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Rod Design - Tip Rebound

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Can any taper be designed that will stop dead and not got past the point of power [or whatever it could be called] and thereby rebound setting up a secondary wave? The material would have to be weightless. Certainly not cane. Graphite gets closer but still a secondary wave will result. Spent several hours talking to Tom Morgan a number of years ago about the same thing. He, like me, thought the taper could take part of the secondary wave out but not remove it entirely. But, there are other considerations when designing a taper. Energy transmission & tippet protection are two that come to mind. These are @ odds with each other. A limp tip will protect the tippet but won't transmit energy. Ain't life wonderful and a compromise. (Don Anderson)

    I would agree. There is always a tradeoff, a compromise, with respect to the taper. One may not get

    there, entirely, from here.  (Martin-Darrell)


Tip-bounce is always caused by a taper that's "out of control" through its last 15 inches or so. A fair curve through this area (and out to the tip-top) is crucial to translate the last bits of flexed energy into line-speed. Conversely, if you see waves going out through the line, it's because the upper portion of the tip has been compromised with bumps and wiggles, and the tip simply isn't up to doing its job.

Anything that bounces up and down guarantees sacrifices in linear drive. Some casters may learn to control tip-bounce to an extent, but why should one need to learn this? The solution is not to learn how to compensate, nor is it a matter of building a heavier tip. It's a matter of maximizing the rod's efficiency in the first place by managing the shape of the taper.

And the same holds  true through  the other  areas of a  rod as well -- even though a wavy, forward cast may not show up as final evidence. There are many good ways to manage fair curves (even with "compound" tapers), but the series of bumps and wiggles we so often see is definitely not one of them.  (Bill Harms)

    As a bamboo rod caster, and wannabe bamboo rod maker, I read your post with interest.  While I can usually 'tame' tip bounce and line waves easily while casting, why should I have to?

    Can you point me to tapers in the archives that minimize tip bounce.  Or explain how I could take existing tapers and make them more efficient?  (Reed Guice)

      Fast taper tip sections, at least the last 20'' don't bounce, that's why all my designs have them. However, if you try to cast too far with a rod ill-designed for the purpose, i.e. of too slow a taper you will get bounce and all the other ills in the book!  (Robin Haywood)

      I take Robin's point to be that the natural frequency of the tip is increased by increasing the slope and this will reduce the tendency of the tip to introduce a big low frequency wave into the line. Furthermore, a faster tip has lower mass which also tends to reduce overshoot on the stop at the top of the back cast and the bottom of the forward cast. Robin's other point, with which I tend to agree ,is that if a taper has a serious hinge or insufficient backbone in the butt section, the action will be slow and sloppy which can lead to a low frequency bounce from the whole rod,  independent of the tip. Things are not quite so simple. The strength of the tip in recovery also must be considered.

      Don Phillips discusses bounce in his book "The Technology of Fly Rods." He cites experiments that show that the internal damping from the material itself (synthetic or bamboo) has very little influence on damping. Don points out, the objective is to have the tip recover quickly. And that overly flexible (weak) tips made of heavy materials tend to bounce. Graphite rod designers don't  have to worry much about bounce because of the high strength to weight ratio of the material.

      Sooo. It looks to me that you have to compromise,  split the difference between stiffness and  mass.  My understanding of Marinaro (my reading of Bill Harms' book) is that his solution to the problem is the convex taper, which he feels offers more strength per mass than other tapers. However, there are many examples of rods which have other types of tip sections that have minimum bounce (a point that is well taken by Bill). I do wonder if a test has ever been made of the vibration frequencies of convex versus straight tapers with the same mass and length.

      Finally, why should tapers be fair (life isn't)? Seems to me, a weak point introduced by a notch will compromise the strength to weight ratio of the entire section resulting in a floppy tip.  (Doug Easton)

        There is no minimum volume but there is probably a maximum, except that we don't deal in volumes, just rate of taper. Does between 15 and 20 thousandths per station help? From the finest tip you want to risk? On my sixes that means about 65 thousandths, but other people call my sixes sevens and sometimes, mistakenly, eights.

