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  1. #71
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    Default Re: Happy 50th Birthday Carbon/Graphite Rods! A Brief History of the Formative Years.

    Lewis

    Daiwa started by producing spinning reels in 1955. In the 70's their rods and reels started appearing in UK catalogues such as Empire Stores, Burlington, John Noble etc. By the mid 80's they became a dominant force in match fishing producing some of the best carbon match and feeder rods available. Around the same time Shimano had introduced their Aeromatch and GTM range of reels and had taken over the premium end of the reel market which had historically been dominated since the 70's by Mitchel and Abu.

    By the 1990's Daiwa had become the UK's market leader in carbon rod and carbon pole technology and they were also making serious inroads into Shimano's domination of the UK reel market.

    Today Daiwa are acknowledged as the world leaders in carbon rod, reel and pole development. Their top of the range pole sells for around 3K

    Looking back I can remember a Fothergill and Harvey Carbon match rod and North Western Rod Blanks which made some very good bream feeder rods. Conoflex were more specimen based if I remember correctly.

    Tricast and Harrisons are still in business with Tricast still having a strong following in the North East and Northwest whereas Normark had it's fan base in the south of England. If I remember correctly the original Tricast Ultralight was made on a Fothergill Harvey blank however Tricast are a manufacturing rod, pole and tube company in their own right and have a loyal following. Their Tricast Trophy feeder rod manufactured in the 80's is still regarded as one of the best feeder rods of all time.

    Another company from the 80's was Century Composites based in the north east who made a number of bespoke rods and are still in business.

  2. #72
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    Default Re: Happy 50th Birthday Carbon/Graphite Rods! A Brief History of the Formative Years.

    Thank you, dave b, that's really informative. I'm purely a fly-boy and know next to nothing of other disciplines in the sport. I reckon there's scope for a look at Daiwa's history and Milwards/Milbro at some point in the future.

    I've just noticed this reference to Daiwa producing a match rod on F&H carbon blanks from 1975!
    Nice when things come together.
    Last edited by Lewis Chessman; 16-02-2018 at 11:05 AM.

  3. #73
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    Default Re: Happy 50th Birthday Carbon/Graphite Rods! A Brief History of the Formative Years.

    I remember a lot of what you write about Dave and had the trophy in the 11ft guise, think it was around 300 at the time (87) may have been 200 but regret the day I let it go as I do with my Drennan medium feeder, still got the original tench float though.

  4. #74
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    Default Re: Happy 50th Birthday Carbon/Graphite Rods! A Brief History of the Formative Years.

    I just want to log this webpage about Cousins Tackle Corp, USA, as it references Wade Cunningham as having been instrumental in the design of the first commercially available carbon rods when with Fenwick. A new name to me.

    Inquires are ongoing elsewhere re: the Hardy prototypes but I have abandoned my search for Steve Parton/Jim Langton's mystery mathamagician from UMIST. There were many UMIST academics working at RAE and RR at that time and identifying just one from the anecdotal information given has me stumped. Further, I'm satisfied I have identified the primary players in the story already, above.

  5. #75

    Default Re: Happy 50th Birthday Carbon/Graphite Rods! A Brief History of the Formative Years.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lewis Chessman View Post
    Cunningham as having been instrumental in the design of the first commercially available carbon rods when with Fenwick.
    I read that as "instrumental in developing the first high-modulus graphite rods."

    By definition there must have been some 'bog standard modulus' carbon rods prior to this?

  6. #76
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    Default Re: Happy 50th Birthday Carbon/Graphite Rods! A Brief History of the Formative Years.

    To the best of my understanding, not practical rods. If I could refer you to post 42, in the second entry after FlyTie09's entry, I posted about early US attempts using Rayon which proved unsuccessful - that would be your 'bog standard modulus' and usable rods couldn't be made from it. It was only in 1970 that the States got access to PAN fibre-based thread via Tokay of Japan that they could start prototyping with high modulus graphite cloth.

  7. #77
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    Default Re: Happy 50th Birthday Carbon/Graphite Rods! A Brief History of the Formative Years.

