Balancing a float rod.

geoffmaynard

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The balance of this rod with a reel attached is just a touch top heavy

This is pretty normal. Even the top of the range Hardy rods will only balance about 6 inches above the handle once a reel is attached. Never did understand why exactly.
I'd leave it alone and get used to it. The days of stuffing lead into rod butts ended when tubular steel rods went out of fashion.
 

Peter Jacobs

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The days of stuffing lead into rod butts ended when tubular steel rods went out of fashion.

Well, not really.

Why be uncomfortable with a rod when with a little 'alteration' one can be perfectly happy with it?

I find the same problem with the longer rods, anything at or over 15 feet, so will usually mess around with balance and that indescribable factor . . . . "feel"

Each to us own though, as in most things
 

bracket

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I have been reading this post with interest and in the past have balanced many float rods. For coarse fishing, the balancing point on a rod, fulcrum or pivot point, if you prefer, is the position at which you attach the reel to the rod. Being mindful that, regardless of the type of reel selected, when using the rod your hand straddles the reel mounting, index and second finger in front of the reel fitting, third and little finger behind, then the weight of the reel has no effect on the balance, it only increases the total weight of the rig. To balance a rod correctly mark off the point at with you wish to attach the reel (of any weight) then add lead at the butt end, by what ever means, until the rod (less the reel) lays horizontal across your index finger. You will then have a perfectly balanced rod. In the Midlands, back in the 1960's we would then add slightly more lead to make the rod butt heavy and more conducive for a faster strike. Pete.
 
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tigger

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This is pretty normal. Even the top of the range Hardy rods will only balance about 6 inches above the handle once a reel is attached. Never did understand why exactly.
I'd leave it alone and get used to it. The days of stuffing lead into rod butts ended when tubular steel rods went out of fashion.


My thoughts also, I wouldn't risk fouling up a nice rod by tinkering with it.
 

tiinker

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My thoughts also, I wouldn't risk fouling up a nice rod by tinkering with it.

It was quite the fashion to butt load self made carp rods to improve the casting distance in the 70s though to the 80s long after tubular steel rods went out of fashion in the mid 60s. I never did it to any of my rods because I never found the need to distance cast. But plenty off my friends did.
 

green man

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Old thread, but I just got a Drennan MatchPro Float that's quite tip heavy - balancing about 2" in front of the cork. Might be okay in a rod rest, but this isn't comfortable when trotting with a fixed spool reel (and probably not with a centrepin either) when you have to control the line with a pinky.

Surely there's a market for a lightweight, properly balanced match-style rod, for actually holding (ie. light trotting) rather than sitting in a rod rest. Drennan? Please.

Anyway, with no butt cap, I like the idea of drilling out the cork at the butt, filing with weights and then plugging with cork. I'm guessing I'll use two-part epoxy to keep whatever I use for weights in place, as it softens when heated, so the modification is not irreversible and can be further modified if required.

From what I've read, the additional weight, because it balances the rod, actually makes the rod feel lighter. I can well imagine this.

I don't understand those above who feel that drilling out the cork is mutilating a perfectly good rod. In fact, for the purpose I bought it for it's not quite a perfectly good rod. I've done modifications to fly rods that are much more 'invasive', whereas this sounds like a simple DIY solution, with a neat finish pretty much guaranteed. As long as you're half-competent, how can this risk fouling up a nice rod - and why wouldn't you want to make your rod absolutely perfect for your own uses? And finally, the rod cost just over a ton, so it's not like you're testing out your DIY skills on a precious £500+ fly rod.
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rubio

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I have, ahem, 'modified' my Matchpro by taking off the top 3 inches. Not intentionally. I have a few rods with this 'adaptation' sadly, and whilst I would NOT recommend it I am still happy to enjoy using what is still a very good bit of kit.
 

tigger

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Most of my fishing is trotting and holding the rod all through the session. I use a number of different rods made by a few different makers, some of them are quite expensive rods and haven't had any problems with the rods feeling unbalanced. The rods I use vary in lenght from 11ft to 14ft.
I haven't got the matchpro but have had a go with one (a 13ft model) which had a youngs purist attatched to it and I didn't have an issue with the balance of it at all.
Rather than mess about in the garden you'd be better to get out on the bank and try it out properly.
 

green man

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Rather than mess about in the garden you'd be better to get out on the bank and try it out properly.

