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> > faster is not always better

DavezAugust 21st, 2007, 9:54 am

Posts: 59
too often do I hear the measure of a trout rod based on how "fast it is"

To me there are great trout FISHING rods- rods that enable me to present a dry fly delicately, and fight a reasonable fish effectively and enjoyably.

if that makes sense.

then there are trout rods that cast fantstic and far and all that, but present a fly like crap and fight fish like a rope on a 2 by 4.

now, alot of this comes from the casters abilities and all that, but too often do i hear relative novices saying this rod is faster than that, therefore its better. i find that very untrue.

i guess I'm old school. or just old. they dont make them like they used to.
SofthackleAugust 21st, 2007, 10:00 am
Site Editor
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
I'm with you. I like a moderate action rod for most fishing applications, and while faster rods cast greater distances, I have found that moderate action rods are better for beginners because you can feel the rod load. That is important when you are first learning to help get the timing right. I don't think it's as easy to feel in stiffer-faster action rods. I always tell my students--most of the trout you will catch will be about 25 feet or less from you.

"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders:
JOHNWAugust 21st, 2007, 1:44 pm
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
As a guy who has several bamboo rods I lean toward a slower rod (perhaps better described as a deeper flexing rod). While I can bang out 75' casts with a fast rod I also find I rarely if ever need to cast to a fish that far away. Not to mention I can get the same distane out of a softer rod I just need to work for it a little more and really pay attention.
Besides which there is something to be said about feeling the cast happen, this just doesn't happen for me with a stiff/fast rod. I think the faster is better school of thought is a result of the hype of rod makers selling a product instead of fitting an angle rto a rod. But that is just my humble .02$
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
RleePAugust 21st, 2007, 2:10 pm
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
I don't own any "fast" rods. They're all the old 1978 vintage Orvis graphite or more moderate action lower end St. Croix and Diamondbacks. Except for the ones that are fiberglass...:)

I don't think I'd want a fast rod. I'm sure they're fine for whatever they're supposed to be better at, but I'm pretty happy in my relative archaic isolation...:)
SlateDrake9August 21st, 2007, 3:14 pm
Potter County, PA

Posts: 144
First and foremost, AMEN BROTHERS!

I was beginning to believe I was the only one left on Earth that likes a slow action rod, as I can not find many new rods made that way that aren't made of fiberglass or bamboo. I too believe that most modern rod actions feel like a 2 by 4 with a line attached (I usually describe them as either a broom stick action or shovel handle action). Fast rods do have a place, but other than some surf fishing situations in the ocean, I haven't found it yet. Nor do I intend to try to find it. They just don't feel good and are not fun to cast.

As far as needing a "fast" rod to cast long distances. This is definately not true. A while back I went to an advanced fly casting class to learn some new "tricks" (great experience if you get the chance, by the way). The instructor was one of those guys that can cast an entire fly line with ease with his fast action rod. I, of course, had a relatively slower actioned rod that I describe as slow medium and my friends believe is sloooow. I told the instructor that I couldn't possibly cast an entire line with the rod due to it being too slow. Well, he took my rod from me and did it with ease. I was sold on the idea at that point having seen it.

It irks me to see so many of the rod companies moving to all ultra fast rod actions, including Orvis, who made IMHO one of the best graphite rods ever with the original superfine and older rods. Which they have completely ruined with the "trout bum" series.

I believe that you can fish anywhere that someone believes a fast rod is necessary with a slow rod, if you know how to cast.
Fishing with bait is like swearing in church.
-- Slate Drake
SlateDrake9August 21st, 2007, 3:17 pm
Potter County, PA

Posts: 144
We should start our own club, Society of Slow Sticks or Brotherhood of the Slow Rod or something catchy like that. I now have hopes that there are more of us out there. Maybe if we get enough folks together, we could convince a mainstream flyrod company to start to produce slow rods agian.
Fishing with bait is like swearing in church.
-- Slate Drake
SofthackleAugust 21st, 2007, 4:05 pm
Site Editor
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
One other fact I must add since it truly applies to me. I love wet flies and soft-hackles, and fish them a lot and a moderate to slow action rod is best for this type of fishing.

