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In the same spirit of Darryl's posting about material that the newbies may not have seen. Maybe we can put up a list of our 5 to 10 top tapers.

My list:

Don Anderson's 7'9", 5 wt.
Payne 101
Dickerson 8013
PHY Driggs River 7'2", 4/5 wt.
PHY Perfectionist  (Bill Walters)

    PHY Midge
    PHY Driggs River
    PHY Perfectionist
    PHY Para 15
    PHY JJ
    Pezon & Michel Ritz Fario Club
    Hardy Tourney
    Payne 100H
    Dickerson 6611
    Dickerson 7613 (Danny Twang)

      Oops, forgot Garrison #193  (Danny Twang)

    My short list:

    - Paul Young Driggs River Special- good up close and far and fine. Casts a 4 or 5 weight lines with an action that matches my casting stroke so well. I can feel the right timing like no other rod I have cast. I like the way it casts off the tip and then loads up the butt with power when I work some line out. Best all around trout rod I have. Worked on the Delaware and on tiny little Clear Creek. Does it all.

    - Garrison 209- a rod that just makes sense to me. I feel the progressive casting stroke. Only cast one once, but it was magic. On my list of to do's.

    - Tom Smithwick Spiral rod. Just great!

    - Degere "Ice Cream Parlor Hole"- 6'9" 2 wt. Very medium actioned, has power to spare. Really presents tiny flies so well. My absolute favorite for Tricos and most everyday fishing in Western New York.

    - Several unmentionable quadrates.  (Bob Maulucci)

    How about:

    PHY Driggs               Sublime
    Payne 98                  Superb
    Dickerson 7614          Magnificent
    WC 7' #4 (Sir D)        Outstanding

    The Driggs is a parabolic so it bends into the handle when casting. Being parabolic it can take some getting used to but it has enough advantages to make it worth while. The advantage most people talk about is the casting power which is true but I like it's action and the way it handles different uses. Because of the nature of paras they are good nymphing rods (up stream like dry nymphing). At the same time though this rod also makes a great dry fly rod. Basically a very good all round rod that doesn't make you feel like it's a compromise.

    The Payne 98 is just a very nice wand like rod. Excellent to cast.

    Dickerson 7614 is IMHO the trout rod in deep fast water. Really good thick butt so you can man handle the fish but the tip is fine so you can play them at the same time. I don't think you'll ever feel undergunned with this rod for trout anywhere you'd ever fish.

    The Sir D (original taper by WC) is just a wand to cast. Really nice almost parabolic action.  Great little dry fly rod.  (Tony Young)

    PHY Midge
    PHY Perfectionist
    Orvis 5/9 Ultralight
    Granger 7'
    Granger 7 1/2'
    Granger 8'
    T&T 6' #3 Caenis
    Pezon et Michel  6' Midget
    Pezon et Michel  7'7" Colorado
    Winston 8' #5 (San Francisco) (Marty DeSapio)

    8'6" W&M Granger Aristocrat
    7'6" 3/2 A&F "Favorite" by Edwards
    PHY Driggs (Thanks Bob)
    6'8" 2/2 4 wt F.E. Thomas (Ala Joe Perrigo)
    9' Lyon & Coulson Regent #123 8 wt (Same as Heddon Peerless).

    The Granger is my favorite, it's semi-parabolic action just feels good and it works well off the tip and at long distance with a Triangle taper 4/5. The Driggs is the natural short rod for the paraholic. Gives me the same good feeling as the Granger. The Edwards has a taper much like the Sir D. it is very fast with a WF 5 and does best for me with a 5-6 TT. It is a cannon, not the best for small stream work but fished very well on the Ausable and on the Grand. It will sling small streamers as well as dries. Joe's FE Thomas is an elegant rod, light in the hand, crisp and delivers a nice tight loop. Although I have cast this taper a lot, I've not fished with one of these nor have I fished the Driggs. I just fell in love with the Driggs that Bob Maulucci brought to our little Western NY gathering. I think I will be fishing one soon! The L&C is my favorite Bass Rod, a bit heavy to work all day, but gets a lot of line out and can lift it up again without much trouble. I hope to hook a steelhead with this, only bass so far. BTW I cast the Smithwick spiral and loved it, but I didn’t get a chance to cast it enough (everybody wants to cast this one).  (Doug Easton)

