ROD BUILDING TIPS
Fly Rod Grips

By Tom Kirkman

Here's a Question from Volume 5 - Issue #4 issue of RodMaker magazine:

RodMaker Magazine

In general I find that normal fly rod grips are too short and too small for my large hands. Now that I turn my own grips, I tend towards fly grips that are longer (i.e. 8") and larger around (approximately 1.00" to 1.10") And, I've found that the most confortable fly rod grips shape for me is an untapered cigar shape.

Several people have suggested that on larger fly rods a full wells is beneficial and almost necessary to help turn over larger flies. They say that because of the thick front portion of the grip, the angler can push with his/her thumb more aggressivley (which, is apparently necessary on larger/heavier fly rods).

Here is my question: For a 9 wt. fly rod, should I use the full wells instread of the previously described cigar grip? Is the full wells absolutely necessary, or is the most comfortable grip the best grip, regardless of the situation? ~ Andrew. . .Siloam Spring, AR

A full wells grip is a good choice for larger fly rods. But to say that it is absolutely necessary to turn over larger flies might be a bit of an overstatement. I have seen anglers make excellent casts with large flies on heavy line weight fly rods with nearly every conceivable type grip you can think of. I believe that what works best for one may not work best for another.

If you have a particular shape that you prefer I would suggest you use it. Likewise, there is nothing wrong with trying a few styles to ensure that you really are using the best possible shape for your type fishing and casting. You may find something that you like even better or you may find that you have been using the best type for your particular use all along. ~ Tom Kirkman

Publishers note:

If you have any tips or techniques, send them along! Help out your fellow rodmakers! ~ Publisher, FAOL

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