        Tip ring tube inner diameters limit us to about 56 thousandths, but you can always use a bastardized H&H lightweight snake. Wonderful rings, H&H, some say the best, and i'm not disagreeing.  British, too.

        I suppose that fine tip diameters are more fragile than thick ones, indeed, I broke one the other day by dropping it inadvertently on a tiled floor, on its end, whilst still in a bag. But it would have shattered a carbon tip too. I am now the proud owner of a fully Kosher p6m1 variant.  (Robin Haywood)

      I had considered making another tip for a friend with a Montague that I cast and found the tip bounce was just way too much to control. I figure I could start with the original taper and modify it, but where do I start? I want to take this on as a challenge and learning experience. So before anyone piles on about its only a Montague, well its more than that to him. I believe a bad taper can be tamed, if not improved. I just don't understand what makes a taper tick.

      From what I understand it isn't just adding a few thousandths, it has to do with the curve as well. Should I compare it to some other tapers in RodDNA? Make it, cast it, and try again if need be? Isn't that how a lot of makers did it before computers and even calculators?  (Scott Bearden)

        Yes, over the last century of rodmaking, most designs evolved through trial-and-error (however mathematically complicated that process may have been). And not even the best of these rods are so good that improvements aren't possible. How much they can be improved, and who could notice the difference are other issues. But if your concern is to get rid of tip-bounce, you start with the tip itself. Use large graph paper, create an exaggerated vertical scale, then plot the curve of the existing design to begin your thoughts.

        The particular shape you're after needs to be coordinated with the rest of the tip, and each maker will find his own way, but a sample rate-of-change   across   those   first   several   inches  (in  full cross-section) might be something like: 0.018" rise to the first 5-inch station, 0.016" to the 10-inch station, and 0.014" to the 15-inch station. Much depends on the rod's length and its intended line weight, and the curve into the tip-top must be worked out accordingly. In any case, what you don't want to see in the uppermost portion is any sign of bumps, dips or wiggles. These are what defeat the smooth transfer of casting energy.  (Bill Harms)

        I'm with Scott and Reed on this subject.  I want to understand the taper characteristics that cause tip bounce or eliminate it.  I've researched tip designs in general.  The majority of the tapers in my database have convex tip styles.  But does it have to be convex to eliminate tip bounce?  Or will a fair curve of any style work?  My tip bounce theory as it stands today is that flat spots in the taper are the source of the problem.  By flat spots I mean that there are two stations or more somewhere in the tip half of the rod that don't have enough slope to dampen the oscillations from there to the tip.  But that's just a theory.

        I've posted my tip research on the blog today if anyone's interested.  It includes a summary of 444 tapers based on diagonal values.  I've also included a couple Heddon tapers as examples of different tip designs.  I would like to hear Bill and other's thoughts on those two tapers specifically regarding tip design and tip bounce.   (David Bolin)

          Well, I think a fair curve must be either convex or concave, and over their lengths, both can be "weighted" toward either of their ends. At the same time, some good designs show a compound a taper with subtle areas that roll from convex to concave (but without the bumps and wiggles that began this thread). What would a fair curve "of any style" be?

          I'm not sure of your context for a "flat spot," but I assume you're implying a simple, linear rate-of-change across a couple stations -- essentially, a localized, straight taper. If so, a "flat spot" in a taper is not a problem in itself. But you're surely right that this is a very poor way to manage the uppermost taper in a tip.

