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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: Todd Andrizzi (---.slkc.qwest.net)
Date: May 29, 2021 12:18PM

Mark, I learned a lot from the thread. Mostly that nobody knows for sure. Same with spinning or not spining. Most of this other than the physics expert is opinion hear say or reading other articles and gaining g an opinion. For me it is common sense with some experience added. I do believe that a very good angler could possibly detect to a very small degree if there was 2gms difference in a weight of a rod. Of course, 2 gas on the tip top would most likely be noticed. However, I absolutely, unequivocally disbelieve Tom's comment that even an average angler could tell a "huge" difference in 2 gms distributed on a rod. And Nash tagging along with "a world of difference." Yes, I agree weight matters but how much weight is another issue.

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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: Mo Yang (---)
Date: May 29, 2021 03:26PM


Again, per my post, it depends on context. I build very lightweight Ultralight rods that are 1.2 ounces and below. That's 34 grams and below. If you add 2 grams on the top half of the rod, the average fisherman will absolutely feel the difference in the recovery and jigging. I mean, many of my lures are 1.5 grams and it makes a world of difference casting with a jig and just swinging the rod without the jig. but for a heavy salt water Tuna rod, I can't imagine anyone sensing the difference.

So, again, depending on context.

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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: Todd Andrizzi (---.slkc.qwest.net)
Date: May 29, 2021 05:22PM

thanks Mo...I can buy that....at the tip of a rod on a very light rod. That was not Tom's argument or mine. As I mentioned on an earlier post. I fished for two days on two different spin rods. Both 7' ML fast action. The reels were even different sizes and I could not tell a difference in either of those let alone a "huge" difference. If I were blind folded I would never be able to accurately choose the lightest rod. It would be a guess at best.

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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: Russell Brunt (---.lightspeed.miamfl.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 29, 2021 06:08PM

"However, I absolutely, unequivocally disbelieve Tom's comment"

Why Todd? Do you believe him to be a liar? Maybe you think him prone to exaggeration? I'm very curious as to why you would ask, and then tell someone with a great deal of experience and a stellar reputation, that you don't believe him.

Funny that you refuse to do anything to find out if you can tell a difference, yet you are sure Tom is wrong. Also strikes me a strange that you buy high end blanks, and outfit them with small guides, when you claim you can't tell the difference between blanks.

Russ in Hollywood, FL.

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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: Todd Andrizzi (---.slkc.qwest.net)
Date: May 29, 2021 06:48PM

Because I disagree with someone doesn't mean I think they are a liar. If you disagree with others are all of those people liars to you? Answer that. How do you know how I build my rods. I never even consider weight. I try to build quality rods with quality components. If those are light then that's the way it happens. I don't go out and look for heavy or light components. I usually use REC or Fuji guides. Do you believe you could tell the difference 100% of the time at a "huge" difference using 2 exact rods and one only 2gms lighter throughout the rod? That's less than a small paper clip not in one area but throughout the rod. I'm betting money you can't.. And then take an avg. angler and Tom says, for sure, they all can tell a huge difference and he won't listen to others because he is convinced he is absolutely right. I didn't read that you climbed on his back about it. I don't believe it and I would be more than enough humble if I were to find out I was wrong. That's why I took two rods built very much the same but I don't know the weights....can't be exact in weight and most likely are more than 2gms different. I fished them for two days. I said Russ from Hollywood that I could no way tell a difference. Maybe I'm not the fisherman you are. Two side bud...two sides. Have a great day. Oh, and as I said, the reels were different sizes...still no difference. I'm not a great fisherman but maybe a little better than avg. Not as good as you.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/29/2021 06:50PM by Todd Andrizzi.

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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: Russell Brunt (---.lightspeed.miamfl.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 29, 2021 07:46PM

Todd, from the tone of your post I must assume you felt I was making some sort of personal attack. I assure you that was not the case and I'm sorry if it seemed that way. I am not gifted in social grace.

