Faster Action?

Eminem

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I am of the opinion that a 15ft GT4 Catapult has a "faster" action than a 15ft LPXE 3-piece.

Can anyone comment?

Cheers, Eminem
 

Springer

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Very little if anything in it from my experience, I have used both in 13', 14', and 15'. The rods are different in feel but both are fast.
 

Orca

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Rod Action.

Hi Springer, can you please explain the meanings of fast, slow or any other kind of action double handed fly rods have, if the action is fast does that mean the rod is stiffer, not well up on this but would like to know. Orca.
 

Ciarán

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The blank on a fast rod will recover faster from its curved position..

A slow rod will recover slower and therefore be more forgiving of bad timing..

A progressive rod is one which flexes deep and evenly along the blank.

You could talk about these in terms of the taper..but that's only for geeks.:)
 

Eminem

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Very little if anything in it from my experience, I have used both in 13', 14', and 15'. The rods are different in feel but both are fast.

Good! I was hoping that was the answer. :) Have sold it and I'm now going to buy the LPXE.
 

Orca

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The blank on a fast rod will recover faster from its curved position..

A slow rod will recover slower and therefore be more forgiving of bad timing..

A progressive rod is one which flexes deep and evenly along the blank.

You could talk about these in terms of the taper..but that's only for geeks.:)
Thanks for explaining that ciaran
 

Lohi

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The blank on a fast rod will recover faster from its curved position..

A slow rod will recover slower and therefore be more forgiving of bad timing..

A progressive rod is one which flexes deep and evenly along the blank.

You could talk about these in terms of the taper..but that's only for geeks.:)
Hmm... if one studies the "historical" explanations for the different actions, these have nothing to do with the recovery rates of the rods.

Instead they refer to the bending curves, so fast = tip flexing... and slow is a full flexing rod. However, IMHO nowadays these terms are outdated, as one can have a fullflex rod with a fast recovery.

So at present IMHO these "action" terms should be taken with cautious mind, as one never knows what the other party means with it... :eek:
 

Ciarán

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Hmm... if one studies the "historical" explanations for the different actions, these have nothing to do with the recovery rates of the rods.

Instead they refer to the bending curves, so fast = tip flexing... and slow is a full flexing rod. However, IMHO nowadays these terms are outdated, as one can have a fullflex rod with a fast recovery.

So at present IMHO these "action" terms should be taken with cautious mind, as one never knows what the other party means with it... :eek:



Well you could probably write a thesis about it..as I alluded to at the end of my post - But that wouldn't help our friend above..

As you rightly point out,the terms have become increasingly misused..especially by retailers.
 
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Lohi

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The point I was trying to make was, that there are different interpretations around these days about what e.g. "fast action" rod means. Obviously you Ciarán have yours, meaning fast recovery, however, someone else might mean a tip flexing rod, which recovery rate could be anything, or at least not defined.

Luckily, IMHO, these really tip-flexing rods are becoming rarer these days, so most modern salmon rods e.g. are moderate/progressive/slow action ones, as far as their bending curves are being talked about. However, the recovery rates can be fast (or slow), but that is not covered by the "action" term at all... see any greater issue here? :p
 
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Lohi

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That explains it better for me Lohi, thank you and as I thought a fast action would have a stiffer tip then slow action
I do really hate to say this, but according to these "action figures", a slow action rod has the stiff tip, and a fast action rod has a more flexing tip. :eek:
 

Ciarán

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The point I was trying to make was, that there are different interpretations around these days about what e.g. "fast action" rod means. Obviously you Ciarán have yours, meaning fast recovery, however, someone else might mean a tip flexing rod, which recovery rate could be anything, or at least not defined.

Luckily, IMHO, these really tip-flexing rods are becoming rarer these days, so most modern salmon rods e.g. are moderate/parabolic/slow action ones, as far as their bending curves are being talked about. However, the recovery rates can be fast (or slow), but that is not covered by the "action" term at all... see any greater issue here? :p

I know exactly the point you were making...and you were perfectly correct.

When I started fly fishing there was fast and slow - uncomplicated...recovery rates weren't really mentioned. So the definitions are not mine..I just thought i'd give him the definitions that he's likely to come across in retailers - and the way that retailers are likely to use them..

Even though, as you righly point out, they are erroneous.