          On the other hand,  if  "flat"  means  an  extremely  reduced rate-of-change through certain areas (then beginning to grow more rapidly), this IS likely to be a problem -- and guaranteed, if located in the upper tip. But to see what's happening in these cases, we need to look at the changes on either side of the flat spot. The likely effect is a "hinge," and while these are sometimes created with subtlety in the thicker parts of a rod (to create a special effect), they're death to good line-control when located near the tiptop.   (Bill Harms)

          This discussion has been helpful.  I've summarized more data specific to tip design and posted it on the blog this evening.  It includes by line weight: average tip diameters,  tip slopes, number of convex, straight and concave tips, etc...  The averages are compiled from a list of 444 hex tapers in the 2 to 8 wt range.

          There is one metric that's specific to the tip bounce discussion.  It's the ratio of stations 20, 25 and 30 to stations 5, 10 and 15.  The average is 46%.  I've posted a list of suspect tapers based on that ratio.  Unfortunately, I haven't cast any of them.  I don't know if they're prone to tip bounce or not.  There are several Orvis tapers on the suspect list.  It seems odd that they would dominate the lower end of the ratio.  But again, I haven't cast any of them.  Any comments on the suspect tapers would be helpful.  (David Bolin)

          Well, yes, I have worked out these "standards" for my rods. But I can't emphasize enough how important it is to consider a rod as a system, with the taper in each area making its own contribution to the action you're after.

          I could state the details of my tip-tops, ferrule sizes and   maximum   butt   dimensions   for    various line-weights, but that would tell you only half the story. You'd know the slopes for the sections, and that's important in determining the general "strength" of a rod, but you'd still know nothing about the shape of taper itself (the rod's action and how it actually handles its designated line).

              Some of my favorite tapers are in Whittle's and my book, so maybe you could have a look there. But also spend some time on David Bolin's site.  David has worked hard to analyze a wide variety of rods, and his several articles are extremely helpful. Note, too, David's post to this list today. It would seem to address the questions you ask here pretty directly. David's efforts to sort out how rods tapers work is constantly "in process," so check in frequently.  (Bill Harms)


There was a discussion a while ago about tip bounce. I think I asked someone (anyone) to describe this phenomena, no-one did.  I maintain that there is no such thing as a rod without tip bounce, depending on your definition. Which I await.  (Jerry Foster)

    I'll give it a try:

    Assume that you have back cast and loaded the rod.  Now, you accelerate the rod and line forward and stop abruptly (or not, depending on how you cast). When you stop, the rod continues to accelerate the line at an ever decreasing rate as the rod unloads.  At the point that the rod (spring) is straight it is unloaded and the line continues forward.  But the rod, because of its moving mass, continues forward (momentum).  If the line has not move forward far enough to start "tugging" on the rod tip, the rod wants to bounce back.  That's the nature of a spring, it wants to go "booiinngg". That's tip bounce.  If the tip mass, acceleration and deceleration of the rod, and line weight are all "in balance" then the tip bounce is minimized. There may be some ideal condition for a given rod and caster that eliminates bounce but, in general, I think it's always there to some degree.  (Al Baldauski)

      I think you have hit the explanation. Whenever I get tip bounce, as displayed by sine waves in the cast line, I try one line weight heavier and it usually solves the problem.

      I have assumed that most bamboo rodmakers try more than one line weight on their rods, but maybe I'm wrong. I think that the graphite rod industry has created the false myth that whatever the designated line weight,  correct for that rod. Many of the casters that I coach have improved their casting by going up a line weight from the one marked on the rod sold to them by the fly shop. How embarrassing to not be able to tell that that great 2-weight, new generation graphite they just paid $500+ for is really a 4-weight. Maybe some of the old-time rod makers knew what they were doing when they didn't mark the line weight on their rods.  (Steve Weiss)

        You're right about line weight.  You can "adjust" your rod with different line weights to satisfy different fishing conditions.  Up close, maybe a heavier line.  Mostly distant casts, then a lighter one.  (Al Baldauski)

        I think you have hit the explanation.

