Rod 'load' (bend) and Distance Cast

James9118

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I thought I'd show the results from another casting test I conducted here, again this data has been posted elsewhere. In this test the same line, a SA MED #5, has been cast on 3 different rods - a Sage TCX#5, a TCX#7 and a TCX#10. With each rod 10 casts were made and the distance achieved recorded.



TCXresults.jpg


There are a number of points to be made about these results. Firstly, I think it's very safe to assume that, in terms of stiffness, the order of these rods is #5 (softest), #7 (middle) then #10 being the stiffest. As such, when cast with the same line (#5 weight) it is a reasonable assumption that I bent the #5 the most and the #10 the least. So what does this say about the need to bend a rod in order to cast far?

I've seen many comments on this forum about the way to achieve distance is to overline the rod you're using (without wanting to start the debate about what the rod rating means). This, I think, comes from a mis-placed belief that the rod is a big spring and the more you bend it the more you 'fire-out' the line. The 'big spring' hypothesis just doesn't stand up to scrutiny however (theoretically or practically).

I also think this leads casters (maybe inexperienced ones) to want to feel the rod bending down to the corks. This in turn makes any stiff, fast action rod feel like it's massively under-rated to them. But this is because they're not feeling what the rod designer anticipated when they launched their latest, greatest carbon composite stick. If these people could switch some of their 'feeling' to the hauling hand, i.e. away from purely concentrating on the rod hand, which is no doubt straining white at the knuckles in an attempt to force a deep bend, then they may start to feel what people who appreciate such rods do. Oh, and if you can't double haul efficiently then don't buy the latest super-dooper fast action rod in the hope that you'll instantly improve your casting - you'll end up having to 'over-line' it in an attempt to get it to bend to the corks ;).

James
 
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pati

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Hi James,

Thanks, I really enjoy your posts, please keep them coming!!!

Any reason why so many casting competition people use SA MED?

Pat
 

PaulD

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View attachment 38179

I've seen many comments on this forum about the way to achieve distance is to overline the rod your using (without wanting to start the debate about what the rod rating means). This, I think, comes from a mis-placed belief that the rod is a big spring and the more you bend it the more you 'fire-out' the line. The 'big spring' hypotheses just doesn't stand up to scrutiny however (theoretically or practically).
Excellent post.

It would also be good to see a 'mean' performance line drawn through the distances achieved with the three rods.

It would also be interesting to see the results and other mean lines, if the same test was repeated using the same rods but lines in weights #7 and #10.

What we're seeing here is a 'measure' of someone's ability to cast, not a problem with the classifications of the determination of rod or line weights.
 

BobP

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James,

A good few years ago when distance casting was the thing as far as I was concerned I borrowed a 9'6" Normark Speedtip rod for a bank competition at Farmoor. As a casting tool it was excellent & chucked a #9 shooting head 45 metres consistently all day. As a fishing rod it was useless as far as I was concerned. Out of its 9'6" length only the top 18" actually bent - the clue is in the name of the rod.

It was simply a question of belt it out and haul the unfortunate fish back in as fast as possible. My team won the match by the proverbial street. I learned that day that there is a lot more to fishing than just slinging a line a long way.
 

James9118

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Hi James,

Thanks, I really enjoy your posts, please keep them coming!!!

Any reason why so many casting competition people use SA MED?

Pat
Hi Pat,

It's because this is the line that is specified must be used in the world championships in fly casting. I personally think this is a bit of a shame as it somewhat stifles possible innovation in terms of lines for distance. That said, it does level the playing field for that competition.

At the BFCC competitions casters can use any line so long as it's compliant with the AFFTA specification and is at least 90ft long (it must be completely un-modified, so no trimming it back). That way, people who don't cast their best distances with the MED (e.g. my other half) can cast the line that suits them best.

Cheers, James
 
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James9118

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Hi Bob,

I guess there's always a compromise to be made. I dare say you could have chosen a nice fishing rod for the competition day you mentioned but then perhaps you wouldn't have reached the fish at 45m and might not have won? I don't competition fish (only cast) so I'll always choose an outfit that's nice to fish with. The TCX #5 in the above test is my other half's go-to rod for reservoir trout, including many trips to Farmoor.

Cheers, James
 

James9118

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With the whole head of the SA MED#5 out, and a bit of the running line probably, what is the actual line weight being used?
Must be pretty close to #10 of aftma standard, surely?
Probably. But that's not really what the post is about. I used the same line and carry which each rod, therefore the weight (whatever it is) is the same. As such, (and because I didn't suddenly get stronger when using the #10) I have to assume that the #5 bent more than the #7 and the #10 bent less that both of them. On here I read very often that over-lining is best for distance, yet my results and those of many others actually show the exact opposite to be true. (Nb. over-lining works in that mass is king, i.e. a #7 line will cast further than a #5 line, but again that's not the point I'm trying to make).

