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How to Determine the "Action" of a Blank?
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: January 23, 2021 11:38PM

The “action” of a blank is generally described and accepted to be as to how much of the blank’s length flexes or bends with a load applied to the tip; basically fast = top 25%, medium = 50%, and slow = flexing all the way to the butt. What are the governing factors employed to determine and measure the “action” of a blank? First, what is the angle in which the rod is held; horizontal (0*), 30*, 45*? Second, how much weight is applied to the tip; it seems Illogical if not inaccurate to apply the same amount of weight to all blanks from UL to heavy? Third, therefore, is there a universally accepted formula to compute a blank’s “action”?
Dr. Hannerman graciously and intellectually afforded the entire fishing world with his formulas to achieve measuring a blank’s properties through CCS, ERN and CCF; there was not a better method prior, nor has there been since! We all owe a great amount of gratitude to Dr. Bill!!!
Ultimately, and the reason for this post, is that I am having difficulty when attempting to combine/compare the “action” of a blank compared to the values obtained through Dr Hannerman’s Common Cents System, action angle (AA) in particular. Case-in-point; when holding a blank by 10% of its length at 0* horizontal while adding enough weight (67 pennies) to deflect the tip 33.3% of its length, the AA achieved is 71*. Referring to one Dr. Bill’s charts suggests this particular blank is “fast action” yet it is actually bending all the way to the butt! Hence my confusion.
What am I missing and/or am I expecting too much? Am I guilty of trying to compare apples with oranges? Were Dr. Hannerman’s formulas derived from/only pertaining to CF fly blanks? Is the industry “standard” description of “action” totally irrelevant to CCS?
Please help; I am here to learn.

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!! BUILDING YOUR OWN SIMPLY ENHANCES THE EXPERIENCE.

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Re: How to Determine the "Action" of a Blank?
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 24, 2021 08:24AM

Not quite. "Action" is the portion of the blank that INITIALLY flexes. All rods will flex into the butt if you apply enough load to them.

And you do not want to try and use the CCS AA angle against traditional Action terminology. The CCS AA was not developed so that you could determine if a blank was fast, medium or slow. It was developed so you could determine if one blank was faster or slower than another. I put the chart in so people could simply get an idea from of AA from what they were used to. Just as you wouldn't label a blank that is 84 inches in length, as long, medium or short, the AA wasn't meant to be used to convert back to fast, medium or slow. In fact, it was designed to replace those terms.

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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/24/2021 11:46AM by Tom Kirkman.

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Re: How to Determine the "Action" of a Blank?
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 24, 2021 08:25AM

3rd down the list in the Glossary - [www.rodbuilding.org]

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Re: How to Determine the "Action" of a Blank?
Posted by: ben belote (---.zoominternet.net)
Date: January 24, 2021 12:06PM

Mark, from my perspective action is simply the amount of flex a rod undergoes when used for casting..most rods are rated for a certain casting weight that will cause the rod tip to flex a certain amount into the rod..if it flexes about 1/3 of the rods length it is called a fast action rod, if it flexes about half way into the rod it,s called a modrate action rod, and so forth..the amount of weight used is what the rod is rated for by the manufacturer..verbs like action, fast, slow are used to confound the average person..and in my opinion by design, probably a remnant left over from the great days of bamboo rod building..

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Re: How to Determine the "Action" of a Blank?
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: January 24, 2021 01:56PM

Tom said it better than I could, and I've been trying. But to add a comment: A 75 degree AA rod should be thought of as a 75 degree rod, which is faster than 70 degree rod and slower than an 80 degree rod. It doesn't help to try to use a word to describe something objective. ANYTHING objective. "How many miles per gallon does your car get?" A lot. "But how many?" Quite a few. "How many?" 25. "Wow, that's better than my car. I only get 20." When you measure all the blanks that come into your hands you have the data to apply the blanks to the best use for their numbers. Both power numbers and action numbers. And you will have no misfits.

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Re: How to Determine the "Action" of a Blank?
Posted by: ben belote (---.zoominternet.net)
Date: January 24, 2021 03:15PM

I don,t know..it seems pretty subjective until you use ccs but even then it,s somewhat subjective because we still want to translate them to fast, med. or slow to get others to understand or ourselves for that matter..

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Re: How to Determine the "Action" of a Blank?
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: January 24, 2021 03:45PM

Tom, Ben & Michael,
Thank you for the informative replies. Apparently I have, indeed, been trying to compare apples with oranges or pounding a square peg into a round hole. This has been a point of consternation to me for quite a while and although seeking prior advice from other veterans, I now finally understand.
But, back to how the “action” of a blank or rod is determined by the manufacturers; is Ben’s “perspective” correct in that the amount of weight used for the determination is equal to the stated lure weight for casting and spinning while line weight for fly? Please take no offence, Ben; it is not that I doubt you, but simply looking for clarification.

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!! BUILDING YOUR OWN SIMPLY ENHANCES THE EXPERIENCE.

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Re: How to Determine the "Action" of a Blank?
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 24, 2021 04:06PM

The manufacturer definition of "Action" is as stated in the glossary - the portion of blank that flexes INITIALLY.

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Re: How to Determine the "Action" of a Blank?
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: January 24, 2021 04:36PM

Thank you, Tom. How do the manufacturers determine the amount of weight applied to the tip to produce the “initial flex of the blank”? Is Ben correct?

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!! BUILDING YOUR OWN SIMPLY ENHANCES THE EXPERIENCE.

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Re: How to Determine the "Action" of a Blank?
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 24, 2021 05:31PM

No weight required - just put a little pressure on it and look at it. There is no certain weight required.

