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Georgia Jeff

Who understands graphite ratings?

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Trying to compare rods via statistics is virtually impossible with all the different ways of rating graphite.  For instance the bps pro finesse rods use 70 million high modulus graphite to make their rod and they sell for $99.  Cabelas on the other hand makes their new Magtouch rod with 54 million modulus graphite.  Then you have IM7 IM8 IM9.  What the heck does all this crap mean?  Is there any way to compare apples to apples?  Shouldn't 70 million be more sensitive than 54 million?  And yes I know to go try them out and see which one feels the best.  Any thoughts?

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Its confusing because there isn't a universal standard that all companies list their rods as but basically an increase in modulus indicates an increase in sensitivity. I'm sure some of the guys on here will be able to give you a more technical answer

Heres a little sensitivity  comparison for reference (not to be taken seriously, )

ugly sticks < everything else < G Loomis    

That little diagram should pretty much cover any rod sensitivity question you have! ;D

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I actually know some rednecks around here that swear by an Ugly Stick.  I wouldn't fish one if you paid me to.

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I found this explaination on another site and found it quite informative. I also came across this article from G Loomis explaining graphite. http://www.flwoutdoors.com/article.cfm?id=141123

I have been looking for another article I read that goes into the High Strain graphite.  This type of graphite allows sensitivity with less brittleness.  In other words a HM rod of 60 million is more brittle than a HS 60million modulus rod, both have the same sensitivity.

IM = Intermediate Modulus

HM = High Modulus

HS = High Strain graphite

*****

The first thing you should know is there is no industry standard for IM6, IM7and IM8. Rather, it's a range that manufacturers use to classify their rods according to the modulus content. Modulus is a term that describes the stiffness to weight ratio of the graphite that's used to create the rod blank. Here's how it works.when you cast a lure, the rod flexes with the weight of the lure, storing energy as it flexes. When the motion of the rod stops, the rod flexes and releases all of its stored energy to propel the lure. When you increase the modulus of the graphite, you increase the ability of that graphite to store and release energy. You also increase the speed that the rod releases the stored energy. That in turn, increases the lure speed that is generated in the cast. Increase the modulus and you increase the reaction speed and power of the rod blank.

Below is a general example of modulus ratings using G Loomis classes:

GLX - 65 million modulus

IMX - 55 million modulus

GL3 - 47 million modulus (IM8)

GL2 - 42 million modulus (IM7)

IM6 - 38 million modulus

Standard Graphite - 33 million modulus

Unfortunately, increased modulus results in increased costs. The highest modulus graphite material costs as much as ten times more than standard graphite. The drawback with increased modulus is the rod blank tends to be somewhat brittle and more likely to break from impact fracture, such as dropping the rod on a hard surface. If you tend be abusive with your gear, it would be wise to back away from the top modulus rods and choose something in the mid range that will offer more durability. Before you purchase a rod, especially the high priced, high modulus, be sure that it is backed by a lifetime warranty.

*****

and more

******

Graphite is the most common rod material today, and is the lightest and strongest material. However, there are many varieties of graphite, depending on manufacturing quality and process, and thus graphite rods range widely in cost. Graphite rods, especially higher-end models, tend to be thin and a susceptible to breaking if they are chipped, scratched, or cracked. Lower-end graphite rods, these days, are probably almost as durable as fiberglass rods. Most high-end rods have lifetime warranties, partly because they do tend to break more often. Below are some explanations of rod materials:

From Ralph Heidecke: Types of Graphite (IM6 etc) [from Brian Costlow, posted this back in April 1998]

IM6 is a 'Grade' of Magnamite, a graphite product of Hercules Inc. BASF makes a similar product, as well as others. The important thing about IM6, IM7, IM8 ratings for fishing applications is the tensile modulus. Most dept. store rods that are graphite composites are around 30-35 million psi tensile modulus. The IM is a shorthand for that tensile rating. IM6 = 40 million IM7 = 41 million IM8 = 45 million Tensile modulus briefly is: (Courtesy Owens-Corning) "When a bar is pulled in tension, it has to get longer. The tensile modulus is used to calculate how much longer it will get when a certain load is applied to it. Units are normally millions of pounds per square inch. Higher numbers indicate materials which will not elongate as much as others when they are being compared under equal tensile loading conditions." That elongation, or elasticity, is what allows the rod to spring and bend back.

