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I have been considering making a set of rods all of the same length, line weight, and cosmetic characteristics, but of varied tapers, to facilitate comparison of rod design.  I am considering a set of eight foot, two-piece, six weights including a Paul Young Para-15, Dickerson 8014, and Garrison 212.  What two other tapers would you include for comparison?  (Bill Lamberson)

    Consider a Granger 8040 and a Powell B9 to give you two superb medium-fast tapers.  (Kyle Druey)

      I agree with Kyle on the Powell B9. My current favorite rod is similar - a linear taper of .290/100" starting with .068" at the tip. A Powell B9 would be .300/100".  Works well for me with WF6F, WF5F, and WF5 sinking lines.  (Tom Bowden)

    I like several Dickerson tapers, but the 8014 is a bit stiff for me.  Take it for what it's worth.  I don't have a great alternative for you, though.  (Jerry Madigan)

    There is an 8' 5 weight Waara that I think makes a better 6 weight. There is the Leonard 50 in the archives and an 8' 6 weight Gillum also.  (Timothy Troester)

    I did just that when I started building a few years ago. I was, and still am, interested in 7’ 4 weight rods.  I build the Wayne Cattanach Sir "D", The Paul Young Driggs River 7' 2" and the Garrison 201.  I was interested in what the differences in casting characteristics were.  It was a great fun and very educational.  I still fish the Sir "D" and the Driggs. I was not very excited by the Garrison, too slow, but, that is my wife's favorite.  These were among the first rods that I built and have not seem the light of day at any gathering.  Perhaps a first rod contest would get them out.  (Mark Cole)


Can someone compare and contrast the characteristics of the Payne 101e (or 100H, the tapers are almost identical), Martha Marie and Sir D?

I need to make a friend a pair of rods. I've been trying to put him off until I learned a little more about rods but he dumped $200 bucks in my lap today (for components) and said "make 'em". He want's a 7'6 3 piece. My initial reaction since I haven't made that many rods was to convert a Sir D. Looking at Rod DNA though, it looked like the Payne and Young rods would make good all-round trout rods.  (Jim Lowe)

    I'm not familiar with the Payne 101e designation.  I could describe the actions of each of the rods you mention,  but since each is a two piece rod -- and your buddy wants a 3 piece rod -- I wonder if these are the best choices.

    I'll vouch for converting Wayne's 7' 2 piece #4 to longer lengths, and lighter lines, and 3 piece instead of 2 piece.  It works well in almost every iteration.  (Harry Boyd)

      Harry's right, the Sir D is a nice rod, but I think the Payne 100H would make a good three piece rod also. Just use the taper in rodmakers and change the ferrules to 11/64 @ 30" and 16/64 @ 60", then make the 35" station 0.172 and 40" station 0.185.

      It should make a nice 5/6 wt rod.  (Bob Norwood)

    The Sir D characteristic already lives in a 7' 6" model. The tapers listed on page 184 and continued on 185 are a stretched Sir D. However - investigating the math to transform the taper would be an insight I would recommend to all.   (Wayne Cattanach)


Has any one made one of these?

Leonard Catskill 7 ft 2 wt

Leonard 7' 2pc 2/3 wt 7 ft 2 wt

Digger Discent 70/2/32 7 ft 2 wt

Bogart Yellow Rose 7022 7 Ft 2 Wt  (Gary Nicholson)

    I made the Digger Ice Cream Parlor Special, which is 6'8" (not 7') and a 2 weight, in 2 pieces. It has a medium action. I can recommend it.  (Paul Franklyn)

    I haven't made any of them, but I have cast the Bogart rod. It's a great small stream taper, IMO.  (Kevin Little)


I'm, just curious, having completed my first rod, (a PMQ) Sir D 7642, What are the differences, casting wise, in the same taper, of a PMQ vs hex.  (Joseph Freeman)

    In my limited experience with making PMQs, although they can make into very nice rods, they don't have quite the "oomph", the springiness, that an equivalent hex has.  I imagine that is due to them having fewer power fibers and more pith, relative to a regular hex.  I'll be curious to see if others who have made both hold the same opinion.  (Lee Koch)

      I have built a number of PMQ's, including a Sir D. in the 7643 configuration, but I don't have the hex versions to test against.  You need to talk to someone like Tom Smithwick or Darrol Groth who make both PMQ and Hex rods.  They might have the same taper in both flavors so they could be tested side by side.  Maybe this could be a project for one of the upcoming rod makers gatherings.....

