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Magnesium vs Aluminium reels


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  • Super User

Is their any advantage to a reel with an Mg frame vs one with an aluminium frame (other than weight)?

I was browsing the Enthusiast Resource forum (TT lol) and came across a post that I thought was remarkable.

**It's not your imagination that some reels feel better/more sensitive with some applications and on different rods. I agree that the lighter magnesium framed reels tend to feel better with bottom contact baits.**

Guess it depends on how you hold the rod, and I suppose balance has something to do with it. But riddle me this, won't a rod balance better with a heavier (ie Aluminium) reel?

@Delaware Valley Tackle

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I would imagine that different metals could transmit vibrations/movement differently...Whether Magnesium is 'more sensitive' (transmits better) than Aluminum or vice-versa I can't say.  I have noticed that different reels on the same rod can have a different feeling, but I've always chalked that up to ergonomics.  

Interesting idea though...

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  • Super User
25 minutes ago, Logan S said:

I would imagine that different metals could transmit vibrations/movement differently...Whether Magnesium is 'more sensitive' (transmits better) than Aluminum or vice-versa I can't say.  I have noticed that different reels on the same rod can have a different feeling, but I've always chalked that up to ergonomics.  

Interesting idea though...

I agree, I think he's saying that magnesium transmits vibrations better than aluminum.  I have reels made of both materials and never really noticed a difference one way or the other.

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IMO the role reels play in Rod balance is way over played. For one thing the reel is right at the fulcrum. Secondly each persons grip is a little different. Sensitivity is positively affected by a lower weight to rigidity ratio. If MG is as rigid aluminum but lighter, in theory it should aid sensitivity. Sensitivity can't be measured and the human element can't be accounted for do its all personal preference in the end. 

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I can definitely tell a difference, I swapped out my zillion for a tdz and the tdz did seem to transmit the vibrations better on the same rod. There was one difference, the zillion is spooled with 16lb sniper and the tdz had 14lb sniper. I think that less mass helps sensitivity more than the metal the reel is made of, but I could wrong.

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  • Super User

I own several magnesium reels and that is just one huge steaming recently dropped pile of bull ........ Similar to the one you saw the Triceratops left in Jurassic Park. Magnesium reels have a particular plasticky hollow feel and do sound different but that feel is limited to reel, the rod has no part in that sensation.

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  • Super User

I don't know about y'all but when this dumb Cajun gets a bite it travels up my line, down my rod, to my fingers, which I feel long before it ever reaches my reel.

If ya waiting for a bite to reach your rod ya late!

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2 hours ago, Delaware Valley Tackle said:

IMO the role reels play in Rod balance is way over played. For one thing the reel is right at the fulcrum. Secondly each persons grip is a little different. Sensitivity is positively affected by a lower weight to rigidity ratio. If MG is as rigid aluminum but lighter, in theory it should aid sensitivity. Sensitivity can't be measured and the human element can't be accounted for do its all personal preference in the end. 

Aluminum is about 1.5 times as heavy as magnesium. It is also about 1.5 times as rigid. Based on what you are saying, it's a wash.

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2 hours ago, Delaware Valley Tackle said:

IMO the role reels play in Rod balance is way over played. For one thing the reel is right at the fulcrum. Secondly each persons grip is a little different. Sensitivity is positively affected by a lower weight to rigidity ratio. If MG is as rigid aluminum but lighter, in theory it should aid sensitivity. Sensitivity can't be measured and the human element can't be accounted for do its all personal preference in the end. 

Sensitivity can be measured as vibration intensity. Vibration can be measured using several types of devices, either by an tiny accelerometer attached to the the device or a laser that measures displacement of the surface in response to a stimulus (the stimulus could be a mechanical tweaking of a fishing line attached to the reel at a fixed length and tension). Any volunteers want to set this experiment up in their basement? There's plenty of time left till bass season in the frigid north.

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There seems to be very little science in bass fishing, considering how technological it is. There is clearly a lot of engineering that goes into fishing equipment, but little of that seems to filter down to reviews. Reviewers of bass fishing equipment seldom provide accurate comparisons across brands. Contrast that with automobile or bicycle reviews. Reviewers of bicycle wheels, for instance, may measure weight, rolling resistance, aerodynamics, rigidity, and sensitivity across brands. Rod reviewers, manufacturers, and retailers rarely mention even the weight of the rods, just that they are "extremely light weight" and "super sensitive." A new reel in the line up may be described as "more sensitive."  We should just take the manufacturers at their word? Or believe some random guy that just spent a fortune on a piece of equipment and tried it out a couple of times? Give us more science. More data. Better reviews. Please. We deserve that because we spend a ton of money on this stuff.

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3 hours ago, Delaware Valley Tackle said:

IMO the role reels play in Rod balance is way over played. For one thing the reel is right at the fulcrum. Secondly each persons grip is a little different. Sensitivity is positively affected by a lower weight to rigidity ratio. If MG is as rigid aluminum but lighter, in theory it should aid sensitivity. Sensitivity can't be measured and the human element can't be accounted for do its all personal preference in the end. 