"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders:
GrannomAugust 21st, 2007, 4:28 pm
Northwest PA

Posts: 87
I just bought a sweet little glass rod with a "nice"(my way of describing it) action and I'll tell you right now it is the most pleasant rod I have ever cast, not that I've cast all that many :) I can get a lot of line out there with it, but I don't need to do that much. It has a more relaxed personality than some spastic fast action rods I know.

I think what I'm saying is slow is kind of nice.

"Be calm - you're there..." "...Tell yourself there's no rush, even if there is."

-John Gierach
Jmd123August 21st, 2007, 7:14 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2581
Guys, it all just comes down to personal style and choice. If a slow stick works for you, by all means that's exactly what you should be fishing with, and if you are having a hard time finding them among the current "fast" craze, start calling up rod makers and give them a piece of your mind. I said in a previous post that I do like fast rods because they increase my control and accuracy. My favorite method of fishing a trout stream is to shoot dry flies upstream, most often to the water side of logs, branches, and other cover, and I've just found that faster actions get me there better than a medium or slow action. But hey, there wouldn't be several hundred (!!) rod models to choose from if we all liked the exact same thing. As I always say, whatever works - or should I say, whatever catches you fish.

There was a recent post that said a slower action is better for beginners. Well, I started with glass, then went to a medium-action graphite stick, then later found the faster sticks to my liking. So that idea seems to apply to me as well.

To each their own! And tight lines to all!

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
DavezAugust 21st, 2007, 7:25 pm

Posts: 59
Awesome guys. I was expecting a littl heat. You guys put it in better words than I can.

I fish mostly old Sage LLs and Scott Gs (the SF ones) I understand most are collector items now, but I still fish them. (haha, collector items!) I bought them years ago, most of them on the used rack for $100 or less when the fast stick rage came out in the 90s.

I love the fiberglass good rods and am known to fish my two beloved wright and mcgill granger victories during dry fly season. (matching pair in identical condition)

Each winter I buy a project rod from the local bamboo guru and restore it to exact original specs. I fish the a season or two then sell them to make room for a new one.

but don't get me wrong, I bass fish with one of those fast sticks, to sling some line and chuck big flies. My initial post was directed at trout rods and dry fly fishing.

JW, man, are we getting wet here....BAD!!!. The ohiopyle falls race is saturday night and probably will get cancelled. the river is blown and more is on the way.

WE WILL get that float going... we will. I feel bad about last week, but man, we've been blessed and cursed with rain at all the wrong (or right?) times!

I'd love to see your bamboo sticks and cast a few. maybe this fall if i make it east or you get here... my clock is ticking (wife is pregnant and due Nov 1) so i need my kicks in pre october.....

JOHNWAugust 22nd, 2007, 6:40 am
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
No biggie I know how the weather thing is.
There is rumor of some of the "old foggies" from the other board getting together on Penns the weekend of Sept 23 (PSU v.MICHIGAN weekend) to meet the isos new attendees are always welcome.
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
IEatimagoAugust 22nd, 2007, 6:55 am
Spring Mills, PA

Posts: 97
JW, how exiting is the other board?
JOHNWAugust 22nd, 2007, 10:08 am
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
Other board was Fly Fishers Paradise but the owners shut it down due to misuse/abuse. Those of us who tried to keep things civil were labelled as "old foogies" because we didn't care for the obscenity and personal attacks that the self proclaimed "new generation" of fly fishers enjoyed.

The guys who will be getting together are all good guys (opinionated definatly, but still nice guys). If you are around feel free to join us.

"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
SlateDrake9August 22nd, 2007, 3:03 pm
Potter County, PA

Posts: 144

I've put in a dozen calls a year to the Orvis (whorvis if you will) folks to complain about both the lack of slower rods they make and the fact that they are no longer making click n pawl reels. They pretty much told me they don't care as I'm only one customer and the majority of people want fast rods and disk drag reels that can stop a train for catching 6 inch brookies.