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Re: How to Determine the "Action" of a Blank?
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: January 24, 2021 05:49PM

As is often the case with us rod-builders, we are way over-thinking this. Why do we want to use a word, like "fast," or "slow," or "moderate-fast," to describe something that can be defined by a number? One unique number, not an ambiguous word. If one simply cannot escape the use of these words, then do your own CCS measurements and assign your own correlation of words to number. But don't expect that others adopt it. We already have our system. It's called CCS.

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Re: How to Determine the "Action" of a Blank?
Posted by: Lance Schreckenbach (---.hfc.comcastbusiness.net)
Date: January 25, 2021 02:14PM

I just set the butt on the floor and put pressure on the tip. I have been using the same criteria as Tom for over 30 years and didn't even realize it had been documented. Now I do think that different geometries of rods may affect this but for what I build and use, it works for me.

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Re: How to Determine the "Action" of a Blank?
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: January 25, 2021 03:32PM

Pretty simple.
It is easier for me to look up rather than to look down.

I just take the tip of the rod and push it against the ceiling. As I push harder, I view the rod blank and observe where it bends.

You are looking for the point where the rod bends first, 2nd and 3rd.

The information about whether a rod is slow, moderate, fast or extra fast is well documented.

Read the documents and as you observe the bending of the rod blank make your judgment of the rod blanks action.

It is about a 5 second test that is needed to quantify the action of the rod blank.

Take care

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Re: How to Determine the "Action" of a Blank?
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---.dsl.pltn13.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 25, 2021 04:10PM

I do almost exactly as Roger does, with the exception of, I use the floor rather that the ceiling. I hold the rod at approximately a 60 degree angle and apply ever increasing pressure. I note when the blank first bends and the the progression. After doing this for years I feel confident I can determine the action very accurately.

And mister Ewaniki, there is not a quantifiable measure for the pressure I apply!! LOL

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Re: How to Determine the "Action" of a Blank?
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: January 25, 2021 06:11PM

Roger, I respectfully say that you are not "quantifying" the blank. You are making a judgment. If it works for you, fine, but for me, I want more objective measurements that will allow me, after many years of possibly forgetting what I saw with blank X in 1979, to know exactly what that blank was. With CCS I can look at my records and see it was a 500 gram/75 degree blank. Not a 450/70 . Or not a "medium power/moderate fast. It was a 500/75, and if I want to match it, I need to find another 500/75. Which with a lot of objective data in my records, I most likely can do.

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Re: How to Determine the "Action" of a Blank?
Posted by: David Baylor (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: January 26, 2021 05:31AM

I'm sorry, but recent disappointments in a couple of rod blanks I've chosen, have soured me on how useful CCS numbers actually are. Blanks with virtually identical CCS AA and IP numbers can have completely different characteristics. One can have a less powerful tip with a strong backbone, the other can have a blank that flexes well into the blanks lower half.

Since I was a bit of a gear head in my younger years, I equate it to the difference between a small block, and a big block. Both engines can have the same horsepower, but their power curve is different. It's no different with rod blanks. The type of blank it is. SJ, MB, DS, etc .... plays just as much importance in the characteristics of the blank, as does its' CCS numbers.

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Re: How to Determine the "Action" of a Blank?
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: January 26, 2021 08:34AM

David, I have NEVER seen the contradictions you are describing. I've tested a lot of blanks and rods. It is possible to make errors in testing, even as simple as the arithmetic involved. It sounds like the AA measurement is the problem. If they in fact are holding the same weight and have clearly perceived different tip power then the AA has to be different. It's physics. The AA measurement was the measurement that for me was the easiest to screw up, but even with the worst case, I figure I was always within + - 2 degrees. Now with a digital level I think it's more like + - 1/2. I am repeating the same readings on a blank time after time.

I have to ask, on what is the SJ, MB, or DS "type" based?

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Re: How to Determine the "Action" of a Blank?
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 26, 2021 09:43AM

David,

Of course blanks with similar AA and ERN can have different characteristics - you're only using half the system. A glass blank and a carbon blank, or even two carbon blanks made with different modulus carbon, with identical AA and ERN figures will obviously feel and react differently and running the CCF will easily show such differences. I don't think anything in the CCS states that identical power and action figures indicate two identical rod blanks.

Now the more measurements you take, i.e. length, weight, ERN, AA, CCF etc, the closer to you can get to finding two blanks with identical characteristics. If that's what you're after, then there are more than two pieces to the puzzle.


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Re: How to Determine the "Action" of a Blank?
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: January 26, 2021 11:43AM

Tom, but David is not talking about CCF and "feel," he is talking about differences in power and action. The issue to me is that if two rod blanks have the same CCS numbers then they have the same power and action. As you have described, there are possible other differences that could prevent them from being "identical." But if they have the same numbers they will have essentially the same power and action. (Logically this is true since CCS defines power and action as the IP and AA). I believe that David is saying this is not true. If I interpret the statement correctly, he has seen blanks with virtually identical AA and power numbers with significantly different tip power. Your comments will be appreciated.

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Re: How to Determine the "Action" of a Blank?
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 26, 2021 03:05PM

Of course. Two rods with an ERN of 12, will have the same overall power. Same with the AA figures. But that doesn't mean they'll feel or react/recover the same. That's a separate issue that encompasses more than just power and action.

Now remember that neither ERN, or what you call IP, does not measure "tip power." It's giving you the overall power. For measurements of shorter, specific sections of the rod blank you'd have to employ the CCS "Big Picture."

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