If you see something you like, get two. I have gone by that in fly reels, pocket knives, boots, waders, outdoor clothing, shotguns, and even automobiles for 35 or 40 years and find it to be a good policy. So this is a great discussion to look over.
For some reason, I never applied the policy to fly rods, except for duplicates of various beater rods that were back-ups and loaners. I have never needed the duplicates myself, but just recently two fishing partners have needed knockabout graphite 6 weights and I had just the thing to give them. So we have joint ownership of duplicates we need, but not that much.
Variant form duplicates are good; I have that in my first generation System 5 graphites, but that was by accident and they aren't that special. I like the variant form dups described by some above--same blank in different dress and label. I should have duplicated my 6/7 weight Fisher, but I was lucky to get one blank like that 25 years ago. Same for the Fisher 5 weight I was lucky enough to come by more recently. Won't search for duplicates but would grab one if it came to me, which sometimes happens with rods if you don't look for them but keep your eyes open. That's why I have a ringer for a System 5 I built on an unlabled 'glass blank I ran across. Just recently I ran across a mint System 5 at a bargain price and snatched it right up. So those are near duplicates. But I don't fish that type of rod very often and could fish happily without either one, as I did for 25 years.
There is a pragmatic reason for duplicates in some cases. If you fish from a boat or canoe, it is often handy to have two or three rods all set up except with different flies so you can capitalize rapidly on a changed circumstance. If you just love one 6 weight river rod, for example, one would be rigged with a dry fly, one with a nymph, and another with an emerger, each, lets say, imitating the same insect in its different forms. I recall a great post by someone here who does that with his favorite Fenwick FF806s. A man could have two or three 6 weights, slightly different, and do the same thing, but if he really favors one in particular, it makes sense to have multiples of the favorite and use them all. This is the strategy I would commend to Dylan so as to be less at risk of banishment as Donny joked.
So that plan is to have dups to use, not one to stash away just in case of breakage, mindful that some favorite 'glass rods are not at all easy to replace. If you want duplicates, it would be best to get them almost simultaneously, especially with rare or small production current rods that promise to be special, like the Morgans or Kinneys.
Otherwise, being supertitious, this could be why I am reluctant to phase in a duplicate spare of any favorite 'glass rod. My experience with duplicate spare parts--for automobiles or fly reels, for instance--is that if you don't have them you never need them, but if you get them, you do. I have lots of spare parts for one of my favorite autos that I had duplicates of for about 20 years. Sure enough, I usually needed the parts, but I had so many spare parts that now I still have some of them and not even the cars to need them for. So having the spare parts just promoted needing another spare car. And whenever I went for three of them, I was very soon back to two.
So I lean toward this paradox as to my favorite 'glass rods. If I got serious about dup spares of my Fishers, this curse of the spares would probably put me right back to one anyhow, or even none.
Last edited by whrlpool on 28 Jun 2012, 11:01, edited 1 time in total.