An interesting comparison

BobP

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I was teaching a couple of chaps today in Hampshire, and one of them had brought along some kit he had bought recently from someone who had given up fly fishing.

One of the rods was an early Sage fly rod, a RPL III Graphite High Performance in 10' #6. I had a look at it & found it to be in very good and perfectly usable condition, but.......

I had my Sage Z Axis 10' #5 and set it up to compare rods made some 25 years apart - the RPL in 1985 and the Z Axis in 2010 or near enough. It was like comparing a cart horse with a race horse. The difference was truly enormous.

The Z Axis was noticeably lighter in the hand and the blank was less than half the diameter. The basic action of both rods was broadly similar. The two chaps were absolutely amazed at the difference in the two rods. Terrific advances in carbon technology in quite a short time period.
 

tangled

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Terrific advances in carbon technology in quite a short time period.
I agree there's is a very big and very noticeable difference in rod builds over 25 years (or 30 in my case).

But that is not a short time period as far as tech materials go - that's an enormous gap. Carbon is a very mature technology now and I doubt there are many more significant gains to be made in it, that's why you can get high performing £50 rods.

It's going to take a change in technology to make significant gains over the next 25 years and I doubt it will be as noticeable.
 

lepirate

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Well, lots of change everywhere.. The 80's had Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum computers. The first mobile(ish) phone was a brick sized Motorola in 1985. Cd's where pretty much 'cutting edge' music wise.. By 2010 the iphone was already 3 years old..:D
 

ohanzee

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I agree there's is a very big and very noticeable difference in rod builds over 25 years (or 30 in my case).

But that is not a short time period as far as tech materials go - that's an enormous gap. Carbon is a very mature technology now and I doubt there are many more significant gains to be made in it, that's why you can get high performing £50 rods.

It's going to take a change in technology to make significant gains over the next 25 years and I doubt it will be as noticeable.
You won't agree but you can make the same comparison with any top end rod and your 'high performing £50 rod' today.

And in 20 years your 'high performing £50 rod' might just be comparable.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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I was teaching a couple of chaps today in Hampshire, and one of them had brought along some kit he had bought recently from someone who had given up fly fishing.

One of the rods was an early Sage fly rod, a RPL III Graphite High Performance in 10' #6. I had a look at it & found it to be in very good and perfectly usable condition, but.......

I had my Sage Z Axis 10' #5 and set it up to compare rods made some 25 years apart - the RPL in 1985 and the Z Axis in 2010 or near enough. It was like comparing a cart horse with a race horse. The difference was truly enormous.

The Z Axis was noticeably lighter in the hand and the blank was less than half the diameter. The basic action of both rods was broadly similar. The two chaps were absolutely amazed at the difference in the two rods. Terrific advances in carbon technology in quite a short time period.
That is exactly the thing I tried to say to you when you were trying to fob-off some 1980s rod someone had given you, to a member who was looking for a long, light line rod. I tried to say, "Hang on Bob, a lot of those 1980s rods are like a stick of liquorice, compared to modern rods." You wouldn't hear a word of it. You called me for all sorts, for even suggesting it. You thought I was having a pop at you, when all I was doing was trying to bring to your attention the very thing you have just discovered for yourself. Bravo! :eek:mg:
 

ed_t

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... But that is not a short time period as far as tech materials go - that's an enormous gap.
You are talking rubbish.

Carbon is a very mature technology...
Have you missed the recent kerfuffel about graphene?

Boron amorphous whiskers will be nothing compared to graphene, once the bods work out how to produce and process high molecular weight graphene whiskers, but that is unobtanium tech at the moment.

Carbon buckminster-fullerines and nano-tubes were the graphene equivalent of the 90's. The first pilot plant level production started a few years ago.

20 year time lag.

Commercial volume production is not available.

30 year time lag.

Military trials are underway. How long does it take for high spec military tech to filter down to fishing rods?

Give it 20 years from now for something discovered 30 years ago.
 

aenoon

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So what are you saying here?
You say the basic action was similar.
One felt lighter in the hand. at a rough guess I would say difference was around .25 of an ounce!
Stick a 5 oz reel and line on the butt and difference becomes negligible!
Sure the blank on the older rod is thicker, more fibre glass and resin than the newer version, but I bet the older version is a tad more resilient to the daily grind of fly fishing!
Bet the rpl had nicer cork to boot!
regards
bert
 

ohanzee

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So what are you saying here?
You say the basic action was similar.
One felt lighter in the hand. at a rough guess I would say difference was around .25 of an ounce!
Stick a 5 oz reel and line on the butt and difference becomes negligible!
Sure the blank on the older rod is thicker, more fibre glass and resin than the newer version, but I bet the older version is a tad more resilient to the daily grind of fly fishing!
Bet the rpl had nicer cork to boot!
regards
bert
Rotational weight is multiplied, a tiny saving in the weight of the rod makes quite a big difference to the cast.

Not everyone likes this of course and it doesn't catch any more fish, but I think its a pretty fair observation, the lighter rod is more sensitive, crisper and more responsive.
 
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tangled

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You won't agree but you can make the same comparison with any top end rod and your 'high performing £50 rod' today.
I obviously don't agree, I've demonstrated why I don't agree and you have been unable support your belief. But I'm here waiting for whenever you can.
 

tangled

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Have you missed the recent kerfuffel about graphene?
Have you forgotten the bit where I said I've seen a graphene rod and spoken to the journalist using it? He thought it nothing special. But of course they'll improve.

Boron amorphous whiskers will be nothing compared to graphene, once the bods work out how to produce and process high molecular weight graphene whiskers, but that is unobtanium tech at the moment.

Carbon buckminster-fullerines and nano-tubes were the graphene equivalent of the 90's. The first pilot plant level production started a few years ago.