    Driggs River Special
    Dickerson 8013
    Payne 101
    Heddon Folsom
    Garrison 202e
    Young Martha Marie
    Cattanach Sir D  (Steve Trauthwein)

    Granger 8 ft
    Granger 8 1/2 ft
    Leonard 8 1/2 ft to 9 1/2 ft tournament rods for a 4 or a 5
    Leonard 50 DF
    Leonard 39 DF
    Garrison 206e
    Garrison 212e
    Payne 201
    Para 15
    Dickerson 6611
    Any of the PM PPP rods
    The 4 3/4 oz Granger 9f
    Payne 204
    Granger 71/2 ft and the Granger 7ft Good but not ?
    38H Leonard
    Dickerson 7012
    Payne Canoe  (AJ Thramer)

    There are so many tapers that I haven't cast yet, but here are some rods that stood out for me in feel and application.  I like a rod that has a full working action, but can also find more energy in the butt for longer casts.  I primarily fish small streams and several of Oregon’s famous rivers. 

    The Payne 198 3/4 wt. and the Heddon #35 9' LT probably have the fullest working action of these listed in my opinion. The others have varying degrees of additional strength in the butt for stronger casts. The Leonard had a noticeable increase in slope at about the 12"-15" point, and it threw nice flat loops from 15' to 40'. The McDowell 704DF is primarily a straight taper with bigger increases below the ferrule and going into the cork.  I doubt it's original.  I reserve the right to have an ever changing list as time goes on. As soon as I hit the send button I'll probably recall another, but you have to go with the moment and hope for the best.  (Chris McDowell)

    Payne 198 (early edition)
    Garrison 206
    Garrison 209e
    Leonard 38-3
    Thramer Dx series
    Heddon #35 9' Light Trout
    Edwards Quadrate #25
    Dickerson 7012
    McDowell 704DF


It is hard deciding what a good rod is, especially when recommending it for another. For years I chose to fish rods the work the first 1/3 of the rod and were considered fast or medium. I have to admit they are fun to fish with. I have used so called parabolic that were wimpy and what many envision what a bamboo rod is wimpy.

Then I fished with a rod that cast exactly where I wanted it. I thought and the rod did it without a lot of concentration. I did not have to false cast several times to get the length  of line out and it did not wimp out when I lift a bunch of line off the water. When a 15' cast was needed, I’ve done the same for a 60 cast which had to be mended in the air. So even though I can cast about any trout rod. A good rod for me just happens to be a Parabolic rod. For some they are nothing but a headache. So before I recommend a rod it is good to know what kind of rod the person can cast. I believe this is key.

Rods are like women... we love them all...but the ones that do what we want are the ones we love most.  (Adam Vigil)

P.S. for our lady rodmakers insert men instead of women in the above sentence


I took all the responses to the 5 to 10 top taper question and compiled a list in alphabetical order.  (Al Spicer)

****** Tapers *******

A&F "Favorite" by Edwards 7'6"

Cattanach 7' #4 (Sir D)

Dickerson 6611

Dickerson 7613

Dickerson 7614

Dickerson 8013

Don Anderson's 7'9", 5 wt.

F.E. Thomas (ALA Joe Perrigo)

Garrison 202e

Garrison 206e

Garrison 212e

Granger 7'

Granger 7 1/2'

Granger 8'

Granger 8 1/2 ft

Granger Aristocrat 8'6" Wright & McGill

Granger 4 3/4 oz  9f

Heddon Folsom

Hardy Tourney

Leonard 8 1/2 ft to 9 1/2 ft (tournament rods for a 4 or a 5)

Leonard 50 DF

Leonard 39 DF

Lyon & Coulson Regent #123  9' 8 wt  (Same as Heddon Peerless)

Orvis 5/9 Ultralight

PHY Driggs River Special

PHY Perfectionist

PHY Para 15


PHY Martha Marie

Payne 98

Payne 101

Payne 100H

Payne 201

Payne 204

Pezon & Michel  6' Midget

Pezon & Michel  7'7" Colorado

Pezon & Michel Ritz Fario Club

T&T 6' #3 Caenis

Winston 8' #5 (San Francisco)


I wonder what qualities you guys look for in a rod.  I've come up with 4.

