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The discussions have been quiet for the New Year so I thought I might throw this out to everyone. We have all been following Aaron's journey building his first and second rods and the list has been very helpful to him. I hope you can  do the same for me. I am getting ready to glue up my second rod and starting to  plane out my third rod. However, before I begin any more rods I would like your  collective opinion for future rods.

During the last 6 months I have been following the discussion of fly rod design/action and am not ready to enter into that. But Aaron got me to thinking that there must be classic, distinct fly rod actions that every builder should be familiar with.  So, my challenge to the List is to let Aaron and me know what the group feel these unique fly rods might be.  I would like to try to build them before I start to develop my own "style."

To make comparison easier I propose the following:

1) Length of 7 1/2 to 8 ft. This length will be  easier for a novice to build than a smaller rod.

2) 2 piece only.

3) 5 weight.

4) Fast, medium, or slow action is not one of the criteria. Rather an action that an experienced builder could cast and immediately put a label to it.

5) Rod model, #, name and where to find the rod dimensions if they are not readily available at one of the web sites or publications.

6) Hopefully, this will come out at 4-5 rods which would be manageable to build.

Tom Smithwick's last post mentioned a previous poll that developed a list of 10 favorite rods. I would like this list to be similar. I would think that on of the Paul Young parabolics would definitely make the list, but who else?  Dickerson, Leonard, Garrison, Payne, Powell, Winston?

I'm anxious to see what the experienced List  members propose.  (Larry Drury)

    Seems to describe a Dickerson 8013 to me.  (Ian Kearney)

      How about the grand experiment rod! 7'6" 5/6 wt.   (Timothy Troester)

    Well let's see.  You'll have to include:

    Paul Young Para 14

    Either Dickerson 7613 or Payne 101

    suitable Garrison (212 maybe?)

    I'm sure there are other worthy ideas among the esteemed members of this list.  (Harry Boyd)


      Dickerson 8013

      Harry is right that the 14 may be more distinctive, but it's hard to beat the Driggs.  (Jerry Madigan)

        But isn't the Driggs 7' 2", and thus outside the stated criteria?  That's why I didn't suggest a Para-15.  I don't think of it as a five weight.  (Harry Boyd)

      I'll see your PHY para 14, garrison 209E (the 212 is a 6 wt), Dickerson 7613 or 8013; and I'll raise you a Jim Payne 102 (I'd recommend the ever favorite 98, but it's only a 7 footer and a four weight to boot).  (Chris Obuchowski)

        Good suggestions Chris,

        You like the Payne 102 as more distinctive than the 101? I'm not a poker player... should I "call" now? (Harry Boyd)

          I have no experience with the Payne 101, and the taper listed in the rodmakers archive indicates it's a 7'4" rod, 2 inches too short to meet the described criteria.

          If it's anything like the 102, I'm sure it's a smooth, crisp, very pleasant rod.  (Chris Obuchowski)

            Interesting.  The Payne 101 is listed as 7'6" in Hexrod and I have it in 2 other places as 7'6", but the taper archive and Ray Gould's book list it as 7'4".  Go figure.  (Neil Savage)

              The two originals I have seen and cast were both 7' 6" I think.  (Harry Boyd)

                Looking in the last catalogs the 101 is listed as 7 1/2 feet.  (Sean McSharry)

      And a Payne 98, 100, and 200.  (Mark Wendt)

        Oops.  Scratch the 98.  Missed the 7 1/2' criteria.  (Mark Wendt)

    I actually did an experiment similar to what you propose this past year where I made 4 rods as identical as I could, except for the tapers.  I used 2 culms of bamboo and used strips from each.  For each flat, I took 4 adjacent strips from the culm and used one for each blank.  I was very careful to each one on the same spot on each blank. They are nodeless rods so it was a bit more complicated, but that was the idea and the result.   It was interesting to note that the spine was on the same flat - and therefore from roughly the same spot on the same culm - on all 4 rods.  I used SS ferrules on all of them, which may or may not have been a good thing.  The following tapers were used:

    Dickerson 7613 (1970 version from the Howell book)

    Garrison 209

    Payne 101 (Higham)

    PHY Driggs (Cattanach)

    The only taper adjustments I made were stretching the Driggs from 7'3" to 7'6" using RodDNA and correcting the arguably erroneous bump in the butt of the 209.

    It was a good overview of different styles of rods and I learned a lot by lining them all up with the same type and weight line and spending some time in the yard.  Though simply holding each and giving them a wiggle is an education in different actions.

    Were I to do it again I would likely use both SD and SS ferrules as dictated by the taper and I would use the following tapers (for no other reason than I'd end up using them more often than the others):

    Dickerson 8013 (Howell 1951 version)

    Garrison 209E

    Payne 102

    Para 15  (Keller version, probably the light tip)

    I'd consider tossing in a suitable Granger, a Heddon #17 or a 2 piece Leonard 50DF to round it out to 5.

    All the tapers listed above can be found in RodDNA, Hexrod, and "The Lovely Reed".

    Have fun with your experiment!!  (Chris Carlin)

      Including the Leonard 50DF is a good idea.  It's quite distinct from any listed so far.  I think of the 50DF as a three piece though  The two piece tournament rod seems a different critter to me.  (Harry Boyd)

        I'd throw in a linear taper purely for comparison.  (Stephen Dugmore)

          I'm all in! All the tapers in Mr. Higham's loose-leaf binder!  (Steve Trauthwein)

    Payne 101

    Garrison 206E

    Both excellent, versatile rods, a pleasure to use and to build!  (Peter McKean)

    I guess I would not limit myself to the 7 1/2 foot lower limit. I think that there are numerous rods from 6 to 8 feet that are very interesting. I would think you would find some 7 footers of interest as first rods. It is surprising to me their ability to handle a variety of stream conditions. I like medium-fast to fast bamboo rods using Ray Gould’s criteria. I have fished all my life (50+ years) with bamboo, glass, and carbon fiber. I personally find bamboo rods in the 6 to 8 feet the best for me (maybe stretch to 8&1/2) for fishing enjoyment. If I am going to use bigger rods I usually go to the carbon fiber rods that are in the medium range (I know guys, don't spit up on your computer). I usually like to think in terms of the first modal frequency of the rod in this regard. Just my thoughts.  (Frank Paul)

    7'6" 2 piece 5 wt Young's Martha Marie use Wayne Cattanach's posted taper on Hexrod,  either one of the 7613's in Howell's book, Payne 101 in Maurer and Elser's book. For 8' 5 wt's, Payne 102 in Maurer's book, The (1951) 8013 in  Howell's book, and I would also suggest Wayne Cattanach's 8' 2 piece 5 wt on Hexrod or RodDNA. (Tim Pembroke)

    Just for the sake of conversation, I will toss my .02 worth in favor of the Perfectionist taper, made any length and line weight you care to, just use Hexrod to modify it accordingly.  (John Channer)

    I have to chime in on this discussion to let you all know that Larry has already built a Payne 101. It turned out to be one of the best rods I have ever seen built in one of my classes. Larry is a very talented beginning rod builder. I believe the second rod he is working on is my Holy Grail taper that we were discussing last week.

