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Rod Selection - Staggered Ferrule Rods


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I cast my friend's Constable Wallops Brook rod yesterday. Its a 7'6" 5 wt and I was blown away by nice that rod cast. What I'm wondering is why no American rodmakers have dabbled in staggered ferrule rods if this is what can be accomplished with one? I know its awkward to have a butt section that is 12" shorter than the tip, but it seems that are a few options to offset that, for storage purposes.  (Bill Walters)

    Chris Raine has been making staggered ferrule rods. Nice casting sticks!! With incredible feel!!  (Paul McRoberts)

    Orvis made and sold a staggered ferrule rod. It was 5'9" when put together.  (Will Price)

    I have made several. A lot of people cast them and liked them but but everyone seems to want me to rebuild the rod with the ferrule in the middle. Maybe they were afraid what their friends might think of them buying something different or someone who's opinion that mattered more doesn't do it that way. I don't know but any rod I have built and moved the ferrule sure feels different. (Timothy Troester)

      We had one maker over here in Australia a few years ago (20 years ago), John McGinn,  who built a staggered ferrule rod as part of his range.  His rods were very much cast in the English mode of the 50's, heavy and slow;  but I couldn't see that the staggered model had anything to recommend it over the more conventional models.

      I guess that if the short ferrule placement is an integral part of the rod design, then it will serve a purpose; but I got the distinct impression, in the case of the rod I am talking about, that it was simply a matter of shifting the ferrule just to make the rod a bit gimmicky to help generate a few sales in a graphite-dominated market.

      However, I am a reliably poor to fair caster and probably not capable of appreciating the nuances involved.   (Peter McKean)

        Well, in this case the rod is a parabolic and has a real sweet feel. In fact, I cast an original Para 15 during the same session and I liked the Constable more.  Right now I'm on a hunt to find an original to buy and mic or the taper if someone has it.  (Bill Walters)

    Mike Spittler in Minneapolis makes them.  (David Van Burgel)

    The first rod I ever made, a Payne 98 came out staggered accidentally 10” because I screwed up on the numbers. I think at the time, I missed the numbers going down into the grip and real seat, or something like that.

    Anyway, it somehow came out the right length and weight and is a great casting rod that I’ve fished for the last 9 years...  (Tom Vagell)

    Staggered ferruled rod taper are just like any other rod, the action depends on the taper. If you have a rod that is designed to have action in the middle a staged ferrule allows the rod to show it's stuff. If the taper is stiff through the middle than that's the place to put the ferrule. So I think looking at the taper action first, should be one of the most important deciding factors in where to put the ferrule. (Bob Norwood)

      One-piece rods give the best action, no matter what the taper, but some rods have better tapers than others. Now, when dealing with ferrules, consider the extremes: mount a ferrule really close to the tip of the rod and you'll be swinging a dead weight; mount the ferrule right at the handle and you'll get almost a one-piece action. Somewhere in the middle is the compromise for easy portability. For staggered ferrules, bringing the weight closer to the butt gives a crisper action to the rod but portability suffers.  (Ron Grantham)

        No I can't offer an example. I could only suggest that it is possible that with some tapers the conventional nickel silver ferrule may not detract from the rod's performance at all. As for a ferrule enhancing a rods performance: If we built 20 rods based on 10 different tapers, 10 being without a ferrule and 10 being with a ferrule, would we find that all ten ferruleless rods would be superior?

        Just wondering mind. It would be a challenge to those who suspect that ferrules take away from a rod's performance. So here's what I want you to do in your spare time tonight. Build the 20 rods and wrap some tape around the position where the ferrule is and the ferrule isn't. Then give them to an expert caster to determine the answer to the question. (tongue in cheek Ron)

        I'm really only suggesting that the engineering science is not that far along yet. If you've looked at Milward's book then you will know that a ferrule shows a definite bump in the taper stats. Is it always deterring from the rod's performance. Or: Could it quite easily be compensated for to bring the taper back to perfect? (Don Ginter)

        Mount a ferrule really close to the tip of the rod and you'll be swinging a dead weight. There's a trade off in that too.  the closer to the tip the ferrule is the smaller (lighter) it will be.  The closer to the butt it is the larger (heavier) it will be.  So I don't see that as being relevent.  That is if you do have to use a ferrule.  I suspect in Ron's long rod he does have to use a ferrule.  (Larry Swearingen)

          You’re right that a smaller ferrule at the tip will be lighter than one used nearer the butt end but no matter where you put one, you are adding weight above and beyond that of the bamboo.  Any weight at the tip is going to be more noticeable because the “lever arm” is longer.  (Al Baldauski)

          You don’t necessarily have to use a ferrule.  I have used splices on long rods, they work very well and save much weight.  Bob Clay advised the splices as ferrule failure rate is said to be high on long (switch and spey) rods. (Bill Lamberson)

            I saw a video showing the joining of the splices with a heavy clear tape.  Is this generally how this is done?  (Trey Matheu)

              Yes, I use clear electrical tape from WalMart.  (Bll Lamberson)

              I have been fishing spliced joint rods for about 5 years now.  I accidentally caught a spunky 22" rainbow on a 7'4" staggered ferrule 3 wt quad a couple of seasons ago.  No issues.  I'm almost more confident now in a splice joint than a metal ferrule.  Don't own a splice joint spey, but I'd bet the price of the rod it won't have problems if properly joined with tape.  I've tried many kinds of tape -- rubber, paper, duct, hockey shinguard, masking, etc. -- but 3/4" 3M Plastic Vinyl Tape (looks like electrical tape) works best for me.  No data, but anecdotally less tacky than regular electrical tape, durable, etc.  Comes in clear, too, which for some reason seems weaker than the colored tapes.  Black and brown are what I usually use.  Start on the tip section and wrap overlapping winds in a "cone" from smallest to biggest.  Reversing direction from butt to tip can leave ugly excess flaps.  I recommend that you discard the tape if you will not use that rod again for more than 48 hours (because then you will forget about it and the adhesive backing will tack up).  If you will use it again soon, just carefully unwind it from the joint and then wind it over itself (straight, like a tape roll) onto the thick end of the tip section just above where the splice starts (to remind you where to start wrapping when you put it back together).  Then just unwind and rewrap when you are ready to use.  Used this way, I usually toss after day 3 to be on the safe side.  But keep an eye on it -- watch for tacking, tears (bad), when you are putting together / taking down, just like metal ferrules.

              I am looking for a low tack ~3/4" biodegradable tape if anyone knows of one.  Google gave me options, but not many, and I'd rather learn from someone else's experience this time.  (Chris Moore)

                Not much help on your quest for biodegradable tape, But I'll take your accidents any day...  ;-)

                I'm not sure you'll be able to find a biodegradable tape that is able to stretch a bit and be able to take the strain of the rod's flexing. Biodegradable seems to suggest some kind of paper or possibly cloth based tape.  (Mark Wendt)

                  I am very interested in making a splice joint for my next rod, however I have no idea how to make this. Can anyone point me in the right direction to find out how to do this?  (Phil Crangi)

                    This is one version of spliced joint WITHOUT tape using shrink tube

                    (Tapani Salmi)

                      I have used Tapani's method on one rod, and have been very please. I find I am much more likely to break the rod down between frequent trips. It is just too tempting for me to leave it taped up when I know I will be fishing the next day.

                      Thanks Tapani, for the tutorial. I've gotten good use out of it.  (Conor McKenna)

    Wasn’t Kushner known for experimenting with staggered rods where the butt section was shorter then the tip?  (Tim Wilhelm)

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