Glass Rods

Tips on tippets and more. Come share your secrets about the art of fly fishing or help fellow anglers immerse themselves in this escapist's technique.
Isaiah20
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Glass Rods

Postby Isaiah20 » Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:46 am

Anyone here fishing glass? I am thinking about selling a few graphite rods so that I can buy a couple glass rods to carp and smallmouth fish with.

floriano
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Re: Glass Rods

Postby floriano » Wed Nov 11, 2015 5:39 am

The Swift Epic 686 (8'6 line 6, 3 pces), fast glass blank is a wonderful tool for those applications. I couldnb't be happier with mine.

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DarkShadow
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Re: Glass Rods

Postby DarkShadow » Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:39 am

Any reason why these new fiberglass rods are shorter than their graphite counterparts?

Rich Frye
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Re: Glass Rods

Postby Rich Frye » Tue Dec 15, 2015 2:48 am

The only benefit to glass over graphite is cost.
Anything that can be accomplished by glass can be done better with graphite/carbon. This includes the slow action many are drawn to.

Rich Frye
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Re: Glass Rods

Postby Rich Frye » Tue Dec 15, 2015 3:00 am

And , to answer the original post question.
I do own a Hardy glass rod and and a number of bamboo . I fish the bamboo much more often than the glass. Mainly because my bamboo are lighter weight than the 6 weight glass.
The bigger the rod, the more you will notice the fact you are fishing with a lesser material than graphite.

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Re: Glass Rods

Postby Allsorts » Thu Dec 24, 2015 4:11 pm

Rich - even the newer Hardy glass rods are generally not regarded as the best examples of what can be done with glass these days. It seems a little unfair to base a negative opinion of the entire glass fly rod industry on the one glass rod you own...unless you've cast a range of the latest glass fly rods to reach your conclusion?

In answer to the original question glass rods - based on my own experience with a pair of EPICs (580 & 888) and time on the fiberglass fly rod forum, glass seems to work best from 7'6" 4wt to 8'6" 6-7wt. Glass is heavier and consequently swing weight is a much more noticeable than with graphite. Almost all glass guys seem to favour heavier reels to partially compensate for this. For me glass delivers a 'sweet' casting and presentation experience from really close (leader only) out to about 40-50'. Often this is where many fast graphite rods struggle. Glass can cast a long way but it's more work and I don't see why anyone would choose glass to fish long in difficult conditions. Graphite rules here IMO.

So if you do a lot of fishing at relatively short range with small to medium size flies then modern glass is an excellent option. My 5wt 8' EPIC for example is very versatile, I can fish 4-7wt floating lines very comfortably and can use 7X tippets without fearing break-offs and still throw heavy streamers safely with oval casts. Perfect for dry flies or sight casting, not so good for nymphing/high-sticking.

The 8wt is a nice rod, good for bass bugs etc but I'm slightly less than ecstatic about it. In retrospect I should probably have gone for the 6wt EPIC which is pretty much universally acknowledged to be a classic big trout/warmwater rod.

Rich Frye
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Re: Glass Rods

Postby Rich Frye » Fri Dec 25, 2015 12:37 am

Having built rods for 15 years, I have fished a number of glass rods , all through their developement. But, being a man of science, had I not fished a single glass rod , nor built them, I can easily look up the data revolving around the properties of glass and graphite. The intangibles are nill really.
My point, which is based on scientific material properties and field testing to confirm what I already knew , is that anything that can be done with glass can be done better with graphite...all things equal. Stating a fact of material atributes may be considered a negative statement , but when comparing two very different materials used to create modern high end rods , one dog is going to lose.
Glass is simply an inferior material compared to graphite. There are tangible , quantifiable ways to measure this. Such as weight , modulus , energy transfer and strength. To name only a few .
Are there some high quality glass rods being made with much better quality glass than 20 or even 10 years ago? Yup.
Are they better than a graphite rod built to the 'same ' specs? No freakin' way.
I would ask as to the benefits of glass over graphite, other than cost.
It may be fun to spend time in a house made of straw or sticks, but when the big bad wolf comes around it's the house of brick everybody runs to.