        It works for me, too. I don't want to distract anyone from Al's answer, which covers the tip ounce portion of the problem quite nicely, but there can also be other vibration problems. Maybe I ought to refer to them as rod bounce, or butt bounce so as not to muddy the water. Part of damping out vibration after the rod is abruptly stopped is up to the material, and bamboo happens to do that job well, whereas fiberglass was not as good, and the old tubular steel rods were worse. That's part of why we like bamboo as a casting material. Part of the job must also be done by the caster, who imposes a very hard grip on the rod to make the rod stop crisply, and then instantly softens the grip to help damp out vibrations. The efforts of both the material and the caster, however, can be thwarted by anomalies of taper, weight distribution, and maybe other things that cause secondary vibrations to be set up when the rod is abruptly stopped. Any vibration set up in the rod will be transmitted to the tip, even though the tip had nothing to do with their origin.  The effect on the line, however, will likely appear to be identical.

        Al, FWIW I have seen instances where a too heavy reel causes vibration. I don't think it's tip bounce, and I'm not saying I can fully explain it. I think it has to do with moving the balance point from in front of the caster's hand to underneath the hand. It won't happen with every rod, and once again, I think rods with softer butts are more prone to it. Maybe the combination of weight on the end of the rod and the balance point causes the rod to bend a bit in the casters hand thwarting his efforts at a crisp stop and then damping vibration.  (Tom Smithwick)

          Regarding a heavy reel causing problems:  I think you’re right.  If you’ve got a heavy mass below your grip it will tend to cause your rod to continue to rotate when you try to stop.  Then your natural reaction is to counter that rotation with torque from your wrist but you overreact and start the motion in the opposite direction.  This “oscillation” is somewhat independent of tip bounce but the two together can make for a nasty cast.  And I agree, a softer “spring” is more likely to show the problem.  (Al Baldauski)

          "The efforts of both the material and the caster, however, can be thwarted by anomalies of taper,  weight distribution, and maybe other things that cause secondary vibrations to be set up when the rod is abruptly stopped. Any vibration set up in the rod will be transmitted to the tip, even though the  tip had  nothing to do with their origin."

          I would like to understand more about those "anomalies of taper" that tend to maximize vibration.  I've cast rods that vibrate far beyond my  ability to dampen the recovery.  It seems to me that the goal should be to design tapers that will minimize those vibrations.  Casting a heavier line will reduce the vibrations in recovery but that also changes the performance of the taper throughout the casting stroke.  Over lining the rod might be a band aid fix to a taper design problem.  We should be able to dampen the vibrations with a well designed taper casting up to three different line weights, not just the heaviest one.

          So what are the taper design characteristics that cause excessive vibrations?  My general observation is that a sharp reduction in the slope of the taper across a couple stations is the most likely source of the problem.  That could occur at any point along the taper, but that may be a more significant problem in the middle third.   Is that in the ballpark?  (David Bolin)

            Is that in the ballpark?

            I think so, David. I have handled a bunch of rods over the years, and have found very few that vibrated so badly that they could not be controlled by the caster. More often, a rod with with a too heavy ferrule or an unfortunate dip in the taper will have a mushy feel and cast a wider, or rolling loop. The discussion of "nodes of vibration" on page 105-106 of the Garrison book may shed some light on the topic of vibration. I do think that the placement of the anomaly is critical. If you find such a rod, I think the best thing to do is have someone else cast cast it and see if you can observe the source of the trouble. Another trick is to do an oscillation test and watch carefully. If you have a rod of similar line weight and length, do a side by side oscillation test, and that may reveal something.  I guess that's the long way of telling you that I don't know for sure, but I think you are on the right track.   (Tom Smithwick)

      I believe the uppermost 12-15-inch area is your last (and best) chance to affect how your rod transmits its energy to the line. Although not guaranteed, I think a tip that shows either a straight taper or one that's slightly concave through this  upper  area,  will  have  the  greatest  vulnerability  to tip-bounce. (Bill Harms)

        My intuition says I agree with your generalization but  I don’t have enough building or casting experience to support it with specific data.  (Al Baldauski)

          Not sure about straight tapers? I have made quite a few of these over the years non had any sort of tip bounce I could feel. But I agree concave, yes.  A thick tip with a concave last 15 inches I think would spell "tip bounce."  (Gary Nicholson)

      Great response Al, and you too Larry..

