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Post 16 Nov 2020, 08:20 • #1 
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I have recently noticed that my 7'6'' 4 wt. T&T Heirloom, which I bought nearly a decade ago (the one with bright paprika wrappings), is in fact 7'3'' in length. I compared it against a 7'6'' 4 wt. T&T Heirloom and mine stands out - it is actually lighter and has an overall better, more sweet action. All parts of the rod are even, both the rod sock and tube match its length and I bought it from an authorized dealer. I have a strong suspicion that they may have, by mistake, sold me one of the prototypes of this rod.

Was I the only one to purchase such a rod? Do any of you own a 7'6'' 4wt T&T Heirloom, that is actually 7'3'' in length?


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Post 16 Nov 2020, 08:29 • #2 
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Whoa! 3" short is way beyond normal margin of error. Out of curiosity, you should contact T&T, give them the serial number, and talk to them about it because they may have an explanation. Maybe they'll send you a free 7'6" rod :)


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Post 16 Nov 2020, 09:39 • #3 
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Interesting. I just checked mine. I have that rod in dead mint condition. Serial #2136. It's a three piece rod and when put together it measures 7' 51/2 "s. That is tip top to butt. FWIW.


Last edited by Hellmtflies on 17 Nov 2020, 10:00, edited 1 time in total.

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Post 16 Nov 2020, 14:41 • #4 
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tiptop wrote:
Out of curiosity, you should contact T&T, give them the serial number, and talk to them about it because they may have an explanation.


I did. We exchanged a few emails, they were very nice. Their customer service is really good. I did not, however, learn anything about my rod other than the fact that they were as surprised as I was.

Hellmtflies wrote:
Interesting. I just checked mine. I have that rod in dead mint condition. Serial #2136. It's a three piece rod and when put together it measures 7' 51/2 "s. That is tip top to butt.


Mine is exactly 7'3''. The Heirloom I compared it to was also slightly below 7'6''.


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Post 16 Nov 2020, 18:39 • #5 
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Pablo,

It sounds like you have a special rod. Pictures would be great.


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Post 17 Nov 2020, 06:57 • #6 
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An interesting story: A few years ago I was comparing "new" rods with a friend. Mine was a 7'6" that I had built and his was a vintage 2 piece Winston glass 7'6" - a fairly valuable rod. We noticed that his was 3" shorter than mine. Both sections were the same length and there were no signs of alterations. His rod and tube were labeled 7'6" but we discovered that someone had stuffed a couple inches of paper into the bottom of the tube so the rod came up to the top of the tube. I believe he got an adjustment on the price from the seller but nobody knew how it happened. If we hadn't compared the rods side by side he might never have known. FWIW.


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Post 17 Nov 2020, 15:14 • #7 
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tiptop wrote:
An interesting story: A few years ago I was comparing "new" rods with a friend. Mine was a 7'6" that I had built and his was a vintage 2 piece Winston glass 7'6" - a fairly valuable rod. We noticed that his was 3" shorter than mine. Both sections were the same length and there were no signs of alterations. His rod and tube were labeled 7'6" but we discovered that someone had stuffed a couple inches of paper into the bottom of the tube so the rod came up to the top of the tube. I believe he got an adjustment on the price from the seller but nobody knew how it happened. If we hadn't compared the rods side by side he might never have known. FWIW.


This is fascinating. Thanks. 3" is way too much.

carlz wrote:
It sounds like you have a special rod. Pictures would be great.


Here they are:





All three parts are even and measure exactly 2'6 1/2''. This gives 7'7 1/2'' for an unassembled rod. 4'' are lost when the rod is assembled (one piece 2 1/4'', another 1 3/4'' - I marked how far they reach in the picture). Ultimately the rod is 7'3 1/2'' not 7'6''. I have measured it assembled and it actually is a half of inch longer then I stated previously.

The interesting part is that it is lighter, has a sweeter, softer action and is simply a better rod IMHO than the actual 7'6'' T&T Heirloom I had a chance to cast.

