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How to Determine the Action of a Blank?
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: September 14, 2021 12:15AM

I almost hesitate to post this in fear of it being associated with a couple of recent posts which may have been considered by many to be nonsensical. Please believe me this is an honest request for information.
How is the “action” of a blank actually determined? I am fully aware and accept that slow, medium, fast and extra fast designations are representative of where the blank “initially” starts to bend; understood. However, what applied force is imposed to the blank to enable detection of that “initial” point and the “action” of a particular blank to be calculated? It can’t be a standardized “X” amount of weight because a fast-action stand-up rod may barely bend at all while a fast-action UL with the same weight might snap in two. It is hard for me to believe it has to do with action angle (AA) because a very light-tipped fast-action blank can have a very similar AA as a slow-action blank. The only way I have been able to come close to noticing where a blank “initially” starts to bend is to put my thumb under the blank and my index finger over the blank just back from the tip and rotate my hand as if trying to break the tip off. But this obviously and hardly seems very scientific, let alone precise and repeatable.
Please help; what am I missing; 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: roger wilson (---)
Date: September 14, 2021 01:36AM

Mark,
For myself, I use a very simple test.

I just hold the blank in my hand and press the tip against the ceiling of my shop with increasing force and simply observe the blank as it bends.

From my perspective, very easy to observe the difference in the bending patterns of a slow, moderate, fast, and extra fast actions.

Essentially I am looking for the moment that each part of the blank begins to bend as well as the severity of the bend, with a simple manual application of an increasing amount of manual force starting from the tip as the tip is pressed against the ceiling.

Best wishes.

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Re: How to Determine the Action of a Blank?
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: September 14, 2021 07:51AM

"It is hard for me to believe it has to do with action angle (AA) because a very light-tipped fast-action blank can have a very similar AA as a slow-action blank."

According to the accepted conventions in defining action and the CCS process for determining AA this statement is not true. A "slow-action" blank will have an AA of about 60 degrees or less and a "very light-tipped fast-action blank" will have an AA of about 78-82.

"Fast,", "Moderate," and "Slow" are simply subjective descriptions of the bending characteristics of a blank. One can use any other words, but these have been used for so long that they have been accepted even though "action" has nothing to do with speed. They also are subject to opinion while AA is objective, based on a defined, repeatable, process that does not depend on opinion.

One can argue that flexing a rod to 33% of its length is not the right number to use to determine AA, but it too is simply a "convention" initially proposed by Bill Hanneman, and it does in fact work well in objectively describing bending characteristics of a blank or rod.

Why does one care what the "action," or bending characteristics of a blank are? To best match its bending characteristics to the function intended for the rod. And AA, when coupled with CCS power (ERN), does this very well.

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Re: How to Determine the Action of a Blank?
Posted by: Aaron Petersen (12.144.64.---)
Date: September 14, 2021 08:11AM

Before CCS and even before I built all my rods, I would tie a line to a solid object and the tip top and lift the rod as if I were fighting a fish. I would bend it to 90 degrees and note the percentage of the blank that held the bend. When I was consuming manufactured rods it was a level way to compare rods without the market lingo. It also let me see the backbone. An example of a faster action would be a 25%-75% where the first 1/4 of the blank from tip held the most obvious bend and the last 3/4 was the "backbone." I learned this from one of Mike Iaconelli's early TV segments where he talked about a setup being 30-70 and explained the 30% tip 70% backbone.

As far as AA goes I agree. There is more to a tip section than simply the angle at which it lays during CCS. This had me struggling with CCS initially. I was setting out to make a jerkbait rod, which has to be one of the most tip demanding techniques. I discovered that just because you have an AA of 75 doesn't mean it will make a good jerkbait rod. The recovery is far more important for this use. I believe this is why a lot of folks cut the tips down even on higher AA actions. The blank may have a high AA but not the strength to jerk the bait. I have found more success in taking more aggressive tapers in a power class up and removing from the butt section. The tip keeps the strength even though the CCS numbers change. The only reason the numbers change is because the length is decreased. So what used to be 1/3 of the blank is now 3/8 of the blank. The tip section is just as strong but the bend now goes deeper into the blank. So instead of buying a 7' medium and cutting 2" off the tip, I will opt for a 7'2" medium heavy and take 4" off the butt. This is also because I don't ever want to mess with the tip section unless I have to. Which is rare outside of repairs.