      If I may speculate a little more..

      I guess "balance" was the key word here.

      If a rod will cast it will have overthrow (continued momentum). The differential between when a rod is fully deflected, at the stop point in the cast, and the overthrow point (usually just the tip, seems there is not enough momentum to cause the whole rod to react), and the rebound point,(back to straight) will determine the path of the rod tip, which will determine the path of the line. This can all be viewed also as how much the rod is foreshortened. This is not just a function of the rod tip as the entire rod deflection and rebound (timing) must be taken into account. All of this will determine the wave pattern of the line. This gets to Paul's point. A skillful caster can soften or stiffen the stop (apply the appropriate power during the cast) to accommodate the rod's natural proclivity to throw waves. I am not that caster either, but I am on occasion. This is the concept of one rod (tip taper) does not fit all. And, a rod could be tuned to each of us if we knew enough. I know no-one cares about this part of the discussion, because it's a lot easier to make a Payne replica, which is good enough...hehee

      Good point Doc. That effect may be do to the higher mass of the line attenuating (dampening) the stiffer tip. Putting it back into the proper timing sequence.

      Al, Max, is it possible for your programs to determine how much energy (given a specific amount of force (acceleration)) is generated at a given MOE, MOI, to predict how much a rod will overthrow? strangely worded question.  (Jerry Foster)

      My program, DynaRod is calculating the rebound shape of a rod for motion pictures of the rod, under several assumptions though those assumptions need to be further brushed up.

      A basic model of considerations are as follows:

      • The deflected rod have the aggregate power (or energy) to recoil which is equal to the aggregate moment force gathered until it is deflected, that is the definition of  Elasticity.  And the energy in the rod is kept remained by Mendel's laws.
      • After the rod stops, the force of inertia are generated.  One is the inertia generated by stopping the rod which was accelerated by the caster, that is, moving inertia.  The other is the inertia generated by the rod's recoiling power, from the full deflection shape to the stretched shape, that is, spring inertia, or elasticity itself.
      • From the full deflection shape to the stretched shape, wether the rod needs to further accelerate the line or not, it depends on how much the line was accelerated by the rod movement (casting) prior to the stop.
      • If the line acceleration is not enough(slow), ordinarily this happens most in casting, (line acceleration < speed of rod recoil), the rod moment (recoil force) remained will be used to accelerate the line further. If the line acceleration >= dampen speed, rod tip will not have any burden of fly line to be further accelerated. In this case, the rod will be rebound by the forces of inertia described above.

      Similar consideration is described on this web page.  (Max Satoh)

      Yes, Jerry, you are quite correct - it is much, much easier to make a Payne copy (hee hee). (sic)

      And if that is what the client wants, then that is exactly what you make, and you make it as well as you possibly can.  There is no need for the derogatory little snide cracks on the subject.  It is not rocket science, but it is good solid rodmaking, and is probably pretty well what the Paynes and the Leonards of this world used to do as well.', day after day after day!

      But you should not overlook the fact that those of us who are not engineers, are not motivated to work with CNC equipment,  and nevertheless manage still to take pride in our work, also do a lot of empirical seat-of-the-pants work on developing tapers for our own use and that of our friends and clients, and who knows, may even make some worthwhile progress.

      I guess that you always manage to push some buttons with that bloody "tee hee", don't you? After all, nobody likes to be patronized.  (Peter McKean)

      Sorry, I guess I'm getting like our current crop of American Politicians where I have to apologize for everything I say. If you knew me you'd know that I don't take myself that seriously, so please don't. But don't get me wrong, I didn't misspeak.