To me "disbelieve" is much different than disagree. If I ask you what flavor ice cream is the best, and you say vanilla, I might say I disagree and like chocolate better. If I say I disbelieve what you told me, to me it sounds like you weren't being truthful about saying you liked vanilla the best. Likely just a difference in words and it is all good.

All we know about each other is what we can infer from the posts we have made. Let the record show that I neither agreed or disagreed with Tom. I will say I have a great deal of respect for Tom, and anytime I feel I might disagree with him it is cause for me to reexamine my beliefs. Nor did I ever imply that I was a great fisherman, much less a better one than you.

IMHO we are all here for the same goal, to improve at what we do. For some that might be to increase sales. For some that might be to put more fish in the boat. For some that might be to improve on the looks of our offerings. That should not make us adversaries.

I can't help thinking that you feel that way about me now. Rather a shame. I wanted to pick your brains about a few blanks we have in common and about the SeaGuide guides.

For the record; I tend to fish offshore with light tackle. My goal is to build something that can put the maximum pressure on a fish yet weigh the least. So why weight is important, it is secondary to fish fighting ability. This usually ends up with me using an extra guide or two over the prevailing norm.

Russ in Hollywood, FL.

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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: Todd Andrizzi (---.slkc.qwest.net)
Date: May 29, 2021 08:05PM

Yes Russ, I took your post as a sort of an attack. No problem. I agree with you that It would have been more accurate to use the word "disagree". I also add extra guides on a lot of my spin rods. I have never known or cared of the weight of a single blank or guides or any other component I use. I simply don't care. I use top components and if the company feels its best to be lighter then I figure they have a reason. Research and development spends a lot of money to find and make a better product. I choose not to take the time to stress weight also. I believe Tom has a wealth of knowledge. Not an issue. The issue I have is I totally disagree and I am very confident even the best anglers could not tell a difference in 2gms on a rod unless it were on the tip top. I also notice a lot of people on here seem to be intimidated by Tom. Nobody but God intimidates me. I have read Tom respond to comments by other sincere posters saying that's not right or you're wrong...this is the way. that is rude and degrading. There are possibly only 2 all knowing people and Tom is not one of them. There isn't a rodgod. Again....Tom knows a ton! He has most likely forgotten 905 of what I know or will ever know. But..there are other ways to respond to people. It's not just Tom...it's others too. It is better (IMO) to not degrade others ideas or opinions or beliefs....so I did it. I really don't agree at all with that...no way...can the avg. fisherman tell a huge difference in such little weight. Tom is afraid to own up to that...My opinion again. Thanks for the post Russ. I appreciate it.

I have enjoyed the site for the most part and I have learned a lot. I will still read issues when needed but I am bowing out. This isn't a good fit for me. I have always had a tough time with someone who is "the best." I got burned many times in sports because I targeted the "best" instead of going where the ball was. Thanks to you all. Roadbuilding is a privilege and I am proud to be able to learn and build. Stay strong and be safe and happy. Ciao fratelli!

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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: Russell Brunt (---.lightspeed.miamfl.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 29, 2021 10:35PM

Todd, no reason you should take any stock in what I say, but I'd encourage you to give it a bit. It takes some time in any forum to get a handle on who you want to listen to. Generally it isn't from the most prolific posters:)

Most of the other forums are all about "look at what I have done". This place really is more altruistic. Sometimes that may seem like someone is preaching to you. Sure, we may try to save you from yourself. But rest assured we won't tell you which God to worship! (I warned you I have no social grace so I shouldn't be trying tongue in cheek humor)

I'm nobody but I've been around this addiction since the 60's. I have seen your posts. I'd hate to see you go and feel you are in the right place. Search my posts and you won't find me bothering to say that to many others.

Russ in Hollywood, FL.

