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Re: Spine of Rod
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 17, 2024 04:23PM

Agreed and it is the fact that few of us ever cast on the same plane - fishing situations themselves often require that you don't - which makes the idea of any axis producing more accurate casts, mute.

I have never seen anyone state that building on the straightest axis results in more accurate casting. Only that casting is no better nor worse than if you built on any other axis. Many have stated, however, that building on the spine does indeed make for more accurate casts. But 50 years out they still have not proved this, nor any of the other stated advantage that building on the spine supposedly offers.

.........

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Re: Spine of Rod
Posted by: Les Cline (---.lightspeed.mssnks.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 17, 2024 04:31PM

The orientation of the reel to the rod and guides often changes when I am fishing. Things are rarely lined up on a 180-degree vertical plane at all times.

Skipping under a dock or tree limb changes my casting angle.
Helicopter casts vs roll casts vs pitchin' casts vs bow and arrow casts vs short or long back casts....
Casting over or around a boat mate, rod rack, running light, motor or power poles.
Casting from right to left or left to right across my body.
Etc. Not to mention the rod's orientation being very dynamic when fighting a fish.

Any off-line orientation would negate my best intentions to keep "working with the spine."

I build on the straightest axis and fish on all of them.

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Re: Spine of Rod
Posted by: John Wright (---.om.om.cox.net)
Date: January 19, 2024 10:12AM

WOW. It seems I opened Pandora's box on this issue. I can see there are many, many good theories about why and why not, or maybe better put why not necessary. OK, so if it's not necessary or even desirable to locate fly rod guides on the spine/soft side or whatever we want to call it, where do you put your guides and why? Recall, the reason I posed the question to begin with, was to pass on the wisdom and experience of builders with far more skill than I.

So, bottom line, where do you place your guides if not on the spine and what reason do you have for that location?

And thank you for this amazing discussion. I enjoy reading your thoughts and ideas and passing them on to my students so they can appreciate that Rod Building is still somewhat black art, with the emphasis on art.

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Re: Spine of Rod
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 19, 2024 10:19AM

The advantages of building on the straightest axis have been proven - this isn't a "theory." Any advantages of building on the spine, however, remain theory and are in fact based on the flawed idea that spine orientation can be used to prevent rod twist and improve casting accuracy. Proponents have never offered any proof of either and the prevention of rod twist by spine orientation has been disproved time and time again.

Of course, you can build a rod on any axis and it'll work fine.

...........

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Re: Spine of Rod
Posted by: Norman Miller (Moderator)
Date: January 19, 2024 11:06AM

In my opinion, building on the straightest axis has at least two major advantages without any known disadvantages. First, the rod is straight. Nothing reflects as poorly on a rod builder then having a rod tip curving off to the right or left when looking down the guides. Almost all blanks have a curve to them, I horizontally rotate the blank so convex side of the blank is down and the concave side is up, which puts the blank tip pointing up. Casting guides go on the concave side of the curve, unless doing a spiral wrap, and spinning guides on the convex side. Placing guides this way gives you the straight axis, and also allows the weight of the guides and tip-top to straighten the rod curve. Second, placing the guides this way puts them on the strongest axis of the blank. Both of these advantages are proven facts.
Norm



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/19/2024 11:45AM by Norman Miller.

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Re: Spine of Rod
Posted by: Chris Catignani (---)
Date: January 19, 2024 11:18AM

Norman Miller Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>.... I horizontally rotate the
> blank so convex side of the blank is down and the
> concave side is down. which puts the blank tip
> pointing up.

hmm...did you mean concave side up?

...
>Placing guides
> this way gives you the straight axis, and also
> allows gravity to straighten the rod curve.
> Second, placing the guides this way puts them on
> the strongest axis of the blank. Both of these
> advantages are proven facts.

I have to admit....I have never seen where gravity actually pulled a rod straight.
If this were the case...wouldn't all rods eventually be bent down?