    Another 7' 6" 5 wt. to add to the list is a Granger model that I can't recall right now. It is one of the best production 5 wt's I've ever cast.   (Jeff Fultz)

      Hey, since this gentleman is new to rod making and you guys all have your list of fav's. Why don't you describe why your choices are different and give a brief description of the action. A bunch of rods that all of us know doesn't do squat for someone who is trying to learn. A lot of those rods are very close to each other.   (Jerry Foster)

        I'm thinking that whether you like a rod or not is an awfully subjective thing.  Ron Barch wrote in "The Planing Form" a couple of years ago about trading rods with someone.  Neither of them particularly liked the rod he had, and both liked the other man's rod better.  (Neil Savage)

          I think this does get to the point. We each have our preferences.  Sometimes many may agree and I see Payne 101 coming up a lot (next on  my list...). I think of an original Payne 8 1/2 foot two piece I  bought from Marty Keane in 1980. I could not cast it, so he resold  it for me - $625 at the time. (I think if you compound that over 26  years at 7% =  $3,630, which might be close to the mark?)

          I have an 8' Winston to Claude Bathault's taper that is the best  caster I have. I have also found that trying different lines can  change things. A Leonard 50 DF I have is much better with a 6 weight  than a 5. A Powell 9 foot for 7 line is much better with a 6.  (Sean McSharry)

        While I think that might be a great way to proceed, I got the idea that Larry, who started this post,  wanted to discover that for himself.  He asked:

        4) Fast, medium, or slow action is not one of the criteria. Rather a action that an experienced builder could cast and immediately put a label to it.

        I wouldn't say all those rods I had listed were my favorites.  It's more that I thought they typified certain styles or types of actions.  Of course, rereading your post I realize that it might help Larry to have some categories into which the various rods might be placed.  Here are brief descriptions of  those I suggested.

        Payne 101 / Dickerson 7613  -- Smooth action with much of the bending in the upper 1/2 of the rod.  Payne is a tad more smooth and full flexing than the Dickerson.  My suspicion is that's due to a smaller drop over the ferrule.

        PHY Para 14 -- True parabolic action, with distinct flex points at 1/3 and 2/3 the length of the rod.

        Garrison --  Well, everyone has heard the Garrison described.  I'll just call it a really nice full flexing rod.

        Leonard 50DF (thanks Chris) -- Another full flexing rod, this one has a little more reserve power than the Garrison, IMHO.  (Harry Boyd)

        I was thinking the same thing. I would select A Garrison 209 or 209E  as an example of a middle of the road progressive taper, A Dickerson  8013 as an example of a fast taper, and a Paul Young Para 14 or 15   as an example of an out and out parabolic taper. Being able to cast  this trio together ought to provide the desired learning experience.

        In the earlier discussion, I suggested that this kind of a  demonstration might be interesting to put on at a gathering. A few  people contacted me and encouraged the idea for the Catskill  Gathering. I could provide some Garrisons and a couple P & M  Parabolics, If others could provide some Dickersons like the 8014 or  8013, and some Young Parabolics, a presentation could be put together.  (Tom Smithwick)

        I think there has been enough said about the Payne 101, by me and by others, that it would be a bit like preaching to the choir.  Fast action, good tracking characteristics, not likely to offend the plastic boys...

        The Garrison, though,  is something else, and a bit of a surprise to me.  My old father-in-law sings the praises of Garrison rods, though he has never seen an original, and I have always been inclined to say the opposite to anything he says - question of which of  us is crankier!

        But on trolling through the Garrison tapers, I was grabbed by the stress curve for this Garrison 206, and I built one for myself, thinking that I could always sell it on if it was not as good as it looked.

        Well, it's an amazing little rod, and I have made a couple more for sale since the first one.  I have fished it mainly with a  Phoenix Double-taper #5 silk line, but also with a weight forward #6 Rio Windcutter,  and it performs well with either.

        The truly astonishing thing about it is that I can present to fish only 15 or 20 feet out, and can just keep on lengthening line until I am comfortably covering rises 70 - 75 feet out.  I am a soundly crappy caster, and it would be interesting to see what the limits of its performance would be in the hands of a really good hand with a fly rod.

        It's a straightforward taper to construct, and a pleasure to fish.  Great rod!  (Peter McKean)

          I just thought because there were so many good suggestions that a small description might help in choosing different tapers for comparison. It would be a shame to pick a rod from each of you only to find that he had built 4 different parabolics. Not all bad, but hardly a case for comparing tapers or actions.

          And Larry the actions you describe are one of the primary criteria for describing rods to many, so you can't just exclude them or you might be building  the same action in all of your rods. That’s OK if you already have a favorite action, and the taper is the action.  (Jerry Foster)

    Since you already have the 101 as a reference point. From fast to medium, the 1952 7613 taper is the faster, more powerful of the three, in the bottom third of the rod. Then you have the Payne 101. The Martha Maria is more medium, feels progressive in the hand until you start casting a long line only then do you really feel it's para like qualities.  I'm surprised that no one else mentioned the Martha Marie. Find  that it does well nymphing, small streamers and wets, as well as small and  large dries. While it may not have the power and speed of the 7613 and 101,  I feel it a better fit for close work and yet it still has enough  power to cover a lot of water where most fish are caught.  The Martha Marie  though not as parabolic as Young's Driggs or Para series has a nice  balance to it.

    Rod number 12 will be a Perfectionist taper reduced to a 3 wt with a butt swell at John Chandler's recommendation. It all glued up and impregnated only two more months in the hot box then I can ferrule and wrap it. Added TransTint Dye to Mike Brook's impregnation solution for a darker color blank then the oven blondes that I have  been producing. Used Borden's ProBond on the last two rods and this one thank goodness will be a personal rod as the glue seemed to take the  dye well. Rod looks like I use resorcinol with it's dark brown glue lines.  The blank doesn't seem all that much darker.  (Tim Pembroke)

    I have tried to compile all the different tapers that have been suggested, the list is below. I would like to give you my overview of what these rods really are, that is, how I think they are designed and how they will feel in casting. I will do two rods a night. 

