Rod dynamics: Energy and speed

All of us have rods we like and some we don’t — even a few we hate but hang onto simply because we’ve been told how good they are for certain applications.

In my case, that would be rods made specifically for Alabama rigs — a style of fishing now banned from competition in B.A.S.S. events.

What makes it worse is the fact that these “specialty” rods cost a lot of money. To have them collecting dust in a corner of the garage makes no sense.

In an effort to avoid these mistakes, I now use a more common-sense approach when selecting rods. And part of that includes choosing rod blanks that have a broader application, such as one that will work equally well for spinnerbaits, buzzbaits or bladed jigs, etc. 

Before choosing a new rod — for any application — it’s important to know a little more about blank dynamics.

Things to Consider

We’re all familiar with the phrase “high modulus.” It’s been pounded into us by every rod manufacturer out there, for years.

The truth is, nearly all of today’s graphite and carbon fiber rods are made from high modulus material. What isn’t discussed, however, is the amount of “energy” these rods store and are capable of delivering. And according to Anglers Resource marketing guru, Jim Ising, “In the final analysis, that’s what matters most.”

“Simply put, when a fishing rod is bent, the fibers are straining to return to a more relaxed position — to their original alignment,” claims Ising. “The amount of strain created when the rod is bent translates to energy stored. And it’s this energy that helps us cast and play hooked fish.”

Anglers Resource (AR) is the company that distributes Fuji rod components throughout North America. Besides handling their marketing needs, Ising is integrally involved in product development. Part of that includes AR’s Point Blank initiative — a line of ultra-light weight, yet powerful rod blanks.

According to Ising, the amount of energy a blank stores can work for or against us.

He says it all comes down to blank selection. For instance, do you need a medium-action rod with a fast tip or one with a slower tip? Ising believes you should ask yourself those questions before ever buying. And it would help to consider what line class and lure weight you intend to use on any given rod.

To further convey the ratio of strength to stored energy, he says this: “A heavy-duty flipping stick will strain much harder in an effort to return to its relaxed, original aligned position than will a light-action spinning rod, and, thus, it stores considerably more energy. That energy is essential when trying to winch big fish from ultra-thick cover. Conversely, an ultra-light spinning rod doesn’t store much energy, which makes it better for playing fish on light line with tiny hooks. The point is, there’s a tradeoff.”

In simpler terms, stored energy equates to “power.” And it’s this power that helps us with casting accuracy and distance as well as playing fish.

Things to Look For

Naturally, we all want to fish with lighter rods. They’re easier to cast and much less fatiguing. They’re more sensitive too.