1. It must be a pleasure to cast. Rods that aren't fun to cast end up in the rod tube, no matter how "good" they are.

2. It must easily cast between  15 and 50 ft.  I normally don't cast 50 ft, but I feel that a rod that won't let me easily cast that far may cramp me, the distances I do fish. 

3. It must be able to land fish.

4. It must roll cast at least 40 ft.

This is what I look for in a taper and what limited design I do.

What are your thoughts.   (Terry Kirkpatrick)

    I guess I'd look for three of your four criteria -- the roll-cast bit being least important to me. As a substitute for that one, I'd want my rod to get out to a 50-60 foot target, but because of its ability to shoot line. Like you, I don't catch fish out there either, but I want my rod to be able to shoot line easily, even when I'm only holding a little of it in the air. One good haul, and out she sails -- maybe even taking a couple clicks off the reel!

    To your list, I would add that the tip must hold the leader high even with gentle casting, and still be able to kick the tippet over smartly.  (Bill Harms)

    It must be fun to cast, light in the hand, cast out to 20’ with just a flick of the wrist,  cast well to 60’, roll cast  a fly out to 50’ - 60’ depending on the purpose of the rod or roll cast out to 40‘ with just a flick of the wrist.

    Personally, I think casting well in close is more a question of loop control. By that I mean I've never come across a rod that couldn't cast in close in an open air environment. In brush it's a different matter. When I test cast a rod I usually kneel, place my elbow on my knee and see how much I can pick up, lay down and roll cast with just a squeeze of the hand. This is a test for how the rod will perform in a brushy environment. (So if any of you've seen me doing that, that's what I'm testing.  :)  )

    I have come across rods that ONLY cast in close and I don't care much for that. Yes, they are specially purposed fishing rod and that's fine. I like my rods to have a smooth, powerful feel. I'm an adequate caster and like to have a lot of line in the air when simply casting (as opposed to fishing). I have a Dickerson 7613 that absolutely collapses at 40’ with a DT5. The line literally falls out of the air. That's fine for fishing I suppose but I simply don't care for it. I fish it with a TT4 and rod sings. It'll also shoot tight loops out to 70’ with no problem.  :)

    When I'm fishing it's a different matter. Fishing I look for a rod with which I can feel the line during the entire cast. I rod needs to feel like an extension of my arm and perform air and water mends easily. It needs to sensitive enough so that I can feel the ticking of my fly along the bottom when nymphing and be sturdy enough to set up on fish quickly. By this I mean that I have some rods that are soft and I have to add a little haul during the set, which I'd rather not do.

    When playing fish it needs to be somewhat forgiving and not so heavy or stiff that I pull the fly out of the fishes mouth. (Which I tend to do with fast graphite rods.)  (Jim Lowe)

    Those criteria are similar to mine for the kind of trout fishing I do most of the time. I would add one more: the rod should cast well with high line speed when strongly double hauled. In my part of the country there can be some pretty windy days. I have had to double haul to get 20 feet in a narrow canyon with the wind in my face.  (Steve Weiss)


I have just finished rod #3 and have scraped up enough strips for a 2 piece rod with one tip, while I wait to receive my next order of bamboo. Rods 1-3 are a Payne 102, Dickerson 7012, and a PY Para 15. I am looking for a new taper for rod #4 and was wondering what some peoples favorites were. I know this was discussed within the past 12 months, but I didn't take any notes at the time, plus it might be fun for people to think about casting their favorite rods while its below zero outside.  (Wade Turner)

    1) Ron Barch's modification of Payne 98 to eliminate step-down ferrule. (4 wt)

    2) Dickerson 7613. (5wt)

    So far anyway.  (Neil Savage)

      A couple of you have asked for Ron Barch's modified Payne 98.  David Ray had it in his spreadsheet a while ago. Finished rod is 84" long, weighs 3 5/8 oz.

