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Favorite fly rod handle type

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So I am just kind of curious, what is everyones favorite handle profile for their fly rods? Recently I have been using one with a bullnose grip recently and have been loving it and am surprised I don't see it on more rods.

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The grip should allow the rod to pivot as your hand opens and closes during a cast. 

A narrow base and forward (rather than midgrip) swell works well for me.  B in this picture look ideal.

six-powell-rods-web_1_orig.jpg

Edited by numbskull

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I like a full wells on my heavier rods, I rest my thumb against the top flare when casting. I love cigar grips on my light 1-4 weight trout rods.

I've never tried the modified ritz.

Edited by Phil K

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10 hours ago, Local66 said:

 

  Modified ritz, I prefer a slim profile for inshore rods. I usually leave a little more meat on the grips of my beach rods.

20200526_110024.jpg

Bill,

I wouldn't say that this is a modified Ritz - it is an inverted RItz.

A Ritz has a wider top than bottom.  i,e, it tapers from wide at top to narrower at bottom.

My favorite is a modified Ritz - I put a prominent flare at top and bottom.

See photo of Chico Fernandez with one of my builds.

 

IMG_0603(2).jpg

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5 hours ago, numbskull said:

The grip should allow the rod to pivot as your hand opens and closes during a cast. 

A narrow base and forward (rather than midgrip) swell works well for me.  B in this picture look ideal.

six-powell-rods-web_1_orig.jpg

I don't understand the "pivot" thing.

Herb

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6 hours ago, HL said:

I don't understand the "pivot" thing.

Herb

Perhaps “pivot” is a poor term?

Grip lightly, squeeze to stop.  The handle moves around a fulcrum in your hand located either between the thumb and forefinger or against the base of the forefinger.  The other three fingers pull on the lower part of the handle as a lever driving it back to a stop against the heel of your hand.  Doing so is key to both distance and accuracy.  The degree of motion varies with the degree of casting arc needed.  Pictured below would be for a long cast. 

39F2AB93-0345-4F73-BA2A-5ED6FD1BCC27.jpeg

9A5B8069-0B3E-4643-8700-D0FC9CCEB4AE.jpeg

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Hey numbskull - you must be old'ern me.  Or at least as old.

I haven't seen that hand grip in 25 years.

I took casting lessons from Jack Montague who was with GLoomis at the time. He kept repositioning my casting hand from thumb on top to your grip.  he wanted me to center the rod grip in the webbing between my thumb and forefinger - like shown.

I never could get the hang of it - kept falling back to thumb on top - still do now.  But even now, I do try his/your grip.

Jack didn't do the "pivot" thing though.

I don't understand why one would do that - except to facilitate drifting. A caster can drift other ways. 

I think I'd be afraid I would lose the grip on the rod and fling it somewhere.

So, where did you learn that grip/style?

Herb

PS - I also took casting lessons from George Roberts much later.  he found fault with me lifting my thumb off the grip between forward and back casts. He would go apoplectic at your style.

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18 hours ago, numbskull said:

The grip should allow the rod to pivot as your hand opens and closes during a cast. 

A narrow base and forward (rather than midgrip) swell works well for me.  B in this picture look ideal.

six-powell-rods-web_1_orig.jpg

Lefty Kreh gave me casting lessons in the late 1970's, and I don't recall him saying anything about letting the rod pivot in my hand.

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Hi Herb.

I don't know who Montague is/was but I suspect he was trying to get you to use the V-grip (which I show above).  The pivot/pressure point is the base of the forefinger (not the web) with the rod stabilized on each side by the thumb and cocked forefinger.  It allows you to use your wrist more in a throwing motion than a chopping motion on the delivery cast.  You actually pull on the swell of the grip during translation (as you slide and drag the rod forward before beginning rotation) then snap the rod over by straightening your wrist and squeezing with the bottom three fingers.  Provided you have the trajectory right (i.e., you've not broken the 180 degree rule) the increase in tip speed is appreciable.

 

The same loosening and tightening of the grip to turnover the rod tip is used in accuracy work (typically with the thumb on top instead of a Vgrip) only the hand opens much, much less because a much smaller arc is used and there is no need for layback or slide.   I don't practice this much but when I do it is immediately obvious how much less arm motion is needed and how the small muscles of the hand can create more precise motions than the larger muscles of the arm (wrist and elbow).  

 

The other benefit of a loose grip that cradles the rod in your fingers is that tracking errors are immediately apparent.  If the rod gets off line your hand can't turn it over and the whole cast fails.....so you need to correct things rather than power thru with a death grip.

 

The grips I showed were designed 100years ago by E. Powell......who I think is acknowledged as one of the finest rod builders ever.  Seems there's a good chance he may have understood how the ergonomics of a grip can enhance a cast.....or do people think he was just winging it?       

 

PS Herb....... I don't know G Roberts either but  I suspect he would be OK with a V-Grip.   It is pretty common in distance casting.   The thumb exerts side pressure to keep the rod on the base of the forefinger joint.   For a thumb on top grip it needs to stay against the rod since it is the fulcrum your lower fingers pull against during rotation.  The thumb on top is also useful for stopping on the backcast, after which many distance guys will grip shift to a V grip for the forward delivery.

 

   Here is a picture of the grip used for accuracy by an excellent competitive caster/teacher from the SL site.   He uses the thumb and forefinger to create the pivot/fulcrum then pulls the rod into the heel of his hand with the lower fingers to create the stop.

 

 

B9BA8490-C641-4F96-8467-B1655A59F438.jpeg

Edited by numbskull

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3 hours ago, Tin Boat said:

Lefty Kreh gave me casting lessons in the late 1970's, and I don't recall him saying anything about letting the rod pivot in my hand.

Great.  You're all set then.  Thanks for sharing.

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

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Then there are Maniform grips.  A lot of guys, including some experts, swear by them.

I'd love to try one sometime. 

images.jpeg

Edited by numbskull

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