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  1. #1

    Default Are Short Rods Just a Recent Fad ?

    Obviously a shorter rod is better for smaller rivers (as I have found with my recent purchase), but I an wondering if their use on larger rivers is just a fad?

    I have been using a new short rod on the main Tyne this week, with the fish (as usual) on the far bank of the best pool.

    I expected to find it easier on my body with the new rod, but I have just as many aches and pains as in previous years (plus extra ones in my lower arms) after fishing hard for several days.

    I am wondering if I was actually putting more effort (and body strain) into casting long distances, rather than less? Unfortunately I didn't take my old gear with me, to set up and compare.

    Basically I am just wondering if I am getting older, more unfit and injury prone - or if shorter rods do actually provide any advantages to the body when trying cast longer distances all day? I will be interested what other people have found.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kingskerswell, Newton Abbot. Devon
    Posts
    1,363

    Default

    I echo your findings, I too have gone for shorter rods, steer clear of the more tippy rods and go for ones with an easier action, slow down your cast and you will find it a lot easier and you will probably get out just as far.

  3. #3

    Default

    I would have traded my 13 footer for a 15 footer easily yesterday on the main tyne as even using an airflo rage head the downstream wind was giving me a load of grief.

    Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk

  4. #4

    Default

    I have two thirteen footers that I fished with for the last few seasons on all the rivers (sorry I mean on the few rivers I fished) and that included the Dee and the Tay, but in a couple of cases it was hard work getting the fly to do what I wanted in both action and accuracy.

    This year I am only on the Tay next month and as it's my one trip of the year I will be taking my 15ft B&W Norways with me as well as the shorter rods. I remember it being easier to control the line and fly speed with them than I have subsequently found it with the short ones.

    It might be a trick of my memory, but I'll find out on the 16th.........

    ..............................I just hope I can find the lines I used to fish on them...............and don't put my back out!!
    Last edited by kramdrazzi; 30-08-2019 at 09:09 PM.
    Mark

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kramdrazzi View Post
    I have two thirteen footers that I fished with for the last few seasons on all the rivers (sorry I mean on the few rivers I fished) and that included the Dee and the Tay, but in a couple of cases it was hard work getting the fly to do what I wanted in both action and accuracy.

    This year I am only on the Tay next month and as it's my one trip of the year I will be taking my 15ft B&W Norways with me as well as the shorter rods. I remember it being easier to control the line and fly speed with them than I have subsequently found it with the short ones.

    It might be a trick of my memory, but I'll find out on the 16th.........

    ..............................I just hope I can find the lines I used to fish on them...............and don't put my back out!!
    Thanks for your comments, I will be interested how you get on.

    I was expecting to find the fishing much easier on my body with a lighter outfit, but it didn't really turn out that way. But the issue is confused by the fact I started with some existing Golfers elbow (tendonitis), which is something I dont normally have - which could have been made even worse with the older longer rods ?

    Also I watched somebody on the trip this week with a two decade old 15' rod and spey line, fishing in front of me. He seemed to be having a very untroubled day letting the fly swing under its own volition - compared to my frenetic stripping in shooting line.

    My most enjoyable casting experience ( from memory) was with a 15' Shakespeare Oracle and Hardy Mach spey line - on the River Spey itself at Granton.

    For fishing the main Tyne with reasonably streamy water, I was starting to wonder if I have just been following a tackle trend, by using the latest Shooting Heads and shorter rods, rather than the reality of older options ?
    Last edited by offshore; 30-08-2019 at 09:56 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Bavaria - too far away from salmon spots
    Posts
    671

    Default

    You were undergunned for the fishing situation?
    Of course it would be simplified, because there are more variables in the equipment than rod length alone.
    If maximum distance is needed and the shorter the rod, the more adaption in rod, shooting heads and runningline (!) is critical. If everything is well balanced and comes to a perfect fit, one can reach really good distances with reasonable effort.
    Maybe your outfit wasn’t best adapted for distance casting.

    But, in case of 13‘ and 15‘ rods, undoubtedly these are still two worlds, undependable of the last (or gone) fad.
    If there is need for maximum distances all day long, a 15‘ rod with a longer head is simply more up to the game, also in control of drift and speed for fly presentation.
    And with same adaption of rod and lines for the 15‘ rod, also to get a perfect fit, we are fishing the same distance in the comfort zone where we are on the exhausting limit with a 13‘ rod.
    But let’s think about windy conditions or overgrown areas and the needs can turn again.

    I agree, there was a trend to shorter rods, dominated by Scandinavian style casting and shooting heads, additional by Skagit style.
    It’s dependent of personal taste and the fishing situation. I still fish all rods from 11‘ to 15‘ and wouldn’t like to miss one length of them. But each of them are combined with several lines to get the best out of it for different approaches.
    Nevertheless it happens to me in specific situations, to think, I was choosing the wrong option in rod length...

    Physically it can be very different what is causing problems. Variables are individual issues also.
    Don’t think only of what you are doing now, tiring by stripping line in (what can be very effective for fishing, when seen as a fishing strategy...).
    The weight and long leverage of a longer rod, mass of heavier and longer lines, can cause different problems. Additionally, in most cases, a much longer stroke is needed, full body rotation and looong movements with full body tension for the back, shoulders and arms.
    Sometimes I get tired of this, switch back to a shorter rod and send a shorter shooting head out by a flick off the tip (and get some offers while a retrieve strategy by stripping line in). And switch back again.
    But in general, size of river and size of rod.