I blame this confusion on the fascination with scandi styles..:)
 

Lohi

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I know exactly the point you were making...and you were perfectly correct.

When I started fly fishing there was fast and slow - uncomplicated...recovery rates weren't really mentioned. So the definitions are not mine..I just thought i'd give him the definitions that he's likely to come across in retailers - and the way that retailers are likely to use them..

Even though, as you righly point out, they are erroneous.

I blame this confusion on the fascination with scandi styles..:)
I do apologise, if you got the impression that I somehow blamed you about this confusion that reigns this issue of rod action/recovery rate.

IMHO this is a major source of confusion, as every person have their own definitions due to the fact that no "correct" definitions exist. In my perfect world, there would be two parameters describing the rod: 1) the bending curve and 2) the recovery rate. And methods to measure these from any given rod. However, we are not there yet, although I dont know why, as all this could be done easily, if someone wanted.

I do know, that the original question was perhaps not this "deep", but anyhow wanted to address this issue here, as it has been bothering be for a while now... :eek:

And please, do not blame us scandinavians about this, as I recall, it was you brits that invented this absolutely redicilous sport of salmon fishing anyway. :cool:
 
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Ciarán

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I do apologise, if you got the impression that I somehow blamed you about this confusion that reigns this issue of rod action/recovery rate.

IMHO this is a major source of confusion, as every person have their own definitions due to the fact that no "correct" definitions exist. In my perfect world, there would be two parameters describing the rod: 1) the bending curve and 2) the recovery rate. And methods to measure these from any given rod. However, we are not there yet, although I dont know why, as all this could be done easily, if someone wanted.

I do know, that the original question was perhaps not this "deep", but anyhow wanted to address this issue here, as it has been bothering be for a while now... :eek:



You have nothing to apologise for at all...we are in complete agreement. You are certainly right that rods should be defined by two parameters, curve and recovery. Perhaps that would clarify the confusion whenever retailers interchange the definitions used within the two terms.

I should've explained myself in my initial post.:)
 
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Springer

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Hi Springer, can you please explain the meanings of fast, slow or any other kind of action double handed fly rods have, if the action is fast does that mean the rod is stiffer, not well up on this but would like to know. Orca.

There really isnt anything complicated Orca about all of this as far as the terms, descriptions and actual performance of a rod is concerned. The problem we have is the marketing men within the industry and the end users perception of what is good and what is not.

Before I go into detail lest look at two little words;

Fast and Slow

To the majority of testosterone fueled males fast is good and is most likely to perform better than something which is slow. Most of their wife's on the other hand would probably disagree ;)

Slow isnt really a good word for marketing something to the male population and it doesnt conjure up images of a high performance product. So instead of the term 'slow action' we often see the word 'through action' used.

Regardless of whatever crap is written to the contrary a fly rod is really only measured in 2 basic ways. Firstly its action, secondly its recovery.

Action aka stiffness

This describes how a rod bends under load. A fast action (stiff) rod bends mainly in the top 1/3rd, a medium action (medium stiffness) bends in the top 1/2 or maybe 2/3rds and a slow action (soft) rod bends along the whole length of the rod.

Recovery often interpreted or felt as crispness

Recovery is the term to describe how fast the rod blank returns to straight, or looking at it another way, stops resonating (wiggling backwards and forwards) after it has been bent during a cast.



All other things being equal a fast rod which bends less will always recover faster than a slow rod. The slow rod has initially bent further during the loading phase, therefor it has further to return before its straight. Because it takes longer it is slower in its recovery

The term progressive is often used by the marketing depts to describe a rod but seldom really achieved or even understood by many. I would describe a progressive rod as a one in which every inch of its length is working in unison with the next. There are no points in which the bend is accelerated (by soft spots) or slowed (by hard or sometimes called flat spots) during the flex cycle. A truly progressive rod will feel really smooth to cast regardless of its action.

Its entirely possible to have a fast, medium or slow progressive action rod. The place along the blank where this smooth progression will stop is at the end of the rods action. For example a fast progressive rod will bend really smoothly until it is fully loaded just the same as a slow progressive rod will. The only difference is the slower progressive rod will take longer to get loaded because it has to bend further to get there.

