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MitchIsFishin

Rod Sensitivity

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Hey all, just getting back into this (fishing) and I'm thinking of a new rod or two. One will certainly be for 'finesse' fishing, i.e. Ika's, senkos, etc. I know of rods that are considered sensitive and applicable to what

I'm looking for, but the question to me is how do you determine the sensitivity of a rod in a store? Budget constraints says I stay in a certain dollar range, so I'm not looking for brands, but how YOU determine that a rod meets your spec for finesse fishing before you have fished with it.

Thanks to all.

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Sensitivity is a "relative" term. State a price and

you will get some specific advice. If you can afford

one of these, trust me, just buy it!

http://www.bassresource.com/bass_fishing_forums/YaBB.pl?num=1271719078

-Kent

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Putting a rod tip against someone's throat while they talk will give you an idea how well it transmits vibration. I've done it and the diffrence was signifigant between a loomis IMX and a BPS extreme.

You might look like a tool and its not an exact science, but it works lol.

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This is kind of hard to do alone. lightsout's voice test actually works, but if you don't bring a helper getting a volunteer might be challenging. I'm sure you could get a store clerk to tap lightly on the tip while you hold the rod to get some idea.

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What determines sensitivity is thin-ness of the blank wall and what makes up the material in the wall. Less sensitive blanks will be heavier due to thicker walls and heavier non-graphite blended into the blanks. Pay attention to the light/hollow feeling of the rod - compare a high end to a low end rod and you'll get an idea of what's going on.  This assumes you are comparing rods with similar actions/speed.

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Thanks guys, I do appreciate the help, but still, I don't have a feel for this even with what has been offered as advice. I'm not interested in a specific brand at all, I'm interested in what those who finesse fish do when they pick out a rod & how they determine the sensitivity, to some degree, in the store. While I have heard of the tip on the throat technique, this is more of a learning experience for me so I can make current and future rod decisions. I thought maybe certain characteristics of a rod that could be exposed in the store would tell me what level of sensitivity I could expect while actually fishing.

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This may fly in the face of convention, but my judgment is usually off-base in a store-setting,

and prefer to base my decision on the tensile modulus specified by the manufacturer.

Sensitivity comes at a price, and if the price isn't there, neither is the sensitivity.

Though rarely mentioned, one of the cheapest ways to enhance sensitivity

is to move from monofilament to braid ("mono" includes nylon, fluorocarbon & copolymer).

Roger

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Well, now you're being silly. Either rely on other's

advice or gain experience over time. The real test

is fishing the equipment.

Overall sensitivity is a function of the lure,

line, rod and reel. The rod itself is just part

of the equation. Your personal "feel" is as

important as anything else. Until you develop

this feel, it is hard to appreciate the attributes

of more sensitive gear.

8-)

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The rod is one part of a system so it's not easy to isolate it from the rest of the rod-reel-line equation while shopping.  In addition to the other tips above, also consider balance.  In most stores, you can clamp on a reel and get an idea of how balanced the combo is, which is important.  If you fish a finesse presentation all day, balance becomes critical.  You want the rod/reel to be as close to neutral balance as possible.  That lets you relax your hand and maintain its sensitivity, which otherwise gets eroded as your hand muscles work to hold a tip heavy rod in position.  If you can't pay top dollar for a high modulus fast action graphite worm rod, a good alternative is the BassPro Extreme or Pro Qualifier series rods that have a balancing system in the butt.  The cost on them is competitive and the build quality is good.  As mentioned, consider fishing with fluorocarbon line, or braid if you fish very stained water. 

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Again, thanks guys. Kent, I know fishing the gear is best, and no, I'm not being silly. I can't afford to make a financial mistake when buying gear, nor do I want brand suggestions because everyone else says that a product possesses characteristics apparent to everyone but me. That's why I was asking the question, and I know it's difficult to answer because of the unquantifiable characteristic called sensitivity.