Aluminum alloy is 1.5 times more rigid than Mg.

http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/modulus-rigidity-d_946.html

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  • Super User
20 minutes ago, hawgenvy said:

There seems to be very little science in bass fishing, considering how technological it is. There is clearly a lot of engineering that goes into fishing equipment, but little of that seems to filter down to reviews. Reviewers of bass fishing equipment seldom provide accurate comparisons across brands. Contrast that with automobile or bicycle reviews. Reviewers of bicycle wheels, for instance, may measure weight, rolling resistance, aerodynamics, rigidity, and sensitivity across brands. Rod reviewers, manufacturers, and retailers rarely mention even the weight of the rods, just that they are "extremely light weight" and "super sensitive." A new reel in the line up may be described as "more sensitive."  We should just take the manufacturers at their word? Or believe some random guy that just spent a fortune on a piece of equipment and tried it out a couple of times? Give us more science. More data. Better reviews. Please. We deserve that because we spend a ton of money on this stuff.

I agree with you 100%

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While MG is the lightest structural metal available, it has incredible dampening ability, as much as 10X greater than aluminum.  They use it to mount very delicate electronic instruments in modern aircraft because it is so quiet. (as in no vibration)

What I wonder about fishing reels is just how much MG is contained in the alloy the frames are made of.  I would bet that it is not nearly as high as some would have you believe.  The reason I mention this is that when you run dry ceramic bearings in a MG reel they almost always seem to be louder than in an AL reel.

 

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  • Super User

It all depends on whose hands the reel is in period!

Everyone's "sense" of feel is different as is their brain's ability to interpret what's being felt.

In my wife's hands it would not matter what line, rod, or reel was used because what was transmitted up the line, down the rod, to the hands would be lost by the brain. The reason is not due to a lack of sensitivity but a lack of experience in her brain as to what to feel for. Subtle vibrations that I would feel would go unnoticed by her.

Y'all wanna talk "science" then "sensitivity" of lines, rods, or reels is the wrong word, all three transmit vibrations which are felt by our hands.

As I mentioned earlier ya should "sense" the bite long before it gets to your reel!

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6 minutes ago, Catt said:

It all depends on whose hands the reel is in period!

Everyone's "sense" of feel is different as is their brain's ability to interpret what's being felt.

In my wife's hands it would not matter what line, rod, or reel was used because what was transmitted up the line, down the rod, to the hands would be lost by the brain. The reason is not due to a lack of sensitivity but a lack of experience in her brain as to what to feel for. Subtle vibrations that I would feel would go unnoticed by her.

Y'all wanna talk "science" then "sensitivity" of lines, rods, or reels is the wrong word, all three transmit vibrations which are felt by our hands.

As I mentioned earlier ya should "sense" the bite long before it gets to your reel!

Agreed ~ and I'll go on to say that I don't want to feel anything about my casting reel at all - ever.

Just collect the line quietly & smoothly while I fish please.

A-Jay

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8 hours ago, hawgenvy said:

Sensitivity can be measured as vibration intensity. Vibration can be measured using several types of devices, either by an tiny accelerometer attached to the the device or a laser that measures displacement of the surface in response to a stimulus (the stimulus could be a mechanical tweaking of a fishing line attached to the reel at a fixed length and tension). Any volunteers want to set this experiment up in their basement? There's plenty of time left till bass season in the frigid north.

But you can't measure perception.

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5 hours ago, A-Jay said:

Agreed ~ and I'll go on to say that I don't want to feel anything about my casting reel at all - ever.

Just collect the line quietly & smoothly while I fish please.

A-Jay

I agree. Sensitive rod: definitely. Sensitive line: maybe. Sensitive reel: irrelevant marketing concept.

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  • Super User

Got to wonder how we managed to catch bass 20 to 50 years ago without state of the art materials used today! The rods and reels were too heavy, the line wasn't super braid or FC and we did catch big bass consistantly using the same techniques then as we do today, relying on our sense of touch and eye sight.

Magnesium is an interesting metal without natural harmonics that transfer vibration, very dead and the reason it's used to make vibration test fixtures. Any vibration the line may transfer is lost with magnesium. Another factor besides being lighter density than aluminum is it's also further down the galvanic chart making it more sacrificial then aluminum to corrosion when subjected to electrolytes like salt water or acid fuels. 

The use of high strength composite materials that are lighter weight and impervious to corrosion are far better choices than magnesium.

Tom

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Bow risers are made of mg to dampen the shock from the realease .i know it works also i have shot both and beleive me you a aluminum bow will vibrate way more then a mg for a split second

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  • Super User

Magnesium isn't a high strength metal, about 1/2 the tensile strength of 7075-T6 aluminum or about 1/4 the strength of titanium and about 75% the strength of PEEK thermal plastic.

Not all metals are stronge and make good reel frames. 

Tom

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