When purchasing a float rod, most anglers take into account its length, the quality of the rings, the popularity of the manufacturer, but less often evaluate the weight and action. And these indicators depend primarily on the properties of polymeric materials used in the manufacture of the rod. Weight and action also depend on its geometry, or rather, taper. Finally, the type of tip is also important: it is hollow or monolithic.
Currently, three main types of materials are used in the production of telescopic float rods: fiberglass, composite and carbon fiber. They all consist of fibers with different properties and a binder. Fiberglass rods were the first to appear, however, modern fiberglass materials are much more high-tech materials compared to those that were 20-30 years ago. Composite is a combination of fiberglass and carbon fiber, and their ratio can be very different, from 10 to 90% of one in the other. Carbon fiber, aka graphite, aka carbon, differs in modularity, on which, in particular, the rigidity of the material depends. The topic of modularity is complex and voluminous, but as applied to float rods, it is quite enough to separate ordinary and high-modulus graphite. The cost of high-modulus graphite is much higher than that of ordinary graphite, which also affects the price of rods.
When choosing a new fishing rod, the main thing is to determine what kind of fish and in what conditions to fish. There was such a case in my practice. A buyer comes and says: “I found a 9-meter rod weighing only 160 grams in the Internet catalog. I would like to buy this. ” I asked for a printout to try placing an order. The next day the man brought the printout. It is not so important what kind of firm the rod was, but the buyer did not confuse anything: a fly telescope made of high-modulus graphite 9 meters long weighed 160 grams! I asked the fisherman what kind of fish he was going to fish. “Bream,” he says, “is both suitable length and weight.” – “And what is written below, have you read?” – I asked. It turned out he hadn’t read it. And the signature said that the rod is intended exclusively for high-speed bleak fishing! Apparently, its walls were so thin that it was simply impossible for them to catch other fish. Yes, and such a product required the appropriate handling: a neoprene cover, a rigid tube and utmost care. So it’s not always worth pursuing the minimum weight.
A monolithic fiberglass whip is about four times heavier than a hollow whip of the same material. When casting, especially against the wind, a rod with a monolithic whip first bends strongly, or, as they say, “sags”: it is quite difficult to disperse a whip with a large mass – that’s why it is a measure of inertia. At the end of the swing, the float flies forward, and the rod, if you do not calculate the casting force, again by inertia, bends down and hits the water. Fiberglass, of course, will withstand, but it will scare the fish. Fiberglass rods are heavy and have a slow action, which makes it almost impossible to cast light rigs with them. In addition, you have to put a relatively thick line, including on a leash. The reason is the same – the large inertia of the monolithic whip.
The fact is that with a sharp bite and strike, it usually turns out to be sharp, and as a result, the soft rod bends in the middle part, and the whip slows down, remaining in its original position. In the next moment, the rod begins to straighten and there is a sharp jerk of the tip up or to the side. As a result, when a large fish bites, the leash may break if it is not strong enough, and if everything is in order with strength, and a fish with weak lips has pecked, then most likely they will not stand it. In fiberglass rods with a hollow whip, the action is better, since its weight is noticeably less, and the elasticity is higher than that of a monolithic one. The hollow fiberglass whip is better at casting and is less lagging when hitting.
After a neat cast is made and the rod is placed on a stand, the weight of the whip and the entire rod does not matter much in recreational fishing. But the monolithic fiberglass whip is capable of withstanding very heavy loads, so it is quite possible with it, say, to catch a tench from the grass and take a good carp short – if only the hook, line and other equipment were appropriate. In general, the only advantages of fiberglass rods can be considered only a low price and a huge margin of safety. In addition, they do not require as careful handling as carbon fiber.
When purchasing a composite rod, it is better to choose graphite with the addition of 25-30 percent fiberglass. A rod made of this material is more expensive than a fiberglass rod, but it also weighs much less. The price of a composite rod depends on the grade of carbon fiber, but the brand markup, as always, also means a lot. Moreover, it is absolutely not necessary that a relatively expensive rod from a well-known company will be fundamentally better than a cheap one from a little-known manufacturer. Moreover, they may even be of the same model, manufactured at the same factory, but under different brands. This is not uncommon now, if we talk, of course, not about professional sports models, but about amateur ones.