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Re: Glass Rods

Postby Allsorts » Fri Dec 25, 2015 1:20 am

Frankly the 'this is true because a scientist tells me so' is long past it's sell-by date - perhaps you haven't got the memo? Have scientists not said at points in time (with total conviction) that smoking, DDT, GMO and nuclear power are all safe, that a new Ice Age was upon us (late 70's) and more recently that the planet is going to become uninhabitable if we don't switch off all those pick-ups and SUVs? Then when the theory moves on the new position is held with equal, total certainty. It's not 1950 anymore. Science is like a dog, very useful in specific circumstances but also prone to sometimes taking a dump on the carpet.

You have not actually dealt with any aspect of fly rod design and application of materials to achieve certain desirable (from a casting/presentation point of view) properties. I'll give you one example - glass fly rods will self-load in a way that current graphite fly rods don't do. They also recover more slowly than graphite - in combination this results in a great presentation tool.

You've made some general statements about material properties, dropped in a qualifying statement as a get out clause and dismissed a bunch of other stuff with quite startling arrogance. If you are going to invoke 'science' you better do it properly and demonstrate real expertise in the field your are commenting on instead of expecting to command awe and compliance because of your degree cert.

Rich Frye
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Re: Glass Rods

Postby Rich Frye » Fri Dec 25, 2015 3:45 am

Allsorts wrote:Frankly the 'this is true because a scientist tells me so' is long past it's sell-by date...I'll give you one example - glass fly rods will self-load in a way that current graphite fly rods don't do. They also recover more slowly than graphite - in combination this results in a great presentation tool...

1. If you don't know that science plays a role in pretty much everything involved in building rods, try praying your way into a great rod and see how that works.
2. If you think that a graphite rod can not , can not be built so that it loads and recovers exactly as any glass rod you choose...then actually scientifically proving this to you is a waste of my time, because it will likely be dismissed as heresy.
3. Since you have already determined that I don't know what I am talking about , and you have taken it as a personal insult that I say glass is simply an inferior material, please watch this video and then we can go on with this thread. The rod builder in the video knows what he is talking about , even if I don't.

Happy holidays.

http://www.steelheadstalkers.com/title_ ... loomis.htm

Allsorts
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Re: Glass Rods

Postby Allsorts » Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:14 pm

Thanks Rich, that's a really interesting video. It clarified for me why glass works well for delicate, close in presentations as compared to most graphite fly rods (not all). Glass' low modulus and relative inefficiency slow down the casting cycle somewhat and most importantly the rod doesn't rely on the weight of the fly line to load the rod, unlike graphite which is too light and stiff to self-load to any extent. With glass the flyline just goes along for the ride as it were. Only as the fly line is extended does the weight of the line start to properly load the glass rod. So glass rods are a solid option where average casting distances are short (40-60'), long casts and wind are better handled with graphite.

Older graphites often do well close in precisely because they are less efficient (less stiff, higher resin proportion, more weight). Graphite could certainly be used to duplicate a glass action but one wouldn't necessarily use high mod material and nano resins to do it! In other words it might be a less efficient graphite.

An area in fly rod design that is promising but hasn't yet been explored commercially is the use of a solid graphite tapered tip section. Solid tips are potentially even stiffer and faster in recovery than the best rolled blank could be for obvious reasons. I've cast a flyline on a rod with such a tip and it worked very well with a 25' French leader and also threw a 5wt line beautifully. So that's AFTMA 0.5-5wt on one rod! If anyone is interested there is some material online about Dale Clemen's Apogee project - he pioneered the solid graphite tip idea in the 90's but it never got out of the rod building/blank segment AFAIK.

By the way I'm undecided on AGW...

