Rod Materials

JHJ32883

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 4, 2008
165
17
San Diego, CA USA
Name
Jay
Boat
N/A
Hoping you guys can school me on rod materials and their characteristics. Basically all I know is a "glass" is supposed to be slower in action (more flexible/whip like) and graphite is supposed to be faster in action and more "stiff". I think I know what that means, but my only personal experience is when I had Calstar 100J's (BWC and WC models) they felt very noodle like and "whippy". I also had a custom Seeker Ulua blank built (black blank) that I loved and it was much stiffer (for throwing irons and poppers).

When looking at the new rods, I am totally lost.

There is glass, e-glass, s-glass, fiberglass, carbon, graphite, graphite composite, carbon composite, etc. etc.

What do the various materials equate to as far as characteristics?
 

plj46

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jan 7, 2008
8,364
10,757
Socal
Name
john
Boat
24 ft grady white
Yes it's confusing isn't it ? I think carbon and graphite are basically the same thing ? Composite is both E glass and graphite.I've steered away from all this fancy stuff for the typical E glass rods.I like the feel and durability of them.For lighter stuff from 10 to 20 lb. line i still like the graphite rods.The different characteristics would be sensitivity,something you don't need when fishing heavier lines.Somebody correct me if i'm wrong about the carbon/graphite thing.
 

Mike M

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 2, 2007
235
150
Rancho Palos Verdes
Name
Mike
Boat
.
I think action depends on both materials and rod taper. I have a GX8 which is very parabolic.

The only general thing I can think of is that glass is heavier than carbon/graphite.

Switching my yo-yo setup from a 4/0 and glass rod (50 special) to a Trevala and small 2-speed made a big difference. The fish didn't care, but it was way easier on my shoulders!
 

mike garrahan

TheSabreGuy
Sep 7, 2007
1,999
2,073
la habra hts
Name
mike garrahan
Boat
23 ft. crestliner
I'm not an expert but I can give you the basics. Most rods today are made of fiberglass, graphite or a combination of the two. There are two types of fiberglass that are commonly used, E glass and S glass. The S glass is lighter and stronger than E glass but it is more expensive. Graphite is stronger than fiberglass but it is not as flexible.
The strength of a rod is determined by the shape of the rod, ie butt and tip diameter and the number of layers of glass or graphite in each area of the rod. You can make a very strong rod out of E glass but is is going to be very heavy. A lot of the rods made today are graphite/fiberglass composites. They have graphite in the butt area for strength and lightness and fiberglass in the upper end for flexibility.
The action of a rod is based on where most of the bending action takes place. If most of the bend is in the top 1/4 or so then it is a fast action. If the bend goes back to the top 1/3 or top 1/2 then it is a slower action rod. Most fast action rods have fiberglass in the tip because it will bend more than graphite. You can have a very fast action rod that is all glass or glass and graphite composite. Most all graphite rods will have a slower action than glass or composite rods but usually they are lighter and have a smaller diameter than a similar strength glass or composite rod.
It is a little more complicated than that but that is the basic story. A lot just depends of what type of rod and action you prefer. Some people like the feel of the old school all fiberglass rods like the Trulines and original Sabre rods. Other people like the weight and action of the composite rods like the Calstar Grafighters and the SuperSeekers. Others like the feel of the all graphite rods. They all catch fish and it just comes down to what feels right for you.
 
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RideHPD

Enthusiastic Idiot Rookie
Aug 14, 2016
1,481
1,141
29
Del Mar/Marina Del Rey, CA
Name
Eric Marin
Boat
10' Model T
E and S glass are different grades of fiberglass, S being stronger but they have the same stiffness so regarding rod action anything glass is the same. Carbon and graphite are used interchangably in marketing and description, but are not the same thing, carbon fiber is what it should be called. Even more infuriatingly, today using both carbon and glass fibers are called composite rods, when the term is used more broadly to describe materials made from fiber and resin like epoxy. So really, an all fiberglass rod or an all carbon fiber rod is a composite, and a rod using glass and carbon fiber reinforcement is better termed a hybrid composite for using two types of reinforcement.

As far as action goes glass is usually slower/softer and carbon is faster/stiffer as carbon is a much stiffer material than fiberglass, but it all depends on how the material is arranged in the rod blank.
 

effigy

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 18, 2007
864
661
Oregon
Name
Mark
Boat
Which one? Too many....
From Mark at Charkbait, re UC. This is worth watching:


 

JHJ32883

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 4, 2008
165
17
San Diego, CA USA
Name
Jay
Boat
N/A
Appreciate all the info and extra materials.

Now, I was hoping you guys could expand on the use of a faster action vs a slower action (or graphite vs glass, etc).

Going back to my jigstick example I believe the common sentiment is to use glass to throw iron (more whip like, super slow action) and graphite (stiffer/faster action) as you could allow the glass rod to do the work for you and you won't tire out. However, I personally preferred the faster action/stiffer rod of my ulua vs my 100J (please correct me if I should ignore feel and go with the glass rod anyways)

Is there a common sentiment/wisdom for live bait rods or rail rods? I guess what I'm asking is, which material (Glass, Graphite or Composite) performs better for:
  1. Live bait
  2. throwing jigs
  3. yo yo/flat fall fishing
  4. rail rods
  5. jigging (fast pitch/slow pitch/long fall)
  6. throwing popperss/stick baits
  7. throwing
and why?

Thanks
 

Noms

Dirty taco maker
Aug 12, 2017
119
48
San Diego
Name
Angel
Boat
15 foot tin can
Appreciate all the info and extra materials.

Now, I was hoping you guys could expand on the use of a faster action vs a slower action (or graphite vs glass, etc).

Going back to my jigstick example I believe the common sentiment is to use glass to throw iron (more whip like, super slow action) and graphite (stiffer/faster action) as you could allow the glass rod to do the work for you and you won't tire out. However, I personally preferred the faster action/stiffer rod of my ulua vs my 100J (please correct me if I should ignore feel and go with the glass rod anyways)

Is there a common sentiment/wisdom for live bait rods or rail rods? I guess what I'm asking is, which material (Glass, Graphite or Composite) performs better for:
  1. Live bait
  2. throwing jigs
  3. yo yo/flat fall fishing
  4. rail rods
  5. jigging (fast pitch/slow pitch/long fall)
  6. throwing popperss/stick baits
  7. throwing
and why?

Thanks
I honestly believe that days of hybrid blends ruling is coming. If not here already. All glass will aways have a place tho.