There is also another term used albeit not so much now and that is parabolic. This is a pointless word and serves no useful purpose in the description of a rods action. Parabolic comes from the term parabola which is a shape. Sometimes the shape of a parabola can resemble a really nice curve that would look good on a rod during the loading cycle. The problem is that parabola can also be shapes which would make for some very strange casting rods! As far as fly rod curves go there are good and bad parabolas so whats the point of using the word?

Fast action rods generally have softer tips and upper middles than slow action rods which usually have stiffer tips and softer lower middles and butts.

Where the problem lies is when companies call rods fast without explaining whether ist a fast action or a fast recovery. The Sage TCX is a prime example of this. It was marketed to take over from the truly fast actioned TCR yet it is a through actioned rod and nothing like the TCR it superceded, much to the annoyance of loyal TCR owners who upgraded! The TCX recovery may be fast but its action most certainly isnt!

The benefits of fast or slow rods is another post entirely which Im happy to look at if need be. By and large these days I prefer slower actioned rods for my day to day fishing and would only choose a fast action for certain types of demonstrations.
 

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Well you could probably write a thesis about it...
There really isnt anything complicated ...

[Thesis part snipped out]

By and large these days I prefer slower actioned rods for my day to day fishing and would only choose a fast action for certain types of demonstrations.
:p

BTW. I like slow action rods (bending curve that is) with moderate to fast recovery. The only rods I really hate are the tip action rods with a sloppy tip and stiff mid-to-butt section. This is probably due to my casting inabilities... :eek:
 

Springer

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:p

BTW. I like slow action rods (bending curve that is) with moderate to fast recovery. The only rods I really hate are the tip action rods with a sloppy tip and stiff mid-to-butt section. This is probably due to my casting inabilities... :eek:

I wouldnt blame your casting Lohi, rods like you describe are not that nice. The tip gives up very quickly and you then have a broom stick! These type of rods have no feel and are very unforgiving. Thankfully not all fast action rods are like this, just the badly designed ones :)
 

charlieH

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Its entirely possible to have a fast, medium or slow progressive action rod. The place along the blank where this smooth progression will stop is at the end of the rods action. For example a fast progressive rod will bend really smoothly until it is fully loaded just the same as a slow progressive rod will. The only difference is the slower progressive rod will take longer to get loaded because it has to bend further to get there.

I have sometimes wondered just what 'fully loaded' means in this context. Is it something that can be measured objectively?

I think we agree that, depending on casting styles, different people will use different weights of line to produce 'optimum loading' in a rod (which I guess means the same as 'fully loaded'). But is optimal or full loading also subjective - depending on how you like the rod to feel? Or if not, how is it defined objectively?
 

Eminem

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"Thankfully not all fast action rods are like this, just the badly designed ones "

Would you put the LPXE in this category Alan?
 
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Fruin

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I have sometimes wondered just what 'fully loaded' means in this context. Is it something that can be measured objectively?

I think we agree that, depending on casting styles, different people will use different weights of line to produce 'optimum loading' in a rod (which I guess means the same as 'fully loaded'). But is optimal or full loading also subjective - depending on how you like the rod to feel? Or if not, how is it defined objectively?


While I do not profess to know the answers, I do have a view on this. I also believe that it would be very difficult to put accurate figures on the maximum and optimal loadings for a blank, which is why manufacturers are happier to suggest a range of line weights that may achieve the loading that a caster prefers.

Optimal loading is dependent on the circumstance. By this I mean that it is dependent on the individual caster, the specific line that they are using with the rod and the casting situation that they find themselves in.
Maximum loading, to my mind, is the maximum load that a rod will withstand comfortably, without breaking or straining to much. I think that even before breaking point a rod can feel like it is collapsing during a cast. This may be because we are distorting the tube and the curve of the blank to a level where it cannot recover in a way that releases the power smoothly enough to deliver the fly line satisfactorily.

So, I suppose ‘fully loaded’ would be a term applied to the maximum load that a rod will take and still perform functionally, as it is designed to do.
 
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Springer

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"Thankfully not all fast action rods are like this, just the badly designed ones "

Would you put the LPXE in this category Alan?

No, the LPXe and Catapult for that matter are both well designed ranges of fast action rods.
 

Springer

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I have sometimes wondered just what 'fully loaded' means in this context. Is it something that can be measured objectively?

I think we agree that, depending on casting styles, different people will use different weights of line to produce 'optimum loading' in a rod (which I guess means the same as 'fully loaded'). But is optimal or full loading also subjective - depending on how you like the rod to feel? Or if not, how is it defined objectively?

