J. Castwell
April 19th, 1999

What You Missed

Ok, this is for you guys who for whatever reason, do not go into the 'Chat-room' here on FlyAnglers OnLine. You have missed several conversations about pack-rods. I will try to bring you up to speed.

There is the 'airline' thing. Reduced length demands on stuff you carry-on. Your two-piece rod may not travel with you inside the plane any more. They may make you, at the very last minute, check it in to 'baggage.' Great, hope it arrives with you. So, in an effort to pump up more sales, most of the major rod makers are promoting the NEW many piece rods.

Now, they claim they cast just like the regular two piece ones. Bull. They cast better. If you like a fast rod. The addition of connecting joints (ferrules) can not do anything but make a rod less flexible at those points. That makes it stiffer. And faster.

Let's take another look at all of this. A two-piece rod 'may' have a tendency to hinge in the middle. Many of the older bamboo rods were three piece, for various reasons; but, they did cast nicely. So, how many rod-makers today offer three piece rods? Darn few. Why not? Hey, ask them.

This is how I see a three-piece rod. There is no joint in the middle, i.e., no change in the action at that point. The top ferrule is so close to the tip-top that is does not affect the cast. The lower ferrule is so far down into the butt section it does not interfere either. The result is a three piece rod which casts like a ONE-PIECE rod. Wake up rod builders! A four piece rod has all of the characteristics of a two piece rod. Neat! That's a great advancement. Why not build one that casts better; but, what do I know about anything... The five piece rods? They put the top ferrule too close to the tip-top. The jury is still out; who knows. Why not a six piece rod; it would have all of the faults of a two piece rod, only stiffer. Yup, I bet we see some of them soon too.

PassPort Rod

Now, let's clear the air about multi-piece rods. Enough is enough.

Here is a picture of my pet travel rod. It is about thirty-five years old, and I would not part with it for any reason. I don't have a clue who made it, but I have a suspicion. Does it cast fine? NO! Does it do the job for which it was intended? You bet!

It is a four foot, six inch, three weight and has it's own box which fits inside my suitcoat pocket. No part of the rod is longer than six inches. The rod weighs one ounce and has ten sections. Years ago it was sold by AC&F (Abercrombie & Fitch) under the name of 'Passport.' I have handled trout well into the twenty-inch range with it. Nasty rainbows from the spring-creeks of Livingston, Montana.

So there, rod-makers, go for it! Your sales are flat? Push the market with NEW multi-piece rods? Please, give me a break; like they're new, right? Just what we need, more hype. Start building good rods, ones that CAST! Design a good three piece rod. ~ JC

Till next week, remember ...

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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