1 Taper - 12 different constructions

It’s a kind of a matter of fact, that usually everybody is convinced, that his own construction is the best - could be due to esthetical reasons or the preferred rod action. After many of those discussions with my friends, I decided to built a serie of rods based on the same taper comparing the effects of different construction methods. I showed a serie of 11 rods for the first time at the Swiss Rodmakers gathering in 2006.

To do this experiments some factors were to descide:

1.    Which taper do I use

2.    The construction method

3.    The conversion factor for the different cross sections



The decision about the taper was easy:  It had to be a taper I liked and for that special work I prefered a sensitiv and rather short rod. In my opinion it would be easier to feel differences.

I have chosen a taper in the length of 7 feet 3 inches for line 4.


Construction methods

I wanted to compare different cross sections, different ferrule types and different hollowing methods to find out how this affects, based on the same taper, the action of a rod.

Concerning the cross section I started with a rod made out of 4 splices and ended with a 13-strip rod. 



Concerning the ferrules I used the most common NiSi-ferrule, the Super Swiss, compared it to the bamboo ferrule, spliced rod and even the one-piece-rod.

Concerning the hollowing methods I produced one rod in the Winston-style (the hollow fluting), another with Powell’s scalloping and one with the Norvegian-Magic-star method (Vangen).

The comparison of the effects of hollowing and ferrules was done within the hexagonal-group of rods. I wanted to show, how the action of the rod is affected by hollowing, spiraling or different ferrule-types. To feel, how hollowing or different ferrules affects a rod, I is important, not too use any compensation factor but the identic hex-taper. 



Taper Conversion

A very importand part to decide was, on witch calculation method the conversion between the different cross sections should be based. Consulting the forums you can find  different methods, but I followed the conversion-list from Gabriele Gori, a member of the Italian Bamboo Rodmakers Assisiation (IBRA), who based his calculation on the „moment of inertia“.

His calculation list (Sezioni a confronto) is to be found on the IBRA-Site or on this Website . It’s nothing secret. He made the list for most known cross sections or hollowing versions.

In the same list, Gori explains the conversion from solid to hollow. In different forums or programs like RodDNA, you can find the conversion, when using different ferrules (which I did not use because I wanted to feel the effects!).

Based on this list I converted all the solid rods with the different cross sections (see factors in the table above). 




Due to the limited space travelling by airplane, I made a selection of 12 out of my whole serie of rods to show them at the Corbett Lake Gathering 2014. All together, my serie of rods for this experiment consists at the moment of 16 rods, more will be added.

To make sure, the comparison of the casting effects of the rods is on the same base, all the rods are equiped with equal reels, lines and leaders 





While the casting results are rather individually and may be sometimes depending on esthetically preferences, the differences in weight are measurable but needs some extra explanations:


  • the quad rods  (or Evo8 as a similar cross section) seems to be the lightest in the serie. Why do we have such a big difference to the one with bamboo ferrule? The whole rod-serie is build with the Super Swiss ferrule except this Quad. For esthetical and practical reasons, I did use here the step down ferrule (as Jeff Wagner suggests). They are haevier than the Super Swiss (and especially the bamboo ferrule).
  • The Evo8, similar to a quad concerning the cross section, is, even it has a NiSi-Ferrule, one of the lightest rod, because it is hollowbuild. Other than the quad it has the „normal“ Super Swiss ferrule and can therfore be compared directly to the Hex hollow with the same ferrule.
  • I have no explanation for the higher weight of the penta, which seems to be on the high side!

The results concerning the casting characteristics of the differnt rods are very interesting. At the Corbett Lake Gathering more than 35 casters reportet their impressions to me. A majority of them ranked my new Evo8 construction on the first or second place, followed by the Hex hollow, Evo6 (Trihex), Quad and Penta. No one liked the 13-strip rod! These results may be rather subjectiv and reflect personal preferences, depending on each casters skills.

Since I have presented my rod serie the first time at the Swiss gathering in 2006, different prfessional casters and instructors has been casting it to test the rods. This test was a little bit different. They had to compare and report the characteristics of the rods in different casts (overhaed, switch, rollcast).

Below the ranking of the „best“ 6 rods: 



My Evo8-Rod was build this year, that’s why it has no ranking in the list above. Two professional casters compared it this spring, but only with the Hex-Hollow and the Evo6. The Evo8 got the best ranking.



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