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Fiberglass fly rods
Posted by: Greg Sefton (---.169.184.173.dynamic.ip.windstream.net)
Date: August 30, 2021 08:14AM

When I was a bass magazine editor in the early 70s, Fenwick sent me 4 rods for evaluation, out of a “new Space age material carbon graphite fiber”.. I broke 3 of them. 2 on fish. I sent them the pieces back and told them “ forget it. Stick with fiberglass”. Thank god they ignored me. I’ve been a graphite rod fan since the late 70s.
That said, I’m hearing good things about the newer FG fly rods & thinking of building one. I Know nothing of the blanks. Except they seem shorter.
And each claims to be the greatest, yada yada.. Any input appreciated. Thinking of a 7’ 6” 4 weight. Prices all over the map.. is a 250$ blank really 5 times as good a a 50$ one?
E glass?, S glass? Composites?
Thanks
Greg

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Re: Fiberglass fly rods
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (---)
Date: August 30, 2021 10:01AM

Greg,
Yes - the "new" glass blanks are great - if you like glass. And, a growing number of people do.
CTS has a 7'6" #3 and a 7'6" #4 as stock models.
You may have them painted - and the colors are great. But paint does weigh something. So, I find that a raw glass blank is lighter in the hand and performs more crisply.
Email me for my RB.Org pricing.
regards,
Herb
CTS Rep.

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Re: Fiberglass fly rods
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---)
Date: August 30, 2021 10:20AM

Like all fishing products, once you get into the mid-tier products any improvements past that point escalate in price without like quality improvements, this is not surprising as this is where their profits lie.
Right this second, for the money and quality, I don't think you can beat the NFC Iconoglas blanks. They make your blank also.

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Re: Fiberglass fly rods
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---.dsl.pltn13.sbcglobal.net)
Date: August 30, 2021 11:34AM

I second NFC's Iconoglass. They are nothing like the fiberglass of old!

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Re: Fiberglass fly rods
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---)
Date: August 30, 2021 11:46AM

Greg

The newer s-glass makes for a bit stronger and faster rod than the older e-glass. And the s-glass is a bit lighter in the bargain but not nearly so light as carbon fiber for the same rod length and rated line weight. Many are 3 piece blanks but more and more 4 piece s-glass blanks are beginning tp appear.

My experience has been that the more modestly priced (cheap, x brand) blanks frequently have finish issues and line weight ratings are sometimes questionable. So if aesthetics are of little concern and you don't mind having to over or under line the rod you can get into a glass rod for a really modest amount. On the other end of the spectrum the are higher price points with great finish and spot on correct CCS data provided.

Think the bottom line is if you enjoy a slower action rod with a more relaxed casting pace, and if you do not mind the extra weight, then go for it.

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Re: Fiberglass fly rods
Posted by: Greg Sefton (---.169.184.173.dynamic.ip.windstream.net)
Date: August 30, 2021 12:03PM

Spencer Phipps Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Like all fishing products, once you get into the
> mid-tier products any improvements past that point
> escalate in price without like quality
> improvements, this is not surprising as this is
> where their profits lie.
> Right this second, for the money and quality, I
> don't think you can beat the NFC Iconoglas blanks.
> They make your blank also.


Thanks Spencer, I’ve found that to be the case with many things, including graphite rod blanks. I’ve used quite a few MHX blanks that seem about as good as blanks costing twice as much.

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Re: Fiberglass fly rods
Posted by: Greg Sefton (---.169.184.173.dynamic.ip.windstream.net)
Date: August 30, 2021 12:10PM

Phil Erickson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I second NFC's Iconoglass. They are nothing like
> the fiberglass of old!

Thanks Phil,
I’ve looked at their blanks. Which are on sale. I haven’t used any NFC blanks, but they’re well thought of among those who use them. Other than some delivery issues.
I was also a little taken back by their shipping cost of 35$ for a 2 oz item. ????. Along with excise tax, sales tax etc.. But if it’s a solid blank, I guess I can live with that..

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Re: Fiberglass fly rods
Posted by: Jeff Shafer (---.s10894.c3-0.drf-cbr1.atw-drf.pa.cable.rcncustomer.com)
Date: August 30, 2021 12:25PM

Visit fiberglassflyrodders.com for a wealth of information.

