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SuthernHaze

balancing point

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many people talk about the balancing point of rods with certain reels. Tackle Tour actually measures this out on many reviews. Where do you want the balancing point to be because without knowing this then all the numbers mean nothing

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There was an episode of Hunt for Big Fish with a great segment where larry showed off a simple fulcrum and scale arrangement, and explained the benefits. For me, its really relative. It either feels good or it doesn't. I've added weight to the butt of some pitching/flipping sods, with good results. For the most part, slightly tip heavy works for me.  But is mostly a try it out and see deal for me.  One rod fished horribly with a particular reel on it.  Switch out that reel with a different one, and the whle system was improved.

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I've been a hard sell on adding oz's to a rod I payed bucks for in part for it's lack of weight. A "balanced rod", with fulcrum at your rod hand, feels great in your living room, or when you are holding the rod horizontal. But, as you go progressively tip up, the rod gets progressively butt heavy. I've stayed tip-heavy when horizontal, a compromise between rod positions I actually use on the water.

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Paul, if you have to add ounces to balance a rod, there's a big problem with it.  I'm talking the equivalent of a few of BB size split shot.

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I view balance as more the way the components of the setup compliment each other rather than see-sawing on a particular fulcrum point. When I build rods, balance is a consideration, but it takes a back seat to grip length,over all weight and intended use. J Francho's right that the rod needs to feel good first and foremost.

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Paul, if you have to add ounces to balance a rod, there's a big problem with it. I'm talking the equivalent of a few of BB size split shot.

Spilt shot?? That would be convenient. Maybe for a casting rig -I haven't tried that -they feel just fine as they are. But on my spinning rods it takes some lead to bring the fulcrum to my middle finger -I put the stem between my ring and little finger.

For instance, I tried to balance a a 4oz Skyline rod and a ~9oz Cardinal 3 reel and had to use around oz of lead. Maybe it's the short handles I use, and propensity to use the lightest reels I can find. Unless I need the length for a fighting butt I'm apt to lop a handle off -esp if used from a float tube. But the Skyline has the original handle. I do have a Quick 1202 reel that weighs in at 12+oz and this put the fulcrum much closer to my rod hand. But I've gone lighter and lighter with my reels. My lightest rig is a 7ft Kistler LTA and a USReels 225 -the whole rig weighs less then that old Quick. To balance it? Probably 2oz of lead. No, I don't get tired having to support all that weight up front LOL.

I began playing with "balancing" to see if I could gain sensitivity, and found it (at this time) to be a "feel good" kind of thing that didn't pan out on the water. The one thing I do NOT want is a butt heavy rig: The tip simply disappears -to my "feel" anyway. I liked the fulcrum at my hand with the rod held low or horizontal, but anything above 9 o'clock and the tip disappears on me! I went back to my usual tip heavy rigs, which "balance out" nicely with the rod tip up -the way I fish plastics and jigs with the line hanging at a 30 to 90deg angle off the rod. When using swimming retrieves, and with lures that resist I often (but not always) use a low rod (horizontal or below) with 90deg line to rod angle, . These rod-line angles I believe give me the most sensitivity. Make sense, or am I just talkin' all "touchy feely"? ;D

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There are two approaches to establishing a balanced outfit, that is: "with the reel" & "without the reel".

A rod that's balanced without the reel will always be balanced regardless of the reel attached.

On the downside, the only way to balance the rod alone is by adding to its weight.

This flies in the face of buying an expensive 3.75 oz blank, because in many cases,

"ounces" will be needed to achieve a center-grip balancing point.

Common counterbalances are heavy stainless-steel bolts and big rubber chair tips (alias butt caps).

The other approach and the one I prefer, is to balance the outfit with the reel attached.

Alas, this approach flies in the face of buying the lightest high-end reel, because the lighter

the reel, the more top-heavy the combo. In any case, I personally prefer the feel

of a slightly top-heavy outfit, where the heavier reel generally gets the nod,

and the balance-point is roughly in-line with the front-drag of a spinning reel.

Roger

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all rods take ozs to balance.the proper balance point is the center of the reel seat.reel weight has nothing to do with balance if the fulcrum is the center of the reel seat.a neutral balanced rod is less tiring to fish with than a tip heavy rod.the extra weight is definately not noticed.it still pays to have lghter equipment becuase a lighter setup takes less weight to balance in most cases and over all weight stays lower.

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All do not take ounces to balance, and the proper balance point is where it feels good to the user.  Once again, this is subjective, not written in stone.

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all rods take ozs to balance.the proper balance point is the center of the reel seat.reel weight has nothing to do with balance if the fulcrum is the center of the reel seat.a neutral balanced rod is less tiring to fish with than a tip heavy rod.the extra weight is definately not noticed.it still pays to have lghter equipment becuase a lighter setup takes less weight to balance in most cases and over all weight stays lower.

Isn't that contradictory?

Yes, it does pay to have light equipment,

but if as you say, it always takes ounces to balance the rod by itself,

then you'll be forced to attach a 3-bearing reel made of polycarbonate

in order to offset the weight you added to the rod.

I personally prefer to spend the money on a lightweight rod,

rather than a lightweight reel. In this manner, I can select a reel

with a robust frame and high-bearing count, and still end up

with a "naturally" balanced outfit.

But of course, it all boils down to personal preference.

Roger

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All do not take ounces to balance, and the proper balance point is where it feels good to the user. Once again, this is subjective, not written in stone.

why on earth would you balance a rod any place but the center of the reel seat?that makes no sense at all.the only reason to vary from that is if you hold it elsewhere.most of us don't.the word balance means even so a balanced rod will sit flat on top of the fulcrum point at which it is balanced.if it is butt heavy or tip heavy it is not balanced.all casting rods will take over 1 oz to achieve this.this is true of even the diawa steez rods.if you prefer your rods tip heavy that's ok if it works for you but don't call it balanced because it's far from it.