      0   .066
      5   .082
      10 .092
      15 .110
      20 .122
      25 .137
      30 .147
      35 .159
      40 .171
      45 .194
      50 .205
      55 .220
      60 .242
      65 .261
      70 .281
      75 .312
      80 .312

      Station 42 is .176 on the tip, and .190 on the butt.  You have to fudge the ferrule fit just a bit.  I used a 12/64 ferrule.  I think the original used an 11/12 step-down.  (Neil Savage)

      I have been looking at the 98 for my next two rods, so i am curious about the 42" station.  What is the purpose of the .176 tip/190 but if not for a step down ferrule.?  (Roland Cote)

        I've never seen an original, but I understand that Jim Payne (I wonder if he was a distant relative?  Payne was my maternal grandma's maiden name) made his own ferrules, and they were step down.  However, if you don't want to go with step-downs, the 12/64" works OK.  (Neil Savage)

    Driggs River.  (Aaron Gaffney)

      For some of us. . that question may as well have been. .What is your most favorite section of stream to fish?. .the two having been so intertwined. . .with that. . there is this special place for me. The stretch of the headwaters of the Jordan. .from section 13 creek to the stairs. In other words right in your backyard Aaron Gaffney. I have even shared that stretch with several members of the list that have attended Grayrock Gatherings. And most of you know that the Sir D was designed specifically for that spot. .having watched another fisherman for years as he flyfished the section just downstream of there. . He declared on a few occasions that his Dickerson was the only proper rod to use. . Lyle lived just a few miles from there. . I now know that his rod was a 7013. Earlier there was this post. ." remove me from the list".  .so if you haven't figured how to unsubscribe. . listen up you may glean some insight. . .The stream is approximately 20 feet wide, a high gradient (fall in the river), carved in solid bankside trees, and log chocked.  IMHO. .the river is fished best with a roll cast and a faster rod, a somewhat rare blend in classic tapers. That allows for the shotgunning of the many lies and for false casting as you slide you butt over all the logs in the stream. And the  quickness  is  needed  to  actually  catch  a  fish in the stream. .with dry flies you actually drift over the log debris. . .with the trout laying underneath them. .in a lot of cases that. .windows of opportunity for them is only 4 feet or so and add to that the speed of the water. . most folks I have fished with will miss the first 3 rises or attacks as the case may be. If someone was fishing a slow rod they would never be able to take up enough slack in the needed time frame. See, the trout have increased their aggression there to survive. I have often wondered how many folks, when they talk tapers, really have a stream situation in mind. .or if it is more general in that they don't have a favored stream and they are visioning it fitting into several streams and settings. See, some of the elements of a stream will actually dictate the character of a rod design. .where picking a rod without those characters will lessen the anglers success rate.  (Wayne Cattanach)

        Wayne brought up a good point that the type of rod used depends on the river fished, or at least the type of river fished. Currently my favorite river is a small little creek up in Rocky Mountain NP (name withheld because I am already seeing too many people fishing it and will have to do more exploring next summer to find a new favorite in the park),  which is often less than 20 feet across, which is a great place to take my 6 year old because he can cast a fly easily and usually catch a few greenbacks in the process (the Dickerson 7012 is technically his rod, although I have been known to borrow it quite a bit). My other favorite river is the White here in Colorado, a nice medium to large freestone river filled with large trout and whitefish (my 6 year old son actually caught a nice 17" whitefish there last summer on said 7012). Otherwise I usually just pound the usual tailwaters in the area. If that narrows down the criteria, or changes anyone’s ideas feel free to add.

