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Fast Action Rod?

gear

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13 replies to this topic

#1 gone phishing

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 11:42 AM

I am looking for my first fly rod. So, I went to my local Orvis the other day and did some casting out back with a few different rods. I tried three different ones and the one that was considered fast action felt the best (surprise, surprise it was also the most expensive). Now, by no means did I spend a significant amount of time with any of them but I did get an idea. I am curious if it could be detrimental to my learning curve to choose a fast action as my first or should I be more of the mindset of 'go with what feels good'? 



#2 Bugsy

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 11:55 AM

In what way did the fast action rod feel better? What casting experience provides you with a baseline for judging rods? Not trying to pick at you or your question (which is a good one), just trying to gain information.

Also, where will you be fishing primarily and for what species?

#3 mikechell

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 11:59 AM

Go with what feels good ... but make a trip to Bass Pro Shop's White River Fly shop.  You'll find plenty of good fly rods and fly rod/reel combos for less than $200.00.  Many of them are right at $100.00.

Many people consider rods, like the "Bugger" or "Cricket" to be "entry level" rods.  I've been fly fishing for more than 40 years and I love both of those rods. (which I carry in my boat every trip)

The "Dogwood Canyon series are great rods, too.

 

Look around.  Money doesn't mean you're getting the best rod for you.


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#4 steeldrifter

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 12:25 PM

Depends on where you plan to fish most, what type of fishing you plan to do most (dry fly? nymph? streamer?) Standing out side a shop hauling 60ft of line on a fast rod may feel good, but if you're standing in a 30-40ft wide stream trying to lay a #16 Adams down softly in front of a fish the fast rod won't feel good then. On the other hand if you're planning on throwing some big 5" streamers on a heavy 150-200grain sink tip, or fishing dries on a larger river where you need tight loops to cut through the wind then a fast rod is for sure the way to go.


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#5 deaddrifter

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 12:44 PM

I would encourage you to cast a variety of rods before choosing one.  I really think it comes down to personal casting style and preference but understanding if you're just starting off you probably don't know what your casting style is quite yet.  Over time as your casting evolves you may find your taste in rods change.  Depending upon where you live you may also be able to find a class on how to cast a rod and often times they have a variety rods you can try.  If you have a local club that also might be a good way to try out a few rods.  Like many of us, you also may determine you "need" more than one fly rod over time so keep in mind this may not be your last rod!  



#6 whatfly

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 01:32 PM

Fast action rods have a tendency to be kinder to beginning casters, especially when over-lined, which is one of the reasons why they "feel" better initially.  Be aware that shops know this and may play line games with the rods they have you check out, so as others have mentioned, you really want to try as many rods as you can, preferably with the same line, to get a feel for each.  Ultimately if this is your first rod, you are probably not going to get that much out of a high-end rod, so I'd look more closely at the moderate range ones with an eye on upgrading later as your casting skill develops -- there is no law that says you can only have one rod after all.  The Orvis Clearwater and Recon lines are both pretty fast rods and in what I think of as a reasonable price range, whereas the Helios 2/3 are fast and light which is an added advantage that you have to pay for through the nose.

 

The good news for beginners these days is that the overwhelming majority of rods out there cast well, and I would argue you would really have to look hard for a truly bad rod.  Finding one in your price range that casts comfortably for you is important, but considering that your cast is still developing, perhaps breaking the bank is not a good idea at this stage.  You undoubtedly have some growing to do before you determine what you really like.  All else being equal, I consider a fast rod more versatile than a slow one, but that is different than saying get the fastest rod available.  YMMV.

 

P.S.  Casting lessons.  Lots of them.  They really pay off in the long run.



#7 gone phishing

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 01:44 PM

In what way did the fast action rod feel better? What casting experience provides you with a baseline for judging rods? Not trying to pick at you or your question (which is a good one), just trying to gain information.

Also, where will you be fishing primarily and for what species?

 

No offence taken. I honestly don't know how to answer why if felt better. It was lighter and didn't seem to take as much work to cast it. I plan on fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass and trout. My casting experience is very limited at best. I went fishing in CO with a guide a few yrs ago but have no idea what type of rod we used. Aside from that, casting at the store a few days ago rounds out my casting experience. 

