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Has anyone made a rod with a constant taper? That is, the taper increased constantly along the length of the rod.

If so, what was your opinion of the action?  (Taylor Hogan)

    Yep, and it was a good rod. That was until a guy in Roscoe kept giving me fifty dollar bills till I let go.  It was  only 7' (and a quad), but it was nice, maybe a bit too powerful. Mark W fished it, and many guys cast it at the gatherings. Not too pretty, but good loops. I am building more, I like them.  This one increased 8.5 thousandths every 6 inches with a .060 tip.

    Straight tapers are pretty nice. If you read up on Powell they say the B series was a good, decent rod. No major flaws or wonders. I will take decent any day.  (Bob Maulucci)

    Garrison tapers are basically a straight taper, with a more pronounced drop from 10" to the tip and a slight swell in front of the grip.  (John Channer)

    I just finished my first straight taper blank - an 8' with .068" tip and taper of .290" per 100". Haven't had a chance to cast it yet - will let you know when I do.

    It's interesting to run a stress curve on a linear taper rod - nice, progressive looking action.  (Tom Bowden)

      Last week I mentioned that I made a linear taper rod - 8' with .068" tip  and  taper  of  .290"  per 100" (or,  as one reply stated,  a Powell B-8.7 taper). I finally got the cork grip and ferrules installed and this evening I taped on guides and took it out on the front lawn.

      I had thought, based on a stress graph, that the rod would handle a DT5. The rod did just fine with the DT5, but a DT6 really brought out the best in the rod. It has lots of power, good recovery, cast tight loops with good line speed, and could also handle a slower, more open casting stroke. It felt like the progressive taper adjusted well to different casting strokes. Lawn casting never tells the whole story, but this rod passed the first test with flying colors.

      This was my first blonde rod, I filed the nodes rather than heating and pressing in a vice, and I finished the blank with 8 light coats of Tru-Oil rather than my usual dip varnish technique. Just wanted to try something different. I'll never know whether it's the taper, node prep, heat treating, or the finish that makes this rod different than others I've made. I guess I'd flunk science class!  (Tom Bowden)

    You've just made yourself a rod by the Powell B8.7 taper formulation.  The EC Powell B8 and B9 tapers were supposedly some of his best designs, rendering a rod with a medium fast action.  You would come by the B8.7 using your data:

    B8.7 = (0.290/100) = 0.0029 slope/in

    Powell went by the increase in half diameter per 6 inches, so multiplying above by 6 = 0.0174, then halve this amount to arrive at the straight taper increase per 6 inches = 0.0087, or a B8.7 taper!

    Please report back when you finish the rod, it would be interesting to see how you like the action.  (Kyle Druey)


You guys that build straight tapers,  What are the dimensions for a five wt?  Looking at most tapers it seems to start about .070 and increase an average of .0148 each five inches?

Is this anywhere near right?  (Terry Kirkpatrick)

    Here is an excerpt from AJ Thramer that I have kept handy for a while. I think his advice is sound (as always), but I cannot back it up from experience because I have only made quad rods in trout weights. I think .070 will be more of a 6 in a trout  length, 7-8'. For steelheading, a .080 is a good starting point for a straight tapered hex rod. Anyway, here is that post, hope he doesn't mind, but it is in the archives....

    "My conclusion about the design of tapers by many of the old masters is that they knew what they wanted the rod to do (fast, slow, tip action, evenly loading action, etc.) then picked out the ferrule sizes they knew would do what needed to be done and filled in the rod in between. A fast 5 wt 8 foot rod would have a 14 ferrule at about .210 - .214 .068 - .072 tip and a .300 - .320 but before the swell, slow full working 5 .200-.205 ferrule, about a .066 tip and a .290 butt a medium fast 4 would be .190 at the ferrule .066 - .068 tip and a 280 - 290 butt. What happens in between, barring something weird isn't all that important."  (Bob Maulucci)

    Yes, you are right... the slope you list is very similar, but slightly slower than a Powell B9 taper, and something a bit faster than a Garrison 209, which I believe averages 0.0146.  (Kyle Druey)

    Last summer I built an 8' straight taper rod - .068" at the tip with a slope of .290/100" (or .0145/5"). I thought it would be a 5 wt, but it loaded much better with a 6 wt - especially the WF6 "slime line" I use in the saltwater up here in the Pacific Northwest. A very pleasant action - easy to cast and really blasts out the line once you get the timing down. I've lawn cast it with a DT5 and a DT6 - I felt the rod was too heavy for the DT5 and slightly light for the DT6. If I was going to tinker with the taper, I'd make the tip .070" for a 6 wt.

    Spurred on by the success of the "290/068", I built one with a .290 slope starting with .080" at the tip. I tried a WF7 and a WF8, and like the 8 weight much better. I actually fished the rod for the first time last Sunday. It isn't as "sweet" as the 6 wt, but does what I built it for - casting larger flies into a stiff breeze.

    If I wanted an 8' 5 wt with a .290/100" taper, I'd probably start with a .065" tip.  I haven't experimented with different slopes yet, but I would think this would make a big difference. For example, a Powell B-8 taper (slope of .240/100") would need a heavier tip than one of my .290's for the same line weight.

    Of course all of this is subjective & depends on the caster!  (Tom Bowden)


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