Thursday, March 20, 2008

Flyrod Technicana

Spent time yesterday with Larry Tusoni of High Sierra Rod Company at his great old stone building and shop in Angel's Camp, CA. His partner, Charles Irvine, had built a small stream rod for me in the late 90's, but I have sold my vintage Gary Howells 5 weight, and needed a replacement rod for the usual pocket water fishing I find on my favorite stream, the McCloud.

After casting an eight foot six weight rod of Larry's design, I ordered a 8' 3" five weight 'penta' 5 strip fluted butt dry fly rod. It will have a medium fast action, but a slow enough tip to throw a downstream wiggle cast. Most bamboo rods built today are 6 strip rods and Larry is one of the few people who make 5 strip rods. 

Here's the technicana part - a diagram and a quote from Nat Uslan of Spring Valley, New York.

Why Five Strip Construction? by Nat Uslan - August, 1974

When anything bends -- be it a tree in the wind -- an automobile spring -- an archer's bow -- or a fly rod, the material lying along the outside of the curve is stretched, while that along the inside is compressed. Were it not for the fact that every little element comprising, for example, the tree trunk were intimately united by nature, each would slide upon the next, thus enough so, in fact that but few glues in existence can equal its srength. The tendency of one element to slide over the next, while the rod is bent, is most pronounced along a line joining opposite corners of a rod built of an even number of strips.

Therefore the glue line is called upon to resist the strongest internal stresses, a situation precisely the reverse of a proper arrangement. The simple expedient of substituting five slightly wider strips restores order. No continuous straight glue line extends through the center of the five strip rod section. The heavy sliding stresses are then borne by the bamboo rather than glue.

In other words, a five strip rod is stronger and more resilient than a six strip rod, and thus, need not be as thick or heavy - that's the theory, anyway. Being a romantic and sucker for arcane technology, I ordered a new fly rod. Should be ready in six to nine months.

1 comment:

Jimmy Neutron said...

Good stuff Mike. Very interesting.

Congrats on last week's trial.