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How important is weight?
Posted by: Todd Andrizzi (---.slkc.qwest.net)
Date: May 21, 2021 11:25AM

Until I joined this site I never really heard so much about weight reduction. Since joining and reading most of the topics, it seems that there is a huge belief that the less weight...the better. I can understand that a fisherman doesn't want to cast a 2lb. rod all day when he can cast one in ounces. However, I really can't understand cutting grams will make a better more desirable rod. Are rod builders obsessed with weight or is it real? I have fished many rods and not once have I thought..."wow, this rod is heavy, my arm is tired." I have never consciously built a rod to weigh less. Educate me please.

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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: Mark Brassett (---)
Date: May 21, 2021 11:34AM

I'm not allowed to have extra light fragile rods. Every one I have ever had I've broken because of my inability to treat them with the respect they deserve. I think of fishing rods more like hammers and screwdrivers. They need to be efficient and tough enough to take a bit of a beating.

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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: Kent Griffith (---)
Date: May 21, 2021 11:38AM

All I can do is give an opinion.

For those who insist on less and less weight, I am not sure if they are taking into consideration that the end of the road is to have virtually nothing in their hands.

So there is a line to be crossed where performance and ability is lost due to weight reduction.

The only way to reduce blank weight is to reduce the physical quantities of that which makes a rod a rod. Eventually the line will be crossed where the rods are so lightweight that they won't hold up under loading.

I saw the same thing in the reel industry when I use to work at a rod and reel repair shop.

The market is demanding of rod and reel brands to reduce weight, but in the end what this amounts to is cheaper junk in our hands.

The quality metals are being pushed aside so brands can now make cheaper plastic parts inside of reels. Plastic gears. Plastic frames like Bass Pro tries to get away with. Thinner spools. Switching from brass gears to cold pressed aluminum gears.

The demand for lighter weight rods and reels is pushing brands to making cheaper junk that will not hold up nor last like the heavier quality products of old.

So which side of the line do you want to be on?

I was a warranty repair tech on reels for numerous brands, and based on what all I saw coming across the bench on a daily basis keeps me on the heavier side of the line. I still use stradic reels that are 20 plus years old, but are made much better and last longer. As a tech I saw older stradics working for more than 10 years without service come across the bench as well as brand spanking new stradics needing gears replaced and drag washers replaced in under 2 years of use.

I still use older chronarchs and curado reels some dating back to the 90's and are still as smooth today as when new.

I want quality and that means heavier in my world.

As for rods, I do like light responsive rods for bass fishing. But I am concerned with the thin wall rods durability. And I won't touch rods like those made by Dobyns which are heavy broomsticks.

Its all in balancing out needs over making equipment too light to be durable quality over time. And right now, the market is pushing the brands over the edge. The demand for lightweight is literally forcing brands to produce cheaper junk.

So when you have that next personal best on the line and the rod snaps and the reel's gears strip out and drag fails, just remember that all important demand for lightweight equipment!

If engineers for NASA had used titanium for shuttle wing framing and leading edge skin instead of aluminum it might have made it back... can't prove it, but the aluminum frame pieces were like butter and melted at too low a temp and were not structurally as strong as titanium would have made those wings... point is, sometimes cheaper is not always better. We lost 7 astronauts because of it.



[www.nasa.gov]

Structural Design - NASA

The Space Shuttle—a mostly reusable, human-rated launch vehicle, ... Sets of moveable attachment fittings on the longerons and frames accommodated ... Wing r Aluminum Skin/Structure and. Honeycomb Skins r Aluminum Web and Truss.


Melted like butter. The astronauts did not stand a chance. Titanium could have given that chance- if only...

Basic facts:

"The shuttle enters the atmosphere at lesser speeds, 4.7 miles (7.5 kilometers) per second, generating a lower maximum temperature of 2,900 degrees Fahrenheit (1,593 degrees Celsius)"

Aluminum used for shuttle wing framing and trussing and skin:

Aluminium/Melting point
1,221°F
660.3°C

Titanium/Melting point
3,034°F
1,668°C

You tell me. Did NASA cross the line to stupid on this one or what? All their faith rested in their one and only dam heat shield to protect their butter wing structure that melted with ease.

Titanium could have withstood that heat and those 7 astronauts might have made it back alive.

NASA screwed up on this one. No wonder the fleet has been retired. Guess they don't want failure round 3.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 05/21/2021 12:42PM by Kent Griffith.

