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Thread: The stiffer the better?

  1. #1
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    Default The stiffer the better?

    Of course, this applies to other areas of life... but, for me, I have noticed a stiffer action rod often performs better.

    When checking out the rod, I always do the side-to-side whip test to see where and how far down the rod it bends. I look for the rod to bend some at about 2/3rds of the way down from the tip. But not too much -there's nothing worse than jacknifing and snaping your pole trying to land some unexpected heavy game.

    A second test I do is hold the base of the rod on my finger waist high, and let the tip rest on the floor. I look for the rod to bend slightly at the tip 1/3 up. If it bends halfway up I consider it too soft. If it bends only at the tip, the rod may be too stiff to handle comfortably.

    Ultimately though, I feel if the action is too soft, no matter how good your line, your just not going to be as successful in your final presentation.

    Anyone else have thoughts on this?

    ~Bryant

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    If stiffer was better you'd tie some guides onto a broomstick and go fish Grayling. I bet you won't.

    You're describing fast action. I like fast action rods sometimes. I like slower action rods sometimes as well. There's a reason the manufacturers make both.

    I see no purpose in whipping a rod around. If you want to test the action have someone hold the tip while you lift the rod and watch how and where it flexes. Fast action rods will flex primarily in the tip. Slow action rods will bend a smooth arc over the length of the rod.

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    I have a four piece Eagle Claw pack fly rod that I never even use anymore. The action is so soft, I find it hard to out more than 15 feet of line.

    ~Bryant

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    Why use a soft action rod? What is it good for?

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    Casting short distances across smaller creeks is easier, more forgiving, and more consistent with a slower rod. Fighting the fish requires more finesse, which I enjoy. Nothing beats feeling the rod bending under your grip.

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Personally

    Bigger fish in bigger waters=faster action rod
    Littler fish in small streams = medium action rod

    Don't care for truly slow action rods they load to slowly and I like a faster casting rhythm.

    Just one Alaskans opinion
    Rick P

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    Good call, Rick. My "slow" rod is medium and my "fast" rod is extra fast. I don't own a true "slow action" rod.

    Find a slow pool with silvers and cast a top water wog and the slower rod works better. On the flip side, like for steelies on the Situk, I want my fast rod.

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    Default

    My wife just read the title of this thread over my shoulder and wanted to know "Just what kind of a blog IS this???" LOL

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    Default Confession

    Well the whole thing was supposed to be tounge in cheek, but no one seemed to get it. Guess my future in comedic writing still needs work.

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    Well try my flex test method with a friend. The thread won't be a total loss.

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gusdog44 View Post
    My wife just read the title of this thread over my shoulder and wanted to know "Just what kind of a blog IS this???" LOL
    Mine said longer is nice too
    I do think the faster vs slower action rod discussion is valuable there are allot of newbies out there afraid to ask questions like that. Notice that 56 people have read this thread?

  12. #12

    Default Reel

    Whatever you decide to go with, jusy be sure to buy the best reel you can afford. You wont be sorry.

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    Default Best Reel?

    Now, I just can't see the reason in that? I always buy reels in the 30 to 50 dollar range. No Crystal River crap, but just a step above. I generally wait for it to be on sale too. I don't see where expensive reels make that much of a differance in being able to catch the same amount of fish?

    I expected more on rod action from a guy named Whitepalm...

    ~Bryant

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    the action of the rod (slow/fast) has very little to do with what you are fishing for, although that's what the majority of folks on this thread have stated so far. it seems like a stiffer rod would be designed for bigger fish, but the action of the rod is designed to compliment what you are casting on the end of your line, not necessarily what you're casting it for.

    try putting a heavy sink tip and a bead headed streamer on a slow action rod and see what happens... doesn't work out so well. now try putting a #20 parachute adams on a fast action rod and see what happens.... you can't feel a thing.

    slow action rods are for delicate presentations with floating lines and lightweight dry flies at relatively close range. fast action rods are for pitching sink tips and/or heavy weighted flies a good distance. if you want something to do everything (fish both streamers and dries) then buy a medium action rod; it's not ideal for either method, but it will suffice for both.

    Mark W.
    www.akfishology.com

    fishing isn't about life or death... it's more important than that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by markw3 View Post
    the action of the rod (slow/fast) has very little to do with what you are fishing for, although that's what the majority of folks on this thread have stated so far. it seems like a stiffer rod would be designed for bigger fish, but the action of the rod is designed to compliment what you are casting on the end of your line, not necessarily what you're casting it for.

    try putting a heavy sink tip and a bead headed streamer on a slow action rod and see what happens... doesn't work out so well.

    Usually used on bigger water for bigger fish...

    now try putting a #20 parachute adams on a fast action rod and see what happens.... you can't feel a thing.

    Usually for smaller water and smaller fish.....

    slow action rods are for delicate presentations with floating lines and lightweight dry flies at relatively close range. fast action rods are for pitching sink tips and/or heavy weighted flies a good distance. if you want something to do everything (fish both streamers and dries) then buy a medium action rod; it's not ideal for either method, but it will suffice for both.

    Just trying to keep it simple the guys using an eagle claw rod and obviously a newbie...

    Mark W.

    Respectfully Rick P

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    Quote Originally Posted by baja4ever View Post
    Now, I just can't see the reason in that? I always buy reels in the 30 to 50 dollar range. No Crystal River crap, but just a step above. I generally wait for it to be on sale too. I don't see where expensive reels make that much of a differance in being able to catch the same amount of fish?