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all rods take ozs to balance.the proper balance point is the center of the reel seat.reel weight has nothing to do with balance if the fulcrum is the center of the reel seat.a neutral balanced rod is less tiring to fish with than a tip heavy rod.the extra weight is definately not noticed.it still pays to have lghter equipment becuase a lighter setup takes less weight to balance in most cases and over all weight stays lower.

Isn't that contradictory?

Yes, it does pay to have light equipment,

but if as you say, it always takes ounces to balance the rod by itself,

then you'll be forced to attach a 3-bearing reel made of polycarbonate

in order to offset the weight you added to the rod.

I personally prefer to spend the money on a lightweight rod,

rather than a lightweight reel. In this manner, I can select a reel

with a robust frame and high-bearing count, and still end up

with a "naturally" balanced outfit.

But of course, it all boils down to personal preference.

Roger

and my question to you would be where do you hold the rod?do you palm the reel?if so your balance point should be the center of the reel seat.if not then your balance point should be where you hold it.most guys i know palm the reel so most of us should use the center of the reel seat as the fulcrum point.now if you prefer slightly tip heavy that's cool but it's not "balanced".that would be like balancing a wheel and the electronic balancer tells you to put on 2 ozs of weight and you prefer 1.5 oz.well 1.5 oz may keep you awake while driving with a shimmey but it's not "balanced".

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all rods take ozs to balance.the proper balance point is the center of the reel seat.reel weight has nothing to do with balance if the fulcrum is the center of the reel seat.a neutral balanced rod is less tiring to fish with than a tip heavy rod.the extra weight is definately not noticed.it still pays to have lghter equipment becuase a lighter setup takes less weight to balance in most cases and over all weight stays lower.

Isn't that contradictory?

Yes, it does pay to have light equipment,

but if as you say, it always takes ounces to balance the rod by itself,

then you'll be forced to attach a 3-bearing reel made of polycarbonate

in order to offset the weight you added to the rod.

I personally prefer to spend the money on a lightweight rod,

rather than a lightweight reel. In this manner, I can select a reel

with a robust frame and high-bearing count, and still end up

with a "naturally" balanced outfit.

But of course, it all boils down to personal preference.

Roger

and my question to you would be where do you hold the rod?do you palm the reel?if so your balance point should be the center of the reel seat.if not then your balance point should be where you hold it.most guys i know palm the reel so most of us should use the center of the reel seat as the fulcrum point.now if you prefer slightly tip heavy that's cool but it's not "balanced".

Oddly perhaps, but I prefer the feel of an outfit that's slightly top-heavy to one that's perfectly balanced.

With spinning gear, I prefer the balance-point to align with the reel bale rather than the reel tang.

As a result, I'll normally opt for the heavier reel in favor of the lightest reel.

In essence, I'm reducing the inherent top-heaviness of the outfit by adding weight to the reel,

rather than acheiving perfect balance by adding weight to the rod.

Roger

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Dodge, I find it very amusing that this sticks in your craw so much that you've been spewing about it for over a year. A rod with a balance point not at the center of the reel seat isn't always what is most comfortable to fish. You're just too stubborn to admit that anything other than what you say is right can also possibly be right as well. Jeez.

BTW, for poops and giggles, I checked the balance points of some reels. Daiwa TD-X103hsdl, TD-X103hsd, Zillion, Fuego, Quantum Accurist, and all my spinning reels do not balance in the center of the foot. Goes against something I thought was sort of a constant. Makes sense when you consider my example of the difference in my Avid AVC70MHF with a TD-A and a TD-X on it.

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I like my rods to balance within an inch or two of the front of the reel seat.

Reel weight IS significant if you don't want to add weights to your rod to balance it out before the weight of the reel is added.

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This is an interesting discussion. I think this, like most, tackle related issues is very subjective. I add weight to balance all of my rods, except those used for "moving" baits. I find the stress that a tip heavy rod puts on my hand and wrist bothers me more than a rig that balances perfectly in my hand, even if it weighs a couple of ounces more. That's what works for me. Your results may vary. ;)

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It is amazing what a balanced flipping and pitching rod will do for a lot of people. There is a story of two identical blanks built for two bass pros. One wanted his rod as light as possibly and the other let the builder build it his way. After a long day of flippin and pitchin the guy with the lighter rod was burnt out and asked to see the others rod. When he put it in hand he was amazed at the feel of the rod. After the trip they brought both rods back and the guy with the lighter rod was sure that his rod was heavier. When the scales settled, his rod was a full 2.5oz lighter than the balanced rod.

I have also giving guys the same rod balanced and unbalanced to test and see there reactions. Most times I give it unbalanced and they like the way it feels. Then I add weight to the back of the rod without them knowing and give it back. In most cases they are very surprised. In some cases I give them the rod balanced and they usually like when a 7'6" XH rod float in there hands. I then take the balance away and give it back and some sware that I added weight to it.

I find it very important to take away at least a little bit away from the super tip heavy broom stick rods. For other rods like standard worm and jig rods I do not find it all that important or noticeable or for rods with tip down applications it is not necessary. IMO

Scott

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Good post, Fury.

I would expect longer rods, esp with heavy actions, to be the most in need of balancing from an all day comfort standpoint.

My interest was been in terms of senstivity. I'm not convinced that I get that from balancing my rods, esp considering the various rod angles actually used in fishing.

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