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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 21, 2021 11:46AM

I like to keep things light, but I certainly don’t obsess over it. For some it almost obsessive compulsive behavior. I certainly don’t think a few grams here or there hurts performance. I also believe that going completely minimal hurts looks, ergonomics and the way the rod feels in your hand. If you like the way your rods perform and look, keep on keeping on, and don’t worry about it.
Norm

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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: Todd Andrizzi (---.slkc.qwest.net)
Date: May 21, 2021 12:20PM

Kent, you mentioned that reel companies are going lighter for customer preference. That's what I'd like to know....why customers want everything so light. We want people to do our yard work, wash our cars, do our grocery [email protected]#$%&, we want cars to drive themselves! Is this the reason for lighter gear....laziness? Yet, most Americans are overweight. They care about the weight of their fishing gear but not of their own selves. I cycled for many years and still try. Bikers are the same way with weight of their bikes. For amateurs though, it is a bragging reason. I feel that the rod builders so obsessed with every gram might be the same as the cyclists worried about an ounce. I can understand the tour riders who ride for 120 miles a day for weeks might worry about weight but not the guys like myself. I am definitely with Kent when it comes to lighter is cheaper using plastic crap vs a metal. Hope I'm making a little sense. Thanks

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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: May 21, 2021 02:34PM

Todd,
I certainly enjoy the performance benefits of a modern 6 foot rod blank that weighs less than 2 oz. compared to years ago when the same blank weighed over 4 ozs and cast like a broom stick.

I also understand that it is reasonable - to have great guides that are as light as possible and still do their jobs for many years.

In past years, when the guide train weighed 4 -6 times more than the typical guide train of today - the rod is certainly a lot more enjoyable to use while fishing.

However, I see that some folks will take a completed rod that weighs 4 ozs total and then put on a reel that weighs 10-12 ozs. Not a good idea.

Take care

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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: Aaron Petersen (12.144.64.---)
Date: May 21, 2021 03:27PM

Kent Griffith Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> All I can do is give an opinion.
>
> For those who insist on less and less weight, I am
> not sure if they are taking into consideration
> that the end of the road is to have virtually
> nothing in their hands.
>
> So there is a line to be crossed where performance
> and ability is lost due to weight reduction.
>
> The only way to reduce blank weight is to reduce
> the physical quantities of that which makes a rod
> a rod. Eventually the line will be crossed where
> the rods are so lightweight that they won't hold
> up under loading.
>
> I saw the same thing in the reel industry when I
> use to work at a rod and reel repair shop.
>
> The market is demanding of rod and reel brands to
> reduce weight, but in the end what this amounts to
> is cheaper junk in our hands.
>
> The quality metals are being pushed aside so
> brands can now make cheaper plastic parts inside
> of reels. Plastic gears. Plastic frames like Bass
> Pro tries to get away with. Thinner spools.
> Switching from brass gears to cold pressed
> aluminum gears.
>
> The demand for lighter weight rods and reels is
> pushing brands to making cheaper junk that will
> not hold up nor last like the heavier quality
> products of old.
>
> So which side of the line do you want to be on?
>
> I was a warranty repair tech on reels for numerous
> brands, and based on what all I saw coming across
> the bench on a daily basis keeps me on the heavier
> side of the line. I still use stradic reels that
> are 20 plus years old, but are made much better
> and last longer. As a tech I saw older stradics
> working for more than 10 years without service
> come across the bench as well as brand spanking
> new stradics needing gears replaced and drag
> washers replaced in under 2 years of use.
>
> I still use older chronarchs and curado reels some
> dating back to the 90's and are still as smooth
> today as when new.
>
> I want quality and that means heavier in my
> world.
>
> As for rods, I do like light responsive rods for
> bass fishing. But I am concerned with the thin
> wall rods durability. And I won't touch rods like
> those made by Dobyns which are heavy broomsticks.
>
> Its all in balancing out needs over making
> equipment too light to be durable quality over
> time. And right now, the market is pushing the
> brands over the edge. The demand for lightweight
> is literally forcing brands to produce cheaper
> junk.
>
> So when you have that next personal best on the
> line and the rod snaps and the reel's gears strip
> out and drag fails, just remember that all
> important demand for lightweight equipment!
>
> If engineers for NASA had used titanium for
> shuttle wing framing and leading edge skin instead
> of aluminum it might have made it back... can't
> prove it, but the aluminum frame pieces were like
> butter and melted at too low a temp and were not
> structurally as strong as titanium would have made
> those wings... point is, sometimes cheaper is not
> always better. We lost 7 astronauts because of
> it.
>
>
>
> [www.nasa.gov]
> n_Wings-ch4g-pgs270-285.pdf
>
> Structural Design - NASA
>
> The Space Shuttle—a mostly reusable, human-rated
> launch vehicle, ... Sets of moveable attachment
> fittings on the longerons and frames accommodated
> ... Wing r Aluminum Skin/Structure and. Honeycomb
> Skins r Aluminum Web and Truss.
>
>
> Melted like butter. The astronauts did not stand a
> chance. Titanium could have given that chance- if
> only...
>
> Basic facts:
>
> "The shuttle enters the atmosphere at lesser
> speeds, 4.7 miles (7.5 kilometers) per second,
> generating a lower maximum temperature of 2,900
> degrees Fahrenheit (1,593 degrees Celsius)"
>
> Aluminum used for shuttle wing framing and
> trussing and skin:
>
> Aluminium/Melting point
> 1,221°F
> 660.3°C
>
> Titanium/Melting point
> 3,034°F
> 1,668°C
>
> You tell me. Did NASA cross the line to stupid on
> this one or what? All their faith rested in their
> one and only dam heat shield to protect their
> butter wing structure that melted with ease.
>
> Titanium could have withstood that heat and those
> 7 astronauts might have made it back alive.
>
> NASA screwed up on this one. No wonder the fleet
> has been retired. Guess they don't want failure
> round 3.

