary in their power rating from light to heavy. The units change and butt and tip diameters appear reversed for some rods. Blanks might be built from denser materials and stronger resins than in 2010, but getting what you want is now much more of a gamble. I can appreciate blanks designed for a specific purpose rather than filling a gap, but the ratings need to be more intelligible for something that is pricey, expensive to ship, and needs to be built and fished for full disclosure. There is still a difference between how the brands of the established rod makers and the online stores and other upstarts are perceived.

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Re: What's New?
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: October 11, 2020 05:44PM

I'm likely prejudiced by virtue of being the co-inventor of foam-core, carbon-skinned grips, but I think they have changed the game in many areas, particularly in terms of fly rod performance and control, although many fly rod builders have been slow to catch on to them.


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Re: What's New?
Posted by: Kendall Cikanek (---)
Date: October 11, 2020 06:53PM

They are my favorite grips, by far. I can’t quite warm-up to the solid carbon ones. I dislike having to fabricate them for butt caps, or the inverse, though. The meager selection of butt caps currently available are really basic with mismatching contours and service life. This gets to what still needs to change in rod building, which is fully Integrated components within a line. The company that is now doing this pretty well is only offering solid carbon grips.

There has always been one or two things in almost every company’s lines that isn’t available in sizes, colors, and/or quality that matches the rest of the respective line. The dynasty company has had their better casting seats in just size “17” for several years, but nearly all the better trim pieces available are only in size “16”. Having a trim color option for everything but one essential piece is just weird, mostly useless, and fairly common. As soon as you don’t want a spinning reel seat that puts your thumb on different surfaces of small diameter metal and/or threads, you walk away from so many parts and finish options. Why have so many high-end parts for entry-level components and only low-end parts for the better and more ergonomic components?

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/11/2020 07:38PM by Kendall Cikanek.

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Re: What's New?
Posted by: John DeMartini (---)
Date: October 11, 2020 09:15PM

Guides and grips.

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Re: What's New?
Posted by: Dennis Danku (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: October 12, 2020 02:33AM

I'd have to say it's the attitude of the herd. Rodbuilding by the book was getting stale by methods and choices. We've seen experimentation with new materials and the plowing under of old components such as guides, reel seats, and blanks. Finishes are advancing at a snails pace but it seems anything can be rolled on a mandrel and it becomes the next new blank material with greater fragility and higher cost.

Dennis J. Danku

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Re: What's New?
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---)
Date: October 13, 2020 09:36AM

New guides seem to be the biggest perceived change. Where could I find a comparison of the total weight of different guide trains and the hardness of different guide rings on the Mohs Hardness scale? I enjoy expressing my own opinions and hearing the opinions of others but I try to rely upon measured facts to make practical choices.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/14/2020 08:55AM by Phil Ewanicki.

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Re: What's New?
Posted by: Joe Vanfossen (---.neo.res.rr.com)
Date: October 13, 2020 12:08PM

For me, it's the things that lie just outside of that 10 year mark, and things that came around at the time I started building.

1. Steve Gardner pushing Batson to bring the original MK minis to the US market. Over the last 10 years, the evolution of the micro guides and tip tops that have come to market have been phenomenal.

2. Tom's sleeved grips, definitely changed the game and significantly brought down the cost of using carbon fiber when compared to the cost of some of the tubular composite based options that were available 10+ years back. The best thing about the foam core grips aside from their weight is their ease of shaping. My drill lathe with a less than ideal 600 RPM drill (but it has more than enough torque to get the job done) makes short work of foam cores. While I can turn cork and EVA, it's significantly more time consuming.

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Re: What's New?
Posted by: Steve Gardner (---.inf6.spectrum.com)
Date: October 15, 2020 06:59PM

I'm in total agreement with Joe!

And also using carbon fiber with out the foam core as being a step up from the original foam cored grips.

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