      I certainly don't mean to demean anyone's rod making. But I have come to look it it like shoes. In the end they are just shoes, but I have a size 9 1/2 EEE3/4 foot. No cracks about my swimming ability. I have never been able to find an off the shelf pair that did anything good to my feet.

      I understand if you a selling rods that the customer is always right, but I don't think "most" customers really know what they want.

      What I'm trying to get us to think about is this concept that what's good for me isn't the best for everyone.

      Where we (I) lack is the ability to stick a shoe size thingy on someone and say "Ah, here's what you need."  (Jerry Foster)

      Calculating the energy stored in the "spring" plus that input by the caster is theoretically possible and maybe you could make some predictions about rod/line behavior from those calculations.  I'd have to give it some long thought.  It may be beyond my capabilities.  That being said, if you could solve for an ideal system then you'd need an ideal caster to take advantage of it.  Who among us?  Not me!  I guess you could argue that if you could calculate an ideal rod for an ideal caster,   then   you   should   be   able   to   calculate   the nearest-to-ideal rod for a non-ideal caster.  But that ideal or near-ideal rod will only work in a very narrow range of conditions.  In the real fishing world, just about every other cast  would be outside the ideal range.  That's why a human being is such an amazing machine.  It has the ability to instantaneously and infinitesimally adjust to improve a condition. The human machine can MAKE our attempts at perfection perform pretty well.

      I guess what I'm saying is that we have to strive to get a rod into the ballpark so the caster can do the rest.  There are, no doubt, aspects of rod design that will make the ball park broader or narrower and they need to be considered.

      Tom is a longtime student of rod design changes versus performance.  I hope he pipes up with some specific changes and effects.  I've recently cast, for the second time, one of his rods that he built last season.  The first time the rod had significant tip bounce, and now several months later, it is much reduced!  The speculation is that now the epoxy is fully cured which has changed the resonance of the rod for the better.  That's a pretty subtle change for a very noticeable effect, even in the hands of a mediocre caster, mine.  (Al Baldauski)

        I have to admit that I have been following this thread, not really understanding much of it. This post I like. Some of the design methods make me think of fitting a man for a fine suit, it's that precise. Suit wont fit everyone. Or something closer, trying to find a shotgun that feels right. I have an old Browning BT 99 that I swear was custom fit to me, (even though I bought it used at a gun shop) really I just have to look at the targets and they just seem to break! I am not the best shot by a by any stretch of the imagination! Then I had a Remington that I had to point low all the time, I learned to shoot it pretty good, but I had to work at it.

        So being what I would think kinda an average guy, I try to find out what a customer is going to use a rod for most of the time, and build the rod that I feel works under those conditions. I am not an engineer so I have to go with my experience, and the design/experience of those who have gone before me or are doing that work for me now! I've done a few, and would like to think that my customers are truly not just being nice to me when they say that they really like one of my rods, that it works for them. I always try to remember to tell them that if there is anything they don't like about their new rod I will try to change it even if it means starting over. If it's just a reel seat fit or handle fit etc. that may not be the case. I also try to steer them away from some silk colors that may make a rod look like it came out of KMart!

        "The speculation is that now the epoxy is fully cured"

        I find this very thought provoking, for years I was convinced that rods glued with URAC were much stiffer, and I still think that when I heat set the glue and the blank came out of the oven they were. Now the interesting part. Or as Paul Harvey used to say "Now the rest of the story" I have a 7' rod based on a Garrison 201e taper, made with URAC it  is  numbered 99-01 which means it was the first rod I built in 1999. I kept this rod for myself and fish it almost all the time. I have since built the same rod using Titebond III and I really can't say the URAC rod is stiffer. In my limited ability I feel that this rod has become acclimated to the surrounding environment. Could that be what Al is found kinda sorta? (this is as technical as I get, sorry)

        Now about springs, I had a friend that used to work in a spring shop (auto leaf springs) and you know they spent a lot of time re-arching leaf spring because they just got soft! So does this happen to a rod after a while? (think about that URAC rod) Maybe for the better, or not. And yes AL 'booiinnng' is a technical term :>)

        Anyway guys thanks for making me think, (you gave me a head ache) and isn't it cool that we can all do this just the way that makes us happy. And like they say "different strokes for different folks" or "One mans floor is another mans ceiling" or ...............OK I'm done.

