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Splitcane fishing rods

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Splitcane fishing rods

Post by Bob on Thu May 02, 2013 1:44 pm

How many of you use Splitcane rods ?

I don't use them for everything, but in the right places and right conditions I use them for all sorts of fishing.

I like the feel of playing fish on splitcane, I like the look of the rods and I find I play fish better ( softer ) when using my cane rods.

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Re: Splitcane fishing rods

Post by Stoney on Thu May 02, 2013 5:49 pm

Does that include using cat-gut as line ?

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Re: Splitcane fishing rods

Post by Bob on Fri May 03, 2013 7:27 am

stoney

No mate, I use Platil Strong !!

Just got a couple of Cane Carp rods, can't wait to try them out on the 16th June Very Happy

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Re: Splitcane fishing rods

Post by Stoney on Fri May 03, 2013 7:07 pm

Platil Strong, been a few years since i heard that name, i take it you bought a job lot of it.

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Re: Splitcane fishing rods

Post by Bob on Sat May 04, 2013 6:04 pm

Blimey Allan, you must be older than I thought ?

Laughing

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Re: Splitcane fishing rods

Post by Bob on Sat May 04, 2013 6:11 pm

Jack Hilton Hooks, Platil Strong, J B Walker Kit Rods, Ambidex 4, Heron Bite Alarm with Ring of Silver Paper, Long, long rod rests, light leads and balanced crust !!

And that was last year Very Happy

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Re: Splitcane fishing rods

Post by gloucesteroldspot on Wed May 15, 2013 5:41 pm

Nothing wrong with a nice bit of cane in the right circumstances. I wouldn't use it for long range work, or for casting heavy leads (I know without question that a split cane rod could be made that would do both superbly, though it would be very heavy compared to a carbon equivalent) but for close range - say up to forty yards - carping on nice old estate lakes I prefer to use my Constable Forty Fore (sic) and Southwell MkIV Plus - or, for smaller carp, a nice old J.B.Walker kit-built MkIV Avon - to the more modern stuff.

Intriguingly, extended experimentation on three classic Leney carp waters has proved beyond simplistic explanation that the cane is more likely to get a run than the carbon. I'm still trying to work out why, though I have several theories. Conversely, put me on a gravel pit and it's carbon rods and baitrunners all the way. I also take the middle ground sometimes and use a pair of glass carp rods, which bridge the gap nicely between the canes and the carbons.

Same with fly fishing; I have a couple of old Hardys and two modern split cane fly rods I assembled myself from Chapmans cane, which are lovely on the streams, rivers and small stillwaters I fish, but if I go to Bewl I find the old Knockabout rather heavy going compared to a carbon reservoir rod (though it's still quite capable of throwing a number eight shooting head thirty plus yards).

On the rivers I vacillate between using modern(ish) rods if I'm feeling efficient, or something like a Wallis Wizard or Chapman Hunter if I'm feeling artistic. I don't pretend to understand why, as I suspect it all depends on mood, the smell of the wind and the pattern of the clouds, but nowadays I don't worry about it - I just grab what feels right and go with the flow.

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Re: Splitcane fishing rods

Post by Bob on Thu May 16, 2013 7:33 am

GOS,
I was told many years ago that lots of the J B Walker cane was made by Southwell, do you know it this was correct ?

I still use my J. B. Walker MkV1 Carp rod ( circa 1961) and think it's the best bit of cane I own !!

Next to that I like the Chapman Kennet Perfection and the J B Walker Avon Trotter ( I picked up a Splitcane butt Section at Chapmans a few years ago) which give it a bit more backbone.

As you know I fish an estate lake and have caught carp up to 30lbs on the Cane, but always feel the Carbon on the Lily infested jungle gives me a better chance of landing a Big Carp.

I have just got hold of a pair of Chapman copies of the Chapman 550s, powerful carp rods which should stand a better chance of landing Big Carp from the water.

Matched to my ABU C5s, I'm looking forward to June 16th !!

As for Cane rods on Estate Waters, there is a edge, but for the life of me I can't think what it is ?

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Re: Splitcane fishing rods

Post by gloucesteroldspot on Thu May 16, 2013 9:05 am

Bob - I have one theory that may have some basis in fact. It is that the carp in such waters respond more favourably to a softly softly approach - and cane rods more or less force you to fish this way. If you restrict your activities to the use of lighter terminal set ups fished at modest range you cause less disturbance. I don't say that modern tackle stops you fishing delicately, only that cane makes you do so. Also, I think estate lake carp have softer mouths, which means you can get hook pulls with stiffer rods - I certainly land a higher proportion of hooked carp on cane in such places.

