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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 05:06am - Jun 23,09
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Post Posted: 06:41pm - Jul 9,13 
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I have been seeing, in the fly fishing mags, that mfrs are returning (but not entirely) to fiberglass. Having used my 50 year old Heddon Black Beauty (9', 5wt) and a Sage graphite of equal length and weight, I can note the difference in casting and loading and prefer the fiberglass. But when it comes to the weight of the rod and the moment created by he overhung load, the graphite is the winner, by far. Considering that the Heddon cost me about $29 new from Sears and the Sage about $300 new probably makes them equal considering that $29 bought a lot more in the early 60's. When it comes to looks, the Sage is downright ugly compared to the bamboo likeness of the Heddon.
Also, it seems that more enjoyment is had when fighting fish on the Heddon.
So, it may be fiberglass' re-introduction (if only they could make it lighter).

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 09:32pm - Feb 12,03
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Location: Not quite over the hill, but has a breathtaking view from the lofty perch.

Post Posted: 07:11pm - Jul 9,13 
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I too have been considering the glass rod for some trophy gills. The flex will toss wee baits quite a distance, my worry is about the sensitivity of them. Would a bite be felt with 50'+ of line out? Berkley has a green trout bait rod that has gained my attention. New is not always better, just more marketable.

Just can't decide just yet, maybe a few more cabela's gift cards will seal the deal.

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Chitown-Angler

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Post Posted: 04:12pm - Jul 10,13 
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50 Feet of line; that is graphite country. The fiberglass should give you better feel and handling with the closer distances since it has more flex. My Heddon has "fast tip" stamped on it and I laugh since it is a noodle compared to my Sage graphite. You can pick up a fiberglass pretty cheap on Ebay if you are not worried about state of the art and just trying one out. I agree about marketing. What fits you is what works and not what somebody describes.
I also have a Heddon Pal Mark IV, 8-1/2 Ft, and I think a 7-8 wt (cannot tell since the old rod has HCH-GBF designation) that I never fished. It has a spring loaded reel seat. So, I don't know how it casts (or what it casts).

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 08:27am - Feb 8,12
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Location: Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Post Posted: 09:58am - Jul 11,13 
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I'm amazed that the old glass rod out casts a Sage. Now you have me wanting to try out some experiments all afternoon. Haha. What is the difference in casting and loading up comparatively? Distance? Feel? Shooting? Better loop? I'm curious. I use Sage rods. I get to compare their rods and reels to so many other brands and models (even different Sage models). Rarely do I find one to equal or surpass the Sage products. I know fiberglass rods are awfully heavy compared to rods today. Casting them all day can be troublesome to some I would imagine.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 09:30am - Feb 18,12
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Location: Mchenry, IL

Post Posted: 10:39am - Jul 11,13 
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Imo you don't feel bites on a fly rod anyways you see them... I was just watching this salmon fly fishing video in Iceland where the fishermen doesn't even realize the fish is taking his bait. But the underwater camera sees eveything... But it's also my opinion that fiberglass is being push for profit. The blanks are cheaper then dirt and if they can sell a gimmick they will do so. It's not just fly rods but it seems fiberglassis "making a comeback" in all fishing magazines

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Chitown-Angler

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Post Posted: 09:48am - Jul 12,13 
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My experience (not to be used as any yard stick) is that the graphite Sage will out cast the fiberglass for distance but the fiberglass is better for short distance and feel. At the longer distances that I tried, the fiberglass bends like crazy under the weight of the line. When going from the Heddon to the Sage, I must drastically change my timing to avoid catching the line in flight.
Yesterday, I took the Heddon out to the Duper and could only catch gills and a few small smallmouth (don't blame the rod, blame me). The fiberglass is very sensitive and I can see the tip reacting to the strikes. Now, a gill won't feel like a 20" smallmouth on the rod but it shows the feeling gained by it.
It seems logical that the graphite will be stiffer and more able to carry the load of the line during longer distance casts but will also be more deaf to light strikes and smaller fish. Seems like engineering sense to me.

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Chitown-Angler

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Post Posted: 09:53am - Jul 12,13 
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Prygal 74, I should mention that the weight problem shows up more (for me at least) in the moment created by the overhung load on the wrist. Say what you will about keeping the wrist from bending during the cast but just having that weight out there is taxing. I am forced to have my hand as far up the coark as possible in an effort to balance the rod and reel assembly. This is not the problem with the Sage and it becomes apparent after 2 hours of casting.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 04:39pm - Feb 11,08
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Location: Sloburbia, Illinois

Post Posted: 11:12pm - Oct 23,13 
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chuckt IMHO fiberglass really only shine in the 2Wt to 5 Wt range, and the shorter 7 to 8 foot rods being the optimum length. If you plan on fishing small streams with a lot of brushy banks- "tunnel fishing"- that require short accurate casts they have a lot of charm. I know a couple of guys who live in Colorado and North Carolina that use them for wild mountain streams and headwaters and love them. I'd still keep to graphite for larger game, the carp and such, but for those smallies and rock bass of the Duper above Hammel Woods or the Hickory above Pilcher Park a decent 3/4 Wt glass rod would be fun.

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Chitown-Angler

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Post Posted: 09:28am - Oct 24,13 
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Thanks for your thoughts, Mississippi, and I agree that the fiberglass would be limited to the 2-5 wt rods and also the shorter rods (I was thinking 7-1/2ft and 3 wt then overlining it with 4 wt). As chances are, when using a light rod, if you are lucky to tie in o a larger fish, you deal with it then. At least you will have a good story to tell! I am going to wait the winter out to see how this return to fiberglass lasts. I would think that the graphite mfrs are working on designs to make their rods more sensitive. I
I also would opt for a 2-piece over a 4-piece rod. Considering a rod as a beam, every joint is a discontinuity. I saw an ad for one mfr in a fly fishing mag offering a 1-piece rod. Now, this gets to where beam design must take a back seat to practicability. I have been lazy, in instances, not wanting to break down my rod since I would be fishing the next day. So, there I am trying to navigate through the house's doors.

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