Jeff

"The greatest barrier to discovery is not ignorance, it's the illusion of knowledge" - Daniel J. Boorstin

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Re: Fiberglass fly rods
Posted by: Jack Duncan (---)
Date: August 30, 2021 02:51PM

I understand that some of the glass fly blanks being manufactured now, have much different, more modern actions, than those that many of us started fly fishing with 40+ years ago. But personally, I prefer those with the more traditional, slower than slow actions. Lamiglas has traditional blanks that are reasonably priced, fun to craft and wrap, and great fun for trout fishing in small streams. I have a 7'6" 4 wt I wrapped several years ago and have lots of fun with, on the smaller Sierra streams. Lamiglas still carries these traditional blanks in several sizes.
Steffen Brothers in AZ makes glass blanks that are evidently popular with fiberglass lovers. As Jeff Slater stated, you can find out about Steffen Bros. and many others on fiberglassflyrodders.com. By the way the Steffen brothers blanks are un-sanded which for me makes packing the wraps more challenging.
jack

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Re: Fiberglass fly rods
Posted by: Bill Hickey (---.nycap.res.rr.com)
Date: August 30, 2021 05:26PM

Fiberglass has developed more of presence in the last 10 years with flyrodders. Like a few others have stated, the Fiberglass Fly Rod Forum has a wealth of information on it.

Still, many of the older glass rods still hold a decent presence, Fisher, Philipsons, Fenwicks to name a few. Today both E Glass and S2 Fiberglass are still used for blanks, as well as a few people rolling combinations of the two. There are several companies in the USA rolling very high quality blanks, as well as CTS in New Zealand and some blanks out of Japan.

Steffan Brothers recently sold their equipment and remaining inventory to Shane Grey, Greywolf Products and Services, located in Michigan. Northfork Composites, Livingston Rod Co and McFarland Rod Company also roll fiberglass. All of them offer very good quality fiberglass blanks.

As Herb stated, CTS does offer a very good 7-6 4wt, both 3 and 4pc.

Some companies never stopped offering Glass Fly Rods, like Scott, they have been plugging away and selling finished Glass since the company was started. Larry Kenney, who was Scott's first employee with Harry Wilson, still does custom Fiberglass builds on his own tapers.

So glass is not dead by any means. Lots of good glass out there if you like the deeper flexing and "slower" feel of glass.

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Re: Fiberglass fly rods
Posted by: Greg Sefton (---.169.184.173.dynamic.ip.windstream.net)
Date: August 30, 2021 06:05PM

Jack Duncan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I understand that some of the glass fly blanks
> being manufactured now, have much different, more
> modern actions, than those that many of us started
> fly fishing with 40+ years ago. But personally, I
> prefer those with the more traditional, slower
> than slow actions. Lamiglas has traditional
> blanks that are reasonably priced, fun to craft
> and wrap, and great fun for trout fishing in small
> streams. I have a 7'6" 4 wt I wrapped several
> years ago and have lots of fun with, on the
> smaller Sierra streams. Lamiglas still carries
> these traditional blanks in several sizes.
> Steffen Brothers in AZ makes glass blanks that are
> evidently popular with fiberglass lovers. As Jeff
> Slater stated, you can find out about Steffen
> Bros. and many others on fiberglassflyrodders.com.
> By the way the Steffen brothers blanks are
> un-sanded which for me makes packing the wraps
> more challenging.
> jack

Thanks Jack, I recall many years ago fishing Henry’s Fork, I met the then president of Lamiglas. I was an outdoor writer at the time & he invited me on a tour of the plant. Very impressive & from what Ive read, the process hasn’t changed much, although the materials may have. He sent me off with a couple blanks that I built into rods that served for decades. Will check out their FG offerings.
Great info from you experts here. I really appreciate the help!

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Re: Fiberglass fly rods
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---)
Date: August 30, 2021 08:51PM

Free shipping on orders over $125, it's not $35 per blank, my last order of multiple blanks was still $35.

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Re: Fiberglass fly rods
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: August 30, 2021 09:44PM

All this discussion (and apparent approval) of FG blanks is music to my ears, even if geared more toward fly than spin or cast with which I am more familiar. Most of you may already know I am in high praise of the vintage FG blanks, 40s-70s Conolon in particular. While there is little argument against CF being superior from a technical aspect, nonetheless there is just something special with FG, I call it the “Fish-Fighting-Fun-Factor”. I do not know how that correlates casting a fly rod, but a vintage FG blank puts the experience over-the-top for me.
Admittedly, I have only purchased one modern FG (UL S-glass) blank, and should try more, but my stock of over 40 various NOS vintage Conolons will slow the acquisition of the newer offerings. All said, with CF dominating the present blank market, it is indeed refreshing to learn that FG has not fallen to the wayside and become a thing of the past. While obviously requiring a different mindset and preference, FG has its own attributes which CF may be hard-pressed to duplicate. We are all very fortunate to live in an era where both are available to satisfy our desires.