 

Depends on where you plan to fish most, what type of fishing you plan to do most (dry fly? nymph? streamer?) Standing out side a shop hauling 60ft of line on a fast rod may feel good, but if you're standing in a 30-40ft wide stream trying to lay a #16 Adams down softly in front of a fish the fast rod won't feel good then. On the other hand if you're planning on throwing some big 5" streamers on a heavy 150-200grain sink tip, or fishing dries on a larger river where you need tight loops to cut through the wind then a fast rod is for sure the way to go.

In all honesty, I don't know what style of fishing I will be pursuing (dry fly, nymph, streamer) as I don't have the experience yet. I will be fishing in lakes and streams (think eastern PA if you are familiar with it). I am a spinning fisherman moving to fly fishing so that is my point of reference if that helps.

 

Fast action rods have a tendency to be kinder to beginning casters, especially when over-lined, which is one of the reasons why they "feel" better initially.  Be aware that shops know this and may play line games with the rods they have you check out, so as others have mentioned, you really want to try as many rods as you can, preferably with the same line, to get a feel for each.  Ultimately if this is your first rod, you are probably not going to get that much out of a high-end rod, so I'd look more closely at the moderate range ones with an eye on upgrading later as your casting skill develops -- there is no law that says you can only have one rod after all.  The Orvis Clearwater and Recon lines are both pretty fast rods and in what I think of as a reasonable price range, whereas the Helios 2/3 are fast and light which is an added advantage that you have to pay for through the nose.

 

The good news for beginners these days is that the overwhelming majority of rods out there cast well, and I would argue you would really have to look hard for a truly bad rod.  Finding one in your price range that casts comfortably for you is important, but considering that your cast is still developing, perhaps breaking the bank is not a good idea at this stage.  You undoubtedly have some growing to do before you determine what you really like.  All else being equal, I consider a fast rod more versatile than a slow one, but that is different than saying get the fastest rod available.  YMMV.

 

P.S.  Casting lessons.  Lots of them.  They really pay off in the long run.

I tried both the Clearwater and Recon  and was leaning towards the Recon. 



#8 ben bell

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 02:14 PM


don,t go this alone.. i was lucky to have two older friends tha took me fishing with fly rods for bass..they even tyed their deer hair bass bugs and man did they catch fish..join a club, what ever it takes..befriend someone who fishes this way..good luck.

#9 SilverCreek

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 03:04 PM

 

In what way did the fast action rod feel better? What casting experience provides you with a baseline for judging rods? Not trying to pick at you or your question (which is a good one), just trying to gain information.

Also, where will you be fishing primarily and for what species?

 

No offence taken. I honestly don't know how to answer why if felt better. It was lighter and didn't seem to take as much work to cast it. I plan on fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass and trout. My casting experience is very limited at best. I went fishing in CO with a guide a few yrs ago but have no idea what type of rod we used. Aside from that, casting at the store a few days ago rounds out my casting experience. 

 

 

 

I am going to ask what no one has asked you. Can you afford the fast action rod or would buying it mean you would have to buy a budget reel and line to go with that rod? If you can afford it, there is no problem starting with a more expensive rod. But it has to be the right rod if you are going to buy ad]n expensive rod. Otherwise, you will be making an expensive mistake.

 

My opinion is that a medium fast or even a medium action rod is the rod that most beginners find easiest to cast. A rod has to bend during the cast for a beginner to "feel" the rod during the cast. But a rod that bends more requires more of an adjustment in the stroke path to keep the rod tip moving in a straight line. As a rod bends, the functional rod length gets shorter, that is, the rod tip moves closer to the casting hand so the stroke path has to adjust for this rod shortening. Furthermore, a softer rod is more sensitive to sudden accelerations and tailing loops. So a rod that bends enough to feel and yet not so much to require greater adjustment is easier for a beginner. That is in most cases a medium to medium fast rod.

