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Vince Marinaro on Bamboo Rods:

from Ring of the Rise

Part 6
February 16th, 1998
"I cannot recall in my rod-building of having overlooked any known kind of action, all the way from parabolic to the old tip-action dry-fly tournament type. I had and still have a great fondness for the tip-action type. It has the greatest effective or casting length because it is stiff for two-thirds of its length, permitting a high backcast. It is inherently more accurate than any other type. I found, however, that the tips broke down very quickly, needing replacement often. The butt action or parabolics with their thick clubby tips were not suitable for my purpose. These rods are popular for saltwater use where long slow casts must be used with no great requirement for delicacy. No one fishes size 24 midges in salt water. Moreover, they are not capable of the kind of accuracy needed in my fishing where oftentimes the deviation of a few inches is fatal.

"I have the same objections to the progressive taper where the bending starts near the hand and gradually increases toward the tip.

"All rods weave more or less in the act of casting, caused principally by a twisting of the casting hand. Right hands twist the rod clockwise. Left hands twist counterclockwise. If you use a rod with loose ferrules, you will eventually find the guides corkscrewed around the rod. It can be overcome by only the most rigid self-discipline. Parabolic and progressive tapers magnify this weave, enlarging the horizontal travel of the weave from side to side because the weave starts closer to the hand. The error is enlarged geometrically with the extension of the cast.

"The rod I wanted has the virtues of the dry-fly tip-action plus the durability of the parabolic and the progressive tapers. The latter are more durable because the bend is spread out over a greater length. I am partial to three-piece rods not only because of portability but because I have better control of the tapers in manufacture. The butt joint of my projected nine-footer was no problem. I wanted it stiff enough to confine the action in the upper regions. I employed, therefore, the full convex in sketch 2. The middle joint where most of the bend would take place needed a modified or delayed convex as in sketch 3. The desired effect here was to soften and spread the bend over a greater area than the fragile tip-action dry-fly rod. The top joint needed refinement for delicacy in short casts, plus some stiffening from the convex design to prevent excessive fallover on long casts (see sketch 4)." VM

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