Killiefish

Are two-piece rods becoming obsolete?

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Currently made 2 piece fly rods are usually "starter" rods in company catalogs, if they are made at all.   A claim is often made that modern technological advances mean no noticeable difference in performance between 4 piece rods and 2 piece.  I am not always so sure.   A friends older XP 4wt in 2 piece is still one of the sweetest rods I've cast.  A Redington RS-4 two piece I still own is way better than the 4 piece model that I sold.  Also it was cheaper.

 

Are there other advantages to 2 piece rods (besides generally lower cost)?  If so, what are they?

 

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As far as I know, there are NO 2 piece rads being built today unless they’re special order. Four piece is the standard because it’s much more convenient and is practically mandatory for flying. If you want fewer ferrules you can get some rods in one piece.

JC

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Yet people still claim that a one piece surf rod is better than a 2 piece (much less 4)

What am I missing here ?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

TFO and Redington still make 2 piece rods. 

 

TFO Signature II 2 piece

TFO TFR 2 piece (only made in 8w, 10w)

Redington Crosswater II 2 piece

Redington Path 2 piece

 

But these are mostly low end rods (not more than $159 list).  The Signature II and TFR are not bad rods, but nothing terribly special about them.  Crosswater and Path are beginner rods.

 

Douglas makes a rod in two piece - called the Lake River Stream (LRS).  There may be a few others but not many.  None of these except maybe the TFO TFR would begin to match older mid to high end two piece rods, IMO.  The TFR feels to me like a beefier 2 piece version of the TiCr 4pc.

Edited by Killiefish
Corrected info on Signature II rods by TFO; Pro 2 rods are all 4 piece.
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I had an opportunity to fish Sage's lead rod designer a few years ago and we got on the discussion about why Sage was going to three and four piece rods instead of staying with two piece ones. He told me it was the simple reason of customer demand  for ease of traveling. I have traveled several times with my two piece rods and it was never easy. All of my rods were two piece Xi-2's until I came into possession of a new four piece Xi-2. After using it once it became my favorite rod by far. It casts better and is stronger when fighting a fish. The only thing that I had to get used to was making sure that all the ferrules were tight instead of just one and I can live with that.

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I think there are cheaper because 4pc are better to travel with?   I Have 7 pc. That a have and it’s very nice.  I put it right n the suit case  or my travel carry on bag for overhead. But at home I like my one pc. Rods j

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If you cast a two and a three piece rod of the same manufacture and they are both of the same model. The two piece to me always felt faster in action.

 

FT 

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16 mins ago, ccb said:

I think there are cheaper because 4pc are better to travel with?   I Have 7 pc. That a have and it’s very nice.  I put it right n the suit case  or my travel carry on bag for overhead. But at home I like my one pc. Rods j

i'm looking into one piece rods, nothing to think about other than catching fish

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For a long time, I despised 4-piece rods because many of my fly fishing applications involve casting a heavy nymph rig, or big heavily weighted trout streamers. Often times I’d begin to notice the rod sections coming out of alignment throughout of day of fishing. Occasionally a section or two would cast off and it would look like rookie hour while I’m trying to retrieve them. I’ve simply gotten into the habit of checking them every 15-20 minutes while on the water. 

 

Id still buy a 2-piece rod today over a 4-piece, but good luck finding one. 

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I have 1, 2, 4 and 7 piece fly rods (probably 15 or so in total).  The 4 piece are by far my favorite.  The rods that spend most of the time on my boat become "1 piece" rods for the season and rarely come part.  When I travel by car or plane they travel as 4 piece rods.  Finally, when I'm on foot moving from one place to another they usually become "2 piece" rods.

The 1 piece rod (Bass Pro Stage 1 Heat, the only store bought rod I own) only stays on the boat plus it is only 8' long.

I don't think you give up any casting ability with a modern 4 piece.  I would never buy a 2 piece blank these days. Only downside to 4 piece rods is keeping an eye on all of the connections when you are using them.  This is especially true with my switch and spey rods.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Sandy Noyes said:

I had an opportunity to fish Sage's lead rod designer a few years ago and we got on the discussion about why Sage was going to three and four piece rods instead of staying with two piece ones. He told me it was the simple reason of customer demand  for ease of traveling. I have traveled several times with my two piece rods and it was never easy. All of my rods were two piece Xi-2's until I came into possession of a new four piece Xi-2. After using it once it became my favorite rod by far. It casts better and is stronger when fighting a fish. The only thing that I had to get used to was making sure that all the ferrules were tight instead of just one and I can live with that.

So Sage seems to think it has to do with factors other than performance:  i.e., demand, travel.  Your experience though suggests that the 4 piece rod (in this case the Xi-2) actually performed better than the 2 piece.  Interesting....albeit inconsistent information.

