Six-piece fly rods have been immensely popular the last years, and you may have noticed that we have a large selection of 6-piece double hand fly rods like the NT8, LPX Chrome and Elevation T-Pac. Of course they are great for travel, but Guideline product manager Leif Stävmo also has a theory on the added action qualities of 6-piece fly rods that’s been sticking with him for a long time. Leif take us back 20 years in time when the classic 3-piece LeCie double hand rods were designed and a unison group of dedicated salmon anglers took these rods to their hearts. Words by Guideline Product manager Leif Stävmo. Images by Alvaro G. Santillan & Henrik Larsson.
You may wonder what is actually the difference and why are we doing both four and six piece models? Well, first of all, and the most obvious of them is the travel friendliness of a six piece rod. The fact that you can actually pack them in a big roller bag or duffle bag is really a big advantage today when both costs and and the risk of losing your gear are much, much higher if you have to place them in a separate luggage. Very often I hear arguments against six piece rods, because I think there is an old misconception about 6 pc rods being pretty heavy because of all the extra ferrules which actually there’s only two. And because they also should have a tendency to be slow, heavy, not as crisp and fast as a four piece rods. That probably was the case if you go back 15-20 years in time. But the technology and ferrule manufacturing today and also in the new materials that we are using has really improved this six piece version of a rod very, very much.
I must say to be honest today, I think several of my absolute favorite rods are six piece rods. And it’s for no other reason than that I think that they perform just fantastic to me when I am casting and fishing. I’ve sort of been giving it a lot of thought to what it is that sometimes makes a six piece rod to me feel better in the hand than a four piece rod does, because I tried to design the same rod length and the same line weight rod equal, no matter how many parts. And yet sometimes and quite often I find that there’s something in the six piece rod that actually just gives that rod a slight edge over the four piece, and I can’t really point my finger and say – This is the reason. I can put those rods on my wall when I design them, I load them up with weights, I compare curves and they are often extremely similar or dead similar. Yet when I cast them, there is a slight feeling of difference between them, and very often to advantage of the rod with 6 pieces.
The one theory that I’ve sort of come up with goes back to the early 2000´s when we were creating our range of LeCie rods. In those days the LeCie range were state of the art rods and series that was very, very sophisticated for its time, and it was made as a three piece range, which was very common in those days for double hand rods. But those rods had something special in the top third of the blank, that means the tip section of the rod, because that part would be long and uninterrupted from any kind of ferrules. And the day we actually transform those three piece rods into four piece models, we were forced to put one ferrule in that vital part of the tip section and ´interrupt´ the action that we had in those three piece sections before.
And I remember we used to get comments from guys that were very initiated and very good and skilled both anglers and casters commenting on that, that they felt that there was a little bit of something missing in the upper third of the rod. And in those delicate tip sections of the rods, I think we actually stiffened a very critical section of that tip by actually adding a ferrule to it. Now the interesting thing is that when we do a six piece rod, actually, the second ferrule of the tip section will be in exactly the same spot as where the first ferrule on the three piece rod would have been. And I don’t know if that plays a role and that actually that joint is being placed back in a position that actually suits the action of rods very well. And that the first ferrule of the six piece rod then comes in a position that doesn’t really put so much negative effect on the curve of the blank.
But anyway, I get a feeling that I’m sort of more back to the feel of a three piece rod in the six piece rods than I am when I’m using a four piece rod personal. But that’s a theory that’s been sticking with me that I I just can’t let go of it. With all this said obviously 4 pc rods are fantastic and if you are traveling by car and you are not really flying abroad for fishing, well by all means there is nothing that is going to be any negative by getting a 4 pc version. You have a fewer ferrules to control and making sure that they are stuck well to the rod after several hours of fishing and a couple of less joints when you actually assemble the rod as well. But all in all, it’s really good that we can offer both four and six piece models, because I think there are different preferences all over and by doing both options, I hope that we can actually fulfill the needs of most anglers out there.
If you prefer to listen to Leif please check video below on the topic.
Below links to the different ranges of Guideline six-piece fly rods, both double hand hand switch rods.
Guideline NT8 DH 6-piece fly rods – https://www.guidelineflyfish.com/nt8/102928/nt8-6-6pc-double-hand-rods
Guideline LPX Chrome DH 6-piece fly rods – https://www.guidelineflyfish.com/lpx-chrome/106473/lpx-chrome-6-pc-double-hand
Guideline Elevation DH 6-piece fly rods – https://www.guidelineflyfish.com/elevation-t-pac/105830/elevation-t-pac-double-hand-rods
Guideline Elevation SW 6-piece fly rods – https://www.guidelineflyfish.com/elevation-t-pac/105835/elevation-t-pac-switch-rods
Words by Guideline Product manager Leif Stävmo.
Images by Alvaro G. Santillan & Henrik Larsson.