James
 

Tangled

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With the whole head of the SA MED#5 out, and a bit of the running line probably, what is the actual line weight being used?
Must be pretty close to #10 of aftma standard, surely?

If it was a double taper it would be about one line weight for every 5’ beyond 30’. It's not, it's a gradually reducing taper but even so it will be carrying more than #10. (Apparently, at those carry distances the rod is carrying about 18g, about twice the line's reference weight of 9g) Very stiff rods are used because they can carry that extra weight of line better than 'normal' fishing rods.

Kind of interesting that if those numbers are correct, the #10 rod is working to its 'design weight, with that amount of line carry.

But I was surprised how far these guys can cast 'normal rods' too. I suspect James can break 30m with much softer #5 weight rods.

screenshot-2021-04-07-at-13-34-52-png.38157
 
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ohanzee

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If these people could switch some of their 'feeling' to the hauling hand, i.e. away from purely concentrating on the rod hand, which is no doubt straining white at the knuckles in an attempt to force a deep bend, then they may start to feel what people who appreciate such rods do.

This is really good advice, it never occurred to me that some might be trying to achieve or discuss these things based on using just one arm!
 

aenoon

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Probably. But that's not really what the post is about. I used the same line and carry which each rod, therefore the weight (whatever it is) is the same. As such, (and because I didn't suddenly get stronger when using the #10) I have to assume that the #5 bent more than the #7 and the #10 bent less that both of them. On here I read very often that over-lining is best for distance, yet my results and those of many others actually show the exact opposite to be true. (Nb. over-lining works in that mass is king, i.e. a #7 line will cast further than a #5 line, but again that's not the point I'm trying to make).

James
So line full out, it is a #10. not a #5?
Bert
 

ohanzee

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Just trying to point out that a very competent caster using a #5 line on a #10 rod will always send it further than on a #5 rod!

I think that's a given, I think this was Alexander Grant's secret back in the day, take a rod something close to the trunk of a small tree and work out the perfect length and weight of line it can lift, then pick the whole lot up.
 

Tangled

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James will be cringing at the subsequent posts.
What is the weight of the #5 SA line full out to running line?
No more fancy theories please.
Just the real deal will do.

The dead weight of the full line is not given - at least I couldn't find it - you'd have to weigh it. But in another thread James showed that he was only carrying about 23m of the line and shooting the rest. Tricky to estimate the weight of the carried line given the taper, but I'd stick with the double the 30’ weight guess - of about 18g, #10. Maybe James will tell us.

And, of course, it's an accelerating mass so the force on the rod is much more than simply the line's dead weight. So the stiffer the rod the better - up to a point.
 

James9118

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Ok, I've just measured the MED #5 at my 'normal' carry point (marked by a roughening up of the line caused by the tip ring) and it's 19g. Note, that's the line outside of the tip, not the carry as measured to the hauling hand.

I can sort of see the way this is going, someone is going to suggest that the #5 TCX is 'overloaded' with this mass/length of line. I'd dispute that for a couple of reasons, firstly as someone has already pointed out, static mass is pretty much irrelevant in a dynamic situation, it's the acceleration combined with the mass that determines the force on the rod tip and the deflection. [Actually the deflection of the rod tip is a much more complicated affair, but then we're getting into proper physics that's best left for a different thread].

Secondly, all rods are essentially tapered tubes. As they bend more they progressively get stiffer - hopefully this is common sense to everyone. As such, 'overloading' is not really a major discussion area amongst the casters I tend to compete against. I believe the concept of 'overloading' comes from casters who lose control of their tracking as the amount of line aerialised goes up - you'll hear them perhaps mentioning things like the rod 'buckles' - I've certainly never had a rod 'buckle' on me even under extreme provocation.

Lastly, the #5 TCX certainly doesn't feel overloaded to me on a 80ft+ carry with a MED #5. Slower when compared to a #10 rod, yes - but not overloaded.

But again to try and steer back to my original point, a deep bend is not necessary for a good cast or a sense of 'feel'. Even on a short line it is possible to cast beautiful tight loops with the #5 line on either the #5 rod or the #10 rod. Sure the 'feel' is different and if you only 'feel' through one hand (i.e. the rod hand) then the #10 rod may be unresponsive. However, if your sense of 'feel' comes from both hands, then you'll appreciate the lack of counterflex etc. that comes from casting fast action rods.

James
 

LukeNZ

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Overloading is a function of applying power at the wrong point. Overpowering the rod in the wrong area of flex.
Power should intensify as flex deepens.
Much the same as the haul speed acceleration peaks at peak load / deepest flex.
Get those lines to cross, in conjunction with a parallel stroke, and good shooting line management - it goes far; very far..

🙃
 

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