CODE + FEEL FACTOR + RECOVERY RATE = PF - THE PERFORMANCE FACTOR OF EACH MODEL.
My Performance Factor allies a description of the curve that the rod takes under load to a rating of how fast the rod takes to recover from this load. EV5 Rod actions are not universally standard across the range. The PF factor of each model is relative to the rods intended use.
To give you an example, a fast action river dry fly rod such as the EV5 9ft model for a 4 or 5 weight fly line with an A1 or A2 PF action is designed for a close to medium range, fast accurate type of river fishing in distances up to approximately 60ft. It is purpose designed and properly rated fishing tool - and is not designed with the power built into the rod shaft to enable extreme long range casting.
At the other end of the scale, an EV5 fly rod with a PF factor of A1 or A1+ such as the 10ft CS #7 EV5 Competition fly rod, or the 9ft EV5 CS is designed to lift and cast an extremely long length of line. The rod shaft is built with the inherent power in the blank to enable extreme long range casts of 90ft or more.
(120ft plus for the 9ft #5 CS)
For a fuller discussion on rod action, please continue down the page to read an informative article on rod action..
Performance Factor of A 1 is an EV Fly Rod with a more extreme tip action. Overall the rod has an extra super fast recovery rate. The extra stiff middle & butt of the rod gives the tip section of the rod an extremely fast recovery rate. This type of action produces more power when used at long range when performing extreme distance casts.
Performance Factor A 2 is an EV Fly Rod with a middle to tip action, the stiffer middle & butt of the rod generates a good reserve of power when performing longer casts. This type of action produces good power when used at long range without greatly sacrificing gentle presentation of the fly close in or at medium distances.
Performance Factor A 3 is an EV Fly Rod with a middle to tip action, but with a slightle more progressive flex into the butt section This type of action produces good casting power when used at medium to longer ranges without sacrificing presentation of the fly at close ranges..
Performance Factor B 3 is an EV Fly Rod with a medium middle to tip action. Overall this gives the rod a slightly slower recovery rate. This type of fly rod action has a less stiff middle & butt section in the rod shafts. This type of rod action allows the rod to perform well at distance but with an emphasis on increased medium and close range delicacy.
Performance Factor C 3 is an EV Fly Rod with a middle to butt action, this rod has a less stiff middle & butt section that bends more deeply through into the lower rod shaft. The lower shaft flexes fully but remains stiff under extreme load. Overall the rod has a slightly slower recovery rate.
What is Rod Action?
Let's try and get to grips with rod action....every fly angler uses the term...so does every fly rod manufacturer. What does it actually mean though - this term we all use..."rod action?"
"Action" is the measurement of deflection or flex the rod exhibits under load, and more importantly, where that flex occurs along the length of the assembled rod. "Extra Fast" actions traditional are said to concentrate more of the flex towards the tip. "Slow" actions are usually labelled as meaning that the curve the rod shaft takes under load is distributed progressively throughout the entire blank.
Because there is no single, scientifically accurate measurement system accepted by the entire rod making industry, not all actions are exactly alike. A fly rod's action has no set parameter it is arrived at purely by the designers input.
Try this simple test. Thread a line - through the rod guides, any line will do as you are not going to cast with it, then anchor the butt section of the fly rod horizontally by clamping the handle in a vice or even by simply laying the rod on the edge of a table and adding a few heavy books on the handle to hold it down. Leave about 6 -12" of the line hanging outside the tip guide, then tie a weight on the line. Start with around a 1/2 lb - enough weight to give the rod a good bend - and let it hang from the tip. Stand back and examine the bend or curve which the rod takes under the load of the that weight - the bend the rod shaft adopts under the load of the weight is exactly the curve the rod takes when casting or playing a fish.
Now stand back and look at the bend the rod has taken on with the pull of the weight. What does it tell you?
Does it tell you that the rod has a more pronounced bend in the tip (middle to tip?) Or does it have a bend in the middle (medium?) Or does it show a pronounced bend in the butt (butt action?) Or does it have a combination of all these?
How do you describe that combination with the often used terminology the tackle trade uses - ''Middle to tip, medium, butt action and so on.....''?
It doesn't tell you much about the construction of the rod or wall thickness of the blank. Nor does it tell you much about how the rod recovers from being bent once the weight is removed.
Using a simplified term such as middle to tip is a very limiting and innacurate way to describe the rod's actual action, or give any insight as to how the rod will perform during the cast.
Rod blanks can be made with a huge variety of tapers. Fast - slow - compound... Add into the equation that the diameter and the thickness of the blank wall can be varied at any point... and that varying the design taper along with the material will change the perceived curve of the rod - and then throw into the equation the different modulus or elasticities of the carbon fibre materials which could be used to make each rod shaft - stiff, moderate-stiff, less-stiff etc, and that these can be varied and mixed throughout the rod length and can effect the recovery rate from any given action curve or bend of the rod shaft and you then see that the subject gets even more complicated..
For example, it is possible to use a very low-modulus (less stiff) carbon or glass fibre to make a rod blank and come up with exactly the same curve under the 1/2 lb load, as a rod using extra-high-modulus (very stiff) carbon-fibre. The less stiff blank would be considerably larger diameter than the other very stiff one. The rod blank built using the stiffer material would also be an entirely different and much lower diameter. Think back to the different diameters between glass fibre rods and carbon fibre and you are getting the idea..... Strictly speaking the action would be the same (ie the curve they describe under the weight hanging from the tip of the rod) - but the recovery rate (and by this I mean the time taken from the release of the load from the tip to the unloaded position) would be entirely different - and this is crucial. The blank built from the extra-high-modulus would be very much faster in recovery every time.
As you are probably beginning to realise, It really is a very incomplete and unsatisfactory system to label a rod as middle-to-tip, or medium action etc without taking into account the design taper, material type and the overall recovery rate of the rod.
My Performance Factor allies a description of the curve that the rod takes under load to a rating of how fast the rod takes to recover from this load. This recovery rate is measured in my workshop using the bare blank and a further measurement is taken once the blank is fitted with guides and the rod finished. The rod is then cast with a fixed length of accurately rated lines of the correct grain AFTM weights. I then give the rod a general casting/fishing workout before giving it the final Performance Rating, action, recovery figures. By using this system my customers have a much more accurate idea of how a rod from my production range will perform. This is particularly important when the majority of my rods are sold mail-order without the customer actually handling the rod. Undoubtedly this does go a long way to taking the guesswork out of buying a rod by mail order.
Rod purchases can now be made with confidence because you then have a mental image of the fly rods general performance and feel without actually handling the rod.
Please do not be intimidated if you are a novice, I am more than happy to offer advice by phone (best) or email to explain rod performance to you.
Please take a moment to read my line rating notes on this page before contacting me. I have for the last 27 years made my sole income from rod building. The continued success of David Norwich relies on you being entirely happy with your choice of rod.
Performance Factor & Custom rods.
This system also gives customers the opportunity to discuss the modification of production tapers and action to construct a custom-rod to their ideal specifications - the Performance Factor gives us both the benchmark from which to develop a rod to meet their needs. There are very few if any rod makers in the world offering a true custom service in carbon fibre.
For more information on my Custom build service please go to this page.
REVERSE HALF WELLS
A YouTube snapshot on how Norwich fly rod blank is made.
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Hillside Works, Fountainhall, Nr. Galashiels, Scottish Borders. TD1 2SU, SCOTLAND
TEL: 01578 760 310
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