I know experience brings a greater appreciation for better gear & rods and reels better suited to specific techniques, but I was looking to shorten the equation a bit and find a way to look for a rod that serves my purpose. Again, thanks all.

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I would say find the most comfortable rod in your price range.  Slab some braid or flourocarbon thru the guides and you'll be fine. :o

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Mitch, how long have you been away from fishing? If it's been a while, I think what you will discover is that practically every rod out there today will out perform what was on the market 5 or so years ago. So your concern about making a financial mistake is not that big of a deal. I promise you, you're not going to bring home a $50 rod and think man that was a waste of money.

As others have mentioned, the rod is just half of the 'sensitivity'. Braid or Flourocarbon will do wonders for a middle of the road rod.

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Analyst by trade, I understand the need for information, facts and methodology. However, learning to feel for sensitivity is something that is learned through experience. You can read about techniques for pitching, but that doesn't mean you'll throw 95 mph strikes :o

I still do the very crude tap test, usually with two rods held similarly. Tap on a soft (rug) surface, then a hard surface. Drag on a rougher surface (rug) then a smoother surface. Concentrate on the amplitude of the vibrations, the sharpness and the duration. My more sensitive rods have sort of a "sharper" and longer vibration. I usually do not feel the "sharpness" and longer vibrations in entry/value level rods. For instance, my Techna AV's felt subtle taps that I would not have felt on my <$100 rods. However, moving up, my IMX & Helium II have this more intense vibration. It is easier for me to feel this other quality when giving slightly harder, but very quick taps.

A better test is attach line & identical weights to 2 rods and see how they feel when subtly and abruptly lifting the weight of the floor.

After all that, the only reliable test for me has been to see if I feel the fish hit my Fat Ika before I see the line move ;D

If you will be collecting rods over time, get the best "classic" rod that you can afford and use it as a benchmark for comparing others. An Avid or Techna AV may not be glamorous, but they are proven and frequently used for comparison to other rods.

Leon

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An Avid or Techna AV may not be glamorous, but they are proven and frequently used for comparison to other rods.

Leon

I never really thought about it before, but after digesting this sentence, it occurs to me that I base all my rod choices off of my Avids.  It has just naturally been my bench mark. 8-)

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I agree!

The Avid series rods are a GREAT value, too.

8-)

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More good ideas - think I try LAO162's suggestion when I get to the store. RW, I completely forgot about avids, if all else fails, an avid should do the job. Again, thanks guys.

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I determine sensitivity in the store by very lightly scraping the tip guide on the stores carpet or on a knot on the wooden floor. I have yet to find a more accurate way to judge a rods sensitivity without actually fishing with it.

I prefer this over putting it on someone's throat or on a cellphone set to vibrate.

While doing this, you should also flex the rod firmly against the floor and quickly lift it and hold it still, watching how fast the tip recovers and stops moving. If the rod is whippy and the tip doesn't recover very quickly, put it back on the shelf because it's junk.

Along with judging the weight and balance of the rod with the reel on, these two quick little tests are the best way to compare rod quality in the store.

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I determine sensitivity in the store by very lightly scraping the tip guide on the stores carpet or on a knot on the wooden floor. I have yet to find a more accurate way to judge a rods sensitivity without actually fishing with it.

I prefer this over putting it on someone's throat or on a cellphone set to vibrate.

While doing this, you should also flex the rod firmly against the floor and quickly lift it and hold it still, watching how fast the tip recovers and stops moving. If the rod is whippy and the tip doesn't recover very quickly, put it back on the shelf because it's junk.

Along with judging the weight and balance of the rod with the reel on, these two quick little tests are the best way to compare rod quality in the store.

x2

I like to hold a rod in each hand. rub the tips on the smoothest surface i can find and see which one gives me the best feedback. there is no better test besides spooling up and dragging a lite weight across the floor. The rod that talks to me the most is the rod I buy

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