Rich Frye
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Re: Glass Rods

Postby Rich Frye » Tue Dec 29, 2015 2:27 am

The properties you are saying you like and use glass for over modern graphite are actually more a taper ( including tube OD and ID) property than material property .
A slow action rod ( made of bamboo, e-glass , s-glass , intermediate graphite or high modulus graphite ) makes for a slower and more easy to cast close up presentation than a fast taper.
Glass does not magically 'self load' , it actually takes more energy , created by man not machine to load a heavier rod . All things equal...heavier slow action rods are harder to load than light slow action rods, as it takes more human energy. Applied glass is always heavier than graphite due to it's lower modulus and need for more material. You mentioned thinking that you would have been better off buying a lower rated rod than your 8 weight glass. This is because as the rods get bigger it is overwhelmingly more obvious you are casting something heavier and less efficient than you could be. Good materials should not shine at only one tiny little niche area , like small rods with close up delicate presentations...and they don't.
And then we have the oscillation (loss in accuracy) and lost energy ( lost efficiency) caused by much lower modulus rods which interfer with needed accuracy and over all success of delicate presentations .
As you mention, the older graphite rods had/have properties closer to glass than very high modulus rods of today. We have not lost that technology to build heavy graphite...

When Gary Loomis used the term " better" and "best rod fished" and " what makes a rod great" he did not use quaifiers such as " but if I want an delicate short cast I use glass"...
What he did say was that he uses glass for rods that get beat on up
in Alaska . And then he proceeded to explain the down sides of glass and the upsides of better and better graphite.
Not once did he mention the benefit of glass over any graphite ( while often explaining the numerous down sides) ...except for cost .

So, my point from the beginning remains the same . If you want a slow action rod and would like to improve your experience ( other than nostalga , which I hold as the #1 reason beside cost that glass is still sold) and fish with a rod of better material ( Loomis' words) if you can afford graphite , buy it.

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Re: Glass Rods

Postby floriano » Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:51 am

The feel is totally different. Vibrations are not transmitted with the same speed in both materials : glass is so less sensitive. You can't achieve that with graphite, even with low modulus graphite. It's very useful for some kind of fishing, in my opinion : crankbaits and vibrations, and for flyfishing, when you need to throw large heavy flies, the glass absorb the bumb you get, especialy with sinking line. The comfort you get from this point of view is more important than lightness, crisp or sensitivity. That's another big advantage of glass over graphite, with the other advantages mentionned.

Rich Frye
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Re: Glass Rods

Postby Rich Frye » Fri Jan 08, 2016 3:35 am

floriano wrote:The feel is totally different. Vibrations are not transmitted with the same speed in both materials : glass is so less sensitive. You can't achieve that with graphite, even with low modulus graphite. It's very useful for some kind of fishing, in my opinion : crankbaits and vibrations, and for flyfishing, when you need to throw large heavy flies, the glass absorb the bumb you get, especialy with sinking line. The comfort you get from this point of view is more important than lightness, crisp or sensitivity. That's another big advantage of glass over graphite, with the other advantages mentionned.

Even if it were true that you can't ' dumb down' the sensitivity of a graphite rod ( and you actually can with resins and application techniques, low modulus is low modulus ) is the trade off of using an extremely heavy rod that does not transfer energy efficiently to cast heavy flies all day or all of your muskie trip really worth it? Sounds painful. You would absolutely never catch me using a ten weight glass rod for muskie or Kings.
What exact " bump" is being absorbed? You don't feel bumps , or anything as well with glass due to it's low modulus .
Rod builders generally to not advertize low modulus, heavy , non-sensitive , non- efficient etc., as qualities to be sought after.
Again , what I am reading is action qualities , sloooow , not benefits of one material over another .

Isaiah20
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Re: Glass Rods

Postby Isaiah20 » Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:37 am

I had not looked at this for a while. The fact that it turned into an argument does not surprise me. Both arguments have valid points, but when it boils down to it I am going glass. I have not fished a Sage Circa or Mod, but the slower graphite that some of my friends have does not suit my fancy. I like casting glass more, and isn't that what it boils down to?

I love the fact that people here have a lot of knowledge. Which is why I spend so much time on here doing research before buying.
Thanks for the lesson in rod materials. My mind was made up to buy glass before I posted here and was just looking for a model that would be good for what I wanted to use it for.

Anyone have a suggestion for my intended application? I hear ya on the Epic 686 Cameron at the Fiberglass Manifesto seems to love his.

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Re: Glass Rods

Postby TFOUR » Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:03 am

Without getting crazy into the details, I've heard a-lot of good things about the EPIC line of rods and blanks for glass applications.


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