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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: John DeMartini (---)
Date: May 30, 2021 01:31AM


Hang in there for a while. I don't doubt that there are those that can tell the difference of 2 gm on a rod but I think they are in the minority. Let's try this for every one who can put dollar in bucket "A" for every one who can't put a dollar in bucket "B" I am confident at the end of the day bucket "A" may buy a bicycle and bucket "B" will have enough to buy a Lexus.

I have a go to rod and I can fish for hours and can't feel any change in the handling. BUT here is a reality check a wake up call so to speak, a drop of water weighs 0.05gms, 2gms is 40 drops of water, during the course of fishing my line wicks water, its on the line some transfers to the guides some on the blank and and some winds up in the spool. it is not unreasonable believe that 40 drops can accumulate on the rod at any given time,but I somehow can't feel the difference in "performance" and I continue fishing without concern. When it rains while fishing all bets are off a lot of water accumulates on the guides and blank and really goofs thing up but I pay no mind because I don't notice or pay attention to any changes in "performance". Because after each cast I may or may not make adjustments in handling.

For those who are concerned with fractions of a gm this can be a horrible situation.

To maintain a constant "performance" do I, prior to each cast stretch out the line and wipe it down along with the reel, guides, grip and blank to bring the rod to the original state for the next cast. NOT A CHANCE! it;s too much work and not practical so I'll cope with the reality.

This is may be an exaggeration but it does happen and if we are willing to quibble over the effects of fractions of gram of weight then above factors have to enter in to the equation, but for some reason it never does.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/30/2021 01:39AM by John DeMartini.

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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.inf6.spectrum.com)
Date: May 30, 2021 11:57AM

Flexibility may be more important than weight for rod performance. The more flexible a rod is the faster it can push the line after the caster releases it. The stored energy from springiness of the rod, not the weight of the rod, makes a rod cast farther and more accurately.

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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: Lynn Behler (---.44.66.72.res-cmts.leh.ptd.net)
Date: May 30, 2021 07:21PM

I hear ya Todd!!

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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: Robert Flowers (---)
Date: May 31, 2021 04:32AM

Phil Ewanicki Wrote:
> Flexibility may be more important than weight for
> rod performance. The more flexible a rod is the
> faster it can push the line after the caster
> releases it. The stored energy from springiness of
> the rod, not the weight of the rod, makes a rod
> cast farther and more accurately.

There has to be a balance between flex, power. and stiffness of a rod blank. The length of thee rod, the action of the rod, and the power of th rode all come into play. . Power is the ability of the rod to resist deformity. Action is defined by where the rod begins to ben under load. Length determines the speed that the rod tip moves. f

Flexibility is used by fly rod makers to gently lay dry flies on the water, and protect the tippet. Faster rods flex less, and so are more able to transfer speed to the line, causing it to cast further. they will also are more apt to cause a fly to land harder on the water. A noodle won't cast as far as will a faster rod.

There is only so much energy that the blank can store. Think of it this way, a bow of light weight is easier to flex than a bow of heavier weight. The stiffer, more powerful limbs of the heavier weight bow will store more energy than will a lighter bow, propelling the arrow faster, and further. Of course more energy is required to bend the bow limbs on the heavier bow. Th same laws of physics applies to a rod blank.

By heavy vs. light in archery, bow weight is determined by ow much weight, or pounds of force, is required to draw the bowstring to its set draw length, not the [he physical weight of the bow. The load on a bow is the arrow. The load on a fishing pole is either the lure, or fly line. There, the similarity ends. A rod require more attention to make it perform at its peak than does a bow.

Flexibility must be weighed against the rod's intended use. Heavier, or lighter rods serve mainly to achieve a certain degree of strength. A heavy rod, if cast, or jigged all day, can where a guyout..HOwever, grams, and fractions of grams won't much be noticed by the angler.. If a couple of grams of weight affect you a lot, you need to start a weight tring program at your local gym.