A composite rod based on graphite is always much tougher than a fiberglass rod. It usually has a medium pitch and a thin, hollow tip. You can work sharper and more energetically with such a rod than with a fiberglass rod, since the entire rod is stiffer and the whip is lighter, which means its rest inertia is less: the rod does not sag so much when casting, and the tip lags less when striking. All this makes fishing with a composite rod based on graphite quite comfortable, and most importantly, it is easier.
fiberglass one and a half times, and the margin of safety is quite sufficient. In general, such a rod is completely suitable for general amateur fishing.
Carbon fiber rods
In the material of such rods, fiberglass, as a rule, is not at all, but there may be additives of other materials. For example, boron fiber is used to increase power, however, this dramatically increases the cost of products. Carbon fiber is a lightweight and resilient material, so the rod does not give a sharp drop after hooking and you can fish with thin leads. A short hook with a graphite rod allows you to cut through the fish without breaking the leash. Fly rods made of regular graphite are generally fast action and come with hollow whips. With the same length, such rods weigh much less, but they are also more expensive than composite rods, not to mention fiberglass ones, but they lose in strength to both.
The action of high-modulus graphite flywheels is usually close to superfast. These rods have very thin walls and a small diameter even in the butt. They are the lightest and most rigid: if you stretch the rod horizontally and look along, you can see that it practically does not bend under its own weight. With rods made of high-modulus graphite, you can fish with the thinnest lines and the lightest floats, weighing only 0.7-0.8 g. There are models both with a hollow whip and with a semi-monolithic – grafted. The first option is super stiff: you should not use leashes thinner than 0.08 mm, since during the hookup the rod is not able to play even a short dash. In rods with a grafted whip, it is approximately half tubular, and a very thin and flexible monolithic carbon fiber tip is glued into the tube. With it, you can use leads with a minimum thickness of 0.06-0.07 mm, which is very important with a weak bite.
However, an ordinary angler is hardly worth chasing rods made of high-modulus graphite: they are, as a rule, highly specialized, designed for catching small and medium, up to about a kilogram, fish. These rods are very easy to break when playing out big fish or hitting even a thin branch when casting. In addition, such models often suffer from jammed joints. In general, a graphite rod requires the most careful handling. During fishing, it can only be placed on the stands: if sand gets into the joints, it will scratch the thin walls, and this can easily cause the rod to break. When fishing with, say, a fiberglass rod on the hook, you can pull and break the leash, but with a carbon fiber rod, you should never do this – the rod is easy to break. If you still need to break the leash, put the rod in line with the line and take a few steps back. After fishing, the graphite rod must first be carefully wiped with a clean dry cloth and only then assembled.
Owners of a rod made of high modulus graphite should definitely have gloves with rubber pimples in case of jamming. If the rod is jammed, first wipe it dry, then put on gloves and carefully try to turn the jammed knees. I know of many cases when even experienced athletes, trying to collect wet rods with wet hands, simply pressed their knees with their fingers. All of the above applies to swing rods, that is, designed for fishing with blind rigging. Telescopic float rods with rings made of different materials have similar features. Just do not fit fly rods with rings, which were originally designed for blind rigging. The fact is that good manufacturers even have the same model, but made in the version with rings, the thickness of the walls and the geometry of the whip differs from the flywheel version. Therefore, equipping the swing with rings will surely ruin the action, so that even a graphite rod will become noodles.
Fishing rods made of different materials have their merits. Heavy and slow fiberglass rods are very unpretentious and have a huge margin of safety – these are workhorses, not fast, but extremely reliable. It is very comfortable to fish with light and fast graphite models, but they require careful and careful handling both during fishing and during transportation. Therefore, the choice of a rod should be deliberate, in accordance with the fishing conditions and financial capabilities.