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Rod grip shapes
Posted by: Christian Fritz (---.sw.res.rr.com)
Date: February 23, 2021 05:50PM

So...there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of info on different SHAPES of rod grips and WHY and WHEN we use them. I mean, half wells/cigar for sub 6 weight, 6 weight in above full wells. Why is that? What is the benefit to each? Are there other shapes to consider when doing custom grips? How do you properly size grips to a person? So many questions!

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Re: Rod grip shapes
Posted by: Kent Griffith (---)
Date: February 23, 2021 06:01PM

My favorite shape of a baitcast rod grip is the old Bass Pro power hump shape. I prefer it to the standard straight grip as it is more comfortable.

When Bass Pro marketed this grip on their retail rods the power hump was orientated straight up and down, but on a recent build I spent a lot of time orienting the shape of the grip to how I hold the rod and fish with it, so my latest one was offset about 7 degrees to the right.

God help the next guy who gets that rod if he is left handed! lol It'll probably drive him nuts, but a right hander might not mind it so much.

I am working on a variation of this for my spinning rods. I am sick and tired of the reel seat threads being a large part of the grip.





Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/23/2021 06:03PM by Kent Griffith.

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Re: Rod grip shapes
Posted by: Russell Brunt (---.lightspeed.miamfl.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 23, 2021 06:08PM

Where do you get the cork grips from Kent and what reel seat is that? I have an old Bass Pro rod and also like how it feels.

Russ in Hollywood, FL.

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Re: Rod grip shapes
Posted by: Kent Griffith (---)
Date: February 23, 2021 06:34PM

Those are stock Bass Pro rods and an image I found online. Those rods have a unique reel seat made to fit their style of power hump grips. There is a guy on that most popular sales website who sells cut off Bass Pro rods which I have used in the past to carefully remove the blank from within and reuse the parts on custom rods.

I found it was easier to just make my own, and this last time I used a standard Fuji reel seat and simply shaped the cork to fit it rather than the unique pairing Bass Pro made and sold.

In the past I have used Cork Specialties, but on my latest I just used different sizes of cork rings and shaped it myself. One thing I found odd and call me crazy, but I went through an exhaustive trial and error process for the shape and fit, and when I was done the comfort level was backwards to what I intended upon making it. One side has a taller hump than the other side, and for my latest rod I actually put the taller humped side down based on trial and error handling of it and decided to go with what was most comfortable and felt the best when using it.

One detail I should add is a detail I picked up off the Bass Pro grip as my model. When I first began shaping my own power hump shaped grip I made the mistake of making the humped shape 360 degrees around the entire grip. Doing this makes the overall circumference too large for the hand to grip comfortably. So I had to learn from the Bass Pro model that the hump, or humps in my grip should only be on the top side and bottom side of the grip, while the sides should remain straight into the rest of the grip.

I was surprised to learn and feel that the the larger hump was most comfortable for me on the bottom side and the forward taper actually gave me more a handle to grip better.

I did use the Bass Pro shape for my model, but with a different forward taper due to the change in reel seat and this is how it came out... and I can tell you it is a very comfortable grip to hold and use.





Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/23/2021 07:15PM by Kent Griffith.

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Re: Rod grip shapes
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (---.68.237.121.hwccustomers.com)
Date: February 23, 2021 07:42PM

Hi Christian,

I feel you.
There is a lot of ideas out there about fly rod grips.

The builders of years ago - recommended longer grips so you can move your hand up and down the grip to reduce fatigue.
Then builders of lighter slower rods liked cigar shaped grips to be casted with index finger pointed and parallel to the grip.
Full wells for the salt and heavier rods because it conformed to your hand. Front wells for your thumb - rear wells for the ham of your hand - and the bulge in the middle to fill in your palm.

Since I was building saltwater fly rods I started making full wells grips - and listening to the "experts" - made then 7 1/4 - 7 1/2 inches long. I did this for years until I experimented with a shorter grip because I was not moving my hand up-and-down the grip. I settled at 6 5/8 inch for the grip. Still building them that way now.
As far as full wells - If you are a student of Joan Wulff - you will know that there should be a space between the palm of your hand and the grip. So why are we filling up the space with the stupid bulge in the full wells grip.

So I started building "Modified Ritz grips. The classic Ritz grip (Google it) tapers from narrower at the bottom to wider at top. More or less straight taper. Some have a slight flare at the ends.
Mine are shaped with more flare at top and bottom.
There is no bulge in the middle that interferes with a proper hand grip. There is flare at the top for "thumb leverage" - and flare at the narrower bottom to accept the ham of your hand.

I recently built #6 CTS fly rod for Chico Fernandez with a Ritz grip. He send me a note with a picture of my grip and two others - both big names. The note said that my grip was the most comfortable after hours of casting.

The only time I would consider another grip design is if I were fishing a very small stream with a #1- #3 glass rod and was using a 3 point grip with the "pointey finger".

If you, or anyone else, want pictures of my grip - email me.

Herb



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/23/2021 07:45PM by Herb Ladenheim.

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Re: Rod grip shapes
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---)
Date: February 23, 2021 07:54PM

Christian

I assume you are asking about fly rod grips. If so the answer is yes, there is, or used to be, a method to the madness that stood in place of today's one-sizer-fits-all mentality. Get a copy of Bamboo Heresies and turn to Chapter 9. Here is a link to the publisher's site

[whitefishpress.com]

It is very much worth the $s and time to read.

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Re: Rod grip shapes
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---)
Date: February 23, 2021 11:19PM

Only a factory Sage SPL 3 wt. I found on the bottom of the Naches River has one of those dinky grips, my rods all have Western, Full Wells, or Ritz grips on them, no matter the size.

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Re: Rod grip shapes
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: February 23, 2021 11:38PM

All have been covered in-depth in RodMaker Magazine, including actual templates for all and when and why each excels at various tasks.

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

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Re: Rod grip shapes
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---)
Date: February 24, 2021 08:22AM

Human hands are all pretty much shaped the same. It's their SIZE which varies greatly. I see little variety in the diameter (size) of available grips.

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Re: Rod grip shapes
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---)
Date: February 24, 2021 10:19AM

Phil E is absolutely correct; grips are either oversized or more probably undersized. On-size-fits-all is OK for some baseball caps but not for fly rod grips. This is an area where "custom" really ought to mean "custom fit".

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Re: Rod grip shapes
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---)
Date: February 24, 2021 10:19AM

Phil E is absolutely correct; grips are either oversized or more probably undersized. On-size-fits-all is OK for some baseball caps but not for fly rod grips. This is an area where "custom" really ought to mean "custom fit".

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Re: Rod grip shapes
Posted by: Christian Fritz (---.sw.res.rr.com)
Date: February 25, 2021 12:05PM

Thanks for all the thoughts guys!

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