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Re: Spine of Rod
Posted by: Norman Miller (Moderator)
Date: January 19, 2024 11:42AM

Yep, my mistake concave side up. Sorry about that. I’ll edit the post so it reads correctly.
The weight of the guides and tip-top will allow for the curve straighten somewhat depending on the amount of curve.
Norm



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/19/2024 11:43AM by Norman Miller.

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Re: Spine of Rod
Posted by: John Wright (---.om.om.cox.net)
Date: January 21, 2024 08:51AM

Tom and all, thanks. I now can go to my students with options and reasons. I am in everyone's debt for the discussion and help with this very complex issue.

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Re: Spine of Rod
Posted by: Aleks Maslov (Moderator)
Date: January 22, 2024 01:01AM

John, All,

Gary will do a Live Question and Answer tomorrow at 1pm Pacific. It will be in the Custom Rod Builders Facebook Group. I know that this will be a topic of discussion.

I will post the video later, but feel free to tune in and ask questions.

Aleks

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Re: Spine of Rod
Posted by: Ernie Blum (---)
Date: January 22, 2024 08:03AM

Norman Miller Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In my opinion, building on the straightest axis
> has at least two major advantages without any
> known disadvantages. First, the rod is straight.
> Nothing reflects as poorly on a rod builder then
> having a rod tip curving off to the right or left
> when looking down the guides. Almost all blanks
> have a curve to them, I horizontally rotate the
> blank so convex side of the blank is down and the
> concave side is up, which puts the blank tip
> pointing up. Casting guides go on the concave side
> of the curve, unless doing a spiral wrap, and
> spinning guides on the convex side. Placing guides
> this way gives you the straight axis, and also
> allows the weight of the guides and tip-top to
> straighten the rod curve. Second, placing the
> guides this way puts them on the strongest axis of
> the blank. Both of these advantages are proven
> facts.
> Norm

Straightest axis!! On a one piece blank, easy enough to find. How do you handle this on a multi piece blank?

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Re: Spine of Rod
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 22, 2024 09:20AM

Find the straightest axis on each section and assemble them that way.

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

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Re: Spine of Rod
Posted by: Mike Ballard (---.ip-54-39-133.net)
Date: January 22, 2024 10:04AM

The easiest way to state this and get beyond the stuff about "where do you put the guides for casting and where for spinning" is just complicating things. Just position the rod so the stiff side is working against the fish. Thats all there is to it. And 99% of the time the stiffest and straightest axis are the same thing.

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Re: Spine of Rod
Posted by: Aleks Maslov (Moderator)
Date: January 22, 2024 04:57PM

LINK TO THE AMA WITH GARY LOOMIS

[www.facebook.com]

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Re: Spine of Rod
Posted by: David Baylor (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: January 24, 2024 10:10AM

I just finished up watching the Q $ A session with Mr Loomis in the link that Alex provided. While much of it was interesting to me, one particular part of it I found ... puzzling. And that is that a rod not built in line with the stiffest axis of the rod, will not cast as accurately. What I found puzzling, was the rational behind that belief. With all due respect to Mr Loomis, I say belief, because the amount of rod twist due to the spine of the rod that occurs during a cast, if it in fact does, is going to be determined by the height of the guide frames, on that rod.

As Tom has said many times, and it's something that is easily verifiable, the lever arm affect caused by the guides, is going to trump the power of the spine. Also, the mid section of the blank to the tip of a rod, depending on action, is where the majority of the flexing occurs during a cast. The closer you get to the tip, the tighter the circle of rotation, the less influence, if any, there will be on the path of the weight being cast. Couple that with the flexibility of the fishing line itself, and very little, if any, of that rotational force is transfered to the bait.

The greater the line tension between rod tip and the weight being cast, the more influence it would have on the line, but the lines flexibility is going to dissipate that energy very quickly.

That's not to say that moving the tip of a rod during a cast can't influence the direction of the bait. As anyone that has learned to curve a cast knows this to be true. But we're talking about moving the tip of the rod while the bait being cast, is in flight. Once a rod tip unloads and the weight is traveling down range, there is no rotation of the rod blank caused by the lever arm affect of the guides, or the stiffest axis of the rod blank.