Tight Lies and frisky fish


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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: Joe Vanfossen (131.123.51.---)
Date: June 01, 2021 10:35AM

Hi Michael,

It's been a few days, but I now have some time to respond.

You asked:

But, one can measure an overall resonant frequency of a rod blank based on its hardness and create a relative measurement that can be compared across the board with other blanks producing a useful result to use. How do you do this, Joe?

The answer, it that it is not simple. The best measurement do do what you are wanting to do here is to measure the wave speeds. The reason being that the natural frequencies of a rod are tied to the length of the individual rod, the inertia of the rod (which includes the mass and how it is distributed). Performing this measurement is not that practical for a typical builder. If the rod were a simple string with a uniform mass distribution, calculating the wave speed for the rod when it is in a transverse vibrational mode is easy. I do that experiment every semester with students in a class with no math requirement. Performing that measurement when the mass distribution changes in a way that is not abrupt, and likely not linear is way more challenging.

Given that the frequencies of the natural modes of a rod are tied to so many properties of the rod, it is tough to compare two separate blanks objectively, especially if there are significant differences in their parameters. When comparing blanks of the same model from the same manufacturer, opt for the one with the highest frequency. The subtle differences between the blanks is the source of their different frequencies, and the one with the highest frequency will have the highest wave speed, indicating that energy moves through that blank more efficiently. This is the same reason that you can tell the difference between one musical instrument being played and two or more of the same instrument being played. Because each instrument is slightly different, even when tuned to the same fundamental note, there will be small differences in the pattern of frequencies that are excited and there amplitude of each frequency which results in what we call the chorus effect.

My best recommendation for this is to do some subjective testing like Kent, and listen for the highest pitches, particularly when dropping the blank vertically onto its butt from a short distance above the ground. This excites the longitudinal vibrational modes, which we often associate with sound waves. The highest pitch for rods of the same length and power will tend to be associated with blank that is more efficient. In the case of Mo's observation with the glass blank, it is possible that the time frame involved with the contact with the floor excited a higher harmonic on that rod, which gave it its significantly higher than expected pitch.

At the end of the day, frequency measurements can be used to help understand the impact of adding mass to a blank and what that will mean for the 'feel the bite' sensitivity, particularly when the transverse mode of the blank is excited, as this is the mode that will be excited by small changes in force applied to the line.

When it comes to blank selection, given two rods of the same length, power, and action, I want the blank with the highest frequency in the transverse normal mode, the highest frequency in the longitudinal normal mode, and the blank that damps oscillations the quickest. (i.e. the results of Kent's subjective tests) That gives you the best possible starting point. From there, I want to change those properties as little as is reasonable while building a rod for its intended use.

The other topic that came up along the way, balance, is a whole other can of worms. Personally, I choose not to add additional weight to the butt of my rods, but it has more to do with limitations in my boat than physics. I fish in a 14' boat, which means that I am limited in the number of rods that can be in the boat at a time. If I have one of my kids with me, it may mean 2 or 3 rods can be in the boat, as they can act like a bull in a china shop. If I'm fishing with an experienced fisherman, we can maybe bring 4 rods each. By myself, that means 8 is my practical maximum. Because of this, I do not get to tune each rod to a particular task, meaning each rod may be fished tip up or tip down according to what I need at the time. For tip down rods, I don't care much about the balance, for tip up rods, there are benefits to balance.

The benefits of balancing a rod come from inertia as well. When a rod is balanced, that means that the sum of the torques on the rod is equal to 0. The rotational inertia of the tip end of the rod is canceled by the rotational inertia of the butt end of the rod. Just like it is easier to move and accelerate a broom when you grip it near its balance point, it is easier to move and accelerate a balanced rod, rotationally. In addition, making a rod slightly tip light, can provide the sensation of the tip rising when tension on the line is decreased. This can be beneficial when using the rod in a tip up style. The trade off to balancing the rod is that as I mentioned before the additional weight, even though it is added behind the reel seat will increase the inertia of the rod and cause the signals to reduce in amplitude and be spread out over a longer time resulting in the rod feeling less crisp as well as taking longer to damp vibrations.