So (grossly oversimpifying) a rod made of IM6 can be built with similar strength and flex characteristics to a rod that uses cheaper material, while making the tube wall thinner, which in theory makes the rod lighter and more sensitive. On the other hand, just because a rod is built using IM6 does not mean it's a great rod. Exactly how the material is laid up in the blank, whether any other material (other graphite composites, fiberglass, aramid and gel-spun polys for instance) the taper, length, all go towards making a good blank. These things also affect the action (fast or slow taper). Then to make a good rod, you have to worry about the seat and handle, and how it's connected, guide material and so on.

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Great article! ;)

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Its confusing because there isn't a universal standard that all companies list their rods as but basically an increase in modulus indicates an increase in sensitivity. I'm sure some of the guys on here will be able to give you a more technical answer

Heres a little sensitivity comparison for reference (not to be taken seriously, )

ugly sticks < everything else < G Loomis

That little diagram should pretty much cover any rod sensitivity question you have! ;D

Granted the SHR is not GLX, but I find both my Rogue and Johnny Morris Elite to be more sensetive. 8-)

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Below is a general example of modulus ratings using G Loomis classes:

GLX - 65 million modulus

IMX - 55 million modulus

GL3 - 47 million modulus (IM8)

GL2 - 42 million modulus (IM7)

IM6 - 38 million modulus

Standard Graphite - 33 million modulus

retiredbosn,

Where did this info come from?

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I'm glad you mentioned strain rate, because brittleness comes up fairly often and is very misunderstood.

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Also as a general warning, the article you referenced was written by Craig Baugher... both he and his article have been shot full of holes. He is famous for misquoting and incorrectly taking info from the interviewee and getting the article wrong. Do a search if you need more info.

I hope this doesn't become a can o' worms.

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Just copied a post from another site.

Everything not highlighted is the little I know.  From the searches I've done this information seems to be have taken from Loomis way back when they still advertised graphite rating content, which they haven't done for years.  If that is the case then the content to series rating would be way off as new technology has allowed rod builders increase the graphite content.

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Its confusing because there isn't a universal standard that all companies list their rods as but basically an increase in modulus indicates an increase in sensitivity. I'm sure some of the guys on here will be able to give you a more technical answer

Heres a little sensitivity comparison for reference (not to be taken seriously, )

ugly sticks < everything else < G Loomis

That little diagram should pretty much cover any rod sensitivity question you have! ;D

Granted the SHR is not GLX, but I find both my Rogue and Johnny Morris Elite to be more sensetive. 8-)

I too have a JM elite with the recoil guides and absolutely love it.  When paired with braided line you can feel fish looking at your lure.  I also have and love the BPS finesse rods.  I was considering a Cabelas Magtouch rod or either a Carrot stick or something similar.  However, it is difficult to figure this stuff out unless you get to fish with one.

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The higher the IM the more sensitive the rod is going to be. As for the 54 and 70 million modulus blanks I don't know to much about them so I can't help you there.

Not Necessarily. There are other elements that need to be factored such as how the grapite is used.

Here is a little more information from ab article with Gary Loomis.

Full Credit to the Author and Mr. Loomis

FLW Outdoors Magazine - December 2003

Graphite rods - Gary Loomis helps explain the differences and dispel a few myths

By Craig Baugher - 19.Dec.2003

Ever since the introduction of the first graphite rod by Fenwick in 1974, myths about this mysterious material have been growing and circulating the globe like wildfire. How many times have you been told that the difference between IM6, IM7 and IM8 is the difference in quality standard, or that the higher the modulus, the more graphite was used to produce the rod?

With there being so many misconceptions surrounding this material, Gary Loomis one of the world's foremost authorities on graphite rod design and founder of the G.Loomis Corp. agreed to lend his expertise to eliminate these myths.

Loomis began by explaining that the identifiers IM6, IM7 and IM8 are the trade numbers used by the Hexcel Corp. to identify their product and is not an industry quality or material standard, although the Hercules Fibers produced by the Hexcel Corp. are the benchmark that most companies use to compare their materials. The confusion is compounded because a number of rod manufacturers use materials produced by companies other than Hexcel and yet identify their rods as being IM6, IM7 and IM8, which by itself means nothing.

What an angler needs to understand is how the word modulus pertains to graphite rods. Modulus is not a thread count, as many would have you believe. Modulus basically equates to stiffness. The higher the modulus, the stiffer the material is by weight, meaning less material is needed to achieve the same stiffness of lower-modulus materials. This results in a lighter product.