Also called Sage and St. Croix a few times with about the same results. "Sorry sir, the market doesn't agree with you right now. And I say, "Of course not. How can it. The market doesn't have any slow graphite rods in it to buy, so everyone buying new graphite rods are buying fast rods." They really don't care.

Due to this, I've been buying cane and Hexagraph rods. The Hexes are a bit pricy for graphite, but I can get anything I want from them. I call and say I want a rod to do/feel like this or that and they say "Okay. Give us a few weeks." And before I know it, I have a rod that is just awsome to cast and looks pretty nice too. Other than bamboo makers, I don't know of any rod (graphite rod) maker that can do this.

Slate Drake

Fishing with bait is like swearing in church.
-- Slate Drake
MartinlfAugust 22nd, 2007, 4:55 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3196

The Penns fishing sounds good. If I'm free I'll see if I can join you guys.

"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Shawnny3August 22nd, 2007, 5:24 pm
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
A shame, John, about the FFP board. My brother used to frequent it quite often (flatstick96) and was appalled at how immature some of the new guys were. He told me that they drove away most of the best contributors, guys who were truly experts, and replaced their expertise with irreverent and irrelevant crap. He also mentioned that a certain FFP employee who helped moderate the site would often perpetuate the negativity - a real shame. It's too bad Steve was not able to moderate the board more closely, but there are only so many hours in the day. My brother said that more successful boards he's been on often have trustworthy members designated to moderate the forums and get rid of any bad people or posts, but FFP unfortunately never made use of this kind of policing. Well, thank goodness for Troutnut.


P.S. He mentioned you as one of the few remaining members he had a great deal of respect for, John. Glad you're on this board.
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
Jmd123August 22nd, 2007, 6:48 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2581

What a bunch of a-holes! I guess the hobby has grown so big that everyone is into mass production and working the sh*t out of the latest craze. It just backs up my (humble) opinion that any time anything gets too big, it suffers all kinds of problems. In this case, the big companies are no longer responsive to its customers - oh sure, they might repair and replace rods, but they won't bother to take the time to step out side the "box" and produce a few rods for folks that like something a little (or a lot) different. I am very happy that you found a source of slower-action rods that you like, even if they might run you some more $$$ in the process. It seemed to me that with the literally hundreds of models to choose from in today's fly-fishing market, there would be something for everyone. But alas, our beloved sport has fallen into the "trend" mentality. Most fortunately, there are still some folks out there, like Diamondback, Hexagraph, and modern bamboo makers that know that one size does NOT fit all.

I do think Cabelas offers some moderate-action rods, at least they advertise so. You might give them a look and even a shake if there's a Cabelas near you.

Graphite is not all that it's "cracked up" to be. It is nice and sensitive, and stiffer for those fast actions (which I do like, but that's just me), but damn it, it's DELICATE!! I can't tell you how many graphite rods I have broken, including spinning rods. I only remember breaking one glass rod, and that was likely because I had the tip bent against the back window of the minivan I was driving at the time (I learned my lesson and ALWAYS put rods back into their cases if they're going for a ride). I broke TWO graphite rods in ONE NIGHT - and this during a Hexagenia hatch taking place over big fat spawning bluegills that were coming up off of their nests to gobble them. I also busted my Redington RedStart two years ago while I was catching 9"-plus yellow perch from a lake near my parents' house - in fact, outfishing folks slinging bait right next to me! Nothing sucks more than busting your tackle when fish are biting!!!

So, you glass users out there, take heart that your rods will likely last longer than those delicate wands of graphite. I am still looking for someone to come out with a strong graphite rod that I don't have to worry about being ticked by a weighted streamer and then snapping when I get it snagged - or worse still, when I'm fighting a LUNKER.

I wish you many hungry, stupid fish, sir.

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
JOHNWAugust 24th, 2007, 1:38 pm
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
Winston and T&T both make very nice slow action rods (very pricey though). Unfortunatly even those two bastions of slow soulful rods are moving to faster actions ( still slow by comparison though).

Thanks for the kind words. I worked hard for the knowledge I have and respect the folks who helped me aquire it. Now that I've come to troutnut I am back in the shallow end of the knowledge pool (especially when it comes to detailed bug ID).
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn

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