    Rod List: (anyone can add a taper if you wish, I have not built these rods, what I state about them I get from my Rod Program.)

    Payne; 98 (I know it's only 7 ft, but It's a nice straight taper, best I have seen) 101, 102

    Garrison 196,206

    Dickerson; 7613 (1970), 8013

    Leonard; 50df 2 pc

    Paul Young Par 14, 15

    Wayne Cattanach 8052 parabolic

    Linear Taper; 7652

    Payne 98

    A 7 ft 2 piece for 4 wt @ 50 ft. 12/64 @ 42 inches

    This is one rod which comes closes to a straight line taper over the first 45 inches than any rod I can remember looking at, but at 45 inches is where the SLT stops. From here the rod has a very steep swell into the handle. The rod should cast nice at short distances, 10-30 ft, after that the strong butt will come into play and the rod will have a faster action, I would think you might use this rod to 60 ft plus. All in all, a very nice rod, should be a pleasure to cast all day.

    Payne 101

    A 7'6" 2 piece for 6 wt @ 50 ft. 13/64 @ 45 inches

    This is, for me is a 6 wt DT or a 7 WF rod, very much like the 98 except not quite as straight. It has a soft tip for the first 5 inches, but then looks like a straight line taper to 60 " where the rod starts to swell into the butt,  getting very stiff into the handle. There is a small dip in the tip section just before the ferrule 30-45 inches, but I don't think it's enough to talk about. It should be a nice medium fast rod much like the 98 except not as fast, with good feel for short casts and also enough swell in the butt to make long casts feel easy.

    Payne 101 Tip #2

    Thought I would continue along with class 101 and examine the Payne rod a little further. Last time I straightened out the taper while keeping the rod about the same. Now I will make a few changes to the tip and see if we can get a different type of action.

    Let's say I want a rod that is very good at short distances, say 5 to 40 feet this seems to be the distance most folks fish so let's do it. First thing is, what makes a short distance rod ? Well in my limited experience it a soft tip, a very soft tip. the attached drawing shows what I am talking about. I have taken the first 20 inches of the tip and made it lighter with a flex area that will bend very easy. That's all I changed just the first 20 inches but look what it did to the stress curve. Now there is a big increase in the stress right where I changed the taper, there is far more tip action and you can cast a short line with just a flick of the wrist and do it accurately. Yet you can also put a little more power into your cast and put a line out to 45-55 feet. Seems as if it might be a nice extra tip to have for this nice rod. What do you think?

    Payne 101 Tip #3

    This is the last in the series of posts on the Payne 101 taper. In the first three I showed the taper from online which seems to be very close to the original Payne numbers.

    Mr. Hal Bacon was kind enough to send me a copy of the original taper numbers for the 101 done by Mr. Payne. The taper is measured at every one inch interval, I don't know if the form was set at one inch stations or it was just measured this way, but regard less the numbers are close to the one I am using in this example. One thing I did note was that if the taper were off set by only one inch, the taper could be quite different when shown using 5 inch stations. I really don't understand how the taper could vary so much over just a one in distance; there we differences as much as 4 to 6 thousands and one was 10 thousands. considering the station after these were only one or zero it's hard to understand how the stations could vary this much ? Hal did say that the ferrule was a step down to the tip of 20-25 thousands and that there was a second faster tip in the last 6-8 inches that was sometimes used.

    I guess where this leaves us is the version I have shown should be close but certainly not exactly the same as the originals. I did try to approximate the step ferrule by using a larger taper value at 45", it combined with the ferrule it self might duplicate the original stronger butt and the drop off at 40-35" mimic the step.

    Anyway this is the last modification I will show for this rod. It's a stronger tip at the front 15 inches and I think it should give the rod a little more strength to throw a longer line, longer by maybe 10 feet or so.

    Actually the tip looks like a Garrison except I didn't make it soft like he does from zero to 5", instead I just kept it strong.

    These three slightly different tips should give the rod three different feelings and should extend the use of the rod from 5 feet to maybe 60+ feet., but has it improved the taper ? Probably no, but it has made it a little more versatile and who knows someone may really like one of the mods enough to use it for his normal fishing.

    Let me know how it works out, if anyone decides to try these.

    Garrison 206 7'6" 2 piece for 5 wt @ 50 ft

    This Garrison has a softer tip for the the first 10", then it looks like any other Garrison, a little strong in the rest of the tip but not as much as some of his rods. It continues to get softer all the way down to just before the handle where there is a butt swell, like most of his rods except the 221 and the 209,E, they have no butt swell. This is a nice rod, I would think for shorter distances it cant be beat, but you will feel the cast all the way into the handle. The action will be a little slower almost like a parabolic, but you would not call it that. Still a nice short distance rod, you can not go wrong with any Garrison.

    Dickerson 7613 7'6" 2 piece for 5 wt @ 50 ft

    Well the 7613 is so good that there are at least five different versions including two by Dickerson, see the list attached. I think I got this list from Todd, hope that's right. Anyway I will look at the 1970 version, which is a 5 wt, some of them go up to a 7 wt. This rod is another classic taper' it starts out at the tip a little light but gets stronger up to 35" from here down to the butt it gets' slowly weaker or softer ( remember we are speaking in differences of 1, 2, 3 thousands of an inch, not much change per station). The butt swell is for the last 10" only, so the rod action will stop just at the beginning of the handle. This again is a really nice rod taper, I think it will handle longer lines than the Garrison 206.

    Dickerson, 7613 2 piece 5 wt @ 50 ft

    This rod has many many versions, but I am going to look at the 1970 version. It is a very nice taper, a little soft at the tip but quickly increases and get stronger at 35" then it gets a little weaker toward the butt till 80", then a quick butt swell stops the action just at the handle. I can't say too much about this rod, if you want a really great rod that forces the action to stop at the handle making it a little faster, this is it. The other versions; 1952 Dickerson, Golden Which and Todd Talsma's version are any where from 5 wt to 7 wt.

    Dickerson, 8013 2 piece 5 wt @ 50 ft

    Another Dickerson but a little stronger overall. the tip is nice and soft, but it gets stronger at 15" and stays strong to 40" where there is a taper dip at 45" just before the ferrule. Then it increases from here all the way into the butt, making it a very strong, fast rod, it might also handle a 6wt line, it's so strong. Overall a nice rod , but I would choose the 7613 of the two.

