There is a new buzz word. If you haven't seen it or heard it
you soon will. The new magic word is Titanium.
Those of you familiar with rod guides know there are titanium guides on rods . . .well on
some at least. There are also spinning reel bails, spinnerbait wire, reel coatings and now
even waders using the stuff.
Waders! What? Yes! FlyTech is coating the inside and outside of a line of their
waders with a titanium mist. According to their spokesman, "We're using the
insulative properties of titanium to keep heat inside the wader, and we've coated
the outside to reflect the cold from outside the wader." (quoted in the current issue
of Fishing Tackle Retailer)
Now it's hit fly rods. Lamiglass introduced titanium rods a couple of years ago, (1998)
but they have changed how they use it. Their Ti 2000 series rods are a blend of
high-modulus graphite for the tip section and the butt section made from a tube of
98% titanium, and 5% aluminum and vanadium. According to John Posey of
Lamiglass, "With these rods you can feel every little nick and tick; the sensitivity
is really remarkable." According to John the tube acts like a megaphone in your hand.
There's another titanium rod on the market. This one was made first with the titanium
mesh inside the rod blank, but the customers kept asking where the titanium was, so
according to ADG spokesman David Ahn, "we moved it to the outside where it can
Ahn also said they chose to use the titanium, (which is applied over an IM-8 graphite
blank as a mesh of titanium wire, then sprayed with a finished vaporized titanium on
the blank,) because it is very sensitive, has very good strength and flexibility. He also
states, "The weight of the added metal is of no consequence because we can reduce
the thickness and weight of the graphite cloth in the blank without sacrificing strength
or durability." (Also quoted from the Fishing Tackle Retailer article.)
Neither JC nor I have seen or cast any of these titanium rods yet, there will be some
at the Salt Lake Retail Dealers Show in September, and it should be interesting at least.
So what's titanium? It's the fourth most abundant metal in the world, found in sand - with
the largest concentration of it being on Australian beaches. It is used in applications where
light weight, strength and corrosion resistance are important. It's been used for years in
space shuttles, eyewear, screws, bolts, and dental applications.
It seems to be gaining in popularity - and some products which have NO titanium in then
at all are grabbing onto the hype - like using Titanium in their product name. As always,
when making any purchase buyer beware! Don't hesitate to ask questions.
Is this the new wonder material which will revolutionize the fly fishing world? Will we
have another whole generation of fly rods which are lighter, stronger, more responsive
and fun to fish?
Or is the whole high-tech scene just more than fly fishermen want? Perhaps the increasing
movement back to bamboo rods says more than any of the current fly rod manufacturers
want to hear. I'd love to hear your opinion on this one. ~ LadyFisher
If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to
post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!