        Also along the lines of bamboo quality from different vendors, most of the talk has been regarding the quality of full bales or bundles, could anyone compare a 3 pack from Demarest to the graded 3 packs from GW? Do they compare to an A, A- or can they even be compared?  (Will Price)

        I'm glad to see Wayne bring up the topic of setting up on fish. I judge my rods by set speed very often but rarely see it referred to. For myself, I haven't figured out makes a good setting rod, stiff tip or stiff butt. I do think that it isn't  necessarily  correlated to line pick up. (Jim Lowe)

        Oh, I forgot... OK . .so why does a rod roll cast well? Or what makes a rod (taper wise) fast or slow? Obviously, any answer is going to be up for debate . .and if one were to search archives they would find some of the thoughts. Anyway . .25 years ago (man O man how time flies) I computerized Mr. Garrison's thoughts on stress curves .  .but reversed the equation to solve for F(b) values instead of for dimensions. Now, remember back to the Tandy Co computer with the cassette drive and Fortran language. With that technology I started this . .quest so to say, of trying to create curves for rods other than those published by Mr. Garrison .  .out of that came a unique find. .it seemed that rods that roll cast well had this odd little spike in the stress curves.   So,  what  did  it  do.  Consider the form of a roll cast . .a slow  rise  of  the  rod  and  then the forward input of power . .so if you slow all that down and think through how a rod assists a cast you can come to this . .a spike in a stress curve actually creates a soft spot in a rod . .that spot will flex more rapidly than the adjoining sections so you have created a "hinge" (the word I use)  . .OK, so when the slow lifting of the rod the hinge has little or no play. But with the forward power input it plays a dramatic part in the cast . . follow along . .initially  . .when the input is started the line has some slack in it . . at the moment of input that slack is moved upward... .however if the power were allowed to rise the rod at a uniform rate there would be no loop formed for the cast. The hinge which usually appears 15" or so from the hand grip dampens the passing of power which initially slows the cast and allows the forward loop to form and then that same hinge acts to catapult the rod action as the energy has passed the hinge and races downward toward the tip . .increasing line speed as energy is passed from rod to line .  (Wayne Cattanach)

          Thank you for that post. I like it when I learn something "new" every day (anything new, not just pertaining to rod building). I feel that is one of the things that keeps us growing as human beings, and knowledge once gained is one of the few things that can't be taken away from us. I've often heard the term hinge effect but didn't fully understand what it meant. I never asked anyone because I build rods to existing tapers and have no desire to come up with a taper that is new or attributed to me. BUT, I learned something and your clear, concise explanation of the "hinge effect" made it easy to understand.  (Will Price)

            Thanks, I agree with Will, that's a really good explanation of the "hinge".  (Neil Savage)

    You've got a good range of actions with 1-3.  I'd suggest trying a Garrison taper to round out the field with a smooth progressive action rod.  (Chris Carlin)

    My favorite rods are the PHY Driggs River Special and the Lee Wulff Midge 6' 2 piece.  I fish mostly mountain streams where short rods are appreciated.  (Hal Manas)

    By the way,  my least favorite so far is a Paul Young Perfectionist.  Not sure just why, but it doesn't feel as good to me as the other tapers I've made.  (Neil Savage)

      Doesn't feel as good from a casting or fishing stand point?  (Jim Lowe)

        I just think it doesn't fit my casting style.  I can cast as far and as accurately with the perfectionist as with my other rods, 65-70 feet, but I'm not as comfortable with it.  Hard to overcome 30+ years of bait casting and 20 or so of spin casting I guess.  (Neil Savage)

          But realistically, how many times have  you had  to execute a 65-70 foot cast on the stream?  I'd dare bet not very often.  Plus, I'll bet that rod wasn't even designed to cast that much line.  I've said it before, I think we'd be a lot better off looking at rods in the light of what they would have been designed for.  Personally, I don't know why I'd pull out a 4 wt trout rod on water that would need a 65-70 foot cast.  The only place I can think of in MI trout fishing where you'd need that kind of cast is on the Muskegon River.  Even then, you should be able to get a lot closer than 65-70 feet to make a better controlled presentation.  If I did find myself on bigger water like that, I'd pull out my Para-15 or something in that class.  (Todd Talsma)

            I didn't mean to imply that I regularly cast it that far, just that I can. The fact remains, I prefer other tapers.  (Neil Savage)

              Yes, but even at that, you're implying that it's a bad taper because it won't allow you to cast 65-70 feet as easily as other rods.  If it's not designed for that, which I doubt it was, it won't impress.  What I'm trying to say is that we're bound to be disappointed with the rod if we're judging it on criteria for which the rod isn't designed.   (Todd Talsma)