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: Fiberglass fly rods
Posted by: Greg Sefton (---.169.184.173.dynamic.ip.windstream.net)
Date: August 31, 2021 04:06AM

Spencer Phipps Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Free shipping on orders over $125, it's not $35
> per blank, my last order of multiple blanks was
> still $35.

True enough, but only needed one blank @75$. 35$ flat rate shipping, excise tax, sales etc. takes it over 120 bucks. But as I said, I can live with it, if the blank is that good. Might try to get the order over the 125$

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Re: Fiberglass fly rods
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: August 31, 2021 10:42AM

Savvy fly-casters know that, unlike spin-casters, fly fishers cast the line, not the rod. I have never seen any credible [double-blind] test that proves one fly-rod is more "accurate" than another, and fly casting distance depends exclusively upon line speed, not rod speed. You simply can't push on a rope - or a fly line. Rather than spend a grand (+) on the latest whiz-bang fly rod to "improve your casting" buy a couple-three different weight/taper no-label imported fly lines on line for less than $20 each and test cast them to see which functions best with the rod you already own. And learn to double-haul.

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Re: Fiberglass fly rods
Posted by: Greg Sefton (---.169.184.173.dynamic.ip.windstream.net)
Date: August 31, 2021 12:15PM

Phil Ewanicki Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Savvy fly-casters know that, unlike spin-casters,
> fly fishers cast the line, not the rod. I have
> never seen any credible [double-blind] test that
> proves one fly-rod is more "accurate" than
> another, and fly casting distance depends
> exclusively upon line speed, not rod speed. You
> simply can't push on a rope - or a fly line.
> Rather than spend a grand (+) on the latest
> whiz-bang fly rod to "improve your casting" buy a
> couple-three different weight/taper no-label
> imported fly lines on line for less than $20 each
> and test cast them to see which functions best
> with the rod you already own. And learn to
> double-haul.

That’s certainly a philosophy some would benefit from. A good fly caster can get his/her line out with about any old rod. But a well made rod on a good blank, using a good line, makes fly fishing much more enjoyable. I learned to double haul about 50 years ago, but still work to improve technique every time out..
And then there’s the philosophy that a man can’t have too many fly rods. My wife’s philosophy as well. ????

Thanks again for all the input folks. I’m leaning toward the NFC blank.

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Re: Fiberglass fly rods
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---.dsl.pltn13.sbcglobal.net)
Date: August 31, 2021 12:41PM

In fly casting, line speed is created by two things; 1) rod speed, 2) a haul, If you do not believe rod speed is a contributor, try casting moving the rod slowly!

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Re: Fiberglass fly rods
Posted by: Greg Sefton (---.169.184.173.dynamic.ip.windstream.net)
Date: August 31, 2021 02:57PM

Phil Erickson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In fly casting, line speed is created by two
> things; 1) rod speed, 2) a haul, If you do not
> believe rod speed is a contributor, try casting
> moving the rod slowly!

True enough, but not just rod speed, rather rod tip speed which is part of the design and materials in the rod, as initiated by the skill & manipulation of the caster. And line speed is also enhanced by a quality line with a smooth finish and quality guides (& placement etc) that reduce friction. The haul is part of the manipulation but its effect on line speed is enhanced by the quality of the rod & line. So, I guess I’d have to say that while the caster might be able to get the line out with brute strength and technique using any cheapo rod & line, he can do it much easier and more effectively, using good equipment.
Still trying to figure how we got here from recommendations on fiberglass blanks ????..?

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Re: Fiberglass fly rods
Posted by: Jack Duncan (---)
Date: August 31, 2021 03:08PM

This has certainly become and interesting and diverse topic. Here's another aside. Evidently the Lamiglas glass fly rod blanks have become very scarce. I don't think totally out of production, but maybe. I did a quick search and it seems Angler's Workshop has the blanks in several sizes.
Jack

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Re: Fiberglass fly rods
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---)
Date: August 31, 2021 03:58PM

The "rod tip speed" - no matter what the rod - is entirely the product of the caster, not the rod. Fly rods do not create energy, only transfer it, no matter who made the rod or how much it cost. The line can not travel any faster than the rod tip, unless you haul on the line. Besides, it's more satisfying to learn how to cast well than buying fly casting ability, even if this were possible - as advertisers $uggest.

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