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Re: How to Determine the Action of a Blank?
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: September 14, 2021 08:59AM

"I discovered that just because you have an AA of 75 Idoesn't mean it will make a good jerkbait rod. The recovery is far more important for this use. I believe this is why a lot of folks cut the tips down even on higher AA actions. The blank may have a high AA but not the strength to jerk the bait. "

Right. It's a combination of power and action. If one cuts the tip down on a high AA rod one will get a more powerful tip and a slower action as defined by the process. What many fail to consider is that the more powerful (CCS) a high AA rod is, the softer the tip will be. Has to be. It's physics. What rod will have the softer tip, an ERN of 18 and an AA of 80, or an ERN of 21 and an AA of 80? The latter.

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Re: How to Determine the Action of a Blank?
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: September 14, 2021 09:00AM

If one blank has an action angle of 75, and another has an action angle of 70, I can assure you the one with the 75 does indeed have a faster action. The CCS has never failed in regard to action. You will not find a blank with a lower action angle to have a faster action than a blank with a higher action angle number. A slow action blank will not have a comparable action angle number compared to a fast action blank. That is simply impossible if you will get those blanks and put them to the test yourself.

As far as terms such as fast medium and slow, this is the low resolution system used by Rod and blank manufacturers going back well over 60 years now. The system and its explanation have appeared in Dozens and dozens and dozens of rod and blank manufacturers catalogs over the same time. You can read how to interpret action using those terms on the glossary page on this website. There is nothing wrong with this system other than it is very low resolution with only three or at most five ratings if you double the term descriptions.

Most of the manufacturer catalogs that outlined this action system have an illustration which came from Fenwick back in the 1960s. It shows about how far the blank is bent when it is observed. It’s just not that hard to do.

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Re: How to Determine the Action of a Blank?
Posted by: Aaron Petersen (12.144.64.---)
Date: September 14, 2021 09:58AM

With AA in CCS it measures the flex of the tip when loaded to 1/3 blank length. This doesn't measure the actual strength or recovery speed (being a measurement of time to rest from deformity) To effectively compare the tip sections and eliminate ERN from the picture is to check tip deflection with a constant weight. Two rods both with and AA of 70 but with different ERN numbers will deflect to differing amounts when loaded with a constant weight. While AA is a great representation of action in correlation with the blank as a whole. However it does not isolate the characteristics of the blank by section.

I am not arguing against CCS or the determination of action. I am merely suggesting that because it compares the tip flex to the sum of the blank in length that two rods with the same AA but different ERN will have different strengths in their tip sections. One way to prove this is to setup your CCS board but add a peg 1' in from the tip. Add the same amount of weight to each tip and compare total deflection. I have done this with an MB 736. I measured before and after cutting the 4" off the butt section. While AA and ERN effectively changed as we know it does when removing from the butt section, when isolating the tip it of course deflected the same amount because that first foot was not modified. So while I effectively made a "MH, XFast" into a "M+ Fast" The tip section did not change and still deflects as much under the same weight as before. The blank as a whole became more parabolic as the 1/3 deflection zone became closer to the but. However it did not move further from the tip when the previous amount of weight was applied.

edit: format and explanation of tip length to 1/3 deflection.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/14/2021 10:06AM by Aaron Petersen.

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Re: How to Determine the Action of a Blank?
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: September 14, 2021 09:59AM

Two things I wanted to add here - flexing a rod a distance equal to 33% of its length IS the correct number/distance to use to determine AA, both by design and definition. This is simply the distance specified by the inventor to obtain the AA figure. Just as the weight required to flex the blank the same distance to obtain the power rating is much, much more than the weight the blank will cast, but much less than the weight the blank can deadlift makes no matter. It is simply the constant used for obtaining the relative measurements.

One of the early illustrations depicting action came from a Lamiglas catalog and was incorrect. It showed the same blank flexed to greater and greater amounts, instead of the same blank with different actions being flexed to the same amount. All blanks feature a "progressive" action which means the more load you apply the more deeply into the mid and butt sections they will bend. Even an extra fast action blank will flex into the butt section if you apply enough load to it.