My Aunt was on the investigation team for that. Were you there at the same time? Might of crossed paths.

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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: Kent Griffith (---)
Date: May 21, 2021 03:47PM

Aaron Petersen Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> My Aunt was on the investigation team for that.
> Were you there at the same time? Might of crossed
> paths.

No sir I worked for NASA in between Challenger 1986 and Columbia 2003. I was there early to mid 1990's and briefly in early 2000's. So I was in between 2 shuttle tragedies. I'm glad I was not out there for any of the disasters. Coming in after the Challenger tragedy was bad enough.

You can not work out there and not feel the weight of those who lost their lives in the pursuit of humans trying to get off this planet.

I use to drive around the old launch pads on my lunch breaks and had the row all to myself except for the occasional security vehicle driving by but they never stopped to ask me why I was there. They just waved and went on knowing the only way I could be there in my work truck was with proper clearance. It was eerie to roll up on all the launch pads alone. Looking into the windows of various buildings left same as they were when humans walked away in the past and moved on. Everything left ready to reactivate if necessary. I visited all of the old launch pads. The only one I could not visit was the one the shuttle was sitting on.

Where I use to park my work truck, the crawler would roll back and forth just off my rear bumper sometimes as close as 10 feet. I really enjoyed my time out there- except for when I ran into people who had to clean up after the disasters like Challenger. Those stories were never pleasant. Some things you hear out there are best left out there.

Today about the only thing I get to see close up any more are the recoveries of the rockets being launched now. They are towed into Port Canaveral and cleaned up there for reuse. I enjoyed being around all that technology and science going on out there but it never lasts... Only as long as the contracts.

Oh, and sometimes I fish near Cape Canaveral in the Indian River Lagoon. Security running around in their gun boats are usually pretty cool with us fishermen until a rocket is on the pad ready to launch, then they get all impatient with us fishermen and chase us off. But we do get to see the launches close enough to be dangerous. I use to get run out the base when they would drain the shuttle's main fuel tank. They had to increase the blast radius for that one and getting all "unneccessary" personnel out of that radius was mandatory. So they would up the security level and run everyone out for safety. I had days when I would drive all the way out there. Be sitting in my truck in between security gates looking at the Atlas rocket building in front of me then red lights go off, security level goes up, and guards tell me to turn around and go home and see you tomorrow type of thing. My whole day blown getting nothing done except drive out and drive back home and call it a day.

Mark my words, short cutting materials out there is not the way to go. Space is unforgiving. No second chances. You are on your own out there. Mankind would be wise to take better care of where our feet are planted.

I have the greatest respect for those willing to risk their lives on pencil pushing engineers sitting firmly on the ground not having to ride up or back based on their plans on paper.

Next up I hear we are heading back to the moon, but also to Mars. I hope they know what they are doing because going to Mars could be a one way trip. Like I said, short cutting materials for out there is a huge mistake- as we have already seen.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 05/21/2021 04:12PM by Kent Griffith.

