Longer does not mean further
The main and, in my opinion, the most persistent stereotype is precisely the idea of a direct relationship between the length of the stick and the casting distance. If you believe this point of view, then by choosing a longer rod, we certainly win in casting distance. Moreover, someone even deduced a pattern according to which an increase in the length of the rod by one foot gives an increase in the casting distance by a certain amount. It is different for different “researchers”, but the essence is the same. At first glance, everything is quite logical: the longer the lever, the longer the acceleration arc, the higher the initial speed of the bait – therefore, the greater the casting distance. Convincing, isn’t it? However, my personal experience does not allow speaking about this so categorically.
I deliberately began to fish with a spinning rod with long rods, since the arguments in favor of the range of long sticks seemed to me quite convincing then. I didn’t have any fishing rods shorter than three meters then, even though there was no Oka, Volga, or even the Moscow River in our area. I was fishing and did not know the grief until I began to be interested in Japanese and American fishing sites. First of all, I noticed that they rarely feature long rods. At first I attributed this to the fact that they catch mainly from boats and long-distance casting is simply not needed. But then I decided to figure it out. Now I have some thoughts on this.
Let’s take a simple example from my experience. At the same time in my use were two rods of the same firm St. Croix Avid series: one 289 cm long, the second 213 cm. Both with a test of 3.5-17.5 g and a capacity of 4-10 lb. Accordingly, they differed only in length. And, naturally, the idea occurred to me to compare their range. Moreover, the comparison was extremely correct, given the coincidence of the parameters of the rods, with the exception of the length. The longest range for both sticks was the bait weight of 12 grams. We used the same reel with the same braid, and used the same casting technique.
The results were very interesting. Both spinning rods were thrown exactly the same! So much for the stereotype! At the same time, it is easy to understand why this happened. The 289 cm long rod was significantly softer in dynamics, to put it simply, noodle-like. It is for this reason that, even with a significantly longer acceleration arc, it was not able to properly accelerate the bait. So the long acceleration was offset by the lower speed imparted to the bait. At the same time, a short spinning rod in dynamics looked like a stake and, when cast, did not fall through at all and did not slow down the bait. The only thing: casting with a long rod turned out to be softer and more comfortable. Moreover, the casting distance almost did not change, even if I did not fully invest in casting. A short spinning rod responded quite predictably to a change in the sharpness of the cast, increasing or decreasing the casting distance in direct proportion.
Further more. As soon as I began to understand that the length of the rod hardly affects the casting distance, the process of “shortening” began rapidly. A lot of different rods passed through my hands, and in the end I noticed that the “short ones”, even with similar parameters, did not throw at all the same way. I wondered why this was so, and came to the conclusion that the main role here is played by differences in the structure of the rods. In the case of long sticks, the difference in action has almost no effect on the casting distance: a dynamically and statically fast rod will throw due to the high speed imparted to the bait, and a slow one due to a larger acceleration parabola and a more pronounced catapult effect. And their casting will be almost the same. In short sticks, it all works a little differently.
A short, very fast rod “squeezes” the cast somewhat compared to the same, but medium or slow action. Therefore, in order to achieve long-range casting from the “short ones”, one should prefer the Japanese type – the hard semi-parabolic. This is how I dispelled for myself the myth about the longer range of long rods. Moreover, I clearly demonstrated this to some of my teammates, when with the “seven” I easily threw ten-nine-foot sticks, or at least threw at their level. The example turned out to be quite convincing, and now more and more people among my friends are switching to shorter rods.
Working with fish
The second stereotype: the longer the rod, the better it is when playing. And he, too, turned out to be at least controversial! Physically, everything here, it would seem, is quite understandable: a longer blank is better and cushioning properties of a rod. As motorists say, “more suspension travel.” Everything is so, but again, based on personal experience, I note that the number of descents on short rods at least does not exceed that on long ones. But playing is much more dynamic, the behavior of the trophy is more subtly felt, there is an opportunity to speed up the process or, conversely, to give up the slack in time. In addition, no one canceled the friction on the reel, and it perfectly compensates for the insufficient shock-absorbing properties of the rod. And the action of the rod is also important. For example, I had a Lamiglas CertPro XS703-2 rod with a magnum action; So, I don’t know of any other spinning rod that would hold, read, hold back, and tire, the fish is better than it.
As you can see, the two most ingrained stereotypes turned out to be not so consistent in practice. So far, I can only agree that a long rod allows you to better maneuver, if you need, for example, to dodge an obstacle. It is difficult to argue with this yet. But you must admit, this is not so much that the scales tipped in favor of a long stick. A long rod sails, it is heavy, unbalanced, very tiring of the arms and back during long fishing, absolutely unsuitable for some types of fishing. Short fishing rods are devoid of all these disadvantages. Possessing the correct casting technique, a spinning rod with a short stick will in no way be inferior to an angler with a long one, and in such parameters as convenience, maneuverability and lightness, he will give him a big head start.
And the last thing. Until recently, I had doubts about the convenience and the very possibility of working with a short spinning rod with “Moscow” rig and other similar rigs with a long leash. These fears were dispelled after I tried to catch perch with a one and a half meter long leash with Sakura Rookie and Black Hole Bassmania sticks 183 cm long. short handles. Because of this, even a one and a half meter leash is still shorter than the throwing part of the spinning rod. And a leash of this length is rarely used – usually shorter. In addition, the load is not at the end of the leash, but at the end of the main line, so its overhang from the tulip is very small, therefore, neither the distance nor the accuracy of the cast suffer. The only thing I can advise is that you need to look behind your back more often before casting in order to avoid the bait catching on the grass or branches (by the way, with a longer rod this is even more relevant).
That’s all the imaginary inconvenience! But what kind of postings and accompaniments can be performed when a light, short, balanced twig is in your hands! How he feels even the most careful bite! After all, the shorter the form, the less it “eats” tactile information about those nuances of the bottom and the most delicate bites of careful fish that are transmitted from the load and the bait. And I won’t even talk about fishing with wobblers by twitching: this is truly the fiefdom of the “short men”. In general, a rod for fishing with wobblers is a very broad topic, which is better to devote a separate article to. These are my thoughts I decided to share with the reader before the start of the off-season, when many are thinking about updating or replenishing their “stick park”. I would be very glad if the considerations presented here turn out to be useful to someone.