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Anglers who still use fiberglass fly fishing rods today understand one thing: fly fishing is a way of life. And as a way of life, there are many different tastes, so fly fishing rod preferences are both a matter of personal taste and practicality. Today, fly fishing rods aren't "just" tools but are an extension of your arm. As such, they're supposed to be comfortable and sensitive to your movements.
There was a time when fiberglass fly fishing rods went extinct, but they're gradually making a comeback because more and more anglers are loving the vibe of this retro-rod. Thanks to its versatility, graphite rods will always be king, but here's a brief history of how fiberglass became a thing, and some reasons fiberglass fly fishing rods will never leave the market.
Virtually all the rods in circulation today can trace their history to improvements made in the aerospace industry. The fiberglass material itself was first developed, to be used, in the aerospace application, during the second world war. It was then repurposed in other industries, including fishing.
Since then, as the research on aerospace materials have improved, so have the materials used in making fly fishing rods. Graphite fishing rods were a direct result of such improvement in aerospace materials. Today, fiberglass fishing rods are being produced by the big brands in fishing gear, because more innovative research has cropped up, giving them an edge over other types of rods. Here are the advantages.
Advantages of Fiberglass Fly Fishing Rods
Durable: Fiberglass is more durable than both bamboo (its only major competition in the 1950's), and graphite. If you'll be moving around a lot, fiberglass rods are less sensitive to pressure. It makes more sense to take something that'll serve you well the entire trip - without breaking in two. Plus, fiberglass rods are probably the only fly fishing rods that can take the beating a novice angler will dish out, without complaining. So if you're looking for a beginner rod, give fiberglass ago, before moving on to others like graphite and bamboo.
Cheaper: Good rods don't come cheap. But fiberglass fly rods, for all the fireworks manufacturers, clothe it in, generally won't exceed the price of graphite because the material's cheaper. It's easier to relax and fly fish when you're not worried about damaging your gear. Many a mini heart attack has been had thanks to expense gear crashing on the floor.
Shorter Length: manufacturers understand that the best way to enjoy fiberglass fly fishing rods is if they aren't longer than 8". You may find a few brands offering fiberglass rods longer than 8", but most stick to the 8" limit for fiberglass, because that's when they say. This makes them ideal for small creeks and streams that contain stealthy trout. Note that the extra flex a fiberglass rod has means it may not be ideal for fly fishing big game. To learn about the species in your waters before opting to get one.
Having considered the merits of using fiberglass fly fishing rods, and having seen that they're suited for different anglers, you should know why they were phased out.
- Heavier than necessary. Even though fiberglass rods are considered more durable than graphite rods due to their weight, the heaviness doesn't actually help when fly fishing.
There's only so much fish weight most fiberglass fly fishing rods can hold, so they're used in small water bodies.
- Too short for big waters. Most anglers don't aspire to remain small creek fly fishers. Even if they only have immediate access to small streams, sooner or later, they'll want to fish big waters. Fiberglass fly fishing rods, thanks to their limited lengths, aren't ideal for larger lakes and streams as they won't be able to withstand the wind.
- Slow acting material. Excellent fly fishing depends, to a large extent, on the way of your rod. Rods that react fast to every single command, are generally better. Unfortunately, fiberglass fly fishing rods are mostly considered slow-acting rods.
So that's it on fiberglass fly fishing rods. Remember that fly fishing is a way of life, hence the rod you choose should be a reflection of personal preference and not necessarily advertisement.
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