A Little Leverage
By Captain Paul Darby (QRRFISH1), Shalimar, FL
Well I guess its time to get a little
leverage with your fly rod and leverage
equates to control and power. More closely
put, the power of the fly rod and your control
of it. Of course to control it you need to
understand it.
The fly rod is a lever yes, but it's a
flexible lever and there by subject to the
whims of other influences which are independent
of its original design. Just as when I teach
rod building I tell students that, "Everything
you add to a rod blank changes the dynamic of
the blank." So it is with a fly rod when you
add line and reel you change the dynamic of
the rod and change it again when you grip the
rod.
How you and I grip the rod may be different and
so your understanding and others interpretation
of the same rod will in the end be somewhat
different. There are however some basic truths
that will help you to become more comfortable
with the operation of the fly rod.
Let's look first to the power of the fly rod as
a lever. When holding the fly rod straight in
front of you more or less in line with you forearm,
you have the lifting power of the forearm with the
added length of the rod in front of you. If you
were holding the line in your hand without the rod,
and simply raised your forearm, to a vertical
position you would move the line approximately two
feet. However when you add the length of the lever,
that same effort will be multiplied by the length
of the lever, to more than twice the length of the
lever.
How do I arrive at that thought? Well the line
runs the length of the rod exiting at the tip,
thus onerod length to start with. As you draw
the rod to the vertical, the line is drawn both
upward and back till the rod is straight up. The
line is draped down to the ground or to a point
were it is supported by the surface of the water.
Let us assume that you have made a 30foot
presentation with an eightfoot rod. Your first
natural pivot point, the wrist, is 6 inches up
from the bottom of the rod, so two times the
active length is fifteen feet. Add in the height
below the pivot, approximately fivefeet. times two,
another ten feet of line airborne.
Now what are we left with to finesse, at this point?
Well, really not much, because approximately 25
foot of line is already airborne. Leaving just fivefeet
of leader to be drawn off the water. Now just how
much power can that take, to lift five feet of spider
web off the water? This is, of course, just an academic
exercise right, or is it? Let's face it guys, math,
flyfishing and romance are not exact sciences and most
of us are only good at one out of the three. So the ones
who can't add up a column of numbers in their head are
more likely the lucky ones. ~ Capt. Paul
Have a question? Email me!
captpaul462@aol.com
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