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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: May 21, 2021 04:11PM

This topic is destined to create numerous pages of replies! While it is safe to say none of us try to build a heavy rod, it is understandable that there are those who obsess over shaving-off every gram. With the overall weight of a rod secondary to the cantilevered weight further out toward the tip, it is only wise to minimize the weight of the guides, thread and finish to allow the blank to perform at its peak. But a line needs to be realized and drawn, overwhich a point of diminishing returns becomes involved; that line will be different for all of us and our customers as well. I am certainly concerned with minimizing weight, but I do not obsess over it. It seems reasonable to assume 75% of anglers would not notice a weight gain/loss of 10g; for the other 25%, that gain/loss might stand-out like a red headed stepchild!
Racecar drivers are looking to shave-off 1/10th of a thousandth second which can be the difference of finishing first or being the first loser! I doubt that 1/10th, or 10 minutes for that matter, would make much of a difference when we are driving to our favorite fishing spot!!!

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 important is weight?
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: May 21, 2021 04:58PM

I'm like Norman, build to keep the weight at a reasonable minimum, but also keeping ergonomics/comfort in mind. My 7 foot spin rods with a "real" size 17 reel seat come in at 3.6-4.1 oz, usually, depending on power/cork/other materials I use. They all feel fine and are very sensitive. All are some kind of graphite or graphite/glass blend. The lightest feel the best. The lightest use blanks that cost over $150. But the next steps in weight, like skeleton reel seats, hurt ergonomics or have other trade-offs that I don't want to make (exorbitant guide prices/too small guides for the job/exorbitant blank prices).

I have not found that my rods are fragile, but I take good care of them, don't treat them like hammers and saws. I treat them more like cameras or rifles. And they treat me well.

I'm suspicious of almost all obsessions. When things get obsessive, they often get counterproductive.

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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: chris c nash (70.40.87.---)
Date: May 21, 2021 05:16PM

Anything added to a blank that's not an absolute necessity will decrease the performance of the blank . Any increase in weight slows the recovery of a blank and even the little things add up . That extra inch and a half of thread you decide to use that extends past the end of the guide foot will also require more epoxy to cover it . Add an extra inch and a half of thread on each guide foot and double that if using double foot guides, add in the additional finish to coat it and that's A LOT of extra unnecessary weight that greatly lowers the blanks efficiency meaning 'Recovery' speed . It also dampens sensitivity .

Choosing to use guides that are larger than needed will do the same thing , lower the rods efficiency . I have a build that I decided not to use any rod finish on just a few coats of CP over the short thread wraps and the responsiveness of that rod compared to an identical one that I did use epoxy on is something that I would strongly encourage everybody to experience . Pssst , little secret , I only did that because some people on this very site suggested it and there's a lot of info in the archives about it . I'm a very very happy camper which is exceedingly rare .

Now in regards to todays products being made lighter and lighter and the quality being way below that of what was typical in the past , I agree in a general sense but in no way shape or form does that apply to top shelf blanks being manufactured by the worlds most popular companies . No comparison whatsoever . The military uses the very best and latest carbon materials for making planes lighter , gear lighter etc... and those materials are superior to what we had traditionally and the extreme weightlessness and toughness is why .


I posted the below a while back but cut it down this time because it was so long . The version below is still long but worth the read , it's Gary Loomis in his own words .




Loomis stated that what an angler needs to understand is how the word “modulus” pertains to graphite rods. Modulus is not a thread count, as many would have you believe. Modulus basically equates to stiffness. The higher the modulus, the stiffer the material is by weight, meaning less material is needed to achieve the same stiffness of lower-modulus materials. This results in a lighter product.

“You have to remember, weight is the deterrence to performance,” Loomis said. Stiffness also equates to responsiveness – that is, the rod’s ability to store and release energy. The higher the modulus, the faster and more consistent a rod is able to store and release its energy, which enables an angler to cast farther and more accurately.


Todays best rods through the advancements of materials, technology and engineering design are super-light, responsive, and extremely sensitive and strong.

But the misconception of brittleness still plagues them, and the reason for this is because as the modulus gets higher, the less material is needed and therefore used. This means that the wall thickness in the blank, which is basically a hollow tube, is thinner. “Remember what I said before – weight is the deterrence to performance,” Loomis said, and went on to tell a story:

“I had a gentleman come in with a fly rod that broke near the handle, and he was asking for a new rod. I examined his broken rod and knew from the break – it was splintered – that his rod broke from abuse. So I asked him how it broke, and the man, being sincere, told me it broke while fighting a fish. I explained that it would be nearly impossible for the rod to break this way. But to be fair, (I told him) if he could break another rod the same way, I would give him three brand-new rods of his choice, but if he couldn’t, that he would pay for the repairs, and the man agreed.