                No I absolutely have no intention of implying that it's a bad taper, just that I personally don't care for it nearly as much as others I've made. As I said, if we all like parabolics there wouldn't be much call for Dickersons, Paynes, Garrisons et al, or their derivatives.   If you like them, by all means use them.   I'll stick to making and using tapers that I like, especially since I only make rods for myself and gifts for family.  (Neil Savage)

            I have fished my 7 1/2 foot Perfectionist taper many times on the Green River below Flaming Gorge Dam. I have caught lots of big trout during BWO hatches, casting size 20 parachute Adams at 60-70 feet on the larger smooth runs during a hatch. The same rod served me well for long casts out of a drift boat. Nowadays, I tend to use my 8-ft 5-wt Payne 201 taper on larger water.

            I say that the rod is designed for whatever makes you happy doing with it. A couple I have made are good tomato stakes :>)

            I remember reading that Lee Wulff caught a swordfish on his 6 foot bamboo flyrod, although the rod probably wasn't a 4 wt!   (Steve Weiss)

      Which taper are you using? The Perfectionist is one of my favorite tapers, very versatile both fishing it and making it, the taper seems to lend itself well to changing it's length and line weight. I use the taper from George Maurer's first book, it has a ferrule dimension of .203. I also only make it with a swelled butt.  (John Channer)

        I have Maurer and Elser, 1998 printing.  The taper I made either came from Ron Barch or John Long, not sure which.  It's close to the one in the Maurer book I have but not exactly the same at a couple of stations (by about .002") and the butt stations, 85 & 90 are .285" instead of .275".

        If we all liked the same rod, we wouldn't need 400+ tapers.  (Neil Savage)

      I've got a closet full of rods with different tapers, and I use my 4wt Perfectionist and 7613 Dickerson more then any of the others. For small dry flies the Perfectionist happens to be my favorite rod.  (Jim Bureau)

        This least favorite taper thread has got me laughing.

        At my first gathering, I had brought a notebook to write down all the tapers I liked. The problem was that I liked them all save one that I despised. The PHY Para 15. I now have two para 15's (different versions), and for several years it has been my go-to rod.

        My least favorite taper is the PHY Driggs. Everyone raves about it but I can not stand the rod. I have cast at least 6 of them at gatherings, and they all feel weird to me. Then I put the rod down and go get my PHY midge and go fishing. Or my PHY Martha Marie (modified just slightly and known as the Phantom).

        Neil, you are not alone.

        But there is a part of me that thinks I should make a Perfectionist this winter.  (Jeff Schaeffer)

    My most hated rod is a rod I feel bad about hating. This rod was an early creation derived from a Hardy Fantom, 6'8" 5wt that would cast long whistling tight loops long distances in a wind. I do not remember my intent being close to 10 years ago but what I ended up with was a 3 wt rod that could cast a 3 wt line careening in tight controlled loops 60' or better. In close, the rod was quite sensitive but with no accuracy. Casting this rod in close was like firing buck shot at an ant from 50 paces.  The only thing that I wouldn't hit was the ant. It was all over the place. The only reason I can see to have a rod like this in one's arsenal is for the humiliation of braggarts, but who wants to spend good fishing time getting even. It is a very pretty rod, so...finally I have a rod on the wall over the fire place.  (Timothy Troester)

    It is interesting that a bunch of rodmakers would be talking about   their favorite/least favorite taper. I would think we would be  discussing the nuances of what makes a rod better or worse for them.  We sound like the group over on Clark’s board that keep recommending Monty' and Grangers etc.

    I would like to put forward the following criteria that determines  one's most liked rod.

    1. Casting style.. Stroke.. I think this is partially predetermined  by each persons body attributes. Even the best casters I know (who  can cast anything) still have favorites.

    2. Taper.. If we knew enough we could provide the best match for 1.  As I think I previously lamented, a study of taper design is also a  study of casting style.

    3.  Water.. (Wayne's recent insights for the rest of us) 1 and 2  tempered by the type of water we are fishing at a given time.

    Please feel free to fill in missing elements.  (Jerry Foster)

      My father liked to use a 9' South Bend that I always thought was a broomstick.  The Hardy Koh-I-Nor has a similar action.

