Stiffness of a Fly Rod
The fly-rod must have the correct degree of pliancy, although the question of how great that degree should be is, in a measure, a matter of taste, some preferring a whippy rod and others one moderately stiff. The rod best adapted to average trout fishing in streams — and it should be said that average stream fishing is always implied herein unless another form is specifically mentioned — should, however, be neither whippy nor stiff. When fishing in strong rapids a whippy rod is a mighty poor tool. It has neither the ability to answer at once to the angler's strike, nor, in case the trout is fortunately hooked, the backbone to handle him properly. In addition to this, a whippy rod is not suited to long casting — not tournament distances but fishing casts — for the simple reason that it will not lift a good length of line from the water.
Nor is the stiff rod desirable. On surface indications one would conclude that since, as above stated, a too pliant rod does not cast well, a stiff rod should be a strong caster. Such is not the case however. A rod that is very stiff refuses to aid the angler in casting the line; it does not bend sufficiently, and consequently the "whip" of the rod, the elastic action that sends the flies out straight and far is lacking. Fly-casting is a matter of the wrist aided by the rod, and if the rod fails to do its part it is obvious that poor casting only can result, and casting that if long continued grows very tiring to the angler. Failing proper rod action, strong-arm casting must be resorted to. It is good exercise, but best avoided if possible.
Camp, Samuel Granger. Fishing Kits and Equipment,. New York: Outing Pub., 1910. Print.
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