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Vince Marinaro on Bamboo Rods:

from Ring of the Rise

Part 5
February 2nd, 1998
"In my experiments I found that there are widely differing results in the use of convex tapers, depending on where the peak of the swell is placed in the joint. It can be placed in the but end, in the middle, or near the small end as in sketches 2, 3, and 4. The application of these variations depends largely on the kind of action the caster wants. Rod action is a very loosely defined term and is expressed in many ways, but I think that it finally resolves itself as a matter of where you want the rod to bend. This is very important. Without some bend in the rod the ordinary caster cannot sense or does not have time to sense the change in directions in the act of casting. With an ultrastiff rod, timing the change of directions and "keeping the line alive in the air," as the tournament casters say, are impossible for the ordinary citizen. If you start the forward cast a millisecond too soon, the momentum is lost and the cast dies; too late and the cast expires behind you. The ultrastiff rod belongs on the casting platform in the hands of those few geniuses who know how to handle it and even they must not dally or bobble about in delivering the cast. It must be done in something like four finely timed strokes in the distance shoot.

Bamboo Tapers

"The kind of rod I am discussing is the kind that would be used by the vast majority of fishermen. I exempt salmon, steelhead and saltwater fishermen. My prescription calls for a rod of adequate casting length, light in the hand, allowing great delicacy of delivery on short casts, and with enough backbone to make a punch shot, accurately out from fifty to sixty feet. Note that I am not talking about the legendary ninety to one -hundred foot casts. The number of people who can throw just sixty feet accurately or inaccurately belong to a regal minority. Even in tournament dry-fly accuracy contests, over a long history, comparatively few have ever made a first round perfect scor e perhaps twenty individuals among all those superb casters. That furthest target, a thirty-inch ring out at only fifty feet, is the one that has ruined many a fine score. But accuracy, we must have accuracy on the order of a few inches leeway, and if the right kind of rod will help us get it, then that is the kind of rod we must have.

"The rod that I am prescribing is a large order. It is the most difficult of all rods to build for it represents a great bundle of compromises." VM

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