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Ronan's report


Tuesday June 20, 2006

I while ago I read an interesting article on the Net about the manufacturing process involved in making a Carbon (Graphite) fibre fly rod. At the time that I read it there was one particular point that rang a bell and I thought it would make a good little FP. The article and that point have bounced around in my head for some time. Of course, now that I want to do an FP about it, I can't for the life of me find the website again. So here's the abridged version:
Most carbon fly rods start off as sheets of resin impregnated carbon fibre, and many manufacturers use pretty much the same stuff. However, some rod makers use a proprietary carbon mixture that is special to them (Loomis, Sage, Winston etc) Anyway; these sheets are wrapped and laminated around a mandrel and baked in an oven to "set" the carbon fibre sheets in the desired profile and form.

Now here's the point:
Leaving your fly rod on the dash of your truck and generally over exposing it to sunlight is not a good thing. Heat and sunlight begin to reverse the manufacturing process and breakdown and weaken the molecular and resin bonds that were formed when the rod was made. In effect - you'll eventually bugger it, and your lighting fast actioned stick will end up performing more like your granddads glass fibre rod of the 70's.
Now, we all know (or think we do) that with enough use the action of a fibre rod will change and soften. For this to occur, you've actually got to do a shitload of casting, and this affect is nowhere near as immediate or severe as exposure to heat and sunlight.

~Bumcast


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