    The Leonard "Tournament 50DF"

    8 ft 3 piece for 5 wt @ 50 ft

    I have never cast this rod so I am going by what I see in the taper. I think it is a rod designed specifically for tournament accuracy casting, this would be short casts to circles at no more than 50 feet. The reason I say this it that the taper starts out as a regular 5 wt to 25" ,then starts to fall off at a pretty fast rate, making it a weaker rod as it goes toward the butt, then just before the butt there is a swell of about .060 which stops the rod action at the swell. The only thing I can think this rod will be good for, and since it's called a Tournament Rod, is that short accuracy type of casting. If some one has built and used it, please let me know if I'm right or way off base.

    Paul Young PARA 15

    8 ft 2 piece for 7 wt @ 50 ft

    This is a typical Parabolic. For those of you who don't know what a parabolic rod is, first picture a 7 wt straight line taper, it's just a straight line as you look down the rod, no dips or swells, just a straight line. Now superimpose on that straight line a taper that starts at or near the tip value of the SLT but quickly gets stronger than the SLT until it peaks some where at the middle of the rod, from here the taper gets rapidly smaller than the SLT all the way into the handle. At the peak of the taper it maybe as much as 20-30 thousands more then the SLT and at the butt it maybe 20-40 thousand less that the SLT. It looks something like a bell shape over the SLT.

    This particular taper, the PARA 15 has a tip that doesn't rise too much for the first 20", its more like a regular rod. From 20" to 60" it rises 15 thousands to form the bell. At 60" it is back down to the same diameter as the SLT but after 60" it drops very fast until at 85" it is over 30 thousands less than the SLT.

    This rod will flex or bend in the tip and in the butt giving it a long slow casting motion. Used correctly it will throw a long line, but you have to develop your timing to get the most out of the rod. Some really like it and some really don't. I would suggest you try one before you build it.

    Today I I will talk about two tapers I know and have built, one a modification of a Garrison 204  and the other a Straight line Taper.

    First let me say that I like Mr. Garrisons tapers, they have a real good tip ,but they fall off some what in the butt. Now most of my fishing is done for Bass, top water from a boat and I like a rod that will, with one false cast shoot out a line 50-65 feet with little effort. The Garrisons will not do this so I have modified the 204 to have a stronger butt by increasing it as a slow swell all the way into the handle. I will include a picture of it to show you what I mean. The flex area or area where the rod will bend a little more than the rest of the rod is from 35" to 60" After 60" the rod starts to slowly get stronger and as you apply more and more force to the cast the butt will bend more also. With a short cast there is much less flexing in the butt making the rod cast more in the tip.

    The second rod is a Straight Line Taper (SLT). But first I have to ask the question, when is a SLT really a SLT. Now this is not double talk, what I mean is that if you make a SLT as a 2 pc rod with V & G, it will not cast like a SLT because you have changed the rod by adding the ferrule and V&G. They are dead weights and do nothing but take away bamboo to compensate for them, leaving less for the line. However if you sight down the rod it will LOOK like a SLT.

    Now if you compensate for the ferrule and V&G by adding bamboo you can get it to cast and have the action of a SLT but it will no longer LOOK like a SLT. I hope you have followed this, what I'm saying is that a SLT rod  will look but not cast like a SLT, but a compensated SLT will cast like a SLT but not look like a SLT. Try this, I'll give you the information for a 5 weight SLT that I have built, the tip is .072 and the increase per station is .0135. Plug these numbers into Hexrod as a one piece rod and get the stress curve. Then hold the stress curve constant make it a two piece rod by adding a ferrule and look at the taper now. You will see the difference in the taper to compensate for the ferrule. Most makers do not understand that a rod should be designed as a one piece rod and then the taper can be added as above. Even Mr. Garrison didn't do this that is why his butts are a little weak. Now I'm not talking about a lot of bamboo, but as you can see it does make the butt that much weaker if you don't do it this way.

    I hope you have had as much fun reading this as I have in doing it. I apologize if I have offended anyone in what I have said, I have only stated things as my feeling about what I see and nothing more. I realize there is much I don't know about bamboo fly rods. Bamboo is a very wonderfully forgiving material, I hope that you are as forgiving to.

    I hope they are of some help.  (Bob Norwood)

      No questions, but I do want to say I really like your analysis of these tapers, thanks very much!  (John Channer)

      I've had a 50DF for over 30  years and this example is an easy casting, medium type rod - an all rounder you might say. I bet there are differences in iteration though, such as the Tournament, that work as you describe. As I mentioned earlier, I found it cast better with a DT 6 line, but then I'm still trying to improve my casting.

      Your comments on all these rod tapers are most interesting - thank you.  (Sean McSharry)

    This has been a great discussion on rods.  I've really enjoyed reading all the posts, especially those that describe the rods action and what they like about it.

    I've been busy with some other projects and coaching basketball so I haven't touched my rod stuff since Christmas.  I do have two rods in the rough taper stage just waiting to be heat treated.  They're going to be a Driggs River and an 8' 5 wt 3 piece double parabolic taper (no idea what that means) that Ray Gould sent me.

    Then I plan to use my last culm for one of the Payne rods (either 101 or 102) and a Dickerson rod (probably an 8014).  I'll be really interested to finish all four of them and compare them to the PHY Midge and Sir D that I already built.  (Aaron Gaffney)

    Since this thread first started, I've thought to myself that all of the replies would be rather subjective.

    I know that at present time I'm still making my planing forms and am no where near putting a plane to bamboo, but just the same I have given the design threads a thorough reading and am trying to understand. ( I had a friend of mine , a mechanical engineer, come over and go through Charmichael’s interpretation of Garrison’s method of Taper Design, and explain it to me. A daunting task...) Never the less, I did conclude that until I made my first rod, that all info relating to rod performance- through rod design- would be pretty subjective, because the performance will remain a subjective thing.

    With subjectivity in mind, I came across a web page on the Common Cents System and thought about possibly incorporating it into my rod making. It seems to make sense and was wondering if anyone on the list was using that system or something like it to design their rods and could it help determine rod tapers or modifications of existing tapers.  (Ren Monllor)

      A number of us have studied and used the Common Cents System.  But the CCS is designed more as a tool to compare and evaluate existing rods than to design rods.  I think it is a good system for comparing rod A to rod Z, but not necessarily the best tool for determining some of the things we seek in designing or modifying tapers.  (Harry Boyd)

    I compiled some stats on most of the tapers that were mentioned in response to your post.  They're found in this Excel spreadsheet.  A similar discussion several months ago had almost identical results.  That former discussion of 7 to 8 foot "favorite" tapers led me to study those tapers and about 100 other classic tapers relative to that list.

