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Rod handles


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14 replies to this topic

#1 Poopdeck

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 06:38 PM

So after watching mcflys carp video I have a quick question but I didn't want to hijack his great video thread. My dad always told me not to grab the rod where there is no handle. Doing so substantially increases the chance of breakage since your putting more stress on a smaller and thinner section of rod. Is this true? I've held to that thought for over 50 years and have repeated it because my dad said so. Maybe technology changed to where it don't matter or maybe it never mattered. Is it safe to grab my rod wherever I feel I can get the best leverage?

#2 steeldrifter

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 07:26 PM

Yes it is true. It is not just that the blank is smaller and thinner (that does factor in though) but the main thing is that a rod blank is made to flex over the length of the blank with the grab point being in the lowest/stiffest segment of the blank. So when you grab the rod further up the blank you are eliminating some of the flex and grabbing it in a place it was not meant to have a fulcrum at and creating a potential shear point. Putting a finger or two just an inch or two ahead of the grip won't hurt much, but when you start reaching out 4",5",6" or more ahead of the grip that's when you are starting to risk problems. People tend to do this more on bigger fish. Anytime I take new guys steelhead fishing I always tell them to keep the hands on the grip because they have a tendency to want to reach out way ahead of the grip thinking it gives them more leverage. What they are really doing though is taking away some of the flex that the blank was designed to have to fight that fish in the first place.


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#3 Rocco

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 09:36 PM

BY grabbing the rod above the handle, you are also neutralizing the strongest part of the blank by stopping it from fully flexing!  You need the full flex of mid section of the rod to nag a sulking fish off center to tire him out and of the butt to turn him -- if you can -- when he is heading into the thick stuff or over the lip of a wild run in which you will surely lose him. 

 

I do see salt water guys sometimes grab the rod above the grip and some salt rods are even equipt with an extra cork grip above the handle to handle the real bruisers their more rugged gear is built to handle. 

 

wunbe



#4 McFlyLures

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 12:18 AM

Good to know, thanks for the info. I have a habbet of doing this for sure. I come from a saltwater background so... I'll try to break the habbet quick.

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#5 Capt Bob LeMay

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 05:26 AM

Steeldrifter is right on the money (and I'll tell anyone to avoid those rods with a second "fighting grip" up above the regular cork grip since they're an invitation to a broken rod, period..). Yes, you'll see folks reaching up the rod on a big fish in saltwater but most guides will tell them not to do it since it greatly increases the chances of a broken rod with a really big fish on the other end.  Most anglers simply never encounter a fish that's their size and with smaller fish you can get away with a lot of bad maneuvers - in the salt with a big shark or a giant tarpon hooked up, bad habits will cost you a rod.

 

The other thing I'm always counselling not to do is "high stick" a rod with a big fish at the boat...  since that move has broken more rods than I care to remember.  Put simply the closer a big fish is to the boat the lower you should keep your rod tip - right next to the boat I don't want my angler to ever raise the rod much above the horizontal... High sticking is the opposite of that, where the angler tries to lift the fish with the rod at close quarters (and the rod looks like a hoop, being held almost straight up, with the tip in a full "U" shape going straight down - no rod is meant to take that kind of abuse but in the excitement of the moment it happens all the time....  Treat your rods right and even the heaviest fish won't damage that rod at all - not over years of tarpon fishing - handle it improperly and a brand new high end rod won't survive its first encounter with a really big fish....

 

Here's an exercise to try for anyone planning a trip to the salt where big fish are the target.... Rig up your heaviest rod - then tie the leader to a fence post or any fixed object you can pull against.  Back away about 20 feet then raise your rod until it's in a solid bend and just hold it there until you tire... With this maneuver you're duplicating how many that have never tangled with a big fish on fly will try to fight one.... If you measured the actual pressure on your leader with this maneuver you'd find that you can hardly put three pounds of pressure on the tippet end by raising your rod into a full bend....  Now lets do it effectively - point your rod directly at the fixed object and wind your reel until the line is as tight as it will go then raise the rod and pull as hard as you can (you'll need to hold the spool to keep the drag from slipping to go full max, that's why most of us prefer a direct drive reel for big fish inshore...as long as you hold the handle with a direct drive reel the fish can't take an inch of line)... Two things you'll note fairly quickly - the first is that you can hardly put much of a bend in your rod and the second is that you're putting much, much more pressure on the tippet end (you can put as much as 15 pounds of pressure on the tippet with this way of applying pressure -but to be able to go full max you'll be needing to hold your reel spool from the drag slipping at all....).  No, this isn't "how to fight a big fish" but it does demonstrate how to get the most out of a big rod for those moments when it's needed - without endangering your very expensive high end heavy rod.... Something to think about....  By the way, once you learn just how much pressure you can apply with this method - do it continuously for about 20 minutes (if you can...) and you're right at the point that a hundred pound tarpon can take you during the course of an average encounter on fly....  I do have a few anglers that can beat a big girl in roughly 12 minutes with a fly rod - but you can be certain that most will need a lot longer than that with their first really big fish on fly.

