Selecting a Fly Rod
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Selecting a Fly Rod

Selecting a Fly Rod


Selecting a Fly Rod

Selecting a Fly Rod

Do not be afraid of the rod it will not bite you, nor will it break but grasp it firmly, with the thumb on top and along the hand grasp as in actual casting, and put the rod to work, into action. It should bend right from the hand grasp to the tip-end. Make sure that the balance and weight suit you, and that the rod feels full of life and speed. When testing the rod for balance, weight and action it should be rigged with the size and sort of reel you intend to use with it, as this may make a very great difference in the feel of the rod. Be sure that the rod does not feel heavy out-of-hand, for if it does it is top-heavy; while top-heavy rods are sometimes very strong casters they are unpleasant and very tiring rods to use. One of the tests of the good shotgun or rifle is the absolute exactness of fit or jointure of every part. This must also be required of the fly-rod. See that every part fits every adjacent part with nicety, especially with regard to the joints of the strips of cane. In cheap rods you will find places where the strips of cane lie open like gaps in the planking of a leaky skiff.

If you hold the rod straight out in front of you, you will notice that it bends down slightly if the bend is more than slight, discard the rod, it is too whippy and the bend should be graceful and even. Still holding the rod in this manner, rotate the rod on its axis, and during the entire period of rotation see that the bend or "dip" remains constant. If at some time during the rotation the point of the tip moves upward, it denotes a sufficient fault of construction or material to warrant setting the rod aside. If the rod successfully passes the tests suggested, then fit it with a suitable reel and line, reeving the line through the guides as for fishing. Reel off a convenient length of line and attach the end of it to some substantial object or have someone hold it. Then, steadily, put a good stiff strain on the rod and carefully examine the bend. As said above the rod should bend evenly throughout its entire length from hand grasp to tip end; the bend should not be entirely confined to the middle-joint and tip as is often the case. An even, graceful bend spells equal distribution of strength, and equally distributed strength means long life to the rod. Put this strain on the rod with the guides both above and below the rod, and also with the sides of the rod held upward. The pull of a hooked fish and the strain upon the rod when casting are by no means from one direction only, and the rod must be capable of sustaining with equal resilience and safety, strains coming from any direction. After each of these tests for equality of bend see that the rod returns readily and at once to its normal straightness. If it does not, but seems to have a slight "set," or to come back in a lifeless manner, it lacks resiliency and backbone and on no account should be accepted. Finally, if the circumstances are such that it is possible, do some actual casting with the rod.

Camp, Samuel Granger. Fishing Kits and Equipment,. New York: Outing Pub., 1910. Print.

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