      Most short, light Leonards (non-Hunt Model 50s, for example) strike me as resembling overcooked spaghetti.

      I have a very old Sharp, lots of intermediates, and more brass than plumbing shop, which is the worst example of English pool cue action I've seen.  It casts no line size well.  The rod's power peters out anemically with any line after about 20 yards.

      I used to have a Swedish Arjon which was pretty terrible, but then its ferrule simply split in half...

      Most pre-1920 rods have lousy actions.  (David Zincavage)

      Not at all looking to butt heads here, just addressing some thoughts you brought up. Why would it seem strange that a bunch of rodmakers are talking about their favorite/least favorite tapers? Because we build rods as opposed to just fishing them we shouldn't have likes or dislikes? Because we do build rods, we probably understand why we dislike/like a particular action better than the average fisherman. Doesn't make us like a Clark's forum discussion.

      1. The reason the best casters who can cast anything still have favorites? I'd bet my last dollar that their favorites are the tapers that allow them to use their style of casting without making adjustments TO THE ROD.

      2. We do know enough! We don't have to design an entirely new taper for each person that we would build a rod for. I come to you for a rod. You know I like medium-fast to fast action rods that work good at normal fishing distances but are known to have enough backbone to throw a long line IF needed. Build me a Dickerson and I'm happy and you've done your job without agonizing over designing an entirely new rod just for me.

      3. Water to be fished has nothing to do with it as far as I'm concerned other than the length of rod to be used. If a certain stream calls for a SLOOOOOW rod or one with a parabolic taper and I had the choice of any rod in the world that I need I wouldn't pick a slow rod or a parabolic, I would pick one that I liked because that is the one I would fish best with regardless of what the water called for. Now, I can cast a slow rod and I can cast a parabolic rod if I stop and think about what I'm doing and make a bunch of adjustments to my casting stroke and then I'm NOT fishing, I'm casting and having to stop and think about it continuously and I don't want to do that! I just want to enjoy fishing, enjoy the scenery, enjoy the company of my fishing companions and be able to cast when and where I want without having to think about it, which I'll be able to do using a rod that suits me without having to think about what I'm doing. It's kind of like the old saying, "beware the man with only one gun, for he likely knows how to shoot it" or to use one of John Channer’s favorite sayings, "just how hard do you want to make this?"  (Will Price)

        I never take an open give and take of ideas or concepts as negative.

        Regarding our preambles. I have been on this list for years and I  have been waiting for someone to say why they like a Payne, Leonard, Young, etc.  Not just come up with a list of their fav's. It is a  RODMAKERS list. When you state "adjustments TO THE ROD" I read, adjust to the rod, or make adjustments for the rod, which was also my  point.

        I will have to disagree with your point about knowing enough (speaking for myself). Yes, everyone on the list can build a nice Dickerson, if someone asks for a fast rod. What if it isn't the right  fast rod. Can you evaluate the style and say "oh, yes it needs to be  a little faster in the mid".I also don't think customers agonize over  how much effort the rodmaker goes too,  they just expect a good rod.  It wasn't my intent to mean, "design a NEW taper".

        I think it should be hard, hehe

        Finally, you don't have to like Para's.  (Jerry Foster)

          Well, I for one wanted to hear the "Why's" that someone didn't like a certain rod rather than just the "I don't like it".      

          I haven't cast that many to make assessment, I like faster rods that can handle a lot of line - I fish bigger water in California like the American and the Yuba.  Now I have a Dickerson 8615, I hear there's a Dickerson 86 something or other that's a three piece.  Would anyone know if it might be faster than the 8615 or slower?  Because I think I'd like one if it was faster.  (John Silveira)

            In general, Dickerson three piece tapers are a little slower than Dickerson two piece tapers.  In general.....