      My feelings, at this point, are that we don't understand the dynamics of the Quad configuration well enough to properly convert tapers from one to the other.  I'm wondering if the true formula wouldn't be a compound equation factoring in the thickness, the mass and maybe the distance from the swing point.  A tip built on the .93 conversion has the same mass as the hex rod, and being almost solid power fibers, should display very little difference.  In the mid and butt, though, the density of the cane is less, although still not pith, if you do it right.

      I may try a progressive taper on my next conversion.  Use .98 or even 1.0 at the grip, move gradually down to .96 at the mid, and then on to .93 at the tip.  I need to study on that....

      Anyway, I really like my PMQ's even if they aren't exact duplicates of the original tapers.  The Sir D is, to date, my favorite rod.  (Paul Gruver)

        I’ve cast both side by side.  The PMQ was built on a .93 conversion factor.  Both are very nice rods.  The PMQ is probably a shade less powerful (particularly through the butt) & therefore almost a pure dry fly rod in my mind.  You can tell the similarities but they are slightly different.  I like the PMQ version of this taper better.  Everyone who has cast it rave’s about it (including guys who love fast graphite).  I don’t believe every taper translates well into a PMQ but this one seems to be exceptional.  I’ve built both PMQ’s & hexes and for this taper the PMQ version would be my choice although I’d probably do it with a .95 conversion.

        However, it’s difficult to draw a perfect comparison.  The rod’s were made by different maker’s with different cane, glue and different heat treating.  The “grand experiment” in the planning form would suggest this stuff all matter’s too.

        I also built the 6’3 version of the sir D as a PMQ.  I graduated the conversion as suggested below and did it as a one pc.  I’ve never cast the original but this rod at a shade under the 2 oz mark and is capable of casting through opened car windows at 25 feet without becoming fouled.  I have no desire to do this one as a hex.

        I think the hex has a huge advantage in consistency when compared to the PMQ.  Although the format makes a great trout rod I’ve built 9 PMQ’s and not one had identical static deflection in both directions on the casting plane when using a weight that bent them to approximately 1/3 of their length.  Most were actually out by several inches.  Probably doesn’t matter in terms of fish ability because no caster uses identical force in both direction’s anyway (you can’t feel it).  But this leads me to believe to accurately repeat the flex of a hex in the PMQ is just about impossible.  I’ve also concluded that I really don’t care anymore, nor do the trout (I asked them).  (Jon Babulic)


I am sure that this question has been knocked around a whole lot but I missed it. Can anyone tell me what the fastest taper for a bamboo fly rod is? I was told that it was a Payne, but I can't remember the name or the number of the rod. I would like to keep it to between  7' & 8' and either a 5 or 6 wt. Any suggestions? I have been making the Dickerson 7613 and really like the action but would like to know if there is a faster taper out there.  (Phil Crangi)

    I can't speak from experience because I have never cast one, but I have heard a lot of very knowledgeable and experienced casters say that the fastest bamboo rod they ever cast was the Phillipson Zephyr. Somehow that spelling doesn't look right but I'm sure you can figure it out. It was a short rod and I've heard a lot of bamboo guys refer to it as a broomstick because of it's stiffness.  (Will Price)

      I did some quick searching and it was the Phillipson Haywood Zephyr 7'. I haven't come up with the line weight or taper yet. I don't know if it's on Hexrod or not but that would be a good starting point.  (Will Price)

        Wasn't this a 7' 2/2 for a 5 wt which would fit Phil's criteria?  (Ron Hossack)

    One the fastest rod I've run across is a Peerless 7’ 5 wt, if you define fast as having MOST of the flex in the top third of the rod.  While it's "advertised" as a 5 wt, my deflection analysis would make it more a 7 wt but it still has the "fast" characteristics as opposed to those that are more a medium action but stiff.

