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I have seen a few different types of material for rod blanks, which do you guys prefer? why? 

 

Thank you !

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Graphite. Back in the day all that was available -besides cane poles and tubular steel- was fiberglass. I'm still thrilled to be able to have graphite. I'm sure there's more to it, but I'm still not over graphite. :notworthy:

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Depends on the situation, S glass, or composites for reaction baits, for everything else graphite.

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1 hour ago, Paul Roberts said:

Graphite. Back in the day all that was available -besides cane poles and tubular steel- was fiberglass. I'm still thrilled to be able to have graphite. I'm sure there's more to it, but I'm still not over graphite. :notworthy:

This.  Taper and blank speed is part of design but the material cannot be beat.  The daiwa steez flex lite cranking rods are amazing.

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It's not a clear cut decision. There are many factors that go into a blank besides base material: scrim, resin, mandrels, processes etc. one of the most intriguing parts of rod building is experimenting with different blanks. Granted not every builder has the time or budget for this on every build. Better to inquire about blanks for a specific application and weed through the responses. 

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For freshwater bass, walleye, pike, panfish, all I use is graphite.  For these applications I don't think there is anything that I'm missing that another material will offer.  All the lengths, powers, and actions I need are available in graphite, and I believe the rods will be lighter than the most obvious alternative, glass.

 

If buying for kids, others who won't take good care with the rods, or tough duty like downrigger rods, some glass options will be less likely to be damaged.

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Glass and composites has made a comeback, the most popular US built salmon rods are composites, their reduced reaction times help keep the fish hooked, the graphite helps them carry up to 20 oz. of lead without being cumbersome. The combination makes for a durable rod.

Skeeter Reese when he was sponsored by Lamiglas used an E glass blank the MB841E for his crankbait rod, over the years before that, the same blank could be bought both in S glass and Triflex which was a glass tipped rod with a graphite wrapped butt beginning about 2/3 up, the graphite flag was at an angle at the tip, so the stiffness was progressive and the larger diameter butt, thin walled. Both blanks were 3/8 oz. less weight then the E glass blank, all were built on the same mandrel. This blank and it's other MB bretheren have been, and still are, popular in the salt back east. My SMB841 S glass and CMB841 Triflex composite crankbait rods have been used for trolling for steelhead with plugs in the Columbia River, then caught sea bass, flounder, and other bottom fish the next day. 

Specialization, or the selling of the concept has sold a whole bunch more gear and tackle than ever before. Not so long ago, prior to Shimano, the old G Loomis catalogs would list all their rods and than list all the fish species he thought the same rod would be good at catching, some were a dozen species. Some of his hotshot blanks were built as hotshot rods for salmon/steelhead the HSR, an Mag Bass MBR, walleye WR and Green Water series the GWR, all the same identical blank, and same length, of course the grip lengths and other components were selected for each species requirements.

 

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I still have a Lamiglas S-Glass salmon/steelhead rod. I used it for down-rigging, hot-shotting, and esp hot-shot side-planing in rivers. It's thin-walled and quite light for an 8' glass rod. But, it's "rubbery" which is why it was relegated to a few jobs.

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I was taught glass for trebles, graphite for single hooks.

 

 

This rule does not apply for 50Lb and greater rigs......

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