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CTS May still be prepared to make you a two piece blank for a small premium.

 

Two piece rods are essentially dead. Irrespective of the relative performance differences between the two most Anglers do not want two piece rods any more. Even guys who never travel on aeroplane. I never found it an issue to carry two piece rods when flying.Just checked them into the hold.

 

Performance will never lead against convenience which is rather sad for some of us.

 

It is  in part a measure of the world we live in.

 

Mikey

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Again being an old guy, I am glued to my RPLX rod collection that ranges a  from 6 to an 11 weight in both two and three sections and I am very satisfied that my normal impulsive nature has not made me do a version 3.6 upgrade to find out that I should have stayed were I was before the upgrade.

 

I own 2 of each  of these rods and yes they are heavier by fractions and again, honestly I could not afford the upgrade at today's prices.

 

I am so old, that I remember having a tin cup on the dashboard of my 1968  6 cylinder Rambler asking for donations to the next fishing destination......and fuel prices were sub $1.00. Nickels and dimes were the jingle.

 

If they made larger airplanes , two piece rods would fit just as well as they used to in the past. 

 

1990 rod technology is ok with me at a GFL III level, actually I recently looked at a bar code label with a price  of $396.00 on a Sage 3 section RPLX rod that I still own today from day one.

 

That was a whole lot of jingles in the late 80's & 90 years. And today these same rods still command a used price of $275.00 to $ 300.00. Why is that ?

 

 

FT

Edited by Fishin Technician
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Posted (edited) · Report post

"Currently made 2 piece fly rods are usually "starter" rods in company catalogs"

 

Most "beginners" in fly fishing are NOT (YET) into air-travel-fishing.....is my assumption.

 

"I have 1, 2, 4 and 7 piece fly rods (probably 15 or so in total).  The 4 piece are by far my favorite.  The rods that spend most of the time on my boat become "1 piece" rods for the season and rarely come part.  When I travel by car or plane they travel as 4 piece rods.  Finally, when I'm on foot moving from one place to another they usually become "2 piece" rods. "

 

Exactly!

 

For those who remember back that far.....ALL fly rod blanks were initially one piece and had to be cut in half and a (metal) ferrule installed by hand.....which was for the >6-7 weights....a real weak point.  The rod design/taper did NOT take the (inflexible) ferrule into account, so the one piece version had the sweetest action.!

 

I cut my first blank in half with a hacksaw to glue in a metal ferrule in 1957.

 

I twice traveled by air coast-to-coast with a one piece.....bare....Fenwick 7 1/2 footer I refused to ferrule.  BIG headache!

 

 Fenwick changed all that with the "feralite male-female ferrule, and the rods were re-designed more or less to take the (somewhat) flexible ferrule into account, action-wise, and the 2 piecers got pretty sweet themselves.

 

Then seemingly everyone began serious, frequent air-travel-fishing and those long 2-3 piece rod cases became the PIA du jour...and did not navigate the luggage converyors....were theft targets.....and often did not show up at the location.THEN, the advent of luggage charges made carry-on overhead bin space so competitive that boarding lines became a contact sport.

 

The answer was to make the rods....in more sections....short enough to fit INSIDE the checked luggage.  What a GREAT idea!

 

That established, it simply became a matter of designing the taper to take the stiffer ferrule sections into account. I can (almost) guarantee to you those are NOT one piece design blanks cut three times to later install the ferrules.

 

That all said, the 4 piece (and more) rods ARE heavier than their one piece counterparts, and fractures tend to occur at the ferrule junction.  Different designers and manufacturers got to the current designs earlier and better than others....until the "feel" of the action got reduced to a matter of taste.

 

Having started my career with 1 piece rods, and still buying 2 piece rods for dedicated local car travel only....I wouldn't trade the convenience, safety, and piece-of-mind of my large (comparatively) quiver of 4 piece rods which I slip into a PVC section that fits into my checked suitcase for air travel for all the tea......or one piece blanks.....in China!

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Peter Patricelli
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If I were a beginner just starting out and only fished my home waters, I think I'd go with 2 piece rods more, or even 1 piece rods.  I think I can feel the difference between 2 and 4.  And I bet, between 2 piece and 1 piece.  The extra ferrule slipping thing is not the main issue for me.  Overall feel and sensitivity is the issue...I was wondering if anyone else thinks that there's a difference, despite what the manufacturers say.

 

TFO still sells blanks in two piece.  The TFO "TFR" 8w and 10wt blanks are pretty nice for $79.  The factory built TFR rods are somewhat heavy because of the composite cork.  Matte black not too fancy.  I believe this was the last rod blank designed by Lefty.

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