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flytire

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heres a dumb question?

do 30+ year old fly rods ever lose their casting effectiveness due to age or years of use?

just wondering

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Short answer,  no. Long as the guides are not lose and everything is still intact as should be then it'll cast the same. Only exception is if there's some sort problems such as lose guides or loosening epoxy under the grip, or a bad set in a cane rod etc etc. 

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no its not a guide problem

i was just wondering if graphite material gets old/stretched/internal cracking/loses strength and doesnt perform/cast like a brand new rod would

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My experience says Steve is right. I'm fishing 'glass rods from the '60s & 70s and my remaining graphite rod is from around 1995. When the graphite rods failed it was sudden and catastrophic, even then after repair they cast about the same as when new. 

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5 hours ago, flytire said:

i was just wondering if graphite material gets old/stretched/internal cracking/loses strength and doesnt perform/cast like a brand new rod would

I think there is, in some rods, a difference between brand new and after a few years of use.  New sticks always seem a bit crisper and graphite/resin does seem to have a break-in in terms of flexibility.  I liked some of my St Croix blanks even more after a season or two, those were old SC4 and SC3 builds.  Lighter rods, anyway, hard to detect much up at 7 wt or so.  

Bear in mind, I have few rods at a time and thus fish them all quite a bit.  Might not be a noticeable thing if one has a great many, but relatively little time on any given one.  I'm a sunfish freak too, so there's that (we tend to cast alot catch alotta fish).

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There is no "break in" for graphite fiber. Unlike spring steel or some other materials, graphite fiber holds it's elasticity continuously and it doesn't change over time. If I had to guess I think you probably are just getting more use to the feel of the rod after using it a season or two ;)

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23 hours ago, Steeldrifter said:

There is no "break in" for graphite fiber. Unlike spring steel or some other materials, graphite fiber holds it's elasticity continuously and it doesn't change over time. If I had to guess I think you probably are just getting more use to the feel of the rod after using it a season or two ;)

Sounds like if this change occurs in a given blank, it’s probably more to do with the binders/resin than the actual carbon fiber itself.  Here’s a link which describes this…

http://flyanglersonline.com/features/rodbuilding/tips/rt53.php

Would be kinda interesting to see if anyone could ever measure this with a meaningful metric, I’ve never bothered to on any build.  I don’t think it’s a bad thing or even a weakening, more like how the fiber is supposed behave without excessive interference or influence of the binder matrix.  New stuff can be that way, but I’d doubt it’s infinite or ongoing beyond the initial change.

Good point on the adaptive nature of anglers, but I think some folks overestimate themselves there.  Sometimes the rod itself might be meeting us halfway with use.  Either way, adequate time and use before final judgment of rod fit to person is a prudent approach.  Good excuse to fish the heck out of a new stick and make less out of first impressions and some parking lot casting.

There are some who will say this is a negative should it occur in heavier blanks, I'm not of such opinion nor do I have the skill to claim it as a reason for lack of casing distance or efficiency.  The softening effect addressed by Kirkman, Kreh and others suits me quite well.

 

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On 5/26/2020 at 9:29 AM, flytire said:

heres a dumb question?

do 30+ year old fly rods ever lose their casting effectiveness due to age or years of use?

just wondering

The rods..no. The user..maybe😎

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My father always said the only dumb question is the one not asked. We learn by asking. If I want to know something...I ask my wife. I have a bamboo rod that is about 54 years old and a fiberglass rod that is about 58 years old. Still fish them. Bamboo was restored from directions and suggestions by Carlin.

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I have a Fenwick FF 908 that's over 40 at least and it fishes fine when I use it. 

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i'm pretty confident of my user abilities casting a fly rod so i dont think thats the problem 👍

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I'd really look at those guides and your line. I've seen both wear and the casting ability of the rod goes out the window. Look for flat spots on the guides where the line passes through them. Most hardened guides won't do this but I have seen it and experienced the result of it.

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4 hours ago, flytire said:

i'm pretty confident of my user abilities casting a fly rod

I can do EVRYTHING I did when I was 20, too!  I'm sure of it. 

Wait, let me put my glasses down so I can wipe the sweat off my extended forehead.  I just carried some yard waste out to the curb and need to rest for 15 minutes or so.

Just like I used to do when I was 20.

😉

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