What's up with the short forearms on rods?
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  1. #1
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    Default What's up with the short forearms on rods?

    Going thru some of the newly arriving catalogs and can't help noticing how short the forearms are on some of the rods. Can they make them any shorter? Trying to save money maybe? Perhaps our resident TF rod builders can offer any input on this? I know this is a bit vague, but on certain rods I'd consider buying, I'd expect a longer forearm might come in handy. Jus' wonderin'. TIA.

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  3. #2
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    Not sure what you mean for forearms? Foregrips perhaps?

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    It's the part in front of the reel, mostly known as the foregrip, also called a forearm. I asked a major dealer of rod building supplies why that part was getting shorter and shorter on some rods. Their answer was because the manufacturers say it's what their customers want. Dealer followed that up with, it's anyones's guess really.

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  6. #4
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    Some claim that by eliminating the fore-grip the rod is lighter, becomes more sensitive and transmits those little tics directly to the thumb and forefinger...?? I believe there is some truth to that...Others say it's just a cost savings gimmick...??

    I have a few of each and prefer rods with fore-grips...I find them to be more comfortable. The heavier rods designed for larger fish should definitely have a large fore-grip. It gives the fisherman better (2 handed) leverage for hauling in big uns. Back in the day, I was told by some that were "in the know" that by grabbing the rod much above the fore-grip, to help leverage in a large fish, is a sure fired way to break your rod in two...course that was 20 + years ago.

    When I was that younger man and still chasing canyon monsters, chumming up tuna, sharks and/or blues, I would never have considered a rod without a substantial foregrip. However, for light or ulra-light tackle and fish up to say 20 lbs, I don't think it really matters much....just my 2 cents.

  7. #5
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    Thx folks. It seems a flat out straight answer just isn't out there anywhere. Tells me it's a cost cutting measure. I would also believe it eliminates some rods from being purchased, because those rods are now that much less functional. Not going to elaborate on that, because I believe most anglers understand the usefulness of a long(er) forearm on their choice of rods. Was just curious as to why that part was shrinking in length.
    For that matter, same could be debated about the butt end split grip design...with less and less material to grip. I've read where these (newer) designs offer "better sensitivity", due to more of the rod blank being exposed. Maybe I'm simply too old fashioned to accept these "technological advances" in rod designs, so I'll just raise the marketing BS flag and hope that my current arsenal continues to serve me well...

  8. #6
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    A fishing rod is a simple lever with the reel seat being the fulcrum. Increasing the length of the lever behind the fulcrum increases the pressure at the rod tip. Whether you increase the leverage by increasing the length of the butt, the idea behind the spit grip, or you move the fulcrum forward by gripping the fore grip, you end up with the same mechanical advantage.

    Weight is your enemy in rod design. Each blank has it's own natural frequency. Any weight you add to a blank dampens and distorts its natural frequency. The closer you get to the tip, the greater the affect of the weight has on the rod's response which is why your seeing a trend towards smaller and smaller guides and tip tops.

    That said, the benefit of the split grip become obvious. You can significantly increase the leverage by increasing the length of the butt without the added weight of a conventional butt. The increased leverage negates or minimizes the need for a large fore grip which reduces the weight even further. This might sound foolish, but when you start with a blank that weights 2.3 ounces, even a small bit of cork represents a significant percentage of the overall weight of the blank.

    FYI: I build all my spinning rods with exposed butts. I grip the reel seat normally then position the rear grip so that it lands on my elbow. Guessing 18-19" from middle of rear seat to end of butt compared to the 12-14" butt found on your typical rod. The added benefit is that they actually fit in the rod holder....

  9. #7
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    Thanks for coming back with that Seahunter.
    Generally speaking, I have fewer problems with short(er) foregrips on spinning outfits. Being right handed, I grip rod and reel at the reel foot with right hand, and crank with left hand. On those occasions where I want to lift the rod for a moment's leverage, I can move my left hand to the rear. My right hand keeps control and doesn't lose its grip. If I happen to move left hand forward, a long(er) foregrip would be nice.
    Different game with conventionals. Usually palm the reel with left hand while cranking with right. A common method of leverage while bottom fishing, from boat or surf, is to keep right hand on the crank, while the grip of left hand is in front of the reel, with reel resting against left wrist. Nice to have a long(er) foregrip on those occasions. Similar gripping of the foregrip occurs using my left hand crank conventionals. Only difference is, I maintain grip with right hand, and move left back and forth between crank and foregrip.
    Hope that's clear, and thanks again.

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