You have to remember, weight is the deterrence to performance, Loomis said. Stiffness also equates to responsiveness that is, the rod's ability to store and release energy. The higher the modulus, the faster and more consistent a rod is able to store and release its energy, which enables an angler to cast farther and more accurately.

But you cannot talk about modulus without including strain rate, or the measured strength of the material. While modulus is reported in millions, strain rate is reported in thousands. An acceptable strain rate for a fishing rod is 680,000 or higher. A graphite rod made from IM6 Hercules Fibers will have a modulus of 36 million and a strain rate of 750,000.

With the original materials used for graphite rods, as the modulus rate increased, the strain rate would decrease, resulting in the rods being more acceptable to failures because of brittleness. However, through the advancements of materials, technology and engineering design, companies are able to produce high-modulus, high-strain-rate rods. These new high-tech fishing rods are super-light, responsive, and extremely sensitive and strong.

But the misconception of brittleness still plagues them, and the reason for this is because as the modulus gets higher, the less material is needed and therefore used. This means that the wall thickness in the blank, which is basically a hollow tube, is thinner. Remember what I said before weight is the deterrence to performance, Loomis said, and went on to tell a story:

I had a gentleman come in with a fly rod that broke near the handle, and he was asking for a new rod. I examined his broken rod and knew from the break it was splintered that his rod broke from abuse. So I asked him how it broke, and the man, being sincere, told me it broke while fighting a fish. I explained that it would be nearly impossible for the rod to break this way. But to be fair, (I told him) if he could break another rod the same way, I would give him three brand-new rods of his choice, but if he couldn't, that he would pay for the repairs, and the man agreed.

So I took him out in the back by the shipping docks and handed him an identical rod. With the rod in his hands, I grabbed the blank and asked him to apply the same pressure he was using when it broke. The man was applying a great deal of stress on the rod, and it wasn't breaking. So I asked if he wanted to apply even more pressure, and the man responded that he didn't think he could, but he insisted that is how his rod broke.

So then I told him, We are going to break this rod, so that it breaks just like yours did.' I then laid the blank on a rubber mat and I kneeled on it by the handle, and we tried it again but it didn't break. Then I laid it on the concrete and kneeled on it. Examining the rod, you couldn't see it was damaged, but this time the rod broke just like his did, and the man simply asked where he needed to pay to get his rod repaired.

The point of this story is that these high-modulus, high-strain-rate, thin-walled rods are extremely strong and are highly unlikely ever to break under normal use. Almost all rods are damaged by other means an angler accidentally stepping on them, hitting them against a hard surface while casting, or storing them where a toolbox or some other heavy object can slide into them. Then, with the damage done, the rod collapses while under the stress of fighting a fish. So while high-modulus, high-strain-rate rods are not brittle, they do require more care in storage and transport.

There is a graphite rod made for every angler and their lifestyle. Composite blends (a mix of graphite and fiberglass) can take a lot of abuse. Intermediate modulus rods (33 million to 42 million) with high strain rates (700,000 or higher) still offer a lot of sensitivity and responsiveness and are quite durable. The high-modulus, high-strain-rate, extremely light rods are usually a rod manufacturer's high-end product. These rods are the ultimate in responsiveness and sensitivity, and they cost a lot more than the average fishing rod. As with anything that costs this type of money, you would want to take a lot better care of it, including using protective cases to store and transport them around.

Hopefully, you now have a much better understanding of graphite as it pertains to fishing rods, and as a result, understand the care you need to employ with their use, storage and transport. Finally, armed with your newfound knowledge, you will be able to make a much more informed decision the next time you purchase your next graphite rod.

8-)

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Here ya go again......This has been posted here before many times...

Good evenin' folks,

I may be about to open a SERIOUS can of worms with this thread, but what the heck.....here goes anyway. Being in the blank distribution business, I get asked A LOT about the construction and makeup of the various graphite rod blanks that I sell. And, I have to say that whenever somebody asks me about modulus I just cringe! Here is why; It seems that about 90% of the folks that email me want to know what the modulus is of the blank(s) they are considering buying. When I ask "Why do you want to know that" they can't really give me an answer....they're just convinced that higher the IM rating is better. Here is how the conversation usually evolves:

Mr. Customer: What modulus is that blank made from?

Andy: Well, if you must know, it's about 40million Msi

Mr. Customer: What does that mean?

