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Simply said, would an adjustable form which had increments of every inch be of real value over adjustable bars configured every five inches?

In practice the possibly of adjusting each inch would allow a greater degree of control over building tapers. It could smooth out tapers creating an infinite choice of variations. It could reduce areas of stress, by tuning the action of the rod. It would also give the rod maker adjustment possibilities never before achieved.

On the other hand, would the infinite possibilities of one inch adjustments serve computer stress programs but maybe never felt on the streams. Do abstract renderings outstrip the reality of simply using bamboo for fishing.

Tapers are the soul of  any fly rods. We inherited many tapers from makers who built rods some time ago. They built rods for their own time and streams. Today we build rods with a growing knowledge from the past and from those talented and helpful contemporary builders of today. Neither of which made an argument for closer points of adjustments.

To my way of thinking there never was an effort to change the standard (five inch) adjustments. Is it because the change to a one inch standard would be too difficult to made, or is it because it has no real reason to be.

If a properly made set of adjustable forms with one inch increments, could be made.  Would it open new avenues to explore, or become another example of overkill?  (Richard Kevorkian)

    A set of forms adjustable every inch would require a lot of hardware in a very small space, the forms would be all holes filled with bolts and would conceivably take forever to adjust, anything done to one station would probably affect the stations on either side of it. I also question the value, I've always felt that we might be kidding ourselves about the value of exact taper dimensions, it's obvious from the variations in tapers taken from old rods that the companies who were dedicated to making bamboo fly rods for generations didn’t attach all that much importance to accuracy. After all, bamboo is a very variable natural material, I can't imagine that a few thousandths here and there change the feel of a rod much or that it can be detected by the average fisherman. (John Channer)

      If you can change the rod a few thousandths here or there and a person can't feel it, have you made the rod better or worse?  It's obviously a different rod, are we trying to build better rods or just copy the masters, do we think the optimum rod has already been built? Are we trying to improve the craft or just copy what has gone before.

      I would submit that there may be more going on here than we think. Over the years I have occasionally tried to stir up the topic of stresses and tapers to see if there is any interest in solving the taper (stress curve) riddle. Am i the only one out here trying to grapple with the rod design and not just the cosmetics? I think we cast the taper and not the varnish (I know varnish is part of the equation).

      How many of us know what we are doing to the rods design when we move those thousandths around. I don't mean just to the feel.

      What does peak amplitude of the stress curve and it's duration have to do with the rods action? Is this the secret that everyone knows the answer to and won't tell me.

      This is all written with a huge apology to Wayne and others of you who do understand.  (Jerry Foster)


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