    It appears to me that there are three basic taper designs that frame up the universe of trout tapers in the 7 to 8 foot length.  I like to describe them as taper personalities.   Payne personalities - mid flex "progressive", Garrison personalities - full flex "progressive" and Young personalities - full flex "parabolic".  I put the responses to this post in those categories in the attached spreadsheet.  I've included the two Dickersons that were mentioned but they're not a perfect fit.  The Dickerson tapers tend to have multiple personalities.

    Here's a brief explanation for some of the columns in the spreadsheet:

    Estimated Line Weight – the estimated bamboo only weight per inch multiplied by 190.  I use that as a line weight place holder for all taper comparisons in the deflection model.

    Butt percent of Tip - the total of the diameters at each station in the butt half of the rod divided by the total diameters of the tip half.

    Diagonal Values - the difference between the taper and the trend line values using the average butt and average tip diameter to establish the trend line (straight line).  I've averaged the tip, mid and butt diagonal values to compare tapers.

    Deflection - the estimated deflection of the rod under a static load as calculated using an Excel convergence model developed by Jim Utzerath a few years ago (FlexRod).

    Effective Length – the distance from a point 10 inches from the butt of the rod to the tip top of the rod when the rod is under a static load.

    Maximum Stress Point – the highest stress point in the stress curve for the given load in the deflection model.  I’m using Jim’s stress calculations.  They may not be the same as the Hexrod calculations because of the variables that can be changed in FlexRod.

    Hope this is helpful.  I decided to build one of the favorites in each category to get a feel for the various designs on the water.  So far I’ve built a Payne 101, Para 14 and a Driggs and I like them all.  I have to overline the 101 to a 6 weight to smooth out my casting stroke.  The progressive load is very forgiving.  Without question, the Driggs requires the least effort to cast if I’m on top of my casting game.  The Para 14 is similar to the Driggs, just a little heavier in hand.  (David Bolin)


I'm getting ready to start working on some rods again.  Been busy with a couple of other projects and coaching basketball - both are coming to an end soon.

I have two rods rough planed and ready to be heat treated - a Driggs River and a 8' 5 wt. taper from Ray Gould.

In the mean time I've been thinking about what to do with my last culm of bamboo that I haven't split.  I know I want to build a Dickerson taper (8013 or 8014) and maybe a Payne - but one thing that I really want to try is making a one piece rod.  Everything I've read seems to indicate that they cast better then their two piece counterparts, are lighter, and plus I wouldn't have to mess with the time and cost of ferrules.

I've read everything on the tips site and everything I can find in the archives regarding one piece tapers.  There's some conflicting information - surprise, surprise.

(1)  Is a six foot rod too short?  Some say anything under 6'6" is too small, while others seem to really like some 6' 1 piece

(2)  What would be a good taper to consider.  I've looked at the PHY Smidgen, and a rod posted by Bob Nunley and Don Schneider.  Portability isn't really an issue in this case.  I'll be using it mainly on the river I live on in the summer.  I was thinking of something in the 3-5 weight range.  Mostly for dries and some small nymphs.

(3)  What I'd really like to do is design one of my own.  I've been playing around with Hexrod the last couple of weeks at night plugging in different numbers and stuff to see how they change the graphs.  Interesting.  But I really don't know what I'm doing - more or less trying to make the graphs look pretty.  Probably not a good way to think about rod design. 

I posted a question a few weeks ago about "Hexrod for dummies" and didn't get much of a response.  I'd really be interested in some discussion from experts on basic (I mean really basic) information about where to start in designing a rod, etc.  It would be great if I could post some numbers and have people critique what I've done, give suggestions, try to describe what the rod might be like, etc.

Anyway, just a thought.  I think there are probably quite a few beginners like me who would like to engage in some rod design discussion at a really basic level.  If no one is interested, just point me in a direction of a couple of good one piece tapers. (Aaron Gaffney)

    The maximum stress is located at 14" from the tip. What is maximum stress? are we talking about the weakest point of the rod where any more stress might cause breakage? Is it the place where there is most tension during the cast? Let's say I moved that stress point further down the rod length to 20" from the tip, how would this effect the way the rod casts/ it's action???

    I'm really stupid about this stuff, but if you guys are willing to teach, I'm willing to learn.  (Ren Monllor)

      I started this post in response to a post by Aaron and I wanted to give him some insight for developing his own one piece rod taper. To answer your question, Ren....

      Not necessarily breaking point, just max. load along axis.  Steel girders display same stress curves with weights no where near breaking point.  That's why I disregard the numbers on the left of charts 100,000 what? Doesn't mean anything to me.  Using vernacular 'most tension' is appropriate though. and it is a return from this tension i believe is the fundamental action of a rod. water from a hose is just flow, put a nozzle on it and you get a jet stream.  Same philosophy with the energy loaded into the rod. forward cast and stop produces an energy wave up the shaft. Those max stress points are in effect the nozzle tip where energy is condensed/narrowed, then traverses more up the rod to the next.

      Moving these stress points can alter the energy wave (stopping short and then diffusing the wave for a wimpy feeling cast, no power. now 20" must move forward with little or diffused energy). Even worse, you can have so little energy moving up the rod that energy from your line transits back into the rod.  Ever get bounce in your rod tip after you cast? This is inequality of energy, it has not been transferred fully into the lines forward momentum.  (Geremy Hebert)

      Those weren't stupid questions at all. They get right to the heart of the stress puzzle.

      The stress is the internal pressure on the rod during a cast. And it represents both a breaking point and a flex point. A stress of 300,000 in/oz is near the breaking point of bamboo near the tip, while the same stress in the butt section would be a flex point or a hinge. It also depends on the ramp, angle, going into and out of the pressure point. Steep = quick, shallow += slow.  This is a generalization, but is generally true.

      The basic rules were set down by Mr. Garrison. His rule of thumb was a rod should have stresses between 220,000 and 140,000. He felt that stresses above the 220k mark were risking breakage, and below 140,000 were in the stiff to non flexing range. He also had a large safety margin built in.

      All of this is relative to the amount of line, weight, beyond the tip. the length of line being cast.

      Many fine rods go quite a bit beyond these numbers and work just fine. As Wayne likes to say the stress curve also defines the character of the rod. That's kind of a summation of all the above. You can see a parabolic, a linear, a straight line. You can see if it's fast or slow.