Andy: Well, it means the blank is made from the material you have come to know and love as IM6

Mr. Customer: Oh, that's too antiquated...I only fish with IM7 and higher.

Andy: Really? Did you know that the difference between IM6 and IM7 is not the modulus it's the tensile strength?

Mr. Customer: Really?

Andy: Yeah REALLY!

Mr. Customer: Eh Hhhmmm....erreer, uh, oh....well uh....well Bass Pro Shops says...

Andy: Forget Bass Pro shops...let's look at the numbers (at this point Andy whips out his trusty data chart that illustrates the differences between the different fibers that actually have IM designations). Here take a look at this. This comes from a chart put together by the folks at Hexcel (http://www.advancedcomposites.com/technology.htm)

The number on the far right is the modulus of the fiber, and the number in the middle is the elongation to failure or stretch.

Hexcel IM4 600 40

Hexcel IM6 760 40

Hexcel IM7 780 40

Hexcel IM8 790 44

Hexcel IM9 920 42

Mr. Customer: You Mean all this time I thought I was getting a higher modulus fiber with the higher IM rating, when what I was really getting is a fiber that stretches more?

Andy: Well, in some cases you are, and in some cases you arent. The fact is though that the difference between IM6 and IM7 is nothing in terms of modulus, and compared to IM8 it's only slightly higher. Wow...look at that IM9 actually has a lower modulus than IM8...go figure Now, many companies are using fibers with a much higher modulus, like 57 and even higher, however these fibers don't necessarily use the IM ratings. So, whenever you see a fiber with an IM rating...BUYER BEWARE! THE HIGHER THE IM RATING, DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN THE HIGHER THE MODULUS!!!

The point is this folks...just because you have a blank made from a high modulus fiber, doesn't means it's a good rod! And vice versa, just because you have a blank with a low modulus...even the original fiber blanks were made with (33 million) doesn't mean it's a bad or outdated rod. It's all about what the designer does with it.

I know there are some of you that may already know this, but judging from the amount of calls I get on a daily basis from folks who ONLY want IM7 or IM8, but can't really tell you why, I have to believe they don't really know what they are talking about at all. They've just been sucked into the marketing machine that leads people to believe that the higher the IM rating, the lighter and more sensetive the material, which is not always the case.

Be forewarned that there is A LOT more to graphite blank construction, performance, quality, sensetivity, weight etc... than just what modulus the fiber is. There are lots of other variables like flag patterns, and wall thickness, and resin systems, and mandrel design....It's all about the talent of the designer, and what he is able to do in terms of the sum of those variables...not just the friggin modulus!

Whewww...ok I feel better now...

My aforementioned explanation of modulus and IM ratings is by no means meant to be anything more than a brief primer for the folks who didn't realize what the differences with the IM ratings were. I hope this clears things up a bit, and I hope that some of you will chime in on this as well. Oh, here is a link to the Hexcel page for those of you who want to investigate the matter further. Do a search for IM6 and you'll get some interesting info. (if you're into that kind of techie junk).

[www.hexcel.com]

[www.advancedcomposites.com]

Now, this gives you some ammunition...next time you stroll into BassPro, and some yahoo tries to sell you a rod based on it's IM rating, ask him to explain to you why the higher IM ratings are better. When he replies by sayin' that the higher the IM rating means more sensetivity, less weight etc....just tell him that you have a blank at home made from IM2000, and see what he says.

Regards,

Andy Dear

Lamar Manf.

Good Luck All!!!

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what about when the modulus rating is given in tons? how does that compare to a rating given in millions?

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Is there any way to compare apples to apples?

No, there 's no way to compare apples to apples between two different manufacturers, there is no industry standard.

Manufacturer "A" may manufacture his rods with let 's say IM6 rating material and those rods may be better than manufacturer 's "B" rods made with IM10 rating material.

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Other things to consider when purchasing rods, are the resins and types of graphite.  How all of these things come into play are beyond me, so I just purchase rods from reputable manufacturers.  Like I've state before we are at the point now that the rod technology has surpassed my ability to tell the difference.  I have some nerve damage in my arms so a rod that you can feel a fish look at your bait doesn't do me much good.  I still have to watch line and keep a finger under the line.  Anything past a quality rod with blank through constuction that I can place a finger on the blank under the reel and I'm not gaining anything.  

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Thanks for all the responses.  Unfortunately the answers basically come down to if the rod cost more it is most likely better.  Not good for my wallet.  

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