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Discussion Starter #1
In an attempt to simplify the discussion regarding long and short rods I will attempt to outline what I see as the advantages and disadvantages of long V short rods. This is not an attempt to prove one over the other but to open people's minds a bit and start a discussion.
Remember at the end of this there is NO right or wrong, just personal preference.

For the purpose of this I will assume readers will know what a rod is! For arguments sake, and I know some will follow, I am talking here about what we consider a lure rods. If we look at what are considered normal or recent boundaries in terms of lure rods then compare the pros and cons it might help newbies to think about what they want from a rod.

What do most people consider the boundaries of length in a lure rod? Personally my lower limit is 6ft and although I don't own anything that long I would consider 10ft to be the maximum I would consider using.

So looking at them in turn what are the pros and cons of each in general terms? Bear in mind that there will always be exceptions to every rule.

Short rods:

Pros -

lighter weight – if you are holding and working a rod, the lighter it is the less tiring it should be.
better balance – shorter rods should balance better with the weight of the reel and the overall weight not being so far in front of you.
casting accuracy – easier to make pinpoint casts with short rods
sensitivity (the longer the rod, the more distance down the blank any transmitted vibration has to travel before the angler feels it)

Cons-
Shorter casting range (subject to what is being cast and ability)
Less control at range – the shorter rod will move the line less when trying to move the lure in any direction.
Reach is reduced – if you need to clear any snags or obstacles in front of you.

Longer rods:

Pros-

Longer casting
Better control at distance
Longer reach

Cons-

Heavier
Less balanced
Less sensitive.

If we want the best of everything from one rod, then is simple terms you take your own personal upper and lower limits and find a rod that sits somewhere in between, you will find your own personal compromise. Not the best at anything but more likely to do most things.
For most lure anglers these days the majority of their fishing will likely use either plugs or soft plastics. Each of these styles of angling require different characteristics in a rod. Plug fishing usually requires more distance and not so much (as opposed to none at all) sensitivity in the rod. SP fishing is usually done at closer range and entails ‘working the bait’ in a different way, often requiring more sensitivity in the rod to feel what is happening to the lure.
The end result is if you choose a rod specific to each type they would likely be one from the shorter (not necessarily shortest) more sensitive end of the scale for SPs and one from the longer(not necessarily longest) end of the scale for plugs.
There has been lots of discussion about what is or isn’t the best rod for this or that type of fishing. The simple answer is that no such rod exists. For every argument for a particular rod there will be one against. I have learnt the hard (and expensive) way that what suits one person does not necessarily suit another. Listen to what people have to say about a rod, what it is good at, not so good at, take it all in. Then compare how you fish, where you fish, what you fish for. How similar is it to your fishing? If you can try one all the better. Just remember that no matter how honest and accurate somebody else opinion is, they are not you. Very profound but very true when it comes to choosing a rod.
I fish with somebody that uses the same rod for almost everything. Not only that but ‘on paper’ sometimes it looks all wrong but it works for him. It not only works but works very well. So there are always exceptions. No hard and fast rules. You pay your money you make your choice.

(Sorry for rambling on!!!!)
 

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Cons-

Heavier
Less balanced
Less sensitive.

Heavier - I don't think this is necessarily true, especially with higher spec carbon and resins. My current 9'6 rod is lighter than its shorter predecessors. Don't forget that a lot of the 'real life' weight depends on the size and weight of the reel you hang off the rod.

Less balanced - again you need to choose an appropriate spec reel. My set up is as balanced as any of my trout, salt and salmon (spey) fly outfits which cost many hundreds more.

Less sensitive - doesn't have to be. If you are casting 11-22g plugs most of the time, you don't need a rod rated up to 60g. Also, the rod should at least be capable of bending (unlike some on the market) - bass aren't tuna!

I like short rods for some fishing, but fishing from the shore, you would have to break my long rods to make me go back to short rods. I think alot of the reason short rods are popular is because that's what is available in the market. But that doesn't necessarily make them the best tools despite what the manufacturer, pro-staff and salesmen say! Boats are a different matter - you often need more lift capability.
 

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Interesting read as per usual Mike. I for one am relatively new to the 'modern' rods we are now using. I'm currently using an 8ft lure rod which, to me, feels a revelation from my previous 10ft spinning rod. For me, the ability to cast and work a lure with the least amount of effort is the most important thing. I haven't had a fish that I couldn't steer towards me with my 8ft rod.

I'm looking to upgrade again over winter to something a little bit special and to be honest, my mind boggles as to which rod I should go for.
 

