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Ronan's report

Tuesday September 30th, 2008

Hey - wake up guy! You are dreaming!! We are not talking about Pamela Anderson's boobies!!! As this is the most advanced flyfishing site on earth we are exclusively talking tidy stuff!

So what is you preferred and best “soft touch” apart from boobies (-flies)? Let´s talk about rod handles to be more concise and exclude any further confusion!

Always big tattle on the board about rod action, feel and the like but hardly ever I read something about flyrod handles. So what is your preferred grip shape? Half wells (Western) full wells or maybe cigar? Is grip shape dictated by the tackle industry or by our needs?

Anyway - barely somebody would argue about the material which is used for rod handles.

In blank design we have seen it all - greenheart, cane, steel, glass, boron, graphite and carrots recently. For the handles manufacturers used cork, then they used cork and later on there was a time when they used cork. Today they use cork again. Simple reason - there is no better material than cork! Even many saltwater aficionados still prefer cork brakes above graphite brakes on their hightech reels.

Have you ever asked yourself where this fantastic stuff comes from? Formerly cork has been harvested every 11 years. But as the demand for it has grown considerably in recent years it is harvested now every 9 years in the European Union. Quality suffers a bit according to the shortened growth periods but you still can get good cork - for good money of course. The big manufacturers however process inferior quality on their high end rods what I find to be ridiculous as they ask a high end price for their high end rods.

Maybe there are good prospects for the cork trees in the future! Wine producers are looking more and more for alternatives to cork and they already use artificial substitutes and even screw caps on their wine bottles.

So you don´t have to give up boozing anymore to save the depleted resources of cork in favour for a quality cork handle on your fishing rod!


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