    I couldn't find any data on a Phillipson Zephyr so I can't give you a comparison.  (Al Baldauski)

      One of the things I've been using to aid in my deciphering of the mysteries of tapers is the 'Rise' formula as given by Ray Gould in Rod Tips & Tapers.  Subtract station 10 from station 60 and multiply by 2.  Gould defines 'fast' action as equaling or falling between 281-300.  'Xtra fast' is 301 or higher.  With few exceptions, whenever I'd come across a taper reputed to be very fast, this formula has worked.  Where I believe it to be suspect is on rods longer than, say, 8ft, or where there is significant  hinging between stations 10 and 60.  I don't know what our more experienced makers think of this and I couldn't find any comments one way or another on the tips page.  With more experience, I'm sure I'll develop a more grounded opinion of it, but for now all I can say is it has helped my understanding of stress curves and the overall speed of tapers, while appearing fairly consistent with regard to which tapers are generally held to be slow or fast.  I'd sure like to hear what others think of the formula.  (Bob Brockett)

        I wouldn't refer to myself as "more experienced" as I'm still learning. I built my first hex rod at age 54 and now have an even 30 under my belt at age 62. But I would like to say that I have found Rays' formula to be pretty daggone accurate with the exceptions that you mentioned noted.  (Will Price)

        I'd sure like to hear what others think of the formula.

        I think it holds up pretty well, if you are only looking at reasonably straight line tapers. It seems to fall apart when looking at Parabolic rods, predicting them to be faster than they actually are. This is because they usually have steep drops in taper after the 60" mark or thereabouts, causing them to cast slower than the tip taper would indicate. I think it's better to look at the whole rod taper, and refer to the stress curve as well.  (Tom Smithwick)

          I should have mentioned the parabolic tapers.  Those really throw a wrench in it!  In "Cane Rod Tips & Tapers," Gould does include a number of 'double-parabolics' [his term] and even gives an explanation of just what that means, although I have to say I'm still trying to wrap my brain around that one.   Seems more like 'almost-parabolic.'  Splitting the difference, somehow...but I'm probably well off base on that.  Thanks Tom!  (Bob Brockett)

            As I recall, Gould identifies some of his designs as possessing a "double parabolic" character, but does not list the taper for any of those.  I'm no fan of stress curves, but I'd enjoy seeing the dimensions of a Gould double para.  Maybe it resembles some of those Gillums or "easy-casting"  Grangers. 

            Ray Gould!  You still out there?  As much as I'm indebted to you already for your books, I wonder if you are willing to share a double para with us.  (Grayson Davis)

              I'm at work & my book is at home, so I can't say for sure, but I could swear Ray had at least several double-para tapers listed in the back of the book. He also included a chart of his favorite tapers, of which some, as I recall, were doubles.  Maybe someone who has it handy can check or I'll try remembering when I get home (plow, baby, plow!).  (Bob Brockett)

                Page 91 Gould under a subtitle of "Double Parabolic" says "pay special attention to the rod tapers which are shown on Page 86.....The term "Double Parabolic" is one I've coined to describe a taper which has a parabolic tip section.......and a parabolic butt section."

                And just like that spaghetti sauce in a jar "it's in there." Last three columns subheaded "Gould."  (Dave Burley)

                  Another way of naming a compound taper, or Marinaro's "convex taper," as described in the Harms book . ..  (Chris Obuchowski)

        Ray's technique is a relative way of expressing taper.  If you divide his result by 1000, you get thousandths of and inch per inch taper, i.e. .003"/inch.

        A typical Straight Line Taper for a 5  wt will  have  a  taper of 0.0028"/inch. The Peerless taper I mentioned earlier has an average taper of 0.0036"/inch !! Ray's technique gives a figure of 350.

        As Tom says, though, you have to look at the whole thing, including stress. The average taper needs the added information of tip dimension to begin to make sense of rod line wt as well as action.  You could have a station 10 value of .297 and a station 60 value of .437 and come up with a Gould value of 280 but it would be a broomstick even with rope on it.   (Al Baldauski)

          Thanks for your input!  Always helpful.  Yeah, I was working under the theory that Gould's Rise formula was just a rough guide to blank speed.  Too many other variables to be very exact, but it does give a fair idea about the heart of a rod when examining stress graphs alongside it.  As you suggest here, if you took the same rod & planed a .080 tip on it versus a .064 or something much less, and left everything else the same, that's going to significantly change the overall character of the thing without changing the rise one iota.  (Sure would cast a dry differently.)  Am I reading you correctly?  (Bob Brockett)

            Gould's formula IS a good general guide and as Tom pointed out it falls apart with significant deviations from a straight line taper, especially in the butt (parabolic).

            The outrageous example I gave was just to point out that taper rise alone cannot give you an accurate idea of the overall rod.  If you tried to use my example by extending the straight line taper 10 inches to the tip and from Station 60 to the butt (say station 95) you'd get a very heavy 8 ft rod suitable for casting 5 ounce lures at the beach, but it wouldn't be a fly rod.  (Al Baldauski)


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