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Re: Splitcane fishing rods

Post by Bob on Thu May 30, 2013 5:34 am

GOS

I had a trip out with the my new cane rods last week to a club water which holds lots of carp to upper doubles.

I used a couple of ABU reels, matched to 10lb line and caught some nice carp, as you say the trick is in the playing, you can't "Bully" carp hooked on cane rods.

You have to play them softly or you will be repairing cane rods.

Funnily enough I have recently seen some cane rods that mimic modern carbon rods, being built on powerful splitcane blanks.

But somehow they seem to defeat the object of using Splitcane is they react like carbon ?

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Re: Splitcane fishing rods

Post by Guest on Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:57 am

something I found with split cane rods in heavier test curves - ie salmon spinning rods was that the shorter rods at 10' would land a fish far more quickly than  similar rods in glass/carbon

older anglers often use the word 'steel' when describing the playing action of split cane rods

i'll not bore folk on here but I spent nearly 10 years as a pro salmon angler/guide/fishery proprietor on the river Tay

as such I tried/used just about every salmon rod ever invented inc 17' greenheart fly rods with silk lines!

the guys who used these must have eaten their porridge!

until the advent of fibreglass THE rod for heavy salmon spinning was the Hardy LRH

when fibreglass came along Hardy tried to replicate this rod and the result was the No2 spinning rod - honey coloured blank made at Alnwick

they also made the No1 which was a lighter model more for summer conditions on smaller rivers

at the same time the first Richard Walker fibreglass carp rods were introduced so there was 'cross sharing' of knowledge - Walker admitted he was a xxxx salmon angler and hated salmon!

these rods were later modified and the 'black' version introduced - inferior is the only word

then the carbon versions which were even worse - sure they met the requirements of the 'wealthy' salmon angler who wanted to have the 'best' - that's the nicest thing I can say!

I was fortunate to have a couple of the original No2 rods - when I set up my business I asked Andy Murray at Hardy's if these rods could still be made?

amazingly Hardy keep the mandrels of every 'tubular' rod ever produced - so I had a batch of 50 blanks made

built by John Hutchinson but using modern Fuji reel seats/rings

every rod was sold before I even received it - 90% going to Tay ghillies

I then developed my own specialist 13' Tay shrimp rod - basically a 12' 2.5tc carbon carp rod blank cut and extended with 'dural' (alloy butt to increase length and stiffness)

the difference to the carp rod was that I had the blank left 'in raw carbon (ie not ground which softens a rods action but makes it cosmetically nice)

anyway - food for thought

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Re: Splitcane fishing rods

Post by gloucesteroldspot on Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:53 pm

Cane certainly does seem to master a fish that bit more efficiently, within certain limits. For example, I doubt a split cane shark rod would be more efficient in practice than a carbon equivalent, due to the weight of the thing working against the angler - even though the brute force potential would remain greater.

You see alot of this sort of debate on forums and on the bank (or in the pub) - one faction swearing that carbon is superior, the other extolling the virtues of cane. I think most of them miss the point - or perhaps become sidetracked by emotive considerations that have no bearing on the original matter.

In truth, a fishing rod is always a compromise tool. It serves just three practical functions (there are others that may influence your choice, but these are subjective and usually revolve around styling, fashion and status). The first is presentation - the practical consdierations of getting your bait (or fly or lure) to the fish. Many people - particularly instant carpers - think this means casting, but in fact there's more to it than that, though perhaps they are correct when it comes to modern carping, which is the least demanding aspect of angling as far as dexterity goes. You cast out, put the rod in a rest and wait for a run. In other forms of fishing you manipulate the bait into position - trotting, rolling leger, spinning, fly fishing - all methods that require constant adjustment of the rod. Now, the more you hold the rod, the more conscious you become of the weight, which is one argument in favour of carbon. Casting and speed of strike are also better with carbon than cane, so it would appear that carbon is better.

Next comes hooking the fish when it takes the bait. We know carbon is quicker to react than cane, but this isn't the end of it. Transmitted power is also important, as anyone who has ever tried to set a biggish hook at range with a conventional soft-tipped match rod will testify. Take two identical rods - say eleven foot two piece avons with test curves of 1.25lb - one in carbon, the other in split cane, rig up a reel and line to each and tie the end to a spring balance. Try striking each with the same force and measure the impact at the hook end. The extra weight in the cane rod creates additional momentum - the same thing that makes it fractionally slower to react in the first place. (This weight also aids a particular kind of cast - one where the power of the rod is disproportionate to the weight of terminal tackle. Try casting a freelined crust with a carbon rod ten feet long and 1.5lb test, then compare results with a similar cane rod).

