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Robert Riley

Does lighter mean more sensitive?

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Hey guys,
So I've been curious lately and I'm wondering if a lighter rod means a more sensitive rod? I'd assume in regards to blanks yes, since components like cork can greatly add to the weight. But if you had two 7' MH/F blanks, would the lighter of the two be the more sensitive?

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What role does the density of the carbon play? From my physics background, I'd want to say that the more dense the rod, the better the sensitivity, but from my experience fishing I'd say the opposite. 

 

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quantify what sensitive is and you can get an answer but since that is impossible to do, you will have to judge it for yourself as everyones idea of sensitivity is different.  then of course there i also the 100 different variables involved as well....

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Weight plays a factor in two ways. First and foremost weight to stiffness ratio where the blank is concerned. Graphite modulus , scrim , resins , mandrels etc all factor into the final result. Secondly any unnecessary weight  saved through component and design allow the blank to retain more of its inherent qualities. This doesn't mean that Rod A will be more sensitive than rod B simply because A is lighter. It depends how the weight was achieved. 

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2 minutes ago, kickerfish1 said:

What rods were you comparing?

None specifically, just asking.

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17 minutes ago, Robert Riley said:

None specifically, just asking.

It really just depends as I have finished rods that have a little more weight when you weigh the finished product feel more sensitive in hand than rods that weigh less. Like DVT said it really boils down to the blank and components chose. For example lets say you are building a rod. You choose a blank that has an average weight rating for a blank. You choose to build with little bling keeping a minimalist approach in mind. Lets say you manage to put out a finished rod weight that is 4.1 ounces. Lets compare that to say a rod that was built on a premium blank but has some bling/decorative components on it so lets say a finished weight of 4.5 ounces. The 1st rod is lighter but will not be more sensitive just because it is lighter. There are just too many factors that paly into sensitivity than weight.

Here is another example since you are a Dobyns guy. The DX 743 HP rod weighs around 6 ounces. The *** *** 7'3 Medium weighs 4.86 ounces. Does this mean the 2nd is more sensitive than the first since it is over an ounce lighter? I would say likely not.

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Back in the late 70's thru the early nineties, I build most of my rods and numerous rods for friends. I built flyrods, drift rods, surfcasters, sturgeon rods and a passel of bass rods. Blank options were limited back then and technology was developing at a rapid rate.  Living  so close to Woodland, I was privy to what Gary Loomis was doing and what Dick Posey was doing in material and designs.  There was some experimentation with Boron that was  a terrible failure but boy was that blank light. DVT's comment was spot on.  Bass rods over 6 feet were rare in 1980 and now rods up to 8 feet are common.  The material, components, overall design and assembly collectively factor in.  Weight does not equate to sensitivity.   If you've ever have the opportunity to see blanks manufactured from the rolling process forward you would be amazed.  Anyone remember the rumor spread that if you stored your graphite rod on a wall, set on a metal nail, the rod would would break on that exact spot.  I remember that.  Rods back then, compared to what is available now, is like comparing the original bag phones to the new smart phones.  It's come that far. Lucky us.

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I recently bought two Villian 2.0 rods. They're very light and extremely sensitive. More than I expected and better sensitivity than any other Rod I own, owned or tried. They are the cats meow.

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"Sensitivity" is quite complex and in the end, how exactly can you measure it?  In addition to all the technical measurements there is also the human factor - how well is Joe Blow able to detect a fish bite on that Rod/reel/line combination?  Not so simple.  It even extends to human biomechanics.  If you use a rod that is tip heavy, the effort to hold the rod while fishing for hours will fatigue the fine motor muscles in your hands and reduce your ability to detect a strike.  So in practical terms, sensitivity is also dependent on the balance of the whole rig you are fishing.   

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I would quantify sensitivity as the rods ability to transmit vibrations from the guides to the area on the handle where it is held. Lighter is good, but the quality of graphite and material of guides and the handle material and style all matter and weight isn't everything. There are lots of rods lighter than an nrx but not as sensitive. And I know sensitivity is relative but anyone who says they can't feel more after using a high end rod like the nrx or k2 or edge black widow than they can with a lightning rod or even a 250 dollar rod like a Dobyns champion needs to go to a dr and have the nerves in their hands looked at

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If anyone is using mono or FC and worrying about sensitivity, change to braid.  Will make more of a difference than any of the blank or rod variables.

Re the definition of sensitivity, to me it is the ability to sense what's going on at the end of the line with my hand.  How to measure it?  I don't know. Sort of like porn.  I don't know how to define it but I recognize  it when I see it.

 How to build for it?  Choose top of the line blanks, build with the minimal approach of the lightest components, smallest guides, and don't sacrifice ergonomics very much.  A rod that is very very sensitive may not feel that way at the end of the day because your fingers are numb from gripping a skeleton seat or one too small for your hands.

Good discussion.

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2 hours ago, MickD said:

If anyone is using mono or FC and worrying about sensitivity, change to braid.  Will make more of a difference than any of the blank or rod variables.

Re the definition of sensitivity, to me it is the ability to sense what's going on at the end of the line with my hand.  How to measure it?  I don't know. Sort of like porn.  I don't know how to define it but I recognize  it when I see it.

 How to build for it?  Choose top of the line blanks, build with the minimal approach of the lightest components, smallest guides, and don't sacrifice ergonomics very much.  A rod that is very very sensitive may not feel that way at the end of the day because your fingers are numb from gripping a skeleton seat or one too small for your hands.

Good discussion.

Something just ain't right with that second paragraph. :unsure:

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For most rods of equal size and length, in general ..................YES!

 

with some exceptions

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