It's been said many times over. Where the rod tip is pointing, is the direction the cast is going. We're not talking about a golf club where the head can rotate and change the angle of the head striking the ball. I'm not a golfer, but it makes perfect sense that the orientation of the spine of the shaft has an influence on accuracy. We're talking about fishing rods where the weight we are casting, and the rod itself, are connected by a flexible material.

All due respect to Mr Loomis, but I'm not buying that the spine nor the stiffest axis of a rod has any influence on casting accuracy.

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Re: Spine of Rod
Posted by: Mike Ballard (---.ip-198-50-155.net)
Date: January 24, 2024 10:34AM

If building on the spine creates better casting accuracy then it should be possible to pick up a stack of rods and find the spine simply by casting them. But I do not believe I or anyone else could tell any difference just by casting those rods. You can only find the spine by a hand flex test because in actual casting and fishing the spine does not come into play.

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Re: Spine of Rod
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: January 24, 2024 11:04AM

For myself, I build on the straightest axis.
If the rod has a bend in it - and most do, I always build so that when the rod is being used, the curve is pointing down.
No, perhaps this does not give the most power to the rod, but I simply prefer the look of the rod with the curve pointing down.

For myself, when glancing at the rod from afar that is in someones hand, I simply prefer the look of the tip curving down rather than up.

I am also of the opinion that unless you have a gross amount of bend in a rod - which I would never use - the bend, by and large has a very minimal effect on the power of the rod. Also, I have never used a rod that did not have sufficient power to land a fish.

Remember, if fighting a fish that is larger than the rated power of the rod, then simply use your hand, arm and elbow to land the fish. i.e. keep the entire rod pointed toward the fish and simply use your arm and elbow to pull the fish to the boat witout putting a bend in the rod. As long as the line is strong enough to pull the fish to the boat, the rod - no matter the size will get the fish to the boat.

Best wishes.

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Re: Spine of Rod
Posted by: Mike Lawson (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: January 24, 2024 08:44PM

I listened to that Live talk just to hear what was said relevant to this thread. Mr Loomis stressed building with any curve facing up (straightest axis) but went on to say that is 99% the spine as well. My experience has been just the opposite. The spine and straightest axis almost never line up. When pressed he went on to say that in the event of them not lining up that spine trumps straightest axis. His stance wasn’t as definitively hard and fast as some posts would indicate. I’m just not sold on the twisting and casting accuracy theory. To each his own is at the heart of anything custom so you just have to pick your poison.

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Re: Spine of Rod
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 25, 2024 08:45AM

You're correct, Mike. The spine is usually anywhere from about 90 to 170 degrees off from the straightest axis. It is the stiffest axis that generally falls in line with the straightest, although that can vary by a small handful of degrees.

As far as casting accuracy being better if the rod is built on the spine, 40 years out that remains to be proven.

...........

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Re: Spine of Rod
Posted by: Brian Purdy (---)
Date: January 26, 2024 09:14AM

So can someone lay it on the line for those of us who aren't well versed in the physics and the science?

1. Yes or No- Should we build on the spine?
2. Yes or No- Should all rods be built with the spiral wraps regardless of application....popping for tuna straight through to panfish?
3. Yes or No- Is the consensus on here that it doesn't matter where you build on the blank, just as long as the guide size and placement are correct?

Thanks. I just can't follow some of these discussions.

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Re: Spine of Rod
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 26, 2024 09:31AM

Here's what we know for certain-

1. There are no proven advantages to building on the spine. Building on the straightest axis has proved to provide the greatest lifting capacity. Casting accuracy has never been proven to be better on one axis than another (and few fishermen cast on the same axis/plane every cast).

2. All rods with guides on top will attempt to twist when under load. All rods with guides on the bottom of the rod will remain stable under load. Spiral wrapped casting rods will be more stable than those wrapped conventionally.

3. There is no consensus. Some rely on what has been proved, others stick to theories they believe in. The bottom line is that rods built on any axis or with any guide system will cast, retrieve and land fish.

.......

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