    First, special thanks to dingley whose knowledge and questions have been a great help. Without his link to the patent site I would never have known nor thought to look for such irrefutable evidence.
    While re-reading 'The Birth of a Rod' on the Angling Heritage website last night, a passage jumped out at me regarding the timeline of the Hardy/Buller First Carbon Rod. It is worth mentioning that Fred Buller, one of the Happy Band of MCRD/Hardy, was also a Founder Member of the Angling Heritage Museum, known personally by the author of the article, Keith Armishaw:

    The first spinning rod .... which was made from this material was manufactured utilising the mandrels used to produce fibreglass rods and proved too stiff, and far more powerful than anticipated. Fred Buller retained the prototype.
    This rod which bears the Hardy logo has been presented by Fred Buller to Angling Heritage (UK) and is now known as the Carbon Spinning 9.5 .....

    Other prototypes were later produced; fly rods were also too powerful, snapping flies from leaders during casting .....

    The carbon fibre material was also being refined with a less stiff fibre having higher elongation at the break. This new fibre (the Type II), was already being developed within the RAE, and also being manufactured in the form of a thin continuous tow.
    It occurred to me that, following dingley's lead, if I could find a date for the patent of the 'Type II carbon fibre' made by RAE we would have a date later than that very first rod's creation.
    And here, I think, it is:

    IMPROVEMENTS IN OR RELATING TO CONTINUOUS CARBON FIBRE TAPES
    Priority number(s): GB19690012448 19690310
    1,260,955. Carbon fibre tape. DEFENCE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR. 3 March, 1970 [10 March, 1969; 6 Nov., 1969], Nos. 12448/69 and 54452/69. Heading D1K. [Also in Division C1] A carbon tape contains a plurality of parallel aligned carbon fibres functioning as warp members, the members including for example carbon fibre tows and a continuous weft thread is woven through said warp members at a frequency between 2 and 10 threads/ inch, said weft thread serving to maintain the warp threads in parallel alignment. The warp threads may be composed entirely of carbon fibre but preferably include bundles of glass fibres in an amount up to 90% by weight of the warp. The carbon fibres used may be high strength high modulus carbon fibre. The weft thread may be carbon fibre but is preferably a glass fibre which may comprise 1 to 10 filaments. The carbon fibre used may have, before such use, have been treated with resin, and the tape when formed may be impregnated with resin. The tapes referred to are such that they may be used to form fibre reinforced articles by being wound on, or applied to a former, impregnated with resin if required, and cured.
    It seems clear to me that this is a description of how to make a carbon fibre rod from carbon fibre tape and resin and that this was an ''Improvement'' on a previous carbon tapes - the Type I from which Buller's rod was made, I assert.
    The last eight digits of the Priority number indicate the date of application - the 10th of March, 1969, reiterated in the text.
    According to Wiki: "In patent, industrial design rights and trademark laws, a priority right or right of priority is a time-limited right, triggered by the first filing of an application for a patent ...."

    I submit, therefore, that the first carbon rod was made prior to March 1969 and, given that ''Other prototypes were later produced; fly rods were also too powerful ..." is true, either the 'Hardy Carbon 9.5' and all the other prototypes were built in the first two months of 1969 or ......

    Happy 50th Birthday Carbon Fibre Rods!........

  8. #78

    Default Re: Happy 50th Birthday Carbon/Graphite Rods! A Brief History of the Formative Years.

    It has been a pleasure and a privilege to participate. And great to see a conclusion.

    I'd respectfully suggest editing it into a stand alone piece and perhaps consider submitting it to 'Fishing for History'
    Interest declared and happy to introduce

  9. #79
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    Default Re: Happy 50th Birthday Carbon/Graphite Rods! A Brief History of the Formative Years.

    A footnote:

    In Roger Moreton's 'Oral History of British Science' interview, part 6, he is asked if there was ever a 'Eureka' moment. He replies (75:12):
    Well .... yes .... I suppose the very first time we got the good properties .... The fibres were a quarter of the density of steel, they were twice the stiffness of steel and twice the strength .... It's quite spectacular, really .... sometime between 1965 and 1967, I guess."
    This would confirm that by 1968 suitable fibres were available to Hardy's for weaving into cloth for rod building.

    He was a keen kayaker and (40:30) complains about having to avoid the new, really long carbon fishing rods he'd help invent! ".... and they cost the earth! Well they seemed to to me. I did find that a bit irritating .... because I thought, if I were a fisherman I wouldn't have felt it was worth spending the money."

    And on that note, I'll end.
    Last edited by Lewis Chessman; 19-02-2018 at 07:04 PM.

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