Fly Fishing Gear - Fly Rods

Fly Rod Materials:

In the early days before the 1940’s, most fly rods were made of bamboo. There are those
who still use and prefer, I might add, bamboo rods this day in time. Fiberglass rods
gradually replaced the bamboo rods and to some extent, are still in use today, but more
modern day space age materials like graphite is the choice material of the new

Graphite is lighter and stronger than fiberglass and in larger, longer rods, this fact makes
the big difference that leads anglers to prefer graphite over fiberglass some years ago.
Graphite fly rods really excel when they are used to cast heavy lines long distances. The
elasticity, or the measure of the ability of the rod to return to a normal straight position
from a bent or curved position, is greater than that of bamboo or fiberglass.

You will hear the term “modulus” used in connection with graphite rods. Modulus refers to
the stiffness to weight ratio of the graphite fibers that run the length of the rod. Some
believe that the higher the modulus the better the rod. This is not necessarily true. The
performance of a rod is affected by fiber strength, resin toughness, the amount of fiber
used, amount of resin used and scrim as well as the modulus of the graphite. There are
other things to be considered in addition to the modulus number. There's much more to
the quality of a rod than the modulus. Exactly how the graphite fiber materials are wound
around the mandrel when the blanks are manufactured is a big factor. Certain
construction methods result in stronger and lighter fly rod blanks.

There are other materials used in the construction of fly rods by some manufacturers,
such as boron and titanium. Both of these materials are sometimes used in conjunction
with graphite. Recently, some rod manufacturers have returned to using fiberglass for
certain types of rods.

No one knows what future innovations will bring as fly rod manufacturers continue to
produce rods made from other types of materials. As of this date in time, however, it's
arguable as to whether or not, materials such as boron or titanium are of added valve or
superior to the standard graphite rod.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
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