Fly Rod Handle Shapes
The hand grasp for the fly-rod is made in two generally accepted forms as regards the shape. These are the "swelled" grasp and the "shaped" grasp. The swelled grip is largest in circumference at the middle and gradually tapers toward the ends. The shaped grasp tapers from the middle but enlarges again at each end. Either is perfectly satisfactory and whether you should use one or the other is merely a matter of taste. The swelled grip is the most commonly used and is the one generally furnished on rods good, bad and indifferent. As a rule the shaped grip is found only on the high grade rods with independent handle.
The handle of the fly-rod consists principally of the grip and reel-seat, other parts being the butt-cap, or the metal cap which binds the top of the grip material at the junction of the handle and the butt-joint. We have considered the grip, and the reel seat will be mentioned later. The only thing, then, to decide about the handle is whether it is to be integral or independent; that is, whether the handle shall be a permanent part of the butt-joint, or a separate length provided with a ferrule into which the butt-joint fits. The independent handle is advocated on the ground of the greater portability and longer life of the rod. Its advantages are best described by H. P. Wells in Fly-Rods And Fly-Tackle. He says: "Insist on the independent handle. By independent handle is meant one so united to the butt-joint by a ferrule that the rod may be turned half-way around in the handle and back again at frequent intervals while fishing — say every half hour anyway and always immediately after the rod had been subjected to a heavy strain. Thus the rod is used with the rings above and below in the metal cap at the bottom of the handle alternation, the strains to which the rod is subject offset and neutralize one another, and the rod will retain throughout its life that perfect identity of action on both the forward and back casts, the lack of which, in my judgment, is one of the very worst faults a fly-rod can have."
As above noted the independent handle is used on the tourist fly-rods and makes it possible for the angler to carry the equivalent of three individual rods in a very small package. For mountain stream fishing, where the fish are not large and the fishing trips short ones, the rod has usually abundant time to "get rested" and the independent handle is hardly imperative. It increases the rod lengths by one and the ferrules by two, neither of which things is greatly desirable for a good many reasons.
Camp, Samuel Granger. Fishing Kits and Equipment,. New York: Outing Pub., 1910. Print.
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