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Is Finishing a Blank Detrimental to its Performance?
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: June 07, 2022 12:23AM

While no one can dispute that any weight added to a blank reduces its recovery speed which basically deadens the “feel”, how much additional weight is required to actually notice the difference? Of course, and should be obvious, cantilevered weight out toward the tip of the blank will have a significantly greater impact than the same amount of weight closer to the fulcrum / real seat.
Many on this forum have previously commented, if not stressed, that no blank finish will produce a crisper, more sensitive rod and I certainly do not doubt or question the experience of veterans who have been building rods much longer than me.
Since I had to coat one of my vintage 6ft Conolons for a build, I took the time to actually measure the weight of a coat (actually 2) of PG. Although my Ohaus scale is quite accurate, its resolution is only 1g. The weight of the sanded, bare blank plus a letter “X” drill bit (used as a mandrel to hold the blank and clamped into my vise while coating) was 104g. After 1 coat of PG and given 6 hours to degas (solvents evaporate), the weight was still 104g. It wasn’t until adding a second coat of PG and again given 6 hours to degas that the weight JUMPED to 105g. That leads me to believe that a single coat of PG added between .5g and 1g.
Thinking of it further (you know me), the surface area of the butt section of the TAPERED blank is 5X that of the tip section which equates to much more of the total weight of the PG being down toward the butt section rather than the tip section.
Does anyone mean to tell me that there are those who can actually detect a fraction of a gram difference in the tip of a rod? If so, they are certainly better than me (which, in my case, may not be saying that much)! While Michael Danek has blessed all of us with his precise TNF, I cannot really expect him to attempt to measure the difference that a coat of PG imposes on a blank; I certainly would on my own but do not own a cell phone.
As rod builders, I suppose we are all guilty of “splitting hairs” from time-to-time, given the proper circumstance(s). But to be honest, I just cannot imagine a coat of PG on a blank amounting to diddly squat regarding sensitivity, “feel” or anything else.

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: Is Finishing a Blank Detrimental to its Performance?
Posted by: Kent Griffith (---)
Date: June 07, 2022 02:18AM

To me it is. This is why I have chosen unpainted blanks for years. I do not want any coatings weighing my blanks down and reducing sensitivity which yes is noticeably different and not as crisp of a response. Painted blanks may look pretty, but not for me if I can help it.

If you had 2 identical blanks, one painted and one not painted, I'd think you could tell the difference. I believe this difference is what has guided my choices for years now.

ADDED: Another issue I have with some painted rods is they are not as durable as unpainted rod blanks. Painted blanks sometimes falls apart. I have a couple of older rods still where the painted coating is flaking off. I was given a few years ago a commercial rod made by Gary Dobyns. It too was painted and coming apart. Cheap chinese junk! And this is where a lot of blanks are made...

We have to ask ourselves why is paint even used? I don't think there is a purpose for it for fishing. But is only there for looks which I could care less about these days. Function over form every day for me. Painted rod blanks are now a sin!

But if there was ever a rod blank that needs paint it would be the Shakespeare Ugly stick made of fiberglass. The paint covers over the little fibers sticking out that can give you a nasty fiberglass splinter. So that may be another reason to paint blanks, but the only thing I use this rod for is large reds and snook inshore here in Florida where a painted blank would not be as noticeable as on some of my lighter bass fishing rods where it is more noticeable. I could care less about larger heavier bulkier saltwater tackle being painted. But not on my bass rods if I can help it.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/07/2022 02:27AM by Kent Griffith.

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Re: Is Finishing a Blank Detrimental to its Performance?
Posted by: Aaron Petersen (12.144.64.---)
Date: June 07, 2022 07:47AM

The reality of the change is that it is far more than just weight of a static object. Think more in how little tension effects the output of a guitar string. As you allow more of the strings mass to modulate it vibrates wider and slower producing a lower frequency. Similar principal in added weight in a rod tip regardless of how little. We know we have to add weight. So my goal is to add as little as possible to reduce or remove the anglers ability to perceive the difference.