The other downside to adding weight to a rod for balance is that the rod will be significantly heavier and you need to hold, support, and start/stop the rod. For this, I will argue that the wrist muscles used in the rotational motion of the rod are far weaker than our biceps and shoulder muscles. Your wrists will benefit by being able to use a rod that rotates more easily. The weight added to the rod for the sake of balance is not necessarily going to have as large of an impact on your larger muscle groups that are associate with holding and moving the rod through translational motion.

Understanding why you want to add something to a rod and what the implications of that addition mean to the performance of the rod are at the heart of building the appropriate rod for the task at hand. For my rods, I choose to build them to remain as crisp as I can reasonably expect them to be. When I add an additional boat in the next few years, where I have the ability to transport more rods, I may very well be triggered into a new building cycle so I can add in a few rods that are balanced differently for use with specific tip up techniques. A micrometer is a highly specialized tool for its application, but it is practically useless if I want to measure something a couple of feet long. My approach to rod building is to build the best overall tool for the job, and when it is practical, then it is time to build a more specialized tool.

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Re: How important is weight?
Posted by: Kent Griffith (---)
Date: June 01, 2021 11:17AM

Let me throw an observation in the mix in relation to frequency versus sensitivity...

If you were holding a rod in your hands that was more like a rubber band, or if you take a rubber band and cut it and lay it out on a table, think about trying to stimulate a vibration on one end and observe if that signal can travel down the rubbery blank, or travel the length of a rubber band from one end to the other.

What you may find is that the softer a blank the less likely it can transmit a signal from one end to the other. What winds up happening as is the case with the rubber band is that it will absorb the input signal and due to the softness of the material, it will not travel nor transmit down to the other end of the rubber band, or blank very well.

So when I use rod frequency to listen to its tone, I am judging relative hardness of the material.

Take a metal bell or a crystal glass. Tap on one side and due to the hardness of the material the signal entering on one side will easily travel and easily transmit to the opposite end or other side. I want the same thing to happen with my fishing rods.

My observations have gone sort of like this... if a rod is too soft, then the signal input is greatly reduced or almost non-existent on the handle or grip or butt end because the rod is absorbing that vibration. If a rod is reasonably hard, then the signal input will easily be felt by the hand on the other end. But, my highest pitch rod blank is somewhat different, may be my perception of it, but it has the highest pitch of any rod I own, and when a fish hits it feels like a jolt of lightning in my hand. It is as if the rod material and shape are now amplifying the input signal. This may or may not be possible, but with how a megaphone works to concentrate an audible signal into a dense directive flow, is it possible a rod shaped similarly can do the same thing? I am not sure as I have never seen any real science on this. Just going from casual observations.

I also observe how a blank handles vibrations by observing the shape of the rod while vibrating from what I call the bump test. I am looking for blanks that do not turn into a S shape up and down the blank and keep most of the vibrations closest to the tip, and I am observing how fast the blank will settle down or keep on vibrating. I choose those that settle down quickest and keep observable vibration movement closest to tip without dragging the rest of the blank into it like softer rods do oh so well all up and down the blank during a bump test.

So in my case, I am using the sound or pitch of sound a rod makes in comparison to other rods to give me an idea of the blanks relative hardness and ability to transmit vibrations to the hand.

And it is for this reason I choose my blanks carefully, and then I do not load them down with lots of dampening or muting materials others tend to heap onto rods, a lot of it has nothing to do with fishing and is more about art than creating a performance tool. I am all about performance and lean towards minimalist and I don't even let one thread wrap extend beyond the foot of any guide and I use the shortest guide feet possible to further minimalize the muting effect. And I use no decorative wraps and will not coat a blank with anything ever. I even prefer uncoated blanks for this reason.

But to each their own... and good write up Joe!

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