balancing rod and reel
I bookmarked a link to this subject, but now cannot find the thread. Did I mess up the bookmark, or does anyone remember this subject a few weeks ago - I was going to look into it deeper, but can't find it. It had something to do with a helios rod and what reel to get for it.
I don't recall the thread.
However, ideally you want to rod and reel to balance at the point where your index finger curls under the cork when you grip the rod. This is with rod strung about and a normal casts worth of line hanging from the rod tip.
Many people seem to prefer to have the reel end slightly heavier, so that holding the rod in a tip up manner (as you typically would during a drift) is more natural.
My personal opinion is that perfect balance isn't too important. If I'm way out of balance -- eg, with a oversized, heavy reel on a very light rod or with a light reel on a very long (10') rod -- it's bothersome and I would change reels. But if it's reasonable close, it's not worth worrying about for me and certainly not worth adding weight to the reel or rod butt (as some folks like to do).
I think I move my hand up or down the grip to a point where it is comfortable without really thinking about it. I know I had one rod my hand always end up down against the reel.
Rod/Reel Balance is not important for casting but it is for fishing. I believe this is what johnstoeckel is saying. You want the rod to "naturally" assume the position at which you normally fish, when you have the amount the of line out that is your normal cast.
If you tight line nymph with the rod tip up, you want the rod to to assume that position when you have the average amount of line out of the guides. If you most often fish streamers with the rod tip down at the water level, then you want the rod/reel to balance tip down.
As Jesse says, you can adjust the grip point after the cast to get the rod to balance more tip up or down.
Thanks! Will experiment to see if this is all instinctive.
I dont know if this is the thread, but it has good info from fly fish ohio
I built a bamboo 8'-0", 6 wt rod several years ago and the first few times I used it, I found myself constantly relocating my grip hand practically to the top of the cork after each cast. It also dawned on me that my hand was fatiguing as the day went on. I decided to place a heavier reel which made a big improvement in my grip position on the cork handle and thus less fatiguing. I think with today's lightweight materials, rod balance is less critical as adjustments in the grip can be made unconsciouly
I belong to a casting club, so several members are quite experienced, and as well we have some new casters join each year. I agree with the first response that the rod and reel system should roughly balance on your index finger when in the normal casting position. As well, I agree the rod should be balanced for the time you are drifting/mending/working the fly. This is actually most of the fishing time - casting is not most of the time. If the rod is not properly balanced the majority of the time you will be using muscles either lifting the tip up (out of the wate or higher) or pushing it down to keep the tip near the water. Minute by minute it doesn't seem like much, but after a couple of hours ... tiring.
However I disagree that with today's lightweight rods balance is not much of an issue. Too often I see outfits with a modern rod and a reel that is way too light. A tip heavy rod can't always be accommodated by moving your hand to the top of the cork. And casting a tip heavy rod is like trying to cast a baseball bat - really hard on the elbow.
If your reel is too light, a wrap or two of heavy solder around the arbor of the reel under the backing will create the balance you need, and also keep the reel from rotating out of balance. The rod and reel system will have more mass, but will actually feel lighter in use - because it is balanced. My $0.02.