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Re: Is Finishing a Blank Detrimental to its Performance?
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: June 07, 2022 08:25AM

The enjoyment of fishing is complex and most likely different for all of us. For those who value the appearance of their tackle, paint can make fishing more enjoyable even if it might cost a little in response time. It is doubtful to me that one can feel the weight difference, but I have finished only one blank with PG, and I didn't perceive a difference. That was before I was doing TNF, so have no data.

If one wants to measure the TNF before and after painting a blank, it is easy to do, requiring only a way to hold the butt (a wrap machine works just fine-forces are very low), an Android device, and a free app. I have done it with two different Android phones and a Kindle. The Kindle is better because it has a bigger screen. An Android tablet may be even better, but I have not tried one.

An option that might satisfy would be to paint the lower third of the blank leaving the upper two thirds native. This would not likely affect any physical characteristic significantly.

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Re: Is Finishing a Blank Detrimental to its Performance?
Posted by: Norman Miller (---)
Date: June 07, 2022 09:23AM

In my opinion, for all practical purposes you will never tell the difference.
Norm

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Re: Is Finishing a Blank Detrimental to its Performance?
Posted by: Chris Catignani (---)
Date: June 07, 2022 10:04AM

Typically, when I add PG to a rod....I will remove an existing coat first.
And on occasion the end result is actually lighter.

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Re: Is Finishing a Blank Detrimental to its Performance?
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: June 07, 2022 10:37AM

If one adds a pound of finish to a rod - the weight will certainly affect the rod.

If you add 5 grams to the rod, it is unlikely that the finish will affect the rod.

If you never add any finish to the rod there will be no change in the rod guaranteed.

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Re: Is Finishing a Blank Detrimental to its Performance?
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: June 07, 2022 10:42AM

Speed is more than just feel - it's performance. The typical commercial top finish (paint, clear coat, etc.,) adds about 7% to the total weight of a bare rod blank. That weight is distributed along the entire length of the blank, of course, so it's not the same as adding that additional 7% all on the very tip of the rod. From that perspective painting a bare rod blank will make a difference but not a huge difference. This also depends on what type blank we're talking about - a long fly rod or a short boat rod? Whatever effect a top coating has would be more noticeable on the fly rod than on the boat rod.

Some years ago when G. Loomis introduced the IMX series, which was quite revolutionary at the time, they did some research and found that "pretty" sells. Many consumers did not like the bare, polished finish but there was enough performance difference (remember these are long fly rods) that G. Loomis decided to go ahead with the bare no-finish blank to gain a further advantage over their competitors in the performance department.

In the end it all comes down to what your priority is.

.........

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Re: Is Finishing a Blank Detrimental to its Performance?
Posted by: John DeMartini (---.inf6.spectrum.com)
Date: June 07, 2022 12:24PM

Mark

It all depends on your sensitivity and tolerance level.

For instance, there are those who would require therapy if asked to eat a steak not cooked at a precise temperature, while there are others who will eat a steak if you took the steer knock off its horns, wiped its butt and dragged it to the table.

Yes, if you alter the condition of an item it will not retain its original properties, to what degree the changes are depends on how drastic the alterations are and how sensitive the observer is.

As for painting blanks,applying such a small mass over a large area where most of the mass is concentrated towards the butt end would not produce a significant change and only a very small population of users may notice the difference.

My tolerance temperament allows for me to ignore any change effects that would require me make a special effort to detect.

For me painting a blank does not raise any concerns.

Have fun

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Re: Is Finishing a Blank Detrimental to its Performance?
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.inf6.spectrum.com)
Date: June 07, 2022 03:05PM

More weight won't harm a fly rod's accuracy . . . only its casting distance. If you wave your fly rod rather than haul your fly line chances are you won't [or can't] lose much casting distance with a heavier but nicely decorated fly rod.