The third consderation is playing the hooked fish. This is where any rod really does represent a compromise; you'd be able to apply more pressure to a hooked fish with a handline than any kind of rod, as the rod acts as a lever and works against you - a one pound pull from the fish at the end of a ten foot lever equates to a ten pound pull at your hand. Put teh other way around, you have to apply ten times the force to create the same effect at the rod tip - assuming the rod was infinitely stiff, which of course it isn't, but the principles still apply. A twelve foot rod with a fast tip action may only deflect over the top three or four feet, leaving you holding the wrong end of an eight foot lever. Wherever th erod stops bending (it never does completely, but to all practical intents there is an identifiable point on any rod where the 'action' curve stops, and it's further up a tip-actioned rod than a through actioned rod. You could call this the rod's effective length. You need this length to help with casting and striking, where the lever effect works for you, but not for playing, where it works against you.

Taking the above into consideration, it's fair to say that for light float fishing with fine lines and small hooks for quick biting fish, the best rod will be a long, light carbon rod, as the advantages are all there, and the material confers no real disadvantages. The same rod would struggle to strike a size 6 hook into a barbel or chub because the soft tip cushions the force of the strike and the lack of tip weight prevents any real momentum developing. For this sort of fishing you need a rod with a stiffer tip, but if it is too stiff throughout it will be horrid to play a fish on and not much use for casting light baits either. Now with a cane rod...

That's enough waffle. I think you get the picture. We don't have to choose between carbon or cane - we can use both. Recognise that both have their place and use whtever is most appropriate. There's no need to take sides; indeed, by restricting yourself to one or the other you will always be compromising somewhere.

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Re: Splitcane fishing rods

Post by Guest on Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:49 am

thanks GOS - great comments

so now lets look at the carbon hexagraph rods?

xxxx Walker did early designs/tests with Hardy's - I've seen the prototypes as they are still in the factory/museum

the conclusion was that they offered nothing compared with cane or carbon - so they were never produced

Bruce and Walker then launched the hexagraph range - because there was no conflict of interest with my Hardy 'relationship' I had one of the very first 15' Universal salmon fly rods

what a disappointment - it frankly did nothing well

ok, it looked 'nice' if you wanted a 'retro cane look' - and at the same time as this rod was introduced Bruce and Walker had one of the biggest selling salmon fly rods - the 15' Walker model

there were at the time some 'internal' politics at Bruce and Walker - Arthur Oglesby and Hugh Falkus!

now Hugh was a friend of mine - a better/more knowledgeable salmon/sea trout angler you would never meet!

for some reason I've still not reconciled Hugh decided to support the Hexagraphs and put his 'name' to a range of rods?

Arthur took a step back and stuck with the tubular designs

sadly the Hexagraph fly rods inc Hugh's range were a failure - end of story

at the same time Bruce and Walker were developing a range of 'coarse' rods in Hexagraph - I don't know much about that design/consultancy process so cannot comment?

go forward at least 10/15 years and I bought two Hexagraph carp rods - the 12'6" models -2.5tc

not what i'd ever looked at buying but i had a pair of early Hardy Euorocarp rods that a guy wanted and so did a straight swap just out of interest

I've used these rods a fair bit and had fish to about 28lb

they have a lovely 'playing action' but the 2.5tc is vastly underrated - i'd suggest they are 'equivalent' to about 3.5tc

I did a review of these rods some time ago so will not go over old ground - but I have noticed that compared to my 'normal' 3.5tc Infinity  X's they are more accurate when casting?

I've seem that these rods are now £999 in standard build!!!

are they worth that? - absolutely no way

BUT

they are a talking point on the bank

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Re: Splitcane fishing rods

Post by gloucesteroldspot on Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:00 pm

I've not used a Hexagraph so cannot comment, but in theory they ought to be the best of both worlds - as long as you bear in mind the pros and cons of tubular carbon fibre versus split cane. In other words, I don't see that a Hexagraph rod will perform better than a tubular carbon job in those applications where the carbon is better than cane, but where cane has the advantage there may be some merit in obtaining similar characteristics.