    By the way, the next trend seems to come from the U.S.A. Longer rods again now and long belly lines😁
    What a surprise.
    I would say, keep your 13’, get yourself a proper 15‘ and some more lengths with different lines and we can watch all the Trends come and go.
    Last edited by wetwader; 31-08-2019 at 01:10 PM.
    - Let´s be intolerant to intolerance - to protect tolerance -
    "paradox of tolerance"
    (British-Austrian philosopher Sir K. R. Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies)

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wetwader View Post
    You were undergunned for the fishing situation?
    Of course it would be simplified, because there are more variables in the equipment than rod length alone.
    If maximum distance is needed and the shorter the rod, the more adaption in rod, shooting heads and runningline (!) is critical. If everything is well balanced and comes to a perfect fit, one can reach really good distances with reasonable effort.
    Maybe your outfit wasn’t best adapted for distance casting.

    But, in case of 13‘ and 15‘ rods, undoubtedly these are still two worlds, undependable of the last (or gone) fad.
    If there is need for maximum distances all day long, a 15‘ rod with a longer head is simply more up to the game, also in control of drift and speed for fly presentation.
    And with same adaption of rod and lines for the 15‘ rod, also to get a perfect fit, we are fishing the same distance in the comfort zone where we are on the exhausting limit with a 13‘ rod.
    But let’s think about windy conditions or overgrown areas and the needs can turn again.

    I agree, there was a trend to shorter rods, dominated by Scandinavian style casting and shooting heads, additional by Skagit style.
    It’s dependent of personal taste and the fishing situation. I still fish all rods from 11‘ to 15‘ and wouldn’t like to miss one length of them. But each of them are combined with several lines to get the best out of it for different approaches.
    Nevertheless it happens to me in specific situations, to think, I was choosing the wrong option in rod length...

    Physically it can be very different what is causing problems. Variables are individual issues also.
    Don’t think only of what you are doing now, tiring by stripping line in (what can be very effective for fishing, when seen as a fishing strategy...).
    The weight and long leverage of a longer rod, mass of heavier and longer lines, can cause different problems. Additionally, in most cases, a much longer stroke is needed, full body rotation and looong movements with full body tension for the back, shoulders and arms.
    Sometimes I get tired of this, switch back to a shorter rod and send a shorter shooting head out by a flick off the tip (and get some offers while a retrieve strategy by stripping line in). And switch back again.
    But in general, size of river and size of rod.

    By the way, the next trend seems to come from the U.S.A. Longer rods again now and long belly lines😁
    What a surprise.
    I would say, keep your 13’, get yourself a proper 15‘ and some more lengths with different lines and we can watch all the Trends come and go.
    Thanks wetwader for your thoughts and comments.

    I have sort of assumed from reading different comments that you can cast just as far with a modern 13 foot rod as an older 15 foot set-up.

    I have also assumed that using a 13 foot rod is easier on the body than a 15 rod.

    But i think I have been jumping to too many conclusions.

    I couldnt have fished for a full third day due to tendonitis in the wrist and elbow. That has never happened to me before, but is not necessarily due to the new rod. The beat is slightly unusual because with the strong downstream wind it was all long distance Double Spey or Snake Roll. A few lies on the near bank would have helped.

    Must take a selection of rods in future - I suppose that is the answer.

  8. #8

    Default

    I rekon the wind plays a big part in it on the main tyne, the windier it is the more line speed i aim to get to cut through the wind and therfore im using more effort to get the same distances. Maybe thats just me though.

    Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk

  9. #9

    Default

    I'm an old phart that started with longer rods and lines, went to shorter ones for awhile on the big rivers, but found my heart was still with the longer rods and lines. A few years ago some old back issues resurfaced and after much trial and error changed my casting form to allow me to continue the long rods without triggering the back issues. It also required perfecting my form a great deal. Good form can prevent much strain on the body. I also began doing specific stretching exercises every morning that affect that specific part of my back. So I am still using and loving the longer rods and also found the stretching makes me feel better overall. I don't cast them all day like I used to but can still get a good morning of enjoyable casting in and plan to do so for much longer.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    1,123

    Default

    I fish with an 11 1/2 foot Hardy Swift often. Those old rods have something, I can't tell you exactly what but the Hardy will cast about 15 foot short of my Sage X 14 foot rod. Same energy, 2.5 foot shorter but does almost as well as the longer rod? I do however take the long rod when going to big wide rivers. For the longest casts I take and use my old Derek Brown Special 15 foot 7/8 rod (Winston) and that one will reach out a little more than the sage using the same line.

    Fads? Oh heck I don't know. Back in the 90's I was hoping that Americans using bobbers on fly rods with nymphs was a passing fad. Now days I could take you fishing with me and offer you a dollar for every person we found who was not using a bobber. At days end you will not have collected enough from me to purchase coffee for us

    I think that the fellows will figure out on their own which length works best where.

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