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Re: Is Finishing a Blank Detrimental to its Performance?
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: June 07, 2022 03:21PM

Thank you for the replies from Kent, Aaron, Michael, Norman, Chris, Roger, Tom and John. Apparently there actually are those who are gifted with a super-human sense of feel who can detect a fraction of a gram distributed over the length of a blank and hence do not approve of blank coatings. The rest of us mortals either avoid coated blanks out of principle (it does add SOME weight) or find the coating undetectable. I guess that I am from the numb camp; lucky for me because the old Conolons are transformed from blah to beautiful with a light, satin coat of PG. But I see no point in coating a sanded CF blank; I actually like the dull appearance.
To this point, performance detection of a coat of PG is subjective; I would be interested indeed to learn what the TNF numbers prove.

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: Is Finishing a Blank Detrimental to its Performance?
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: June 07, 2022 05:20PM

Mark, all it takes for you to be testing TNF is an android device. (and a free app) If you like to read, make it a Kindle, a great device for readers. And it works well for testing TNF.

I have no future plans for coating a "native" blank, so I won't be helping. My experience and intuition leads me to believe that one cannot detect a coat of PG, but no one can prove me right or wrong without some pretty exhaustive testing with quite a few blanks. . Coating with a substantial coat of auto paint + clear coat is a different story, and I expect it very well may slow certain blanks significantly so its effect could be detected by a human. But I'm just predicting without data.

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Re: Is Finishing a Blank Detrimental to its Performance?
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: June 07, 2022 07:08PM

Thanks Michael. I certainly respect your “experience and intuition” and also suspect that the difference that a coat of PG would impose on a blank would be immeasurable.
Hey Kent, weren’t you working on a “tone frequency” method to measure a blank’s resonant frequency? I wonder how that method would work in this instance?

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: Is Finishing a Blank Detrimental to its Performance?
Posted by: Lynn Behler (---.44.66.72.res-cmts.leh.ptd.net)
Date: June 07, 2022 07:57PM

Perma gloss ain't paint! No human could ever discern the difference.

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Re: Is Finishing a Blank Detrimental to its Performance?
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: June 08, 2022 12:43AM

While I may be on the same boat as you Phil, I have received resistance to my belief and suspicions. No one will know for certain until hard data facts and figures are measured against assumptions, premonitions and “feel”. Unfortunately, I am not in a position to offer such facts, or I certainly would.

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: Is Finishing a Blank Detrimental to its Performance?
Posted by: John DeMartini (---.inf6.spectrum.com)
Date: June 08, 2022 09:20AM

While they are figuring it out I will be out fishing. I'll catch up later.

John

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Re: Is Finishing a Blank Detrimental to its Performance?
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (97.104.222.---)
Date: June 08, 2022 11:53AM

The "Form versus function" debate continues uninterrupted. In the glut of opinions and the absence of data recognize your own priorities and your own abilities, and build your rod to satisfy them. You want appearance - decorate! You want performance? Do not decorate. Fish rods are hardly the only area where this advice applies.

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Re: Is Finishing a Blank Detrimental to its Performance?
Posted by: ben belote (---.hsd1.va.comcast.net)
Date: June 08, 2022 12:44PM

Phil,. building a fishing rod is the last thing on my list of priorities. Gas just went up to $5 a gallon..everything is shooting up and I,m on a neutered income. The last thing I need is another rod and I,m not alone on this sinking boat.

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Re: Is Finishing a Blank Detrimental to its Performance?
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: June 08, 2022 05:12PM

Our supply another, even more critically important liquid is rapidly diminishing: fresh water.

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Re: Is Finishing a Blank Detrimental to its Performance?
Posted by: Joel Wick (181.214.107.---)
Date: June 08, 2022 07:21PM

Fresh water is not in a diminishing supply, Phil. You are completely wrong.

The truth is, there's more of it here on Earth with every gallon of gasoline and oil I burn in my 2-stroke, 225-horsepower outboard, and there is irrefutable scientific proof of this fact.

You're welcome!

However, Since Permagloss is a water cure urethane, there may be slightly less of it with every coat of Permagloss you place on a rod.

One may want to consider this when deciding to coat a rod with PG or not. If you decide upon a PG coat or two, let me know, and I'll punch the throttle a time or two to even things out for us.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/08/2022 07:22PM by Joel Wick.

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