Rod Balance

A specialized forum to discuss anything and everything about your favorite or not so favorite fishing rods.
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BRONZEBACK32
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Rod Balance

Post by BRONZEBACK32 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:26 pm

Rod balance is always a major subject when new rods come out or when deciding to purchase a new rod.

The reason I bring this up is because I'm curious, do you prefer a rod to be a bit tip heavy or would you rather weigh
down the whole package to get a rod perfectly balanced?

Its hard to balance rods with all these super light reels available now.

Also I see a lot of fly rods and steelhead rods that would be almost impossible to balance without adding
a giant reel.

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Re: Rod Balance

Post by ShimanoFan » Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:30 pm

To me, ideally, a proper balance would include lure too. So the whole package is properly balance in the hand. The moment the lure is gone, cast into the water, then the tip is lighter by approximate weight of lure.

If you balance without a lure, and then add a lure, it then becomes slightly tip heavy until cast. Just my way of doing it. I am sure others do it differently.

For off the shelf rods, I'd use weights in the handle if possible to bring it closer to balanced.
Why is there a concerted effort of hate? And why is it allowed?

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Re: Rod Balance

Post by QUAKEnSHAKE » Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:41 pm

IDK but some of my lightest rods are my best balancing rods so Ill take both light and balanced. If had to choose Id pick lighter like sub 3.5oz rod weight for a rod 7' with medium heavy power.
Last edited by QUAKEnSHAKE on Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BRONZEBACK32
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Re: Rod Balance

Post by BRONZEBACK32 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:44 pm

ShimanoFan wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:30 pm
for off the shelf rods, I'd use weights in the handle if possible to bring it closer to balanced.
I would rather have my rod unbalance then add weight, one of the reasons I purchase higher end rods is because they are
super light, it seems counter productive adding weight...
But that's just me.

QUAKEnSHAKE wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:41 pm
IDK but some of my lightest rods are my best balancing rods so Ill take both light and balanced. If had to choose Id pick lighter like sub 3.5oz rod weight.
Its just getting harder to balance rods any more.
Longer rods and lighter reels...

Maybe Aluminum reels have their place :big grin:

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Re: Rod Balance

Post by timinmo » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:09 pm

I make every attempt to build the lightest rod possible. Sometimes it is hard to achieve anything resembling balance. I recently built a 6'6" heavy with a short handle, I did add weight to the butt to try to have some semblance of balance. This kind of goes against the grain for me but if you fish out of a Kayak or canoe you know why 6'6" and why a short grip.

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Re: Rod Balance

Post by Slazmo » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:35 pm

Buying off the rack rod's is a hard one with reels you've already got in your circulation... I mean it's easy to say build your own but in some economies like ours rods are just plain lunacy prise wise...

Its a balance of "just enough" to me. Just enough balance near the wrist is needed for my personal comfort, and having a left wrist that was badly broken plays out in both the spin and baitcaster use vastly different.

Winding lefty on spin helps for some reason - yet playing the rod baitcaster solely in the left sees more comfort than a left handed baitcaster 'to me'.

Reel composition is certainly a place to have rods balance better than say Zaion / Ci4 reels, butt ballast and tungsten putty too helps for the finer tuning.

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Re: Rod Balance

Post by HobeyBaker » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:08 pm

BRONZEBACK32 wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:26 pm
Rod balance is always a major subject when new rods come out or when deciding to purchase a new rod.

The reason I bring this up is because I'm curious, do you prefer a rod to be a bit tip heavy or would you rather weigh
down the whole package to get a rod perfectly balanced?

Its hard to balance rods with all these super light reels available now.

Also I see a lot of fly rods and steelhead rods that would be almost impossible to balance without adding
a giant reel.
Kelly Galloup has a good video on youtube about this and explains his reasoning behind sizing up a reel. Fly rods balance different with line out and in the guides. The larger size reel helps counterbalance the weight of the fly line.

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Re: Rod Balance

Post by ShimanoFan » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:17 pm

BRONZEBACK32 wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:44 pm
ShimanoFan wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:30 pm
for off the shelf rods, I'd use weights in the handle if possible to bring it closer to balanced.
I would rather have my rod unbalance then add weight, one of the reasons I purchase higher end rods is because they are
super light, it seems counter productive adding weight...
But that's just me.
It is kind of counter productive no doubt, but, I use to collect certain Bass Pro rods back in the day and bought their rod weight balancing kits for them. I still use these rods to this day like when I go into the mines to fish, I will not take my prized custom rods in there and risk breaking any of them.

In situations like that, I put the good rods aside, and bring out the old Bass Pro rods for heavy jungle mine use. Or, if I go back into the swamps, then I want heavy duty rods that I won't care if I break one.

These off the shelf rods I balance out with the optional weight sets.

I am not too worried about weight because I am not throwing the same rod all day. I tend to switch up more often than some, so a heavier rod would not be held for very long and a few extra ounces does not make much of a difference to me. I grew up in the 60's, 70's and 80's using heavier rods than we see today, so it is not a big issue with me. Balance is more important than overall weight.
Why is there a concerted effort of hate? And why is it allowed?

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Re: Rod Balance

Post by ShimanoFan » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:30 pm

Slazmo wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:35 pm
Buying off the rack rod's is a hard one with reels you've already got in your circulation... I mean it's easy to say build your own but in some economies like ours rods are just plain lunacy price wise...
This one is a hard one for me to wrap my head around as I have been in the tackle bizness for a long time and I never pay retail as I am a wholesale buyer, but in the used market it is even better... but you know, blanks really are not all that expensive if you know when and where to look...

