Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox


Once again I am going to show my ignorance but you can blame Will Shaw this time. I have just read his front page on Sexyloops and it got me thinking about my particular niche in the tackle tart hierarchy. Will seems to love reels, and so do a lot of other people. I don’t. Reels just don’t float my boat, as anyone who see’s mine will confirm. I have two, possibly three, ‘classy’ reels. The third is a possible simply because I don’t know enough about them to make a judgment. It was a gift so has a value far above what it may actually be worth either in cost or classiness. I like utilitarian, one reel and four or five spare cassettes for under £100 (less if possible). The idea of spending £300 on a reel and then another £200 on a spare spool freaks me out quite frankly. My main interest, which doesn’t necessarily extend to actually buying them, is rods. I am an inveterate rod waggler. I’m not sure what I learn from waggling rods, I have even been told I waggle them wrong. I waggle up and down (the right way) but I have been told I should waggle them from side to side (the wrong way). Surely side to side is wristy, whereas when I up and down I can load and stop the rod in a more realistic way and get a better feel for stiffness, tip bounce, tip weight, the feel of the cork and whatever else you can tell from a rod with no reel or line on. I have been guilty of waggling over vigorously and frightening the salesmen on occasion, they don’t seem to like really vicious stops for some reason. Is it true a rod is more likely to break without a line on it than with one strung up? I have never broken a rod by waggling it, I have broken several while casting them though.

Can someone tell me what a parabolic rod action is supposed to be? Personally I think it’s just hyperbole. I do remember casting the Orvis Zero Gravity (which I believe was touted as having a parabolic action) when it first came out and finding it quite a weird experience, no feel whatsoever. I had to rely on visual references to cast it decently. I now think the one I tried was underlined. Experience has taught me never to trust the guys on the stand because most of the time they will just put whatever is to hand on a rod you want to test, and they won’t have a clue what it is either, I even came across one that had put the line on back to front once. These days if I want to try a particular rod I make sure I have a reel and the right line with me. I bought a Zero Gravity a couple of years ago and found no weirdness whatever.

Spring was here last week but it seems to have gone back into hibernation. I have two more weeks of an empty diary and then it’s bedlam until sometime in May, I’m even doing a casting clinic on Easter Sunday. It will be nice to get back in the groove again.


March 4, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Are you ready for this, I have just looked it up in Google and guess what? I’m even less informed now than I was before.

    Parabolic coordinate system showing curves of constant σ and τ the horizontal and vertical axes are the x and y coordinates respectively. These coordinates are projected along the z-axis, and so this diagram will hold for any value of the z coordinate.
    The parabolic cylindrical coordinates are defined in terms of the Cartesian coordinates (x,y,z) by:

    The surfaces of constant form confocal parabolic cylinders

    that open towards , whereas the surfaces of constant form confocal parabolic cylinders

    Comment by nirogers | March 4, 2012 | Reply

  2. Wasn’t it Charles Ritz who first applied the term “parabolic” to rods. I think he might have got it wrong too!

    Comment by Will | March 4, 2012 | Reply

  3. “I don’t know enough about them to make a judgment”.

    I think that statement applies to most of us Mike – me very definitely included. I judge reels on whether they look nice, sound nice, and feel nice, oh and on whether they seem to work well.

    I do have an Ari Hart (I know – you needn’t say!) which looks absolutely lovely but which IMHO is a bit of a pain to use compared to simpler designs. I do use it though – its good looks seduce me every time.

    I’m either a complete mug or a big softy.


    Comment by Will | March 4, 2012 | Reply

  4. Yor ‘avin a larf Nig.

    Softy Will. Nice FP btw.

    Comment by Mike Heritage | March 4, 2012 | Reply

  5. Isn’t that what life is all about, I got to 70 a month or two back and realised (at long last) worrying about things makes no difference so LARF AND BE DAMMED. I totaly agree about the reel argument, after all it’s only there to hold the line, great article as usual.

    Comment by nirogers | March 4, 2012 | Reply

  6. Bendy at the tip, not very bendy in the middle and quite bendy at the butt.

    They are the rod equivalent of those assymetric wobbly windcreen wipers on a Merc…they are the most horrible rods I have ever cast…

    ….but some people really like them, people who actually like being seasick probably.. 🙂

    Comment by stoatstail50 | March 7, 2012 | Reply

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