 

I do believe that casters have a natural casing rhythm and that if the flex of the rod matches the casting rhythm, it is easer for a beginner to adapt to the rod. The faster the rod action, for any given casting length, the stroke timing and stroke velocity will be relatively faster and the stroke path relatively shorter. In other works the amount of work needed to cast the line has to fit into a shorter time window with faster acceleration.

 

Secondly, in your case, you want to determine if the reason you liked the fast action rod was because it was the lighter of the two rods. You really need to compare apples to apples and not an apple to an orange. A medium fast or medium action rods can also be light so it really is not a fair test to test cast an expensive rod of one action agains a less expensive rod of another action.

 

Thirdly, over lining a fast fly rod slows down the lengthens the stroke path and the stroke timing of a fast action rod. However, the shape of the stroke path will be that of a fast action rod casting that mass of line. What changes is the stroke timing and stroke length to mimic the stroke path and length of a slower action rod casting a true to weight line.

 

I discussed up lining or down lining vs fly rod action here:

 

http://www.flytyingf...=81495&p=630771

 

Bruce Richards was the head of fly line design for Sceintific Anglers. he also writes for the Federation of Fly Fishers. He wrote this article for them on fly rod action and beginning fly casters.

 

http://flyfishersint...ce Richards.pdf


Regards,

Silver

"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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#10 whatfly

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 05:08 PM

I tried both the Clearwater and Recon  and was leaning towards the Recon.


Not surprised. Nice rod, not too stiff, light to the hand, sensitive tip, and reasonably priced in the greater scheme of things. I made the same calculation just the other day and picked up a Clearwater , although only as a backup rod in a weight class I do not use that often.  Probably going to get another (because you only ever need one more rod) and am leaning toward the Recon too.  Of course, for the price of the Recon, you could get two Clearwaters, so that is something else to consider.  Really sucks to have a fishing trip cut short because your broke your only rod.



#11 Lesg

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 06:49 PM

I agree with Steeldrifter on this one. I have a couple of fast action rods which I like on lakes where I'm casting longer casts with bigger bugs or streamers. On the other hand I want a rod that begins to load with 10 feet of line for a small creek. Too many choices and not enough money. As Mike suggests lower price doesn't mean poor quality. I'd rather have 3 rods for different scenarios than 1 expensive rod that is more specialized but to each his own, Good luck with whatever you choose.

 

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#12 JC Hoppaire

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 08:16 PM

Some will argue that it's too geared to high end rods. Nevertheless, some good information on a number of rods.

 

Yellowstone Angler's 5-weight Shootout:

 

https://www.yellowst...ston-air-sage-x



#13 SilverCreek

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 12:58 PM

The Echo Base is the performance/price winner in the 2016 test.

 

850.Objective.Observations.2016.8-weight

 

https://www.yellowst...tream/echo-base

 

https://www.yellowst...loop-optistream

 

https://www.hatchmag...ng-jaws/7713408


Regards,

Silver

"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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#14 tjm

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Posted 04 November 2017 - 01:23 PM

"Look around.  Money doesn't mean you're getting the best rod for you."

 

"it comes down to personal casting style and preference but understanding if you're just starting off you probably don't know what your casting style is"

 

"don,t go this alone."

 

"Casting lessons.  Lots of them.  They really pay off in the long run."

 

Good stuff in this thread. I'll also mention that probably 8 out of 10 new fly rod users never get past new; there are dozens of high dollar rods hiding in closets and attics. Might do well to chose one that has decent resale value.

 

I have owned a few rods (two old glass St Croix, a Fenwick Feralite, and an early Orvis Clearwater stand out, but there were others) and my favorite is one I picked out a barrel at a discount house about 1979, it is black, fiberglass, heavy, has an unlovely reel seat,  but it fits my casting stroke and it works for me from 10' to 50' in wind and rain or in sunshine,it's been in the salt and on tiny brooks.. Cost $6, but I have replaced the guides and tiptop so I have more in it now.

 

I kinda like the TFO rods I've seen. I'd pick a moderate rod with a relatively soft tip, but that doesn't mean that is what you need. 







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