Fly Rod Fore Grip

By Tom Kirkman, (RodMaker Magazine)

Here's a question from the January/February 1999 issue of RodMaker magazine:

"I am building a 12/13 weight G.Loomis 3-piece fly rod. Should I put a fore grip on this rod? If so, how would you locate it? Bill . . .via E-mail.

RodMaker Magazine

Most fly rods are pretty long when compared to casting or spinning rods and offer the fish a pretty long lever for working against the angler. The natural inclination for most people battling a big fish with a fly rod is to reach and grasp farther up the rod, thereby shifting the fulcrum point and providing better leverage for the fisherman. But there's a problem with doing this. You see, most of the pulling or lifting power in a rod is in the lower butt area. When you reach above this point you are denying yourself the opportunity of using the strongest part of the rod. You are also putting the greatest amount of stress on an area of the rod which wasn't designed to handle it.

I'm not going to tell you that you shouldn't put a fore grip on your rod, since many others do and manage to do fine with it, but I'm going to suggest what I think is a better set-up. First, if your goal is to achieve better leverage and lifting power against big fish, try using a shorter blank, say an 8-footer instead of a 9. Now extend the standard grip from the usual 7.5 inches out to about 11 or 12-inches. This will allow you to reach a bit farther up the rod without wasting that portion where the real power is located, and the slightly shorter blank will help put some of the leverage back in your favor. ~ Tom Kirkman

Publishers note:

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

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