“So I took him out in the back by the shipping docks and handed him an identical rod. With the rod in his hands, I grabbed the blank and asked him to apply the same pressure he was using when it broke. The man was applying a great deal of stress on the rod, and it wasn’t breaking. So I asked if he wanted to apply even more pressure, and the man responded that he didn’t think he could, but he insisted that is how his rod broke.

“So then I told him, ‘We are going to break this rod, so that it breaks just like yours did.’ I then laid the blank on a rubber mat and I kneeled on it by the handle, and we tried it again but it didn’t break. Then I laid it on the concrete and kneeled on it. Examining the rod, you couldn’t see it was damaged, but this time the rod broke just like his did, and the man simply asked where he needed to pay to get his rod repaired.”

The point of this story is that these high-modulus, high-strain-rate, thin-walled rods are extremely strong and are highly unlikely to ever break . Almost all rods are damaged by other means – an angler accidentally stepping on them, hitting them against a hard surface while casting, or storing them where a toolbox or some other heavy object can slide into them. So while high-modulus, high-strain-rate rods are not brittle, they do require more care in storage and transport. Basic common sense

The highest modulus rods are extremely lightweight and are usually a rod manufacturer’s high-end product. These rods are the ultimate in responsiveness and sensitivity, and they cost a lot more than the average fishing rod. As with anything that costs this type of money, you would want to take a lot better care of it, including using protective cases to store and transport them around.

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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: May 21, 2021 05:30PM

Weight and weight distribution are very important on my rod types. They have more to do with rod performance than just the physical weight the fisherman must deal with. Balance, inertia, rod speed (reaction and recovery) make all the difference in how a rod feels and performs. So it's not the weight, as much as it is what the weight does.

..........

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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: Todd Andrizzi (---.slkc.qwest.net)
Date: May 21, 2021 06:47PM

OK, I can understand going light to help with the sensitivity and responsiveness of the blank. I can't understand going light just so the rod isn't too heavy. How much weight can you save on a rod? I can fish with a pound rod as long as I can fish with a half a pound rod. Thanks.

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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: May 21, 2021 07:47PM

It's not about the actual weight savings - it's about rod performance. Even an either of an ounce saved in the right place will make a HUGE difference in how the rod performs.

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

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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: Todd Andrizzi (---.slkc.qwest.net)
Date: May 21, 2021 08:27PM

Tom, will saving weight make a huge difference to the average person or just to an individual who fishes every day? I fish a lot but do not consider myself an expert fisherman. I have only been able to tell very slight differences in different rods. If I am fishing with 2 different ML spin rods, it would be hard for me to tell the differences. Of course I could tell the difference in fishing a ML and a L. I think I understand what people are saying here. I am just not convinced of the HUGE differences some of you have talked about just by eliminating a few grams of weight.

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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: Gary Kilmartin (135.26.161.---)
Date: May 21, 2021 08:40PM

Tom Kirkman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It's not about the actual weight savings - it's
> about rod performance. Even an either of an ounce
> saved in the right place will make a HUGE
> difference in how the rod performs.
>
> ................
This is a lesson that took me about four years to learn.

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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: chris c nash (70.40.87.---)
Date: May 21, 2021 09:21PM

As I have said before I think the majority of rod builders build because of the ability to fish and enjoy something that they themselves created and that's a special thing .

On another note , most people even on these boards ARE NOT expert fisherman , that is not a requirement to want to fish the best performing rod possible . I'm also convinced the majority of anglers are perfectly happy fishing what they build regardless of whether it's built with extreme weight savings in mind and that's a good thing . I think the people who build with extreme weight savings in mind are in the minority not the majority and if you doubt that spend a few hours in the photos section .

It's not necessary for everybody to understand this stuff , build rods that make you happy that's the bottom line .

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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: May 21, 2021 09:36PM

Todd,
Your last post is precisely what I was attempting to say.

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 important is weight?
Posted by: Lynn Behler (---.44.66.72.res-cmts.leh.ptd.net)
Date: May 21, 2021 09:42PM

I select the needed components to get the job done, and add as little weight as I can get away with to build it. I cut down seat threads, but not to save weight. Less is more.

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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: Todd Andrizzi (---.slkc.qwest.net)
Date: May 22, 2021 07:21AM

Thanks.

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