How to Improve the Fly-rod
How to Improve the Fly-rod
Satisfactory fly-casting under any conditions exacts the finest possible adjustment of tackle in every way; but, chiefly, the rod must be a good one and its furniture capable of giving the results which the caster desires. If your casting to-date is not as good as it should be it is quite possible that the rod is at fault. It might be suggested that before you make up your mind that you are a born duffer at the game you first make sure that the tools you have been using are suited to it. A good fly-rod need not be expensive, while, at the same time, it cannot be cheap. Granted that the material is of fairly good quality, it may be said that effective casting depends greatly upon the style of guides, the balance, the method of winding, etc., things which to a certain extent may be regulated at will without going to the expense of a new rod. Buying a fly-rod is always a pleasure but sometimes, unfortunately, the state of the money market is prohibitive.
If originally the rod was a good one as regards material, of carefully selected and assembled cane if the rod is a split-bamboo, or of well-seasoned bethabara, lancewood, or greenheart if a solid-wood, almost any old rod may be made pretty nearly as good as newóin many cases much better than newóby its owner, who, moreover, need not be a mechanical genius or the proprietor of a machine shop. Ingenuity, elbow-grease, a few simple tools, and chiefly a knowledge of what constitutes a good fly-rod are practically the only essentials. Furthermore, if you have not the time or do not care to do these things yourself it will be of advantage to you to be able to tell the professional rod maker exactly the things you wish done.
Often a rod will show a quality of whippiness which was not suspected when the rod was purchased. Provided you are not an advocate of the whippy rodóthere are such and they are more to be pitied than censuredówith the knowledge that you have on your hands an unsatisfactory tool comes the realization of the necessity of a new rod or a radical improvement in the present one. The extent of the change necessary is dependent upon the degree of softness with which the rod is afflicted. The rod repairer in this particular instance, if the rod is only slightly whippy, will remove all the windings and replace them at closer intervals; or, possibly, the addition of new windings between those already on the rod will do just as well. The average fly-rod is wound at intervals of slightly over an inch. Windings at only one-half inch will stiffen the rod appreciably. If, however, in the opinion of the repairer, the extreme softness of the rod demands more radical treatment resort may be had to amputation. In the case of the average fly-rod, consisting of three joints and from nine to ten feet long, at least one inch should be removed from each joint; to further insure successful results it might be well to put on additional windings. The resulting difference in the action of the rod is very great, while the loss of weight is so slight as to be negligible.
In this connection it should be added that winding the rod entirely from end to end, called solid winding, should not be done. At first glance, considering the fact that additional windings stiffen the rod, one would naturally conclude that the solid wound rod is a very stiff one. This is not the case, however. Solid wound rods tend to be soft rather than otherwise and the method is not approved or followed by the best rod makers.
Camp, Samuel Granger. The Fine Art of Fishing. New York: Outing Pub., 1911. Print.
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