Good question and the answer is yes it can.

A fly rod has 3 basic stages in its curve or working life.

Working Load to Optimum Load


The first stage is to bend and recover as it was designed to do. How far it bends will be down to the rods action and the amount of line weight and casters effort used. It doesnt really matter whether the balance between casters effort and line weight varies.

For example;

average line weight x average casting effort = optimum load

lighter line x increased casters effort = optimum load

heavier line x reduced casters effort = optimum load

Optimum load is a place which allows the blank to perform to the best of its ability without any noticeable performance drop off. So, it bends sweetly, casts a good long line and feels crisp and overall its happy days.

Overload

From optimum load we then move into what I consider 'overload'. Now I say overload as opposed to blank failure because blanks definitely have an area after optimum load where they still work but not as effectively. You loose feel and casting distance/performance. Some people will call this stage or feeling they get as soggy or the rod has lost its backbone etc. Im sure many of us have felt this. I sometimes get pupils with a rod x line weight x effort applied equation that means the rod is working in its overload sector. Usually a change of line or a reduction is casters effort because of improved technique will solve the problem. Skagits are an area where I am seeing rods working in overload a lot at the moment because of our general lack of understanding of the concept.

The soggy or overload stage is caused by the rod blank turning too oval during compression. Every rod blank starts off round (near enough) and when it bends it goes oval, looking at its cross section. Fibers along the outside of the bend stretch, those on the inside compress and the bits on each side swell outwards. This is normal and is allowed for in the design and the choice of material used.

Now the length of the overload sector in a blank can differ, some have quite long sectors and can tolerate a lot of abuse, these are usually slow actioned rods with quite thick walls that use a lot of medium modulus fiber. A fast high modulus blank can go from optimum through overload to failure very quickly, I think many of the well known rods that break fall into this category.

Failure

The last stage of the blanks life is failure under compression and this can happen in a number of different ways. Sometimes the fatal crack will propagate from the inside outwards or the outside inwards. It can also vary between failure in the stretched outer fibers of the compressed inner fibers. Very few rod makers in the world have access to the type of inspection that would allow them to find out which. This kind of technology is usually kept for different, higher budget arena's.
 

charlieH

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While I do not profess to know the answers, I do have a view on this. I also believe that it would be very difficult to put accurate figures on the maximum and optimal loadings for a blank, which is why manufacturers are happier to suggest a range of line weights that may achieve the loading that a caster prefers.

Optimal loading is dependent on the circumstance. By this I mean that it is dependent on the individual caster, the specific line that they are using with the rod and the casting situation that they find themselves in.
Maximum loading, to my mind, is the maximum load that a rod will withstand comfortably, without breaking or straining to much. I think that even before breaking point a rod can feel like it is collapsing during a cast. This may be because we are distorting the tube and the curve of the blank to a level where it cannot recover in a way that releases the power smoothly enough to deliver the fly line satisfactorily.

So, I suppose ‘fully loaded’ would be a term applied to the maximum load that a rod will take and still perform functionally, as it is designed to do.

I agree in part. As you say, and as we all agree, different people will generate different loads with the same rod and line, depending on their casting style and, to a lesser extent, situation.

Typically, expert casters will often use lighter lines than novices because they generate higher line speed. If I remember my O-level physics from long ago correctly, the load on a rod must be a product of the mass of the line and the speed at which it travels (at this point, others may well want to give a more accurate definition, but I hope that's essentially correct). If the line speed is 10% higher, the mass of the line can be proportionately lower, and the same load will be produced. Any experienced fisher who has ever fished a line that is a size or two too heavy or light for the rod knows how to adjust their casting stroke to account for this. This suggests that, irrespective of the mass of the line or the line speed, the expert and the novice will both arrive at broadly the same loading, and the overlined or underlined rod will still be loaded to the same degree. So I think that the load at which a rod works optimally may not be subjective.

There is the element of personal preference, certainly - you talk of "the maximum load that a rod will withstand comfortably" - and there is a significant element of subjectivity in a term like comfort! What I'm really interested in is a purely mechanical assessment of a rod's performance or ability, regardless of subjective factors or who is using it. I suppose my question really is how easy it is to arrive at a figure (or, more probably, a range) for optimal loading, and/or how useful it is.
 
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