Here's a question from the September/October 1998 issue of RodMaker magazine:
"What would you say if the one most important thing that a
rod builder can do to make any rod perform better?"
Dick, Denver, CO
"Make it lighter. For any given stiffness, a lighter rod will dampen
quicker, transmit vibrations better, cast farther and reduce fatigue
on the angler. This is why fiberglass outperforms bamboo and why
graphite outperforms fiberglass. None of these materials are magic
in themselves, rather, as the stiffness-to-weight ratio climbs, so
does the performance capabilities of the rod.
Anything you can do to make a rod lighter will result in some
measure of performance increase. Even if you can't design and build
your own blanks, there are many other ways to lighten a rid. The
choice of componentry, assembly techniques, guide style and
placement, and even wrap finish offer many areas where weight can
be shaved. All other factors being equal, a lighter rod is also
a better rod.
Perhaps the best analogy I've ever heard concerning how rod
weight affects performance came from Gary Loomis. Gary compared
a rod blank to a diving board at a swimming pool. If you jump
on the board it will toss you up in the air a certain distance
and then vibrate for a certain length of time before it stops.
Now, add a 50-pound sack of cement or whatever to the underside
of that board. Jump on it again, and this time, it won't throw
you quite as high and it will vibrate for a longer period of time
before stopping. You didn't change its stiffness, but you did
add to its weight and that weight you added reduced the board's
The same thing goes for fishing rods. Less weight translates
into better dampening characteristics, better energy release
and recovery, and less fatague for the angler fishing the rod.
Again, all things being equal, the lighter the rod, the better
the rod will perform." ~ Tom Kirkman
If you have any tips or techniques, send them along! Help out your
~ Publisher, FAOL