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Ronan's report


Thursday 20th June, 2013

Fly casting is the science of applied physics. The process of loading, unloading and stopping the fly rod is nothing less than applying known theories we learned years ago in school. Just like any other sports actually. And in fly fishing it is all about weights too. Every piece of equipment - rods, reels, lines, tippets and flies - weight matters. But weight as we know it in everyday use is different from its scientific use. In daily life weight is about how much substance an object has. Science describes this quantity matter as "mass". Weight is used to explain the gravitational force on something and is equal to its mass multiplied by the gravity strength. In scientific terms mass is constant but weight varies in accordance to the gravitational pull. One may ask - what is all that in English? Sod them I say! All we want is a sweetly balanced fly outfit; leave all the physics equations to physicists like Hawking and Kaku.

A balanced outfit nurtures good casting and reduces fatigue. Not just the rod and reel but right through to the fly. It is all measured in grams and grains! A fly fisher like me used to buy things by the beauty and cosmetics in a rod or reel or upon the advice from the tackle shop. That is the fatal of all charms - like watching a woman strutting her stuff. We fall head over heels over her until we find out that she is mental two months down the road. A fellow fly fisherman here in Kuala Lumpur by the name of David Samuel gave me the formula for having a balanced set-up. David has like 100 rods and reels and as a top fly fisherman he has tried various combinations to get the best one. It goes like this:

Take the weight of the rod and multiply it by 2 then minus 1. Measurements are in ounces (oz).
For example, if you have a weight 6 rod of 2.75 oz, then 2.75 oz. times 2 = 5.5 oz. 5.5 oz minus 1 = 4.5oz. So, for a rod of 2.75 oz the reel should not weigh more than 4.5 oz.

David believes that he must have the lightest rod and reel combination. Perhaps it is due to the fact that he is the only hardest working and most positive thinking fly fisher alive. Any reduction of grams and grains would help him because he makes at least 100,000 casts a day. I heard he once cast repeatedly at a pothole on the highway hoping for a snakehead in there. This guy lives to fish! But, how heavy are the grams and the grains actually? Well, if you want to know - a grain equals 0.065 gram, and a gram equals 0.035 ounce. Okay, now having got this formula what's next then? Maybe I should find out the energy usage in fly casting as it is very relevant. Like, the amount of energy needed to move a mass of a kilogram through one metre of acceleration per second per second is called the Joule and the amount of energy to move one gram through one centimetre with an acceleration of one centimetre per second per second is called the Erg. Gobbledygook these!

So, I must go meet David Samuel for some simple explanations on them. But David is a busy man. He goes fishing with his family at weekends and weekdays he goes to courts suing people. Maybe I should just thank him and give his formula a good whack first. If it fails to impress me then I would go back to my old formula that says the weight of the reel should be five and a half times of one's testicles during the dark moon phase.

Lovely Jubbly
Irhamy the Guv'nor, Kuala Lumpur


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