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Ronan's report

Sunday March 10th, 2013

Since I am playing with the new 8 weight Hot Torpedo prototype for a couple of days now I thought maybe I would write about my method of testing a rod.

First of all if you can finance your new rod without selling the old one in the given line class you have much better chances to make the right decision on which one you should keep. Comparing a rod to another one you are familiar with is much better than casting the new one without reference. If you do the latter you will 100% believe all the marketing bullshit that was written about it. 21% lighter? Of course, I can feel that. 27% more impact resistant? Obviously. Casts 17% further. Yes, definitely.

You should better get your old rod and cast the new against it to see what the difference really is.

Most experts say that wiggling the rod won't tell you anything. I don't agree with that. You can feel the difference in the overall weight, but that won't bring too much. If you make a casting stroke without the line (even better with a reel on the rod to balance it) you can compare the swing weight of 2 rods. Concentrate on the stop! The rod, that requires less power to stop it has less swing weight. Not a very scientific method, but it works.

To build an opinion you have to cast the rod. You will go for maximum distance for sure. We all do that, even with a 3 weight that will be fished no further than 12 meters. It is fun to try how far you can cast with it, so go for it!

Much more useful than that is to imitate real fishing situations. Cast with the flies and leaders you will fish. Some rods work great with a little fluff, but they don't perform so good with a 6 inch bunny. If you will fish those, than you should cast them.

Try as many lines as you can. Floating, intermediate, fast sinking, shooting heads, cast all the lines you fish. It is advisable to try more of the same kind as well. I have sold rods after casting them with one single floating line. They mostly go to friends so I have cast them later with different lines. It turned out, that some of those rods were excellent they only didn't match with my go to lines.

Cast short, medium and long length of lines. Some rods excel with a specific length but are pretty dead with other. I usually test pike rods with my 3 false cast method: after stripping the whole line in (maximum 1 meter of flyline out of the tip, a decent sized pike fly on the leader) I try to cast my usual pike fishing distance, 25-26 meters with 3 false casts only. If a rod can't handle short lines, I will need more false casts to work out the line I have to carry for that distance, if a rod hasn't got enough power in the butt section it will feel mushy on the delivery.

Always try to cast with limited space for the backcast! That happens all the time in real fishing situations. Rods with better control do better in this discipline. They can give you the extra couple of meter distance when casting in tight places, and that can help you catch a couple of fish more.

But once again, the most important thing to do this all with both the new and the old rod simultaneously.


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