April 22, 2002

The Premiere OnLine Magazine for the Fly Fishing Enthusiast.
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Long Rods - Good or Bad?
By Dan Craft

Publishers Note:
This article was written in response to LadyFisher's Wanted Dead or Alive.

The long rod controversy has gone on since people have used fly rods. I believe that there is no way to tell for sure whether you need/want that 9'6" or 10'0" rod until you try one. While noting that I do not sell float tubes so even though I have sold these long rods and/or blanks to customers, I assume I am not one of those "unethical" or "rotten" salesmen who tempt customers into the long rod just because they bought the float tube (couldn't they just say "no"?), I will say that there is Scientific evidence that the long rod is a help and not a problem to float tubers and wade fishermen alike.

An average fisherperson standing on shore with their rod held at the 12:00 position with the elbow at their side will usually project a 9'0" model into the air about 14'.

As the fisherperson wades deeper or hops into their float tube the casting fulcrum gets lower and shorter causing problems like; splashing the water, hooking streamside vegetation and even themselves and others nearby! Oh yes, a superior fly caster can usually figure out their problem and make the casting adjustment in order to start working the old 9'0" in the correct manner. The correction usually includes holding your rod higher out of the water and widening their casting fulcrum. This happens to be exactly what a longer 9'6" or 10'0" rod would do!

I have sold many rods and blanks in my days as a rod builder and component salesman and I have often heard comments from my customers like, "That long rod I got from you has really made casting from my float tube easier!" Or, "casting with the 10' rod I built from the blank I got from you allowed me to cast more efficiently while deep wading!" I have never received an e-mail or call from a customer saying something like, "I didn't like the longer rod I got from you and I am going back to my old faithful 9'0" model!"

I have cast the longer rods both while wade fishing and using a PFD and have found them to work well. Yes, you will have to figure out how to get that fish close enough to land but let's face it, if you were using a 9'0" rod before, you have figured out how to leave enough line out to swing the fish to you so I am sure you can adjust another six to 12 inches!

As for the possibility that a longer tip may cause extra recoil that can drive your line down into the water just isn't so! Maybe in the days of fiberglass or a very slow rod of some sort it could happen but when you back cast, you load your rod and then the forward cast uses that power to deliver the line to its destination. New quality made graphite rods are going to perform without bounce or recoil and that's just the way it is!

I will admit that the longer rod may need a little technique but any fly fisherperson who has a 9'0" rod and has been fishing for a while and is now contemplating a PFD is going to be a good enough fly caster to handle the extra length of a 9'6" or 10'0" rod. In short, if you are buying the PFD and want the long rod, buy it. If you don't, just say NO. ~ Dan Craft

About Dan

Dan Craft is Dan Craft Enterprises, custom rod builder and suppliers of rod-building components. You can visit his website at: www.dancraftent.com


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