    ~Bryant
    The quality of a reel's drag is, generally speaking, proportionate to the price tag. There are some reels available now that have drag systems that are nothing short of incredible. Palm your spool while running downstream, stepping over logs, and dodging overhanging bushes. You'll lose more fish than the guy doing the same thing with a good drag.

  17. #17
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    Allot of factors go into the "best" action for each individual and each fishing situation. Including presentation, spices, experienced level of the individual and weather conditions.

    In general faster action rods are for conditions where a light presentation is not a must, subsurface fishing, casting big surface flies to pike or bass ect... They are more difficult for a beginner to cast. In the hands of a experienced fly fisher you can get much more distance out of a faster action rod. And they can handle a much bigger fly. However a fast action rod will sometimes out preform a slower action rod in dry fly fishing too. Try casting a slow rod into a 40 mile an hour wind in high country.

    In general a slower action rod is for very delicate presentations on smaller steams with a floating line. In other words primarily dry fly fishing.

    So whats the best action? Depends on what your fishing for, where you'll be doing most of your fishing, and the conditions on any given day.( Is this muddied up enough yet?)

    So Baja4ever how do you answer the above and do you truly want to fly fish or do you just want a rod for doing the Kenai two jerk? ( I don't mean that disrespectfully too you)

    A word about reels. Don't base your purchase on price what you want is the best made reel you can afford. The major deciding factor for me is the drag system. The drag should be smooth as silk easily adjusted. In a big game reel it should also be very strong. Another consideration is reel design, if ya have too palm a reel is it going to cut you? ie stamped spool vs machined spool. As a younger man I was notoriously hard on gear and the shop I guided for used me too field test gear, Ive blown up as many ultra expensive reels as I have bargain basement one's. In fact the first offering from loop, at that time a $750 reel, lasted less than two weeks in my hands!(Really cool lookin' though) Yes there are other factors as well like material, arbor size, ect.. but they are minor compared to the ones I've already mentioned.

    Just one Alaskans opinion
    Rick P

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    Talking Rick P

    If we ever get the chance to fish together please remind me not to loan you my Bauer. lol

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    Default Softer is more relaxing. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by markw3 View Post
    the action of the rod (slow/fast) has very little to do with what you are fishing for, although that's what the majority of folks on this thread have stated so far. it seems like a stiffer rod would be designed for bigger fish, but the action of the rod is designed to compliment what you are casting on the end of your line, not necessarily what you're casting it for.

    try putting a heavy sink tip and a bead headed streamer on a slow action rod and see what happens... doesn't work out so well. now try putting a #20 parachute adams on a fast action rod and see what happens.... you can't feel a thing.

    slow action rods are for delicate presentations with floating lines and lightweight dry flies at relatively close range. fast action rods are for pitching sink tips and/or heavy weighted flies a good distance. if you want something to do everything (fish both streamers and dries) then buy a medium action rod; it's not ideal for either method, but it will suffice for both.

    Mark W.
    Dead on by my reckoning. Fly fishing was born in England and migrated to the United States where it was used primarily on small streams for small trout. I wore out an old Orvis, Full-flex, glass fly rod, which was a pleasure to use. A slow action rod is more relaxed, less frantic, and more fun.

    Faster, hard-action rods were, in my memory, popularized by fishing the bigger waters and bigger fish of the American west, which was largely due to the influence of Dan Bailey.


  20. #20
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    Default Yikes

    Yikes! Ok all good points and a great post for the Forum and happy campers abound.

    Flex / Action Design and Materials. Bottom line is they don't mean squat guys with out considering the Taper! Your Fly Rods are for the most part designed with the action you desired based on the materials used and the Tapers involved with that in mind.

    Think in reverse. Back in the day Ash and Bamboo were used to make Fly Rods. That being said streamer rods all had for the most part slow action. Crisp smaller rods with stiff tips were used for Dry Fly Fishing. Honest I have some nice crisp dry fly rods, and some heavy slow action streamer rods!

    Not trying to rain on anyone’s comments or opinions they all serve you well.

    If you wish to use a simple formula use any Flex Chart put out by Orvis I think Cabela’s may have one as well.

    Stiffer rods do not always equate to fast action / tip flex nor do Softer Rods or Full Flex always equate to Dry Fly rods. Your ability to pick up and shoot line depends on your casting style! Does a faster action or Tip flex rod with a good taper make it easier for new people to the sport? More often I would have to say yes. Is it something I would fish depends on the situation. 

    Personnel preference by casting style with ample practice makes for a good time. As an example I am a slug!!!!! I like using a 8ft 4in Mid Flex Rod for Silvers when I feel like keeping some fun to fish with and can handle mid size salmon. I prefer to use a Full Flex 9ft 9W when fishing Reds (Not Combat Fishing) near the Ocean or in heavy current). I like a nice 6ft 6in 2W for fishing grayling that is Tip Flex Fast Action on Interior Rivers, and a nice 7ft 9in 3W for larger streams and lakes with a Mid Flex. My casting style leans more toward a Full Flex or Mid Flex rod because I grew up fishing Glass and Bamboo. If you’re a speed freak and fish in the Wind your going Long and Tip Flex or a stiffer action rod as they say out west, but that may not meet your needs if your in my boat and have a longer slower cast with the proverbial micro second wrist.

    Rick and Mark good points I just wanted my 28 seconds of say so! Keep up the great info. ( No I am not sucking UP) LOL.

    Design, composite Material, Taper, and Casting style all make for a good time.

    Try a Batson Blank Mid Flex Blank on your next fly rod you will be smiling after the show! Talon for the ultimate in personal fly rods, and pick up a Scott, Sage or Orvis not to mention Damon!

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