 

I'll get down off of my soapbox now....


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#6 Poopdeck

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 07:29 AM

Glad to hear pop was misleading me.

#7 flytire

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 07:58 AM

My dad always told me not to grab the rod where there is no handle. Doing so substantially increases the chance of breakage since your putting more stress on a smaller and thinner section of rod. Is this true?

 

for me its true.

 

its exactly how i broke a sage rod tryng to lift a largemouth bass to shore

 

i am guilty of doing it here on the big horn river with a large rainbow but didnt break the rod

 

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#8 mikechell

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 08:10 AM

I've put my hand higher on the rod many times.  I honestly don't think I've done it to "horse" a fish in, though.  

When fighting a large fish, you get a lot of bow in the rod.  Holding the rod by the handle allows some side to side wobble, once the bow in the rod gets too doubled over.  Placing a hand higher on the rod helps to stabilize this wobble.

When I look at your picture, flytire, that's what it looks like you are doing, too.

 

I am not countering anyone's statements above, as I am sure a big fish can break a rod, if you're levering it in with a high grip.  But there are so many reasons a rod can be broken, a high grip is only one of them.


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#9 Meeshka

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 02:42 PM

Had this custom 8 foot 13wt built for me to handle big fish.  Note the extra fore handle - love it!

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#10 Poopdeck

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 03:52 PM

That's a mouthful

#11 steeldrifter

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 06:22 PM

I think the key there Meeshka is that it is an 8ft 13wt, it probably doesn't even start to flex till the mid section lol ;) ...nice laker btw!


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#12 Saltybum

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 02:43 PM

After reading Capt. Bob's exercise instructions I recalled when a while back I took my heaviest spinning rod which would work well on big tarpon or jigging for big grouper and did a test with it. I wanted to see just how tough I thought this rod was and attached a 10lb (thought about using 20) dumbbell to it and laid it on the floor and wound the line up close and proceeded to lift it off the floor, properly using a rod jock. To my amazement that 10lbs felt like 40.

 

Well I just re-did that test and decided to HOLD the weight for a bit as Bob said. Keeping the rod horizontal or just slightly above I was quickly straining to keep just 10lbs up off the floor. If I tried to do that with a fly rod less than a 14 wt it might explode.

 

In summary fly rods are not generally built to do heavy fighting but designed for casting and high sticking or pulling from un handled areas is a recipe for disaster...sooner or later. Watching a video of Andy Mill shows how best to fight a beast with a fly rod.

 

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#13 Piker20

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 07:22 PM

One maybe someone can help with. I have a rod that is a #10 shakespeare atlantic Salt. It has this upper handle on it which I don't ever envision using. Is there a way to remove it from the blank? Will the blank beneath be covered in some epoxy residue? Will removing it alter the rod action or just make the rod a little lighter?
Or am I just best leaving alone.
Matthew 25: 35-36 "Out of every 100 men, 10 shouldnt even be there, 80 are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior and he will bring the others back. "No man ever steps in the same river twice"   Heraclitus, 5 B.C

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#14 steeldrifter

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 08:30 PM

Removing the upper cork isn't all that hard, a razor blade and some small pliers usually can get it done without too much hassle. The problem is exactly what you mentioned, there will be an epoxy residue left on the blank under where the grip was. Some rod companies use minimal epoxy amounts and it might not be all that bad, but then some rod companies use quite a bit of epoxy and you may have a good amount left on the blank. My honest opinion would be for you to just leave the upper grip on it because you will not be able to remove 100% of the residue left, and if you ever go to sell it that will for sure hurt your resale of it as well.


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#15 Piker20

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 10:01 PM

That was my thought Steve. Resale value won't be great on the rod but no point ruining cosmetics for the sake of a few grams weight.
I'll abuse it on some rock marks and see how long it lasts.
Matthew 25: 35-36 "Out of every 100 men, 10 shouldnt even be there, 80 are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior and he will bring the others back. "No man ever steps in the same river twice"   Heraclitus, 5 B.C

Based Scottish Highlands. UK

MUSTAD The wise anglers choice.