I still am curious, were tiptop's friend and me the only ones to purchase a rod that was shorter than its declared length? Does any of you guys own a 7'6'' 4wt T&T Heirloom that is actually shorter?


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Post 17 Nov 2020, 17:35 • #8 
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Fly rod dimensions are nominal, often derived from the length of the unassembled blank or sections. T&T may have had several production runs, with slight tweaks between them. The sections may have been trimmed for fit as well. Sometimes that's as simple as a trimming at the butt for a given reel seat to give uniformity in length of the unassembled sections. I can't say for sure that's now T&T did it, but often the simplest explanation is the right one. You have approximately 90" (7 1/2'), shortened by the overlap of two ferrules when the rod is assembled. In other words, normal for that rod, with sections from that production run, assembled by that production worker/shift. Another that measures differently--assembled-- is just that--from a different production run, and trimmed/finished slightly differently.


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Post 21 Nov 2020, 06:42 • #9 
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Thanks for your thoughts. This is exactly why I started this thread. I understand the process whrlpool described. We all make mistakes and no company is immune to human error. All I wanted to know is whether there are more 7'3'' 4wt heirlooms out there or is my rod alone in this category.


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Post 21 Nov 2020, 11:13 • #10 
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Thanks for this very interesting topic. Really, I don't think it is even a mistake--just a normal production tolerance where careful assembly of small lots results in variations. If we could get everybody measuring the assembled length of various high quality, small production rods, I bet we'd find a similar range of variations.

It would be interesting to find out I am completely wrong and that somewhere along the way T & T did change the blank specs and produce a slightly different 4 weight Heirloom that typically measured about 7'3'. As long as this thread is around, that's always a possibility.

One other possibility that explains variations is minor damage after the rod was manufactured, and a skillful repair that makes it unnoticeable. Trimming male and female ferrule sections, for example, can eliminate minor splits in either, or a tip break the length of a tiptop barrel might also not be observed if the spacing from the new tiptop to the first snake guide doesn't look tight. But sometimes, just comparing/measuring guide spacing with another rod of the same model will be an indicator. That said, from the pics there doesn't appear to be any damage that would account for an inch or so, but this does happen with any make or model that may have been lightly used or passed through several hands.


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Post 22 Nov 2020, 09:39 • #11 
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I was just browsing and came across this old TFM blog post by Cameron
http://thefiberglassmanifesto.blogspot. ... -back.html

Dated 2010, it says that T&T is bringing the Heirloom back. So maybe they changed it?


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Post 22 Nov 2020, 12:18 • #12 
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whrlpool wrote:
It would be interesting to find out I am completely wrong and that somewhere along the way T & T did change the blank specs and produce a slightly different 4 weight Heirloom that typically measured about 7'3'. As long as this thread is around, that's always a possibility.


carlz wrote:
I was just browsing and came across this old TFM blog post by Cameron
http://thefiberglassmanifesto.blogspot. ... -back.html

Dated 2010, it says that T&T is bringing the Heirloom back. So maybe they changed it?


Wow! This is interesting. I bought mine early in 2010. This was the last T&T Heirloom available in the fly shop...


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Post 22 Nov 2020, 15:44 • #13 
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Pablo wrote:
The interesting part is that it is lighter, has a sweeter, softer action and is simply a better rod IMHO than the actual 7'6'' T&T Heirloom I had a chance to cast.

Pablo, Is there anything you can't do with your rod that you could do with a rod 2-1/2" longer? On the other hand, if to get that 2-1/2" back would you be willing to settle for the action of the other Heirlooms that you have cast? I suspect I know the answer to both questions...

Your rod has a very pleasant feel that you really like. If T&T can't determine from their records why your rod is different, then you simply lucked out big time. The Heirlooms are known as great fly rods and you may have the best of the lot. That's a nice place to be. Personally, I would be happy to take the shorter rod with the better feel.


Tom


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