      High stress in the tip does not  mean the rod is going to break, in real life the tip is flexing out of the path of harms way and shedding the stress further down the rod. Moving the tip stress down the rod generally has the effect of slowing the rod down. It becomes more mid flexing. However rods are also for catching fish, so some care in design is required here.

      Each person has their own casting style, so the stress curve is also relative to that style. You must cast lots of rods, get the feel, and relate that to the stress curve for that rod(s). Then you can set up your own parameters for making your own rods. A lot of how you interpret stress curves has to do with how, and when you apply the power to the rod. That will govern when the stress points are reached. Rods (stress curves) that comply with your style will generally feel more natural and be fun to cast.

      This does not apply to masters who can cast anything and make it look effortless and beautiful.

      The stress curve can also be looked at as a (PUS) pent up stress that will be relieved when the motion of the rod is stopped in the casting stroke. This is where the weaknesses of the taper will also show as the line will quiver and snake out rather that have that fluid straight line flow that we all desire.

      This took so long to write, I think everyone else has already answered you question.  (Jerry Foster)

        Thanks for the replies.  I'm just trying to increase my basic understanding of tapers, etc.  As with most things the more I learn the more I realize that I don't know.

        I've read a lot of old posts in the archives regarding stress curves and rod design, etc.  Here's my very basic understanding.  Tell me where I'm wrong or confused.

        Stress curves show the amount of stress being put on the rod at given locations.  These seem to peak at around the 10" station.  As Jerry pointed out (and reading Garrison and Wayne’s books) the optimum stress values should be somewhere between 220,000 and 140,000.  Although these are just benchmark figures. After that initial peak, a flatter stress curve would yield a slower rod, a steeper stress curve would be faster.  The hump you see in some tapers about 20" up from the grip is a hinge (Sir D).  Rods that have increases in stress as you near the grip are parabolic, while rods that decrease in stress near the grip have a swell of some sort to stiffen the action.

        As to what kind of rod I like, I really don't know.  I'll relate my very short experiences with rods (all graphite except the two I made this winter).  I test cast about 10 rods at a fly shop in Traverse City this fall.  All very expensive.  Some were really fast.  Felt extremely stiff to me.  Even though they were highly recommended I just couldn't get my arm to move fast enough to make them work.  Also cast some rod that were very whippy.  Took a long time for the rod to load up.  I liked those better than the really fast ones because being a beginning caster I was able to look back and watch the flight of the line a little better.  I ended up buying a rod that I kind of like, but it was on sale and that was the real reason.  (Since sold it to buy rodmaking equipment).  I liked the rod and was able to cast line a decent distance, but I didn't care for it in the stream because it seemed really stiff trying to cast just the leader and a little bit of line.

        So, back to my original question.  Let's say I want to use Hexrod to design a 1 piece taper.  Assume I want to make it 6-6.5 feet.  Ideally for a 4-5 weight line.

        (1)  As I begin with Hexrod, what should I input for the length of the line being cast.   I assume this changes the stress values.  Is this number the average cast being made?  The maximum?  The ideal (sweet) spot?  I've been putting in 35 feet.  Sound about right?

        (2)  Should I start by inputting dimensions or a straight line taper.  My understanding from Ray Gould’s book is that and increase of 2.9 per inch or  so would yield a medium fast taper.  Most of the rod tapers I look at seem to start out at around .070 or so.  Then then increase by about 10-15 at the 5 inch station, about another 20 by the 10 and 15 inch stations,  and then proceed fairly linearly until you near the grip.

        (3)  Being that the rod will be about 6-6.5 feet long and a 4-5 weight, what should the dimensions look like in the grip.   How big is too big?  Too small?  Or aren't there answers to these questions?

        I'm just trying to learn.  I realize that I haven't cast enough rods to really determine what I like.  I hope to start doing that this June at Grayrock.  I choose a 1-piece because it seems that the design would be simpler without thinking about the ferrule.  (Aaron Gaffney)

          Your synopsis of stresses is pretty good.

          I look at the 220,140 as the optimum for average casting. others may (will) have different opinions. as I said, if you can evaluate a rod by your comfort level, look at the stress curve, you will kind of know the actions you like and the stress levels you feel work best for you. This will change over time and mood.

          Once you decide on an action, you can play with the tip and butt dimensions (and all the numbers in between) and see what it does to the rod. These are some of the subtleties that make a great rod or just a rod. There are no bad bamboo rods, just different ones. Mostly.  (Jerry Foster)

          I had a look at the taper you saved, and I think you've got the basics down pat!  You might want to compare it to the Paul Young Smidgen taper that I like so much.  It too is a one piece rod.  You're rod looks not quite so quick as the Smidgen, and perhaps might be better suited for really small streams where most of the casts will be quite short.

          As Jerry suggested you might play with the upper and lower limits of the rod and see what happens.  For my personal tastes, I'd like a tip a little smaller than .068" on a rod that short.  But that's just me.  (Harry Boyd)

          You're in the money and on the money as well. Your rod is very similar to the Charlie Ritz Pezon et Michel Super Parabolic PPP Midget - 6 ft 2 piece 4 wt on the Hexrod archive. Try the compare feature to compare the two tapers.  (Doug Easton)

          Well I looked at your taper just to see what you had put together. I am very much surprised, you did a nice job.

          You should use 50 feet of line in designing,. using 40 ft or any other length makes the taper lighter than you think, this rod is a slightly heavy 3 weight not a 4 weight. It's mostly a SLT, straight line taper, with a little flex at 10', look at Mr. Garrisons tips, he made great tips. The rest of the rod has a slight rise in it making it a little stronger than a SLT, this is good. the small butt swell at the handle will not do too much, but it's OK. All in all a good rod, for a three weight. Read about Stress Curves in Power Fibers #22.

          If you make this rod you will like it.  (Bob Norwood)

            Thanks for the reply.  What makes you say the taper is more a 3 than a 4.  I'm not doubting your knowledge at all, I just want to know what you see so that I can apply it in future situations.  Also, what made Garrisons tips special.  I ran across an old post in the archives yesterday from Darryl H. giving what he felt were the ultimate dimensions for a 5 weight tip (0, 5, 10, and 15 stations).   How can those numbers be changed for a 3, 4, or 6 weight.  Is it simply a matter of adding or subtracting a certain amount or is there more to it.  I can't remember his numbers but I can probably find them again.  (Aaron Gaffney)

              Your questions are really good ones and therefore very hard to answer without first going through much of the many things I have done wrong to end up with a few of those things that I feel are correct. Understand that so much of rodmaking is subjective and  that to someone every rod is wonderful.