            But your comment illustrates some of the ideas being discussed quite well.  Someone building a rod for you might like to know what you mean by "i think i'd like one if it was faster ...."  By that do you mean you want a rod that flexes more out at the tip?  If so, is that because you find it easier to cast good,  tight loops  with a rod with less flex in the butt?  Or, do you mean that you want a rod that is even more stiff in the middle third than the 8615?  If so, is that because you feel (and don't like the feel of) the middle third orf the rod loading deeply on long casts, especially with double hauls?  Or, do you mean that you want a rod that even when cast with great speed will not flex much in the butt section?  After all, that makes it easier to pick up a long line off the water and drop it back down without a lot of false casting.   Or is it none of the reasons I have guessed at?  Or a combination of them?

            Someone building a rod for you might also like to watch you cast, observing the bend form of the rod as you cast it.  The temptation for the rodmaker is to take on the role of casting instructor and say things like, "Hey, on this next one see what happens if you delay the turnover of the rod just a fraction longer on the forward cast....."  Or, "Try leading that forward cast a little more with your elbow."  But those instructions are asking you to adapt (or possibly, improve) your style rather than attempting to manipulate a taper that will fit your style best.

            I don't know if I'm really trying to make any points here as much as I'm trying to offer an example of how the ongoing discussion might apply.  (Harry Boyd)

              I'm feelin' ya Harry.  Thanks for that, you've already helped me understand my casting style and iron out some issues with casting for me.    

              For one - YEAH! I don't like it when a rod flexes too much in the mid - especially when I'm going for a longer cast (just out to where that fish rose), I'll throw some power to the rod and it just seems to go flat with a lot of flex.  For me, it just seems like it's killing the distance.  I don't seem to like much flex in the butt either.  I don't know if it's going to make much sense but for example when it comes to motorcycles, I like them when they wheelie just by cranking on the throttle.  I don't want to have to bang the clutch to make her wheelie. By contrast when I hit the throttle of the bike and all you get is that deep groan and nothing happening, it feels like a waste and all she's doing is eating gas. So I guess I like a little extra power when I need or want it (reserve) when it comes to rods.  I don't mind if they don't cast well at 15 feet, I don't like catching fish that close anyway, doesn't seem like any sport in it.  The tight loop issue, well I'm not that accomplished of a caster to discern in that regard. I've never been able to throw the whole line out a rod (I'm not one to do all the double hauling).  I've been able to cast about 70 feet with my 7 foot rods, if I could get another ten yards out of a 8.5 foot rod I'd be in good spirits.  I guess I like to "feel" the stiffness in a rod, I want to be the one making it flex by how much power is applied, not the other way around. I don't want it flexing because it's got no guts.  

              Was that at all relative  to what  you're talking about?  (John Silveira)

          I agree that it's nice to know why someone likes a particular taper but whoever posed the original question didn't ask for the whys just the whats. When you stated in regards to my post about making adjustments to the rod or for the rod, let me clarify that just to make sure my point was clear. I was refering to the expert casters who can cast everything (mainly because they're experts and recognize in just a few false casts what they have to do to make the rod perform to it's maximum potential) and make that adjustment. My main point on that was that the average guy, myself included in that category, doesn't want to think about doing that, he (I) just want to take the rod and go fishing with a rod that suits them and not have to think too much about it. I don't think customers agonize over what a rod maker goes through, I do however think that some rod makers agonize too much about it. Sure, they want to build a rod that pleases the customer (after all, if they don't it could cost them future business) but if you read Splitting Cane by Ed Engle, Glen Brackett stated that most purchasers of bamboo rods have been fly fishing for at least 10 years and pretty much know what they want. I tend to think that is pretty close to the truth. Now, I'm getting tired so I'm going to bed, just wanted to make sure the points I was originally trying to make were clear because a few of your statements made me think that you took them opposite of what I was driving at.  (Will Price)

            Jerry's three criteria are a good start.

            I also think fly and leader size is important. I do a lot of beach fishing on Puget Sound, where I need to cast long distances, often into the wind, with relatively large (i.e. #4-8 - sometimes weighted) flies, and minimum 3x tippet. I like a rod with a stiff butt section that allows for a strong double-haul to generate line speed and turn the leader/fly over. Examples are Dickerson 8014 and 8015 Guide tapers, and modifications to the Gillum Salmon taper. I've used parabolic tapers for this kind of fishing, but even though they cast wonderfully once you get used to them, they just don't work as well for me in these conditions.   (Tom Bowden)


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