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ProCraft Joe

Split Cork handle rods

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I was wondering, besides a small weight savings, what is the benefit of the split handles like the Carrot Stix and St Croix Legend or Mojo? Do you get increased sensitivity by having your hand on the rod instead of cork? I ask because I'm looking for a new 7' MH casting rod.

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I had a carrot stix for 6 month's and loved it. The only drawback for me was my pinky rested on the blank while casting or flipping so at the end of the day my finger killed me, especially when setting the hook. After a while I started getting a blister in that same spot. So as for me I love the splitgrip for slow worm fishing or finesse fishing but for anything else I wouldn't recommend it. Maybe I just have big hands.

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Personally, I think it's more about look then anything else. Sure it reduces a little bit of weight, and some guys say they think it's more sensitive.

No front grip keeps your finger directly on the blank, but your hand wont' be on the part of the rod that the cork is missing on the bottom grip anyway.

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but your hand wont' be on the part of the rod that the cork is missing on the bottom grip anyway.

Yeah, but the less material there is on the blank, the less there is to muffle vibrations.

Think of it like putting your hand on a snare drum. Touching the vibrating surface kills the vibrations by absorbing them. It's the same with cork. I don't know if that little bit less cork makes any noticeable differences but I like to think it does.

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but your hand wont' be on the part of the rod that the cork is missing on the bottom grip anyway.

Yeah, but the less material there is on the blank, the less there is to muffle vibrations.

Think of it like putting your hand on a snare drum. Touching the vibrating surface kills the vibrations by absorbing them. It's the same with cork. I don't know if that little bit less cork makes any noticeable differences but I like to think it does.

I completely understand why it "would", just have never noticed a difference personally. I think it gives confidence, which definitely helps.

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Personally, I dont like split grips. Yeah it make the rods look cool, but I am more interested in how it feels to me rather than how it looks in my hand. I really didnt notice a difference in sensitivity either.

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Guest beowulfx71

Split grips are just the trendy thing to do right know, my old bass pro catalog from 92 has some rods by Daiwa and Berkely with split grips so it is not a new idea just took awhile to be the "in" thing to do.

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Personally, I dont like split grips. Yeah it make the rods look cool, but I am more interested in how it feels to me rather than how it looks in my hand. I really didnt notice a difference in sensitivity either.

You said your more interested in how it feels to you, but you didn't notice a difference in sensitivity.  Do you mean how the handle feels or the feel of the rod in general?

As far as it being cool, I agree.  But for me it is also functional.  With bigger hands and the way I grip the reel, the curveture of the grip directly behind the reel seat "feels more comfortable to me.  Same goes for power humps like on the Avids.

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Split grips are just the trendy thing to do right know, my old bass pro catalog from 92 has some rods by Daiwa and Berkely with split grips so it is not a new idea just took awhile to be the "in" thing to do.

Might be trendy, but they are selling like hotcakes! :)  Some people don't mind changing it up a bit.  Others want traditional looks, they are more at home with it.  Most that have in depth experiance with both seem to think that sensitivity differences between the two are not too noticable, for for me, It's all good. 8-)

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Personally, I dont like split grips. Yeah it make the rods look cool, but I am more interested in how it feels to me rather than how it looks in my hand. I really didnt notice a difference in sensitivity either.

You said your more interested in how it feels to you, but you didn't notice a difference in sensitivity. Do you mean how the handle feels or the feel of the rod in general?

As far as it being cool, I agree. But for me it is also functional. With bigger hands and the way I grip the reel, the curveture of the grip directly behind the reel seat "feels more comfortable to me. Same goes for power humps like on the Avids.

I have big hands too, but I could not get comfortable with the split grips. For example, I own both the St Croix LTB Sweeper Spinnerbait rod in split grip and full cork. Yes, the split grip might be a tad lighter, but it really didnt translate in an increased sensitivity. I do agree that the foregrip is not needed on most rods.

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Different rods have different lengths of cork below the reel, some are more comfortable then others, but hand size does play a role in the comfort I see exactly where you're coming from. Only thing I like a foregrip for is swimbaits, other then that I love putting my finger on the blank directly.

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Different rods have different lengths of cork below the reel, some are more comfortable then others, but hand size does play a role in the comfort I see exactly where you're coming from. Only thing I like a foregrip for is swimbaits, other then that I love putting my finger on the blank directly.

Exactly. I have only tried my LTB and a friends Carrot Stix. I did like the foam grips.

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 I love split grips.  I use skeleton reel seats, so the presence/absence of a foregrip is irrelevant to me as I palm the reel, placing my fingers directly on the blank.

 Its really personal preference, but IMHO the reduced weight translates into increased sensitivity.  You can go to www.rodbuilding.org and do some reading. Lots of good information from people who have been building rods for a very very long time.

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I have mostly split grip rods. I can not say that they are more sensitive merely because of the grip style. The only way to realistically be able to say that is to have two identical blanks, with the same components, one built split and one built conventional.

Did a quick calculation based on measurements taken from my rods, and researched density figures for cork and EVA, and came up with an average of 1/3oz of reduced weight accounted for by the missing cork or EVA.

If you could reduce the weight in front of the reel seat by that much, you would have a noticeable difference. That amount of weight reduced behind the seat only makes the rod a bit more tip heavy.

On that note, I had to chuckle to first time I read the St Croix marketing for the LT series new split grip design. The said, " we've reset the fulcrum point to produce more efficient casting", or something to that effect. What a clever way to say the rods are now a bit more tip heavy. Kudos to St Croix's marketing people for making a silk purse out of a sow's ear. ;D ;D ;D

If I had to guess, I'd say that the reduced amount of material behind the reel seat produces an imperceptible increase in sensitivity. If you think it's more sensitive, then you'll act as if it is.

For the record, after trimming my bass rod collection down, I have two rods with conventional grips, eight with split grips, and one with no grips at all. I can't say, for the two and eight, which are more sensitive. They're from different companies, with different lengths, powers and actions.

The last one is the most sensitive. Not because of the missing material, but because my hand is in total contact with the rod blank all the time. Nothing to get in the way.

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Thanks guys, I figured it was just for looks but wasn't sure.

I know your question was primarily directed towards factory rods but I don't want people to make broad assumptions.

Often times a builder uses burl cork or another material that is heavier than natural cork and the split grip is needed to avoid an overly heavy or out of balance rod. Also in a custom, you can tailor the grips to achieve an exact balance point, by varying the size or shape of grip(s).

A split grip also gives you more lattitude to alter grip size and shape to fit the hands of a customer.

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