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Hello, hope this is the correct place to ask a question? I have a Forecast 8wt rod kit sitting in the closest for quite sometime I would like to build. I have read about finding the spine but find it very difficult to do on the butt end piece. Any hints on this?

 

Bullhead

 

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I don't think any difference in the butt piece will matter. When I was building rods, we found the spline only in the tip section. Everyone did it that way.

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I agree that it won't matter for the butt section. I actually slide all the pieces together, then find the spine and mark it for reversed spine. I've built my last few rods reversed. I used to find the spine on the top sections but then rechecked it with sections together and found it didn't agree with my separate markings anyway. So now I do it this way.

 

Most of the pro builders over in the rod building forums build on center axis, which is so the guides line up best, disregarding spine ( so there is no droop at the tip). Most of those probably end up reversed spine if you think about the mechanics of it. But they don't have to either.

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Steve is unavailable at the moment, so don't wait for an answer from him.

When he gets back, he might have more to add, but I think the answers you've gotten will just be backed up.

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Steve is unavailable at the moment, so don't wait for an answer from him.

When he gets back, he might have more to add, but I think the answers you've gotten will just be backed up.

In my contacts with Steve over the last few years he seemed to indicate building on center axis as I recall. I should have mentioned that in my other post.

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I have trouble believing that it always doesn't matter or only matters for the tip section. I have built a few 4-piece travel rods and several two-piece. I was able to find the spine on all four pieces. My travel rods were 4wt and 5wt. It is likely that the butt section of the 8wt will be too stiff and in that case, it will not matter. But if you can get it to bend even slightly, mark it. I spine all sections and I believe it matters. I can lightly, slowly wiggle a fly rod and tell if it has only been spined at the tip section. You will see an oval or angled flow to the tip. When all are spined, there is a true straight flow to the tip.

 

Now I'm no expert, maybe just a perfectionist. It is likely that what I am seeing in a rod blank's action will not matter whatsoever when the rod is loaded and performing a cast. The butt section of a 4 piece probably never bends during a cast so it wouldn't ruin a rod build. But my advice would be, if you can get a bend in the stiffer sections, mark them appropriately and use it for guide placement.

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Flicted, as a perfectionist, do you see it as better to have the spline on the guide side or opposite the guides or at right angles to the guides? Can you tell by rod wiggle which way the spine is oriented?

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I never really looked at it that way. It just seems to me that a rod that bounces smoothly up and down is more balanced than one that bucks and rolls. But nobody casts or fights a fish that way so what difference does it make? Maybe nothing.

 

Rolling the rod once the spines are aligned will determine spine vs belly. As far as guide placement, there are strongly felt positions either way. On fly rods and spinning rods, I always place the guides on bottom as the rod is held in a bent (fighting a fish) position. For casting rods, flippin sticks, I go with the opposite. There is some discussion that with heavier fly rods (9wt and larger) there are casting advantages to placing guides along the spine.

 

An expert like Steve may have better experience, science, and physics to back up theories about spine better than an old man that is picky about how he does things but doesn't fully understand if it makes a difference. Some feel spine is much ado about nothing because a rod will load where the line draws it.

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I've read arguments for all three alignments and some where read that commercial rod producers don't bother is why I asked, I know that the books from back when I had an interest in building said spline was a big deal, but in truth it's hard to imagine much difference in strength or weight in a sanded blank. I believe it could matter some in a rough blank, but, still how much can that tiny ridge weigh in comparison to a half ounce of line in the air?

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I guess I bought into the argument that there would be some side torque if guides were not aligned to the spine. You can notice it under no load, or when bending the rod at the bench. But how much does it actually affect casting? I guess you could build one on the spine, one on the belly, and one wherever it lands, and then cast each of them, you could form a better opinion. But bottom line, if there are so many opinions out there, it can't make much difference.

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NO matter where the spine is ... if you're making a fly rod, the guides are ALWAYS on the inside of the bend.

 

Bass rods are different than fly rods, I know ... but this is still interesting ...

 

revolver-259x168.jpg

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bullhead. Don Green of Fenwick and Sage fame said to put the guides at right angles to the spine, thus making the rod track the same on both fore cast and back cast. Read here; https://swiftflyfishing.com/blogs/news/8251935-spining-a-fly-rod-to-spine-or-not-to-spine

 

I've read another explanation that supports this, using rectangular materials to show that the weakest direction is the favored direction of bend and that guides in alignment with the spine (or stiff direction) will cause rod twist. I don't recall where, it was a bamboo site I think. It made perfect sense when I read it.

 

this what Steve said a while back on the rod building forum and a more recent one

 

Posted 13 November 2006 - 04:39 PM

To spine or not to spine is an argument as old as rod building. All I can tell you is this. I have done both ways...and "I personally" cant tell a difference ethier way myself dunno.gif . Now if someone says they can then I cant honestly tell them they cant can I? maybe they are a better caster than I, or they just have a better feel than I. It only takes about a few minutes to locate the guides on a spine though, so I do it. Theres no reason not to IMO. If the blank has a 'crook" in it that goes to one side, then I would send that blank back myself so that shouldnt play a factor in wether or not you spine a rod IMO.

Steve

Posted 25 March 2017 - 08:24 AM

The "to spine or not to spine" argument has been hashed out many many MANY times on every rod building website out there for decades. What it boils down to is this-

 

The spine in a fly rod is such a small thing far as true "rotational force" that it is next to pointless to even give it a second thought. Even in a 10wt and above you simply will not notice any difference in a rod that is spined and one that is not spined. I have tested that statement out first hand with identical rods I have built over the years. Having built over 1300+ rods to date I stopped spineing them many years ago and always build on the straightest axis. The whole "rotational force" thing is pointless. Factor in the weight of a reel hanging down from the rod, the fish pulling one way and the angler not always having the rod exactly 90 degrees to the surface of the water or directly in line with the fish etc etc and all that spine/rotational force garbage goes right out the window.

 

As with anything you will always have some people that feel one way and others that feel another. If someone feels they want to spine a rod then who am I to tell them not too, they are the ones building it and more power to them. My advice to you though Arkman is to not worry one bit about redoing anything on that rod. It would simply be a waste of time IMO to worry about any spine. Finish building it and have fun fishing it.

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