.......................  ......Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park


Casting Flies on Yellowstone Streams (and most anywhere else
for that matter) - Part 2

Fly Rod Weight:
First, let me explain that I mean the actual weight of the fly rod, not the weight of
the line it is designed to cast. There has been a lot of recent emphasis put of
the weight of a fly rod. I think this mostly came about with some of the latest
"series" of Orvis fly rods. I'll have to go back and look. I get them mixed up. Lets
see, they have the Helios, or was it the zero gravity that was lighter than air? I
think the T3 rod is three years old, so I suppose it is obsolete. At least they
claim that weight is a big part of their reason one series is better than another -
whichever series it was or still is.

Orvis, along with other manufacturers, have reduced the weight of the fly rods
down so low, it feels like you have a feather in your hand instead of a fly rod. If
they didn't have a fly reel on them and a fly line, you would have to hold them
tightly to prevent them from blowing away on most Yellowstone streams. I am
making a joke of it, but I actually do like the light weight feel. They do cast easier
or at least they feel like they do. I just think some of the rod companies have
overdone it.

It is to sad that they can't get the weight of the fly lines down. They can of
course, but the light lines will not cast as far as the heavier lines. When you cast
a fly you are actually casting the weight of the fly line. It has to weight something
or it wouldn't cast, would it? Try casting sewing thread.  Instead of a 4 weight rod
you can get a 3 weight fly rod that is lighter. What you can't get is a 4 weight fly
line that is lighter than a three weight fly line. There is no zero gravity weight fly
line. If Scientific Anglers keeps putting little dents in their Shark Skin lines they
may wind up weighting nothing. That would be great. If they weighted nothing
most likely the fish couldn't see them.

How do they make some fly rods that weight less than other fly rods? Lets see -
you could make them slimmer and thinner and folks wouldn't notice that much.
You could make the handles with a smaller diameter. You could get them down
to where it felt like you was holding a pencil. I guess you could use hollow guides
instead of solid metal guides. I guess you could add some boron.

How do they even go about making a fly rod? I see videos and DVD on how you
can make them but when it gets down to it, all of them show how to add handles
to blanks that someone has already made. Even the handles are usually
already made by someone. So are the guides. You don't really make them, you
just add them to a blank with thread and glue. You can't get much lighter than
cork. I guess you could use hollow cork. How do they get the fly rods so light.
Why is it so important to get the weight lighter?

It seems that light fly rods would be easier to cast over a period of a long time,
such as all day long. At least I don't give out casting my four weights like I do
casting my twelve weight. Thank goodness you don't blind cast to tarpon, or
only the steroid guys would be able to fish for them.

Tomorrow I will write about how they make fly rods. Not how they assemble parts
to make a fly rod but how they make the fly rod blanks. I have been dealing with
that subject a lot during the past year.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh