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4 piece spine

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17 replies to this topic

#16 Dave G.

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Posted 03 April 2019 - 06:07 AM

In my earlier post I mentioned reversed spine. The reasoning is for the slight increase in back cast power. And I do it because a good cast starts with a strong back cast. This is for pond 4 wts and otherwise 5 wt rods and above. For a stream rod I do a conventional spine because of the short casts and roll casts, plus it puts the weak side of the tip against the lighter and wiggling pressure of small stream fish. Big salmon and big trout or bass thump against the rod vs small fish wiggling.


If you spine the top two sections on some rods you will find a noticeable difference in the pressure it takes to bend the rod reversed spine than standard spine. You have to get a feel for it.


I believe my last switch rod I built was center axis and that turned out to the side, center axis as mentioned aligns the guides so there is no droop at the tip once built, often this results in reversed spine by default but it also could be to the side.


OK, so all that said ! I have built quite a lot of rods and used to build standard spine, taking time to get it "all" just right, to include the butt section and came to the conclusion that it will make for the smoothest casting feel in your hands. And imo, makes for accurate placement of dry flies with light 3-4 wt rods, very precise feel to the rod and the lighter side down for fighting little fish. I'm not a pro builder but over the years just came to realize this by testing rods with taped on guides and then moving the guides into different positions and recasting, move again and recast right out here in my back yard. But building the rods and going to the water I find I have come to like reversed spine. Still smooth but more powerful casts by a little but, especially lifting off the water. And it enhances my natural desire to want to push into my forward cast but doesn't damage the cast as much lol.

John 7:38 ESV  is about "Rivers of Living Water"

#17 steeldrifter


    When I grow up, I'm moving to Florida !!!

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 01:07 PM

Sorry for the delay in replying, with all that has been going on with my Sister in the hospital I'm just now trying to catch up on stuff a bit. The spine (also called spline by some) is probably one of the most controversial subjects in all of rod building. You'll find 50% of builder say its important and 50% that say it is not. When I first started building back 18 yrs ago I spined my rods, why? Because back then the "go to" source for info on rod building was Dale Clemens rod building books and it said it was important. Over the years with more and more advancements in the way blanks were built, and the advancements in the materials (graphite) and the way they are made into blanks with helical core designs and such the importance of spinning has become pretty much nullified. Not to mentioned when casting or fighting a fish the rod is almost never 100% perfectly straight/inline with the cast in a vertical plane, so any talk of spine is thrown out the window at that point. For a while I continued to spine my rods just because it was not hurting anything to do so, but over the years I have stopped spinning them at all now. 


Mainly because having tested spined and unspined side by side there was no noticeable different at all, I won't say I am the greatest caster in the world by any means, but having fly cast for close to 30 yrs now and having built and test cast 1300+ rods that I have built over the years, if there was I difference in feel I would most likely be able to tell. The other reason I no longer spine a build is because just about every blank no matter how much it cost or what company makes it, is almost never 100% perfectly straight. It's just the nature of the beast, when you build a thin round tube it is naturally going to have an ever so slight curve at the thin tip.  So building on the straightest axis is IMO the best way to go, especially when you are building for customers. That's the way all the high end rod manufactures do as well, they are not spining their rods because no customer wants to go pick up a $800 Orvis or Sage and notice the end of it is slightly curved. So they build on the straightest axis.


So, with that said, my advice on it is this. If you are building for yourself and you believe the spine has an effect on the rod, then by all means go right ahead and spine it if you can. It won't hurt anything at all. If you are building for a customer, or you can't find the spine, or it has a slight noticeable curve, then build on the straightest axis, normally with the slight curve up and then let the guides/finish weight naturally pull the curve straight.

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#18 Flicted


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Posted 22 April 2019 - 01:26 PM

Outstanding.  Thanks for your perspective.