Why? Are the laws of physics different on a river bank than in my garden? :confused:
 

robtherake

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You would think that all reels balance at the centre of the stem, but this isn't always the case. My 90's rear-drag Shimano match reels and 4010 baitrunner (not much heavier than a match-style reel) have a rearward balance.

Pick up the reel with a finger either side of the stem and you'll see what I mean - they're all different, in my own experience. You can use this useful bit of knowledge to lighten the tip downforce on an otherwise nice rod.

---------- Post added at 20:35 ---------- Previous post was at 18:53 ----------

It was quite the fashion to butt load self made carp rods to improve the casting distance in the 70s though to the 80s long after tubular steel rods went out of fashion in the mid 60s. I never did it to any of my rods because I never found the need to distance cast. But plenty off my friends did.

Interesting. It's more difficult for me to be accurate with a tip-heavy rod, but it didn't occur that distance may be affected; although in retrospect (even without trying it out) that would seem to be the logical conclusion. (Insert Mr Spock "Live long and prosper" emoticon here :D)

Food for thought, certainly; I may just have a dabble with a couple of older, less treasured rods (and a newer Browning rod, bought online after reading a magazine review. Will I never learn? :eek:mg:)
 
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tigger

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Why? Are the laws of physics different on a river bank than in my garden? :confused:

Yeah, I suppose it is, when your actually fishing with line through the rod etc you won't even notice if something isn't perfectly balanced.
The matchpro weighs next to nowt anyhow so it can't be very tip heavy.
 

robtherake

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Well, not really.

Why be uncomfortable with a rod when with a little 'alteration' one can be perfectly happy with it?

I find the same problem with the longer rods, anything at or over 15 feet, so will usually mess around with balance and that indescribable factor . . . . "feel"

Each to us own though, as in most things

I'm sure we all feel something different when we pick a rod up. Different height (maybe - I'm a short@rse, so what would I know? :D) general physical strength, wrist and grip strength, hand size and so on. After my carpal tunnel op the reduced grip level in my right hand makes using poorly-balanced rods a proper trial, so I look for rods with impeccable balance. Believe it or not, there are rods out there - not always the costliest, either - which are either neutrally balanced or, at worst, have their balance point no more than a few inches in front of the reel seat.

The Young's Ray Walton barbel rods that I have are a case in point. Since they're meant to be held all day (for rolling meat) not only are they light, but they balance far better than any other rod around the 1.5 - 1.75lb range (they're 1.6lb) that I, personally, have used. Maybe it's one of the times that the rod makers actually listened to one of their testers, but whatever the reason, because of this I'll likely be back on the Yorkshire rivers next year in search of Boris, all else being well.:thumbs: Of course, as I previously mentioned, some fixed spool reels have a rearward balance and the old rear-drag 4000 size Shimano baitrunners that have served me so well for so long are a near-perfect match, balance-wise. Incidentally, when I realised that fixed spools have different balance characteristics, I went through my whole collection of some 20-odd different fixed-spool reels and no two are the same. When I now pick up a reel in the shop it's one of the first things that I check.
 
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green man

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Yeah, I suppose it is, when your actually fishing with line through the rod etc you won't even notice if something isn't perfectly balanced.
The matchpro weighs next to nowt anyhow so it can't be very tip heavy.

If we were talking fly rods I'd agree that the line makes a difference to balance, but seriously, how much does 13ft of Drennan 3lb Supplex weigh? :D Plus, it's not like there's any drag to take into account.

And maybe 'heavy' is the wrong word... but 'unbalanced' is unbalanced... and like my fly rods, I think I'd prefer to have my trotting rod pretty much level when the line is in the water.

Anyway tigger, you're going to cost me £240.00 at this rate... :eek:mg: Before I do any tinkering, I'm going to 'trot' down to Tewkesbury on Saturday, to try a JW Young BJ centrepin on the rod... see how that balances.

Happy new year everyone. :w
 
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