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Nice one Mike..plenty to get everyone's interest....:-D:-D:-D:-D

I would say though that the pro's and cons are very generic, specific top end rods will have possibly less cons.
As Clifford has mentioned about the modern longer rods has to be right doesn't it?.....but I definitely disagree about balance. I have a problem with all carbon fibre rods, as one of their key benefits is light weight but this conflicts with balance!! Take your rod and try and balance it on your finger at the centre of the reel fitting...does it balance?? If it does tell me what it is ..I want one... The fact is that none of the rods I have ever tried are balanced, to balance them you have to add weight in the end of the butt. That is not what the manufacturers really want, they want light. Believe me adding weight to the butt does work, the turning moment is reduced and the loading on the fore arm is reduced. 20 years ago I did the same thing with a float rod I used for stick floating on the Trent..yep rod in hand for 6 hours or so at a time..you soon notice the difference. Might seem slightly off topic and nit picking but the same happens with our rods to a much smaller degree granted.... And no a reel does not balance a rod.....why? because it sits at the weight neutral point and cannot effect the balance only the weight.....
Only had the Red rod a short time but am looking to see if I can balance it with out damaging it and will let you know if it makes an improvement......
See what you did Mike...Hobby horse is put away now...:oops::oops::oops::oops:
 

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Now being quite new to lure fishing in general but old hand at bait and fly fishing in general.
I find this interesting i have to agree with all original points made, as for longer fly outfits being balanced yes i have had balanced outfits, i have also had shorted balanced outfits.
after all different rods for different styles i would have fished a 15ft spey on a chalk strem for close in or a 3wt marsman for sewin n a deep pool at night.
Horses for courses.
There are many rods out there at present and the combinations are limitless, though each of us in time will hopfully find a length and weight that suits us as a person with our own style.
 

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Trev,
Try balancing the rods with a reel on them-as that is how you will fish with them. I think with some of the modern japanese rods you will come very close to the balance you are looking for.
Clifford and I both fish the same rod, but he uses a Hyper Certate and I use a Tournament Airty. His probably balances very close to what you are looking for. I prefer a tippier feel and the lighter reel gives me that. With a rod weight around 135g it is much easier to move the point of balance, than it would be on a heavier rod.
 

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Thanks Dave..I'll have a look at that but my point still stands for the longer rods for a reel to counter balance off set weight it would have to be pretty heavy. I have to admit the very light LRF rods that I checked in ***** shop appeared to be pretty well balanced. Almost too tempting..;-)
 

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Not really bothered to balance my lure rods. As I have found the balance point on them to be within 1" off the reel fitting. The only rod I have balanced was a 15' beachcaster I was given it was a pig to use,tip heavy could just not use it. It took 6oz of lead in the but to balance it. Although it now weighs a ton it feels lighter in the hand and is the first rod I have cast over 200'. 215' to be exact. Sorry I know its not a lure rod and a bit of a ramble, but it shows what can be done.
 

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I just cant get excited about the whole 'balance' topic. To date, there appears to be no consensus about what constitutes the correct balance. It seems as variable and personal as every other aspect of our sport. In addition, i find my set-ups to be so light, that balance just doesnt come into it, as i never seem to get fatigued by it.

Maybe it becomes more of an issue with heavier gear, but on my set-ups, i just dont think it matters to any great degree (within reason).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The original post was a bit of a 'work in progress' and I didn't have time to give examples of what I was trying to say.

If you have a manufactuer who for arguments sake produces three different series of lure rods, low, middle and high price point. If you compare rods of different lengths in each series against each other or other SIMILAR rods from other manufacturers, all the above points are valid. If you start comparing rods from one price point against the next then that becomes more subjective and NOT the point I was trying to make. A high end long rod will likely be better balanced etc than a low end short one. That is part of the reason why people buy more expensive rods, put simply they perform better (or at least they should).
I didn't mention reels deliberately as I was talking about rod balance purely as a start point. You can in most cases use the reel to balance the rod, but it won't work in all cases and the better balanced the rod is to start with, the easier it becomes.
 

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Its got to be horses for courses surely. I use a 2.2 m rod for surface lures and i like to use a 2.7m rod for sp's not everyone's choice but it's what i feel comfortable using.
 

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dave said:
The only rod I have balanced was a 15' beachcaster I was given it was a pig to use,tip heavy could just not use it. It took 6oz of lead in the but to balance it.
Dave,
Done the same and doesn't it make a difference...........:shock::shock::shock::shock:
 

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Surely you only use rods when you have a reel attached? :confused: Therefore a rod is balanced only when they're combined??? :confused:

Anyway, back to the OP. I have three rods and they are all 8ft 'cos that's how I like them..... :D
 

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I think my ideal length 'for me' is under 8 foot (7 1/2ft),it just feels right to me and it casts well and works lures perfectly.
I wish my RLSD was a little bit shorter........
 

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Nothing a car door wouldn't sort Nick! I fish 7ft, 8ft 2, and 8ft 6, and each has a use depending on conditions and mark fished. I think I could now do with something around 9ft 6 though, especially for the type of fishing I intend doing this weekend. Its each to their own at the end of the day, though there is no getting away from the fact that certain lengths are better at certain things.
 

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I think my ideal length 'for me' ... it just feels right to me ...
thats how I think about my 8.6 sakura shükan. It just feels best for my in the moment for hard lures. It feels not as good as the 7feet bushwhacker with SPs, so. Maybe I try the 8.6 Bushwhacker with SPs one of the next sessions...

Cheers
Thomas
 
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