20 year time lag.

Commercial volume production is not available.

30 year time lag.

Military trials are underway. How long does it take for high spec military tech to filter down to fishing rods?

Give it 20 years from now for something discovered 30 years ago.
You're missing the point again.

There will be improvements in carbon technology in the next 25 years and rods will benefit eventually from them, but the gains will be increasingly marginal.

I doubt we'll see the same improvements in a carbon rod in 25 years time that we saw in the last 25, but I bet you anything you like, the manufacturers will still claim them.
 

BobP

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So what are you saying here?
You say the basic action was similar.
One felt lighter in the hand. at a rough guess I would say difference was around .25 of an ounce!
Stick a 5 oz reel and line on the butt and difference becomes negligible!
Sure the blank on the older rod is thicker, more fibre glass and resin than the newer version, but I bet the older version is a tad more resilient to the daily grind of fly fishing!
Bet the rpl had nicer cork to boot!
regards
bert
Back in 1985 I would have drooled over the RPL, thought it was the bees knees and fished it relentlessly. Handling it now, I wouldn't even put a line through it.

Neither of the two people I was teaching were experienced fly fishers, though both had done a bit. Both instantly noticed the difference in weight and feel of the rods. And no, the cork handle was not better - comparable but not better.
 

kevin55

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I've got an RPL from the 90s and it mostly sits unused mostly as it's 2 piece and I never want to leave a visible rod tube in the car

I've just acquired with a reel exchange (Penn 1.5 unused) a nice cane rod with a Mr Zhu to come
K
 

arkle

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Lets not forget, that the fibres are only part of the material content of a blank, there's also the resin that holds the fibres together. Not long after I started out - back in the early 70's, the greatest advances in fibre-glass tech was the change from epoxy resins to phenolic ones, that reduced the weight along with the other improvements we're seeing today.
 

ed_t

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Have you forgotten the bit where I said I've seen a graphene rod and spoken to the journalist using it? He thought it nothing special. But of course they'll improve.



You're missing the point again.

There will be improvements in carbon technology in the next 25 years and rods will benefit eventually from them, but the gains will be increasingly marginal.

I doubt we'll see the same improvements in a carbon rod in 25 years time that we saw in the last 25, but I bet you anything you like, the manufacturers will still claim them.
No, i recall your claim, and i doubt the bulk material of the rod is graphene. I've met a rod builder who is selling "graphene" rods. The graphene is impregnated in the resin matrix. The bulk matting is conventional carbon.

Until you can show who is making bulk matting in pure graphene i'll doubt the claim of your journalist.

I refer back to what I say elsewhere, i've worked with a scientist who has assisted the first company to develop pilot plant scale production of carbon nanotube matting. Bulk production of this 80's/90's innovative wonder material has not been commercialised.
 

ed_t

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Lets not forget, that the fibres are only part of the material content of a blank, there's also the resin that holds the fibres together. Not long after I started out - back in the early 70's, the greatest advances in fibre-glass tech was the change from epoxy resins to phenolic ones, that reduced the weight along with the other improvements we're seeing today.
Also not forgetting the resin fillers. The graphene in my above example and 3M powerlux micro glass hollow sphere matrix.
 

sewinbasher

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I've got an RPL from the 90s and it mostly sits unused mostly as it's 2 piece and I never want to leave a visible rod tube in the car

I've just acquired with a reel exchange (Penn 1.5 unused) a nice cane rod with a Mr Zhu to come
K
I've got a similar issue, I have a Sage RPL 11'3" which must be one of the best boat rods ever but it's a 2 piece which makes it over 5' 6" long and difficult to get in the car safely. One of my favourite past rods was the Sage VPS which had a fair bit of RPL DNA in it.
 

tangled

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No, i recall your claim, and i doubt the bulk material of the rod is graphene. I've met a rod builder who is selling "graphene" rods. The graphene is impregnated in the resin matrix. The bulk matting is conventional carbon.
I have no reason to doubt him, he was a US journalist travelling in far-off expensive places with a film crew, he'd been asked to field test their salmon rods.

Whatever the engineering involved it will be sold as the new wonderstuff, graphene - we both know it. Like we know that it will also be silly expensive and as a new technology probably not much more than a prototype and not necessarily much better.

I refer back to what I say elsewhere, i've worked with a scientist who has assisted the first company to develop pilot plant scale production of carbon nanotube matting. Bulk production of this 80's/90's innovative wonder material has not been commercialised.
And so what? There will be a new wonder material along every so often and it might make a slight improvement in a fishing rod or it might not. My claim is that any benefits will be increasing marginal as the carbon tech we are now using is mature and well understood in rod making.

We'll have to wait and see but it will be difficult, if not impossible, to get any objective assessment of any new stuff that comes out as the PR merchants will be spinning it to death, the magazines will accept their marketing spend uncritically and the brand fanboys will lap it all up.
 

speytime

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I remember something about carrot fibres "Curran paper? being the next wonder material just as I got into fishing, obviously it wasn't so wonderful it never took off afaik?

Al
 
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guest54

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Sobering thought for some when they realise that the rod they lusted after, dreamed of and finally bought, even though they couldn't justify the expense, all those years ago turns out to be a dog 20 years later.
 

ohanzee

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I obviously don't agree, I've demonstrated why I don't agree and you have been unable support your belief. But I'm here waiting for whenever you can.
Bob just did, and anyone can, I don't have a belief to support, you do.

- - - Updated - - -

I remember something about carrot fibres "Curran paper? being the next wonder material just as I got into fishing, obviously it wasn't so wonderful it never took off afaik?

Al
I tested one of those at the time, it was clear they either didn't invest enough or didn't know what they were doing, they were equally soft throughout the blank like a 70's glass rod, really poor.
 

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