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The Primary Goal of Fly Rod Design

When it comes to fishing, novices often think the gear is the same for just about every type of fishing. This, of course, is no more true than saying all golf clubs are the same and usable in any circumstance.
Even if you do not play golf, you know a putter and driver are two entirely different clubs for two entirely different situations. One is for handling the fine work around the hole and the other is for working out the stress in your life by swinging with all your might!

As with golf clubs, fishing rods are also designed for particular occasions. A spinner rod is not going to work for fly fishing. It just is not set up for it. Closely reviewing the design shows us why.
The first thing you will notice with a fly rod is the grip area is much bigger than on a spinner rod. Why? Well, you are going to be casting over and over. The larger grip is designed to give you plenty of space to do that.

The other major differences with the rod deal with the issue of friction. A thinner line is typically used with a bait casting or spinner rod. The line typically gets a lot less wear and tear, so the rod has few attributes to deal with friction issues.
A fly rod, on the other hand, is designed with a lot of thought given to the issue of friction. The problem that arises is the fly line is much thicker and is sent out and pulled back repeatedly as fly fishing is basically repetitive casting.

Subtlety is the name of the game. The first thing to note is the strip guide is ceramic instead of metal. This is the first loop off the reel. This will cut down on the heat, but also limits the length of the cast.
Continuing on this theme, the wire guides on the remaining of the rod are not loops as you see with most rods. Traditional spinner rods use simple metal loops for the wire guides.

On a fly rod, the guides are placed in similar areas, but are not circular. Instead, they are more of a spiral shape and are thus called snake guides. By using a spiral design, friction is diffused and heat is not nearly the issue it would be with circular guides.

Fly fishing can be frustrating when you first start out. Trust me, it will become easier and be fun. Understanding the design of the rod is the first step in that transition.

Keep track of your fly fishing experiences with fly fishing journals at






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