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Post 15 Apr 2022, 08:30 • #1 
Guide
Joined: 02/04/14
Posts: 139
Location: US-MA
So I bought a Pfluger 1494 (I think) off a fellow forumite and it gets more use than the rest combined. I have some larger, nicer, and far newer reels but never find myself reaching for them unless I am targeting runners like false albacore or larger striped bass.

Why? Most of my glass rods feel excellent with a smaller, lighter reel and pretty sluggish with a heavier one. It’s a dramatic difference.

As far as I can tell, it seems to be a torque and inertia problem. The torque on the rod tip, the reel, the hand is the fulcrum of the lever.

Any thoughts?


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Post 15 Apr 2022, 09:01 • #2 
Global Moderator
Joined: 04/20/07
Posts: 8508
Location: US-ME
A fly rod is better thought as a spring than a lever. The idea of a fulcrum helps a bit with static balance, not so much with dynamics of loading and unloading (casting) the spring. The 1494 is a great size reel for many, many, many typical classic glass rods 7 to 7 1/2' . It's low profile mounting minimizes twisting so less effort of the arm/wrist/hand is required to keep the spring aligned--loading and unloading in one plane--during the cast. X ounces of reel will always feel better if that weight is compact and low relative to the axis of the rod/spring. Put a big floppy large arbor of the same weight on the same rod and see.

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Post 15 Apr 2022, 13:25 • #3 
Guide
Joined: 08/11/21
Posts: 132
Location: Tucson, AZ
I like to think about the rod and the arm down to the elbow as one long tool.....breaking the wrist is like putting a hinge in the middle of the rod.

Rolling the wrist open and closed keeps the rod tip in a straight path while compensating for the bend in the rod as power is applied...smoothly, hopefully. Glass rods, like cane rods require smoother acceleration of power than composite (graphite) rods that can be more punched in the power stroke to an abrupt stop...then drift to keep the rod tip in the same plane. Any torque is a product of rolling the wrist open and closed during the cast...and can add formidable power to the cast.

We can feel the loading and unloading of glass rods so much better than with graphite rods, so perhaps that has something to do with the superiority of lighter fly reels..which I know not everyone agrees with.

I hope we can all agree fighting fish with cane or fiberglass is so much more fun, it can make the extra effort of casting worthwhile.


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Post 15 Apr 2022, 14:30 • #4 
Administrator
Joined: 01/10/06
Posts: 7488
Location: Holly Springs, NC
The best casting performance is with no reel at all. The rod will feel tip heavy, but no effort is expended on a reel that isn't present. That said, such an outfit is uncomfortable for fishing.

After a cast is made, far more time is spent working that cast - retrieving a streamer, tending a drift, manipulating a popper, etc. A severely tip heavy outfit requires continual effort to keep the rod tip out of the water. Eventually that effort will take a toll from the fisherman. Some semblance of a balanced outfit makes the time not casting much more pleasant.


Tom


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Post 15 Apr 2022, 18:30 • #5 
Guide
Joined: 08/11/21
Posts: 132
Location: Tucson, AZ
I agree about the balance while actually fishing the fly(s) after casting..it can be annoying to hold the rod tip up while popping, stripping, mending etc with a light reel.

It does not often occur to me to worry about the balance point of the reel on the rod, as I am usually keeping the rod tip low while fishing...rarely "high-stick" it much in moving water, and keep the rod tip low to work the fly and set the hook from a position close to the water. Float tube fishing, mostly, and even when I fish floating lines on rare occasions I have to remind myself to keep the rod tip near, or under, the water.

Also I have such heavy vintage reels balance is not much of an issue...and I rarely worry about RH vs LH reels any more, though I can usually switch the clicks or discs with little difficulty. Spooling the backing/line on correctly may be more of a concern. I rarely if ever play a fish off the reel in the stillwaters and tiny creeks I mostly fish with shorter glass rods.

Rod

I enjoy fishing reels from the same vintage as the rods, so have become a lot less choosy these days..and on little creeks where I clamber (slowly these days) up the banks and don't like to use fancy reels to scratch them up on boulders, etc. The old, heavy durable reels are so much fun to fish


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Post 16 Apr 2022, 06:34 • #6 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 18077
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
I've never considered a 1494 to be a light reel, so you must be using a long glass rod.
If you want a rule of thumb for reel weight, the loaded reel should be up to 50% heavier than the rod.
Everyone is going to have a preference - some of us like slightly tip-heavy, etc.
Too butt heavy, you lose feel and increase tailing loop tendency, etc.

Image

I'll also give even money Tom has never tried what he said, because I don't believe it's true, at all.


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Post 16 Apr 2022, 10:08 • #7 
Administrator
Joined: 01/10/06
Posts: 7488
Location: Holly Springs, NC
bulldog1935 wrote:
I'll also give even money Tom has never tried what he said, because I don't believe it's true, at all.

You mean that a rod casts better with no reel at all? Sure I have, when out on a lawn test casting a rod. I strip off the line and drop the reel on the grass. It makes for a lot more tangles. I've stepped on the reel more than once. I feel the casting loops are a bit tighter and the rod is a little more responsive. Overall, it's an uncomfortable way to cast and the results are not worth the hassle.


Tom


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Post 16 Apr 2022, 10:41 • #8 
Guide
Joined: 07/07/19
Posts: 153
Location: US-WI
bulldog1935 wrote:
I've never considered a 1494 to be a light reel, so you must be using a long glass rod.
If you want a rule of thumb for reel weight, the loaded reel should be up to 50% heavier than the rod.
Everyone is going to have a preference - some of us like slightly tip-heavy, etc.
Too butt heavy, you lose feel and increase tailing loop tendency, etc.

Image

I'll also give even money Tom has never tried what he said, because I don't believe it's true, at all.

FWIW my (late 1940’s) 1494 weighs 6.3oz loaded.
The 50% rule - which has always pretty much worked well for me - would suggest pairing the 1494 with a rod no lighter than 4.2 oz. How many 7-7.5 ft fiberglass rods fit that weight zone?


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Post 16 Apr 2022, 13:25 • #9 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 18077
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
4 oz is an 8' rod, unless it's a Fairy Catskill.
The click -pawl Medalists from the '30s were lighter.


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Post 16 Apr 2022, 13:48 • #10 
Guide
Joined: 07/07/19
Posts: 153
Location: US-WI
Yep. Some a full ounce lighter.


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Post 30 Apr 2022, 15:56 • #11 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 03/30/09
Posts: 1484
Location: Hamilton,Ontario,Canada
Im like you.I use my 1494 more than anything else I have.


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Post 30 Apr 2022, 17:56 • #12 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 05/19/14
Posts: 3824
Location: USA - Illinois
Just weighed my 1937-ish click pawl 1494 (5.3 oz w/backing and WF6F) and 1938-ish transitional 1494 (6.3 oz w/backing and WF6F)
Rods that see these reels are, but there are others: Orvis bamboo 6'6" & 7' Battenkill/Deluxes; Barclay 706, Philippson Royal Wand RWF70C 7' 2 5/8 oz; Fenwick FF705's

FWIW, a 1394 (pre-1940) weighs 5.0 with backing and a WF6F

Note: All lines are 406


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