ROD BUILDING TIPS
Different Numbers - Same Blank?

By Tom Kirkman, (RodMaker Magazine)

Here's a question from the March/April 1999 issue of RodMaker magazine:

"Help! I'm preparing to build a new saltwater rod and have been pouring over the G.Loomis catalog. I have found two blanks, the SW108-20 and the SW1084, that seem to be indentical according to the specs listed, except one costs more than the other. Am I being hoodwinked? Are these the same blanks listed under different categories? Jim . . .Tampa, FL.

RodMaker Magazine

They are the same blank, but your'e not being hoodwinked, as you say. You see, many times a manufacture will produce a blank that works very well for several various categories of fishing. As such, they will then list the blank, albeit with different model numbers, under two or more headings. This isn't done as much to "hoodwink" anyone, as it is to expose the blank to a greater number of possible users who might not otherwise bother to look under headings which don't nexessarily pertain to their own type of fishing. Often I've wished that manufacturers would dispense with all the "casting," "spinning," "bass," "saltwater" headings and just provide a list of blanks and let us make a simple selection based on the specs and how we feel a blank will fit our needs. But, these headings seem to help some rod builders select the best blank for their needs by steering them in the proper direction to begin with.

If you supect that a blank is listed under more than one heading, but can't confirm it due to a different model number, call or write the manufacturer and ask. Normally they are happy to confirm or deny your suspicion and may even provide you with a cross reference sheet for future reference. This comes in REAL handy when the blank you want is out of stock, but may be readily available under a different model number.

Oh, and as why one blank costs less than the other even when they are identical blanks? I have no idea, but I'd buy the less expensive one. ~ 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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