              I like garrisons tips because he uses a value at zero that it right for the line size, not too big not too small, then at 5" he usually makes the station a little weaker so that the rod will give a little and not break the tippet. The value at 10" is larger and makes up for the lighter 5" value plus a little more, then at 15" he increases the tip a little more. These two increases at 10 and 15" set the taper for the rest of the tip by using increases that are just a little less than the line weight would call for the rest of the way down the tip.

              Thus a very nice tip design.  His butts are a little soft, but still give a very smooth rod. This, you have to realize is just my opinion. As for tip values for other line weights, go to David Ray's list of rods and sort by line size and then average each. This will give you some idea of what others think.

              Very few things come easy in rod making. As I said in my other post to you Makers put in their time and make many mistakes along the way. You have been fortunate to have come up with a useable taper so fast, I hope all things go that well for you and remember to read and read again the people who have been kind enough to put their thoughts to paper.  (Bob Norwood)


So I can't read my dial indicator correctly and I wound up with a swelled butt 7613 tip.  I already screwed around and cut off about 2" of it.  So before I screw up a perfectly nice tip any further, any suggestions on a usable 7' taper for this tip?  Thought about a softer butt to compensate for the hefty tip.

00 - 0.66
05 - 0.88
10 - 0.102
15 - 0.120
20 - 0.138
25 - 0.153
30 - 0.168
35 - 0.178
40 - 0.196
45 - cut 'er off, had a really cool 0.224 swell  (Lee Orr)

    I would suggest you go for it and use it on the original rod.  Or just have it as a two tip with different tips. I made butt of the tip larger by accident on a Perfectionist and like it better than the original.  (David Ray)

    Sand it down to .203 and use it. Next time, dry fit the rod section and measure it. Look at it for seams or gaps. THEN glue it. Ask me how I know this.  (Chris Raine)

      Measure twice cut once.

      Problem is in my dejected state I already knocked off too much.  I said I cut off 2" but I bet it is closer to about 5".  Was going to knock it back to 0.200 or so and make a new butt, but I got to looking a the taper and it appears that it might be a bit stiff.  (Lee Orr)

        How about lengthening the section with a short length of old fiberglass rod of appropriate ID, fitting a spinning reel seat and cork grips such that the fiberglass is completely covered and then finding some eager beaver kid who will love you forever for giving it to them?

        Then make a new tip...  (Steve Dugmore)

          Already made a new tip.  Have this one lying around and I hate to not do anything with it.  And since I bought a half set I don't have an extra ferrule for it.  Was going to slam something together and send it to my uncle in MT.  I thought about matching it to a butt section from a 7' 4 weight.  But I don't want to spend that much time if it will be broom handle.    (Lee Orr)

            Check out the Cross Sylph taper #2 at the RODMAKERS site. It looks like your tip would mate nicely with the butt.  (Tom Smithwick)

            How 'bout putting a handle and guides on it and use it for an ice fishing jig rod?  (Ron Larsen)

            Scrape it down with a razor blade to size and make a bamboo ferrule. Send it on it's way.  He will be happy with it. 

            I am serious.  (Tony Spezio)

        Know any orchestra conductors?  You could make one a them nice little wands for him or her...  (Mark Wendt)

        Impregnated it should make a nice long lasting tomato stake.  (Larry Puckett)


I have a unique situation in a that I fish a tailwater that has some really decent wild fish in the pool below the dam, but they are virtually unreachable most days because they stay anywhere from 75 to 150 feet out from any cast you're likely to make. I always wondered about these fish, because you'll seem them rising out in this really, really deep pool and it looks like there's some good fish out there. The other day, when me and my fishing bud were fishing a midge hatch downstream, I got curious and went up to the pool and managed to get some good distance double hauling and caught one, but it was because the fish were coming in a little closer, following the midge hatch. This rainbow was a beauty, with white tipped fins, pale pure coloring and shaped like a football with all its been gorging on. Just beautiful. Now, to the real question. What taper would be best for this kind of distance and accuracy? I've heard that the Para 15 will get this distance, but isn't all that accurate, which won't work fishing size 20 midges. Or, is the accuracy thing a myth?  (Bill Walters)

    I think the ideal taper would be Bill Waara's western style 5wt that John Long introduced in the "Grand Experiment" several years ago. perfect!  (Timothy Troester)

    I built one of the Waara rods for the Grand Experiment but I think I'd either bump it up to a rod 7’ 6” 6 wt to get the distance you need or go with an 8 footer in 6 wt Para 15 (wet taper) or even a Dickerson 8014 looks pretty good. If a rod isn't accurate what good is it?  (Ken Paterson)

      Do you have a specific Para 15 taper that you can recommend? I know there are several versions floating around. I like Parabolics and was the first thing I thought of, but remembered the comment on tracking accuracy for this rod. I too, wonder about the accuracy comment. Seems to me if its a good rod the line ought to go where you point it.  (Bill Walters)

        Don't take this the wrong way, because I don't think I've ever seen you do much casting.  Maybe the best advice about reaching out a little farther is not a new taper, but some casting practice.  I fished today for the first time in several weeks, and my casting was pretty doggone sloppy.  Wished I had spent some more time in the casting yard.

        When you do decide to build a distance rod, you need to consider your own preferences.  Do you like a rod that bends all the way down? in the upper two-thirds?  upper third?  etc.  Just because a rod will really boom it out there for one guy doesn't mean it will for the next.  Take Ralph's big PHY parabolic for example.  That's just too much for for me.  (Harry Boyd)

    How about a float tube to get within reach? I used to fish a very similar situation below the dam on the Youghiogheny River in Confluence, Pa. The pool below the dam was huge. Probably about the size of a 1/2 dozen football fields. The only way to reach fish out in the middle areas was a boat or a float tube.  (Will Price)

    I've seen it written and heard it said many times that casters are accurate, not rods, and I've come to believe it myself, mostly because I'm not very accurate but I've seen my rods cast accurately. I just finished a Payne 102, 8' 2 piece 5 wt, that I think would do that job very well. If that doesn't appeal to you, then try a Dickerson 8013 or 8014, both have the backbone to reach out that distance if you can manage the line.  (John Channer)

      This is true, the Dickerson 8014 will get the distance but you'll need back cast distance too and that's why I suggested the Spey instead. You get amazing distance with one of those without the need for back cast distance. That matters when you really want to reach out as you know.  (Tony Young)

        I have never cast a Spey rod. How do you get distance without any back cast?  (Ren Monllor)

          A Spey cast is essentially a roll cast.