Test curve ratings are notoriously flexible! It is quite noticeable how the manufacturer's have manipulated their stated TCs in carbon carp rods over the last twenty years or so. I have a pair of 12' Tri-Cast Ultralights rated at 2.25lb and a pair of Fox rods in 12' 2.25lb. There's no comparison! A five pound carp will bend the Fox rods double and they cannot cope with a hard cast using a lead of more than 1.5oz without collapsing, whereas the Tricasts are comparable to a modern set of Harrisons in 3lb test. I used to have some original AKN12S carp rods (2.25lb rating) which were also much more powerful than most modern 2.75s, and a pair of AKN12Hs which were real broom handles.

As the fashion for heavier and heavier TC rods developed (I think it's a macho thing - my rods are more powerful than yours!) the makers realised that a rod that retained a degree of softness for playing a fish was more highly regarded than one which barely flexed at all. They got round this by selling 2.5lb test (true-rating) rods marked up as 3.25lb test; most carp anglers wouldn't know how to measure the test curve anyway (even supposing it could be assessed with any degree of precision, which it can't) so they swallow the marketing. Stick some ludicrously over-sized rings on it and they'll be happy enough.

A common miscinception seems to be that the more powerful a rod is, the further it will cast and the more pressure it will apply to a hooked fish. This is nonsense; there's a law of diminishing returns at work here. I've already touched on leverage so we won't go there again, but there's other factors involved. If you compare rods by clamping them in a machine and measuring forces, you can kid anyone that the stiffer rod is better for casting/playing, but in a practical situation the rod is just part of a unit. In casting, the rod must work with the caster - whose strength will ultimately be the limiting factor, not the power of the rod. In playing a fish, the rod works against the angler if it is too stiff, and if the line is strong the hookhold (or the carp's tissue) becomes the weak link in the chain - hence mouth damage caused by idiots with over-powerful rods skull-dragging carp through snags.

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Re: Splitcane fishing rods

Post by Bob on Fri Jun 14, 2013 5:04 pm

I had a discussion  with a very famous angler who knew a bit about splitcane, who reckoned it was the lengthening and compression of the cells within the splitcane that gave it the Feel (Steel).

Who am I to argue !!

I do know that I tend to hold the rod up the blank when playing a fish on cane and know when I can't give it any more ?

Whereas on Carbon it's likely that the hook will pull or the line breaks.

Having used everything from Greenheart, to Tank aerials, Apollo Taperflashes, Splitcane, Glassfibre and carbon, there seems to be a new type of angler using cane, it's the "New Cane Cult".

The fibretube blanks had a different feel, I really liked those blanks.

As for Hexagraphs, I only wish I had bought one when they were cheaper, but that goes for a Barder Rod and a Witcher Aerial:)Smile

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Re: Splitcane fishing rods

Post by Guest on Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:27 am

interesting post Bob - thanks

the idea that the 'cell' structure of cane gives it the 'steel' seems very logical

tank aerials - yes, had a spinning rod made from one - actually was a good rod

Fibatube blanks were superb - had fly rods to carp rods

don't worry about not having a Hexagraph - i'd not buy the carp rods again

don't know if the 'trotter'/barbel rods are any better?

I also bought a 2lb tc Hexagraph new and unused from a guy who inherited it from a relative - paid £100 and sold it  for £400+

truth be told at £100 I felt guilty and offered the guy more but he refused saying 'that's the price'!

talking of 'cane' rods - do you remember the 'combination' sets that used to be sold in a wooden case?

every option from a 'pier rod' to a 'match rod'?

there is in my opinion one area where cane rods excel - that's light line dry fly fishing - nothing comes close - the crisp action enables superb presention

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Re: Splitcane fishing rods

Post by Bob on Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:52 am

nick,

I think that is the " Big " market for splitcane rods now, I know it's the biggest market for Chapmans, as most of their blanks go to America.

But they still make wonderful Coarse fishing blanks.

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Re: Splitcane fishing rods

Post by Guest on Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:59 am

Bob

on my dry fly outfit I use an old silk line - ok it will not cast large distances but the presentation is superb - it settles on the water without a ripple!

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Re: Splitcane fishing rods

Post by Tigger on Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:17 pm

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I tackled up and baited with a small smelt about two feet under a cork float, dropped it in the water at a rods length in order to hook some line on my left hand to do an underhand cast then couldn't find my float. Missed that take but dropped it back in the same spot with this result. It was with this S/C pike rodthat I caunght my first pike.
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