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

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Re: How to Determine the Action of a Blank?
Posted by: Aaron Petersen (12.144.64.---)
Date: September 14, 2021 10:01AM

To add to this I want to reiterate that CCS is a great system. I use it as it is the best method of objective comparison. CCS for me is not the whole story though. I am working on some things that still need further validation. I am not seeking to change CCS but simply add to it another measurement in an effort to define sections of the rod.

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Re: How to Determine the Action of a Blank?
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: September 14, 2021 10:07AM

Aaron Petersen Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> With AA in CCS it measures the flex of the tip
> when loaded to 1/3 blank length. This doesn't
> measure the actual strength or recovery speed
> (being a measurement of time to rest from
> deformity) To effectively compare the tip sections
> and eliminate ERN from the picture is to check tip
> deflection with a constant weight. Two rods both
> with and AA of 70 but with different ERN numbers
> will deflect to differing amounts when loaded with
> a constant weight. While AA is a great
> representation of action in correlation with the
> blank as a whole. However it does not isolate the
> characteristics of the blank by section.
>
> I am not arguing against CCS or the determination
> of action. I am merely suggesting that because it
> compares the tip flex to the sum of the blank in
> length. And that two rods with the same AA but
> different ERN will have different strengths in
> their tip sections. One way to prove this is to
> setup your CCS board but add a peg 1' in from the
> tip. Add the same amount of weight to each tip and
> compare total deflection. I have done this with an
> MB 736. I measured before and after cutting the 4"
> off the butt section. While AA and ERN effectively
> changed as we know it does when removing from the
> butt section, when isolating the tip it of course
> deflected the same amount because that first foot
> was not modified. So while I effectively made a
> "MH, XFast" into a "M+ Fast" The tip section did
> not change and still deflects as much under the
> same weight as before. The blank as a whole became
> more parabolic as the 1/3 deflection zone became
> closer to the but. However it did not move further
> from the tip.


Action Angle was not intended to measure strength or recovery speed of the tip nor any other segment of a rod blank - those are measured with ERN and CCF. Action Angle is intended for comparing a blank's action to another blank's action, which it does perfectly. If one blank has an AA of 65, it will definitely be slower in action than a blank with an AA of any higher figure.

The old Cortland rating system failed because it used a standard amount of weight for the deflection, rather than a standard distance of deflection.

What you are observing is what Dr. Hanneman wrote about in part 2 of the CCS literature - The Big Picture, which focuses on segments of a blank rather than the entire length. And you can perform the measurements on any segment of the blank you wish, if you want to get that involved in it.

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

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Re: How to Determine the Action of a Blank?
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: September 14, 2021 10:08AM

Aaron Petersen Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> To add to this I want to reiterate that CCS is a
> great system. I use it as it is the best method of
> objective comparison. CCS for me is not the whole
> story though. I am working on some things that
> still need further validation. I am not seeking to
> change CCS but simply add to it another
> measurement in an effort to define sections of the
> rod.


Aaron, Read "The Big Picture." I suspect it may be along the lines of what you are searching for.

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

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Re: How to Determine the Action of a Blank?
Posted by: Aaron Petersen (12.144.64.---)
Date: September 14, 2021 10:14AM

Tom,

Yes I am taking inspiration from part two of Dr. Hannemans literature and trying to make an easier or quicker method to correlate to CCF without performing the CCF procedures which can be a little harder for most to set up. I am working on a way to do it from the CCS board statically. It is a side experiment I am doing for fun. If I find a less than 5% convergence across enough subjects when compared to CCF I will share with the board here. If not I will scrap it.

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Re: How to Determine the Action of a Blank?
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: September 14, 2021 10:15AM

I suspect that will be difficult to do, but if you hit success let us know. It certainly would be easier for most to measure that way.

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

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Re: How to Determine the Action of a Blank?
Posted by: Aaron Petersen (12.144.64.---)
Date: September 14, 2021 12:42PM

I have a test plan. It may take a while though since I am younger and busy with job and family.