        Now everybody go do what makes you who you are! That's what sets you and your rods apart from all the others, therefore perfect!

        And please don't anyone take offense by my rant it was not meant to do that, I'm just feeling windy. (Joe Arguello)

          Yes all rods soften with use that includes bamboo and even carbon.  (Gary Nicholson)

          I’m not convinced that one glue will make a stiffer rod than another, at least not the glues we tend to use, but I haven’t done any tests to prove that.

          But I can believe that a glue that is not fully cured will make a difference.

          Another factor in rod stiffness new versus aged is this:

          If we assemble strips fresh out of the oven in the winter, clean them up and get some varnish on the assemble stick we prevent the bamboo from absorbing much moisture.  And we assume that is a good thing because we are taught that moisture makes as rod “mushy”.  Well, having assembled that stick, let’s say it measures 0.203 someplace.  Now wait until summer when the humidity has gone up and the rod has had a chance to absorb moisture through the varnish.  Measure the rod again and you’ll find it may be as much as 0.012 bigger at the 0.203 dimension.  I’ve done tests to show that the absorbed moisture doesn’t make the bamboo “softer” but the growth in dimension actually makes it stiffer.

          So depending on how dry you environment may be and how quickly you assemble a rod determines how much “after-growth,” and therefore additional stiffness, you get down the road.  (Al Baldauski)

            I tend to agree with that, first clue I got was when one of those rods I made where I heat set the glue was immediately taken out fishing in the rain. Next thing I know is I am cutting off a ferrule because it just could not be taken apart. I am convinced that this is just what happened. The blank swelled so much under the male ferrule that it was not coming apart. I no longer heat set glue.  (Joe Arguello)

    I found the discussion of tips interesting.   I know what I like in a fly rod and it involves a light, but fairly powerful rod.  That may sound like a contradiction in terms but over the years I've cone to realize that a rod can be quite powerful and still feel light.  Over the years I've noticed that some rods feel heavier than others of the same taper.  Part of this could be due to the different bamboo used or part of it could be that I've missed my numbers by  a few .000th.  I'm talking about probably the top 1/3 of a rod, not just the first 10 or 15 inches. 

    The secret seems to be in the tip.  Not that the tip weighs less in comparison to the rest of the rod, but that the tip works properly in the cast.  Let me explain what I mean as best I can.  I'm not an engineer and I don't play one on TV so bare with me. 

    So why does one rod that's 7 1/2 foot long and weighs 1/4 oz less than another rod feel so much lighter?  As a pilot I learned about center of gravity and the means of finding it by Moment.  Moment is defined as distance from a point x weight.  It's part of Garrisons math,  although I don't think it's defined quite that way.  

    I believe it's not necessarily the rod but the line that makes the feel.   While fishing below Rim shoals, on the White River with some friends, we listened to a freight train starting up.  The train was probably a half mile long and as the engine started to move a series of "bangs" rippled down the track.  Each coupling, one after another, was suddenly jerked into tension.  I think that's a fair example of what I'm talking about.  The engines don't start the mass of the train all at once, but over a period of several seconds.