Take MudHole for example... you can buy an MHX blank on clearance there most of the time...

Image

Park, walk inside, and turn left. Right by the front door is a stand of clearance rod blanks and rod making components for cheap, cheap, cheap prices...

Image

Image

Image

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You won't see any of this on their website, and you won't get it on the phone either. Gotta visit the store to see these deals...
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So, right there from the above images, you can buy an MHX blank on clearance for $17, a reel seat for $3.00, foam handles for pennies, and you are on your way to a full custom MHX rod for under $50. Other rod shops do similar.

I am fortunate to have an old custom rod shop filled with vintage blanks that have been there for 30 years. I can walk in today and buy old St. Croix blanks, Lamiglas, Graphite USA, and many others... original out of production rod blanks. I was digging through some today. Take a look at what is hanging on the wall in this shop behind all those Shimano Asia executives- that right there is a goldmine! (See those two on the right? The Asian woman and man? Those are top executives- and I mean all the way to the top executives of the new Shimano China.)

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So it can be done, just gotta know the places... and go there in person to access some of these deals.
Why is there a concerted effort of hate? And why is it allowed?

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Re: Rod Balance

Post by Slazmo » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:44 pm

I don't have the luxury to travel to the states and buy off the shelf... Everything here in Australia is like 3 times the price plus extortionate amount of postage...

A simple build usually would end up in the $400 plus post range.

Would be nice to be able to walk on in, pick stuff up and build it off the shelf, but we're easily 30 years behind, even with spare reel parts...

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Re: Rod Balance

Post by njbasscat » Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:01 am

I'll take light over heavy and balanced any day. I jig fish with a NRX 894 for example. A lot of people find it tip heavy. It doesn't bother me. It's almost impossible to balance a rod with a reel. The reel sits to far forward.

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Re: Rod Balance

Post by ShimanoFan » Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:25 am

Slazmo wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:44 pm
I don't have the luxury to travel to the states and buy off the shelf... Everything here in Australia is like 3 times the price plus extortionate amount of postage...

A simple build usually would end up in the $400 plus post range.

Would be nice to be able to walk on in, pick stuff up and build it off the shelf, but we're easily 30 years behind, even with spare reel parts...
Australia? Wow. That is a ways away...

Time to plan a trip to see Mickey Mouse!

As for rod balance with off the shelf rods and today's lighter reels, I am not a fan of tip heavy rods. I put away a full custom rod for years because it was a class rod, and I put on the recommended guides and it was so tip heavy I did not like it and did not want to use it, and had no way of putting weights in the handle/butt end of the rod.

So what I did was remove all the old guides, and put micro guides on it. Now it balances and is usable to me.

So I accomplished lowering the overall weight of the rod, and balanced it out by swapping guides... the new micro guides are on the left, and the heavier mistake guides are on the right... just doing this made all the difference in the world. Now a full custom MHX rod is back in action done in a spiral wrap. Now I actually like the rod and use it again for limited presentations...

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Why is there a concerted effort of hate? And why is it allowed?

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Re: Rod Balance

Post by toddmc » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:56 am

The simple answer is to balance a tip up presentation setup, and not to balance a reaction bait/tip down presentation rod.
Your hookset will be faster when a tip up presentation setup is balanced. All of your muscles will feel less fatigued over a long day when fishing bottom contact baits with a light and properly balanced rod. Today's increasingly lighter rods and reels make balance less of an issue, but any experienced angler that has high-end perfectly balanced setups can easily tell a difference.
One of the reasons that I like Point Blank rods for my custom bottom contact builds is that their thicker butt sections keep more of the weight at the bottom of the rod, keeping you from having to add much weight. I also like full cork rear grips for this reason. Yes, the full cork may add weight, but you often have a much better balanced rod. I also dislike any split grip rod from a performance standpoint. The feel of grabbing an uneven bottom of the rear grip is annoying.
The hookset on reaction baits is more of a sweeping motion for most baits. A rod that is a little tip heavy will actually feel better for these presentations.

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Re: Rod Balance

Post by Samuel_b » Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:13 pm

njbasscat wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:01 am
I'll take light over heavy and balanced any day. I jig fish with a NRX 894 for example. A lot of people find it tip heavy. It doesn't bother me. It's almost impossible to balance a rod with a reel. The reel sits to far forward.
I'm the same...adding weight just seems so counterproductive I refuse to do it. But at the same time the Loomis 89" NRX rods could really use a 3/4"-1 1/2" longer butt section. The GLX series balances so much better.

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Re: Rod Balance

Post by ShimanoFan » Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:29 pm

Samuel_b wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:13 pm
I'm the same...adding weight just seems so counterproductive I refuse to do it.
I consider it fishing as well as exercise and muscle strength building- while fishing... so it is not counter productive if I am getting something out of it.

I still keep around about a dozen old Bass Pro rods with the weight sets and from time to time I'll set one up and use it.

I love my old Rick Clunn signature series rods balanced out with the weight sets.

The idea of counter productive is all a matter of perspective, especially for us older guys losing muscle strength. Using the older heavier gear is like lifting weights. So rather than go to the gym, I'd rather hit the water for 3 hours or so and lift rod weights for my exercise muscle building routine! :big grin:
Why is there a concerted effort of hate? And why is it allowed?

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