Solid Rods

By Tom Kirkman

RodMaker Magazine This question is from Volume 6, Issue #6 of RodMaker Magazine:
Q. With all the talk about how fragile some graphite rods are, why not just make them solid? I've got solid glass boat rods that you could drive over without hurting them. They hold up to anything and everything and take any kind of abuse. Seems like graphite rods could be made the same way and become nearly indestructible while keeping the lightness feature of graphite. Is this not feasible and if so why wouldn't it be? Why does no one make solid graphite rods? If you know of some out there please supply the source. Thanks. Scott...Mishawaka, IN.


A solid rod will generally be more durable than a tubular rod. But a tubular rod will offer greater stiffness for the same weight/amount of material involved. So to get the same stiffness in any particular graphite tubular rod, the same rod made in a solid form would require you to use more material, more graphite, and thus would weigh much more than our tubular rod. In effect, you'd be negating the vary benefits that manufacturers switched to graphite in order to get.

Most rods have been designed to offer a pretty reasonable combination of weight, performance and durability. In the event that utmost durability is your goal, however, you'll have to lean towards those blanks with smaller diameters and greater wall thicknesses. But just like rods of solid construction, the smaller diameter, thicker walled blanks will weigh more for any given stiffness than their larger diameter, thinner walled counterparts. Unfortunately, you have to give on one end to get something on the other. ~ TK

Publishers note:
If you have any tips or techniques, send them along! Help out your fellow rodmakers! ~ Publisher, FAOL

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