How Graphite Fishing Rod Blanks Are Made

Fishing rod blanks are made of a carbon fibers composite or prepregs (= pre-impregnated) produced by the chemical industry with a long and costly procedure. The vast majority of carbon composites are not used to make fishing rods but have endless applications in larger sectors of the industrial world like the automobile and aerospace industry.

A composite is basically a material made of two or more different materials. In a carbon composite the carbon fibers are reinforced in a polymer matrix (e.g. polyester or epoxy).

But, first of all, is the raw material made out of carbon or graphite? Can we say graphite or carbon blanks? Answer: actually we can say both. We can say carbon thinking of the atoms, the “material” at the base of the “stuff” we hold in our hands, and we can say graphite as well thinking of the molecule and thus the structure that the carbon atoms have.

So, in a carbon fiber composite, the raw material, the “carbon” is in its graphite form: hexagonal rings bond together in a ribbon structure (yes, not exactly in a plane like in the graphite of a pencil). The structure is very flexible, resistant to stretching, strong, and light. Perfect to make a fishing rod!

A fishing rod company which makes their own blanks must know which composite to order since the prepregs can differ in purpose, composition or fiber type, orientation, resin content, and weight per square meter.

Sometimes, along with carbon fibers other fibers like glass-fibers, boron or ceramic are mixed together to form different layers And a fishing rod blank manufacturer can often use three or four different prepregs at the same time, each for a different section of the rod.

Now, there are many types of carbon fibers: IM6, M8, M55, M40, M40J, M46J, T300, HR40, and more. Each have their own properties: which are the modulus and the strength. Good fishing rods have generally speaking a high modulus, a high strength, and intermediate percentage of fibers.

Modulus is the ratio (expressed in millions of psi, “pounds per square inch”, a measure of a force on an area) between stiffness and weight of the graphite blank. The higher the modulus, the more energy the rod can store and release. The energy is a way of saying the speed and the power of the rod. Think of a swimmer on a diving board and try to imagine to variate the properties of the jumping board and you will see what it is. The higher the modulus, the more expensive is the blank and also more brittle the blank after an impact. Some also like to say that modulus is the resistance to flex. The higher the modulus, the more expensive is the blank and also more brittle the blank after an impact.

As a consequences, if you are new at building custom rods, stay away from top modulus blanks and rather use a mid-range modulus.

Now, let’s go back to the carbon composite and let’s say you are a fishing rod manufacturer and are going to make a blank. When it arrives, it is tough but “floppy” it. To transform it into a fishing rod, you need to do three things: design its shape, apply heat and pressure, cool it down and finish it.

A lengthy, sophisticated process which requires machineries which the average hobbyist cannot afford. But anyone can buy rod blanks of the same quality of their brand names today directly from the manufacturers themselves or their wholesaler.

Bamboo rod makers, on the contrary, can make their own rod from the raw material, “tonkin” cane, keeping control of all the elaborate process at every stage, especially when it comes to design the taper and so the action of the rod.

Tonkin cane is actually bamboo of the Pseudosasa Amabilis species and the best quality comes from bamboo plantation in the South West China.

So, you only need to find a bamboo broker, or importer to start making your own bamboo rod. An enthralling experience which is witnessing a Renaissance today.


Trout Fishing Hooks – The Two Most Effective Types of Fishing Hooks For Trout Fishing

Many anglers tend to think that fishing for trout is just like fishing for any other species of fish, but the truth is to be a successful trout fisherman you need to adhere to some very specific rules and principals. For example the type of hooks that are used when fishing for trout is extremely important. Certain styles of hooks are much more effective than others when it comes to trout fishing.

Before I outline the types of hooks themselves, it’s important to point out that whatever style of fishing hook you choose to employ when fishing for trout, the most important factor is that your hooks are small. Many anglers make the mistake of using fishing hooks that are much too large when fishing for trout. When fishing for trout, your fishing hooks should almost never be larger than size 6, with sizes 8 through 12 being ideal. Always make sure that your fishing hooks are as small as possible when fishing for trout.

With that being said, let’s get down to business, shall we? These two types of fishing hooks are the most effective when it comes to trout fishing.

  1. Treble Hooks – Treble hooks are most effective for trout when fishing for trout in a lake or pond while using floating trout bait. Many trout fisherman fish for stocked trout in lakes or ponds and an excellent trout bait to use when fishing for stocked trout in lakes or ponds is floating trout bait such as Powerbait. Treble hooks are a great way to fish with floating trout bait. Many angler use treble hooks as small as #14 and #16, which are quite small, but also quite effective. It’s best to use tiny treble hooks such as size 14 and 16 when you are fishing for trout that you intend to keep because of the fact that the trout tend to swallow the hook when they are this small. Simply cover the entire hook with your trout bait and set up a basic bottom fishing rig for the best success. If you want to release your trout unharmed size #10 and #12 treble hooks should be employed.
  2. Ganged Hooks – Ganged hooks are simply a pair of small fishing hooks tied in tandem, that enable live bait such as live worms to be presented in a completely realistic and natural manner. These trout fishing hooks are especially effective when fishing for trout in a river while wading and using live worms as bait. If nightcrawlers are the live worms being used, it is necessary to pinch them in half for the most realistic presentation. The second half of the nightcrawler can then be used when the first half is gone. This also effectively doubles the amount of bait you have, which is never a bad thing. When it comes to fishing for trout in rivers (especially when live worms are the trout bait) ganged hooks are an excellent choice when it comes to trout fishing hooks.

The bottom line is that these two types of fishing hooks are the most effective when it comes to trout fishing. Mix in the use of light line and ultralight gear and you will be well on your way to being a very successful trout fisherman.