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Thread: HAVING FUN YET? (Or is fast better?) - Ladyfisher - February 21, 2011

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  1. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    White Bear Lake MN

    Default Few Bad Fly Rods, Plenty of Bad Fly Rod Handle Grips

    I have a Gatti! I caught the "Gatti Bug", when I attended the 1999 Black Hills Fish-In, and got to cast "LadyFisher's" Gatti 3 wt. For the rest of the Fish-In, all I kept muttering is "Gotta Get A Gatti, Gotta Get A Gatti, ....."

    With the help of "LadyFisher", I got a Gatti 3 wt blank, and built my 1st fly rod, that how bad I had the "Gatti Bug"! I got to cast "LadyFisher's" Gatti, and it was one of those magical moments. The rain clouds parted, a bright beam of sunlight shined down on the spot I where I was standing, the heavenly chorus started to sing, and the metallic sapphire blue rods coating lite up.... The casting of the fly rod was as if the rod did all the work, and all I had to do was wave my arm....

    Playing sports all of my life, and being a "Switch Pitcher" in Fast Pitch Soft Ball, and a Switch Hitter at the plate, I knew the importance of the diameter of the bats handle grip diameter. Same with my golf clubs, my hockey stick, and my tennis racket. Every tool or object that I have to use my hands, needs to fit my hand grip shape and get the best results, and no muscle or tendon fatigue...

    The wrong diameter size handle grip on a fly rod, will cause muscle and tendon fatigue, tendinitis in your elbow and shoulder, causing you to shut-down your fly fishing season. It happen to me, when I first took up fly fishing in 1995.

    So when I finally got my Gatti (FRC model) shipped to me, I spent 6 long months working everything out before I started to build my own Gatti. And during that time, I had to address the problem of what was my hand grip size, and shape, among the other aspects of the fly rod that I was about to build as my first attempt at building a fly rod, using Al Campbell's 12-Part "Building a Graphite Fly Rod" Series!

    And from that I wrote an article on Custom Handle Grips (size and shape)

    Most of the trouble in a fly rod is not in the fly rod blank, it is in the handle size and diameter. All commercially sold fly rods come with one handle grip size and shape, and 99% of fly anglers will not get the performance from the fly rod that they could have because of the handle grip.

    If your fly rod handle grip does not match your hand grip diameter and shape, the connection between you and the fly rod will lessen your casting abilities with that fly rod. It is not the rod, but the handle grip causing the troubles.....

    The article I wrote was somewhat childish when I reviewed it years later, but the principle of the article still stand. I even had a Fly Fishing Group in Texas, who were creating a book for all Fly Fishing Instructors, wanting to use my article. Why! Because no one had ever addressed the issue in rod building and rod design of matching the hand to the handle...

    I can cast any weight of fly rod from 1 wt up to a 15 weight, the arm is only controls the direction of the cast, the start and stop of the cast. The cast is cause by the body motion, similar to to a trebuchet, where the body's weight delivers the energy to the cast, with the rocking motion of the feet... All of my handles grips are now the same size and diameter, and I never have to worry again about throwing my arm joints out....

    The 3 weight FRC Gatti is still my favorite fly rod for fishing trout and panfish. ~Parnelli
    Last edited by Steven McGarthwaite; 02-21-2011 at 04:00 PM.

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