Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox


What is a loaded rod? A bent rod.

How can you load a rod? etc etc.

This not a piece on the how’s and whats this is a piece to settle an argument.

Let me say from the beginning that I have very tenuous grasp of the implications of any of Newtons theories. I am looking at this from a purely intuitive point of view.

People who have a very much firmer grip on Newtons theories may well be able to argue that I am wrong. Please feel free.

Is there such a thing as a UNDERloaded rod or an OVERloaded rod? The classic answer is an overloaded rod is a broken one. But. I don’t want to explore the extreme end of the spectrum. I want to look at underloading or overloading during a bog standard overhead cast, or any other cast for that matter.

One of the Essentials have as part of the sentence something about applying the appropriate power over the appropriate distance. I will now change the word power to force which I, and many others, consider to be a better word than power.

You have to ask yourself that if you can apply an appropriate force what is an inappropriate force? And, more importantly, what does it do to the rod? I contend that if you use too much force (for a particular cast) the rod will be bent too deeply for that cast so you have therefore overloaded the rod. This may be difficult to do over the entire stroke but it is something that often happens as a ‘power spike’ at some point during the stroke, most often at the start and the end (that final ‘get out there’ heave). The result of the spike is to buckle the tip path and create a tailing loop. I say that spike is caused by overloading the rod, no matter how temporarily.

Underloading is, I admit, a bit more difficult to make sense of but if I think you can overload a rod it must also be that you can under load it. It would result in a wider loop than you anticipated or perhaps a leader not turning over properly.

Of course we can deliberately under power or overpower a cast for a specific reason but in those cases we will have adjusted the casting angle accordingly to suit the purpose of the cast.

As I said at the beginning this is my intuitive or gut feeling. If someone can put me straight be my guest, just don’t baffle me with science, my life is baffling enough.


August 26, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Hi Mike

    perhaps the best way to take the discussion forward is to start talking about efficiency. This will therefore answer both ends of your question in that if you under load the rod for a length of line then the energy to unfurl that line efficiently will not be available and the cast will fail. Alternatively by over powering the cast for the same amount of line will be a waste of energy and therefore inefficient and also not under control of the caster.
    The rod can be explained as being three things a lever, a spring and a magnifier all of which will act in favour with appropriate efficient use of the rod by the caster.
    Hope this helps

    Comment by Mark Roberts | August 27, 2011 | Reply

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