          Let's say you are standing facing the river which is flowing from right to left.  You allow your line to straighten out downstream.  Using a limber and powerful rod (ideally a Grant Vibration greenheart), you pluck the line out of the water, throwing it straight upstream to your right.  When the line passes you, you make a conventional roll cast, circling the rod clockwise (viewed from above).  The line consequently never goes behind you.

          You actually can do a Spey cast with a plastic rod, but it's a lot more work.

          Split cane rods will Spey cast, too. But, Payne used to specially build his two-handed rods so as to make them stronger than other rods and better suited to the stresses of the Spey cast.   Greenheart rods just naturally suit Spey casting.  (David Zincavage)

            The line consequently never goes behind you.

            If you don't mind, I'm going to elaborate on that a bit, as I can see Ren scratching his head.  The forward part of the line, and the fly never go behind you on a spey cast. The body of the line is swung behind you forming a large "D" of line in the air, and the weight of the line is used to load the road tip on the forward cast, which is why the line can be cast for distance. This is a variant of the roll cast. The difference is that a roll cast is static,  and the spey is dynamic. With a roll cast, the fly is in the water in front of the rod, the rod tip is extended backward, the line hangs off the rod tip, and the weight of the hanging line and the resistance of the line laying on the water load the rod on the forward cast. You can't get a lot of load on the rod that way, so the roll cast is not really a distance cast. The spey caster swings a large "D" of line behind him which extends well behind the rod tip. The line must be kept moving, or the "D" would collapse behind the caster. You need at least 30 feet of clearance behind you to spey cast effectively, but the weight of all that line loads the rod well, and considerable distances can be reached.

            A Grant Vibration, Hmmm. I've never handled one, but I sure would like too! (Tom Smithwick)

              Those big Greenheart rods can be heavy, but that is no consideration at all when you are fishing from a canoe taking turns casting with a fishing partner.  My wife actually will grab the 14' Grant Vibration to Spey cast while wading.  I have some photos of Karen throwing more than fly line up on the Madeleine.

              Does this list accept image files? I could scan a good Spey cast illustration.  (David Zincavage)

              There are variations too that don't involve the giant D and is basically a Fig 8 cast you keep in front of you that is easy using a single handed rod too. This cast is done along the river and uses no back cast at all and done well you can cast in any direction when you want to actually lay the line out and you can also shoot line this way.

              Try getting your hands on the DVD I've mentioned a couple of times and check it out. In one scene Mel has a cliff right at his back and manages a cast that must be 70 feet plus. He's good but it's not that hard to learn.  (Tony Young)

            That is it in a nutshell but there are variations too of course. It's something you can do with a single handed rod too and well worth knowing because you can forget steeple casts and all that when you have your back to a wall of brambles. I highly recommend getting a copy of Mel Kreiger's The Essence of Flycasting II & The Essence of Spey Casting DVD. He shows a few casting styles and you get a good eyeful of Iceland along the way.  Ideally get a laptop and take it with you to a stream to learn it because a part of the cast requires some friction of the water and line to form a proper belly in the D loop of the roll cast but you feel like you've shot a canon when you Spey cast.

            You may not always get a longer cast but knowing how will often turn an impossible cast into at least something feasible and to my eye it's a very classy casting style. A Spey taper has a way of laying out the leader in a very satisfying way too.  (Tony Young)

    I would look at an early Powell taper.Years ago his rods held many distance records.  Also, if you want distance you're going to have to go up in line weight. Nothing under a 7 wt. Forget the float tube, you'll freeze to death.  (Mark Dyba)

    75 to 150 feet away is a hell of a fishing cast with bamboo and it's all down to your technique and capability. I think the answer is a float tube or a spinning rod with a bubble float attached. 

    I take it that it is deep and you can only wade out so far. When the river is in flood the fish will move into the bank.  Wwhich bank? Probably the furthest one from you.The fish is there for a reason its there protection from you. Many rivers have this same situation.I know a few close to me.It usually happens where fishing pressure is high.

    Even if you get your fly to this distance there is other problems to contend with.  Drag, accuracy and the strike. It's not easy hitting a rising fish with 75 yards of line on the water.

    The other thing to try is a Saltwater rod some thing like a 9wt shooting head with a wooley bugger.

    Let us know how you get on.  (Gary Nicholson)

      Gary is right, there will be a lot of problems hooking up with fish at those distances. Since all thought of delicate presentation or line control is out the window, I don't see this as a bamboo situation, and would personally try a graphite 2 hander in the conditions you describe. With either a 2 hander or a singlehand rod, if you really need to be over 100 feet consistently in fishing conditions, a shooting taper system would be a help.  (Tom Smithwick)

        Its really a different thing casting over 100ft on grass compared to 100 feet on water with good presentation. On grass is really does not matter if your leader does not turn over. Fishing is different, presentation with the dry fly demands good presentation.  (Gary Nicholson)

    Maybe try a Spey and a very long leader?  (Tony Young)


I'm starting a rod for a friend, as a surprise for his birthday in August.  He fishes the South Fork of the Snake River and Piton River in Idaho.

I'm completely unfamiliar with those waters, so am soliciting opines.  Any of you folks ever fished those waters and give me some G2?  Type of water, types of rod?  (Leonard Baker)

    I fish the South Fork only a couple times a year,  so I’m no expert. I can tell you though I have fished it when it was 5,000 CFS and when it was 22,000 CFS. It can be a normal size trout river - or it can be big enough to run power boats up the river, which they do. It depends on the releases out of Palisades. 

    I fish it (I always float it) with a 5 weight, or a 6 for streamers.  A 7 weight wouldn’t be oversized,  especially with large streamers. There are some big DEEP runs that go for several hundred yards.  (Tom Vagell)

      I would fish an 8' 5 wt, especially if he also fishes other waters for trout.  (Steve Weiss)

    The South Fork is a great cutthroat  fishery.  Best floated, but some area can be waded.  I have been in and around Idaho for over 80 years never heard of the piton River.  For the South Fork think 8-81/2 for a #6.  You can get some good sized fish in that river. (Ralph Moon)

      I've  fished Idaho for many years and as I recall the South Fork can be windy. I'd go with a 8 to 8 1/2 six weight.

      Ralph is the best adviser on this one since he lives in the area.  (Mark Dyba)

    Keep in mind that I'm biased but a Dickerson 8014 Guide Special (8') or one of his 8 1/2' tapers for a 6 wt would be ideal.  (Will Price)


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