    I think that the ideal fly rod probably does something much like that.  The caster starts the forward cast and the rod tip bends as it tries to overcome the mass of the line.  How far it bends and how quickly it recovers give the feel and the power of the rod.   If it tries to get the line in motion to quickly,  the rod feels heavy.  If it is to flexible, the rod feels weak.  (Terry Kirkpatrick)

    I would add that an overly heavy reel can cause this too.  (Scott Grady)

      Can you explain that, I'm not seeing it.  (Al Baldauski)

        I have seen when you have too heavy a reel, a wave form in the rod with the fulcrum located at your hand/grip.  This causes the rod to oscillate and thus a wave in your line as it casts forward.  Try putting a heavy reel on a lite rod and you will see what I mean.  You might be able to get the same effect if you hold a more "balanced" rod above the grip and try to cast. Does that make sense?  (Scott Grady)

          I guess that could happen.  I'll give it a try.  (Al Baldauski)

            Could we be confusing tip bounce with tip vibration here.

            My take is tip bounce is more aggressive and in short can be felt.

            Were tip vibration is in all effects present in all tip designs. It really how quick the tip dampens to a complete stop?  (Gary Nicholson)

              I'm don't think the two terms are different, it's a matter of amplitude and frequency.  A fast oscillation with a small excursion would be characterized, in your terms, as a vibration, which is relatively easily dampened by choice of line and stroke modification.  A slow oscillation with a large excursion would be characterized as a bounce and is more noticeable and more difficult to control.  An oscillation caused by an overly heavy reel may appear like tip bounce but  is from a different source.  (Al Baldauski)

                I have to admit that I have been reading this thread on tip bounce hoping to actually learn something, but to date it seems everyone likes to speak in generality's which I have not been able to get a handle on. Certainly I can understand some of the concepts, but how do we actually apply them, how about an example of a rod which has this tip bounce and a statement of how it has been or can be eliminated ?

                We can really seem to talk all around a subject but never get to an actual solution. I know this is frustrating to me and I'm sure to others. So in an effort to shed some light on this subject I would like to offer a rod I designed for short distance casting.

                It's in Power Fibers #27 and I have gone through the concept stage to the specifications and then to the complete rod design. The rod works just as I wanted it to using a very light tip.

                One graphite salesman commented while casting it ,that it would be a nice rod if I could get rid of the tip bounce. I thought about this for quite a while for I didn't seem to have any problem with the tip. It is very responsive to short line lengths of 5 to 25 feet. My initial feeling were that it would become over loaded using longer lines until one of the better casters at SRG6 cast 70 feet of line with little problem. The rod is only a 6 foot and 9 inch 4 wt and I wouldn't have expected that it could do this. However after using it for a while I came to the conclusion that because the tip was so light, that for me there was little or no tip bounce at any line length. I think it must be my style of casting which I developed using heaver rods and using a double haul and shooting some line almost regardless of the rod size. I think that the line traveling through the guides on the forward cast has a very pronounced stabilizing affect on the rod tip and damps out all or most of any tendency to bounce.

                If you look at the rod in Power Fibers #27 you will see that the taper shows that the tip is very soft for the first 20" and then the it stiffens very quickly, I did this to insure that it would have primarily tip action and the large increase after 20"+ would stop the rod action from going much further down the rod. What it also accomplished was to give the rod a lot of power in the middle and lower part of the tip giving it the ability to cast larger lines longer distances and even with these lines there was no noticeable tip bounce, perhaps because of my casting style of shooting line.

                After designing this rod I checked other rod designs and found that there are quite a few rods with this soft tip, for example the Leonard 8033 tournament rod. I don't think that this 3 wt rod was for distance and assume that Leonard felt the soft tip provided better line control and accuracy.

                I hope that others might be a little more specific in their discussions of tip bounce and give rod designs numbers and suggest solutions that we can all understand and learn from.  (Bob Norwood)

                  I confess to speaking from a mostly a theoretical point of view because I admit I don't have nearly  enough hands-on experience.  That's why guys like you have to chime in with specifics.  That way we can begin to marry theory and practice.

                  My "feeling" concurs with your design idea and Bill Harms.  Some amount of "soft" tip tend to dampen bounce.  (Al Baldauski)


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