Using an unbalanced rod has caused fatigue on my wrist, arm, biceps, shoulder and even my neck and can become impossible to handle. I have had injury due to unbalanced rods including cramps, loss off feeling, stiffness, and loss of strength in my casting arm by the end of the day.
All the strain will affect your quality of fishing and effectiveness in catching your prey.
Here is why you should not overlook balancing your rod ...
The type of rod you’re using will determine how to balance the rod with what reel and the position of that reel. In my case whether I am fishing for steelhead or beach fishing I use long rods. My rods vary from 11 foot, 11 1/2 foot, 13foot and 13 1/2 foot. I hold the tip high so there is a lot of leverage on the wrist and forearm. The ultra light spinning reels I use for the ultra light long beach rods weigh 9 ounces and 11 ounces. A sliding reel seat rings allow you to find that sweet spot like a sea saw in the play grounds balancing with no effort. With stationary reel seats it’s the weight of the reel that will be the major factor. Another factor now in play is what your rod is made of. There are composite rods that are very light weight rods on the market now like the River Creek Rod modular composite graphite textured handles for lightweight . These composite rods are virtually indestructible . Most important they will not absorb water as cork will do.
Different reels will have a different effect on your limbs. Spinning reels, bait casting reels, the fly / center pin reels all have a different holding pattern and that changes what muscles will be stressed. The spinning reel is under your hand hanging, the bait caster has your hand above the reel and controlled with the thumb on the reel and the middle finger on the finger grip of the rod. The fly reel has your hand forward of the reel holding the rod itself. The center pin reel has your hand in front on the reel and partially on the rod. The wrist, the fore arm, the biceps and the shoulder muscles all are stressed in different ways.
When holding the tip of the rod in another position, low to the water surface its a whole different story. Bass fishermen do this a lot. Using a bait cast / level wind the best rods have a finger grip for stability. Even the line guides are different sizes than a spinning rod. How you retrieve also adds the the stress. Straight retrieves, jerking, twitching, holding (pause). When we speak of rod balancing it is difficult to be perfect. Basically it's the best position of the reel and weight related to the rod to obtain the best and optimum performance with the least stress on your casting arm while also allowing the best sensitivity in feeling the bite and presentation of your various lures.
For long time usage know your equipment and your physical ability to endure.
Gil d’Oliveira .......... Web Domain........ Castingaline.com
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