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Re: How to Determine the Action of a Blank?
Posted by: Batson Enterprises (---.wavecable.com)
Date: September 14, 2021 12:52PM

The CCF measurement does an EXCELLENT job of measuring what's commonly referred to as "recovery speed" or "return rate." I personally haven't seen or heard of any other DIY system of frequency measurement that's superior. If there is one please post it here. That said, it's my opinion that the CCF measurement matters less (as in recovery speed being actually detectable when casting or retrieving) with shorter, faster, more powerful gear blanks, and is much more useful for fly blanks or those blanks that are longer, less powerful, and slower.
The best method I've found for the weights is using pre-weighed chunks of modeling clay. They stick to the blank tips great and can be applied quickly. The fixture you use for CCF needs to be much less precise than the one for measuring AA or IP/ERN. The blank held flat on a table by hand is fine. I've tried multiple methods of securing the blank and variations on initial deflection & release, and the CCF measurement remains consistent.

-Geoff at Batson Ent.

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Re: How to Determine the Action of a Blank?
Posted by: Aaron Petersen (12.144.64.---)
Date: September 14, 2021 01:31PM

The CCF is great. For those wanting to dive deep and use it for modern bass rods it really requires so much more than just a stop watch due to the oscillation speed. While it was developed with light fly rods as the main focus, I believe it can help us who look to make new "Magic Wands" for heavier applications. My goal is to make it where people who want to measure something akin to CCF without a hi speed camera and editing software can. Since weight and stiffness is the main factor in frequency It is possible to make the correlation from static measurements which will open up the rabbit hole a bit further for those looking to push boundaries.

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Re: How to Determine the Action of a Blank?
Posted by: Batson Enterprises (---.wavecable.com)
Date: September 14, 2021 01:49PM

I see where you're going here Aaron, and I agree that CCF loses it's DIY status once high speed cameras etc. would be required. Perhaps a separate scale (i.e. "CCF Heavy v.1" or something like that) which uses heavier weights intended to slow the oscillations to a speed that could be counted with the naked eye. Or, like you suggested, a consistent group of static measurements, possibly combined with blank weights and/or dimensions. Great food for thought.

-Geoff

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Re: How to Determine the Action of a Blank?
Posted by: Russell Brunt (---)
Date: September 14, 2021 03:04PM

I may have this whole thing entirely wrong, but wouldn't an accelerometer be the ideal tool for the job (measuring CCF)?

Russ in Hollywood, FL.

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Re: How to Determine the Action of a Blank?
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: September 14, 2021 03:28PM

Once you use more than one weight standard, the results won't be relative across the spectrum any longer.

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

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Re: How to Determine the Action of a Blank?
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: September 14, 2021 03:55PM

It is my opinion that CCF is an artificial number only conceived because Dr. Hanneman was searching for a way for those without expensive equipment to get some measure of the natural frequency of a blank. If you look back at the old posts on the subject there were those who thought natural frequency meant a lot; others thought otherwise. Remember our series of posts a few months ago on natural frequency and its relationship to "sensitivity?" Most on this forum agreed that natural frequency was a good indicator of sensitivity, the ability to feel a subtle bite. Wouldn't it be much better to simply measure the natural frequency of a blank or rod without adding any weight to it? Then one could see the effect of adding tiptops, guides, guides of different materials/weights/sizes and finishing wraps and epoxy. I don't believe CCF can do that.

Times have changed and we have new tools that that Dr. Hanneman didn't have. They are inexpensive, and one can in fact measure natural frequency of a bare blank, no weight attached, accurate I believe to about 5 %, with an Android cell phone or tablet and a free app. I'm in the process of gathering data. I've come to some preliminary conclusions but am not quite ready to share them.

Natural frequency is NOT a measure of action as action has been defined for so long or as questioned in this original post. It appears to be an indicator of tip recovery speed if one deflects the tip the same distance with every test. The higher the natural frequency, most likely the higher the recovery speed. How can it not be? But it won't be in feet per second units. It will be objective but the units will be either cycles per unit of time or period of the single cycle in time units. Like milliseconds. It would give an objective relative comparison between blanks.

But if you believe that natural frequency is an indicator of sensitivity, measuring it without adding artificial weight to the blank would allow one to be confident of his component selections as they affect sensitivity. There is much more work to be done.

I don't see where any static deflection test can give an indication of tip/recovery speed. It seems to me that all it is is a CCS power test with different weights and deflections. Yes I've seen the Big Picture and agree with Tom that it has some value in defining the bending characteristics of a blank. But it won't add to our knowledge of tip/recovery speed. And I don't believe any dynamic testing with weight added to a blank has much value.

OK, everyone, unload!

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