The power of a spinning rod… How could we define it? What exactly does “a powerful rod” or “a powerful butt” mean? What’s the difference between ultra-light, light, medium and heavy rods?
Well, there is the casting weight (CW). This measure concerns the weight of the lures a rod can handle. Although it tells us also something about the fish playing ability of the rod, there is no direct correlation. Two rods featuring the same CW can differ drastically in the way they unfold their power when playing a fish. One can be floppy and soft, the other stiff and strong. Therefore, the CW can serve only very indirectly, if at all, as a description of the rod’s playing power, which is a very important rod characteristic.
Carp anglers discovered it long ago and adopted the so-called test curve (TC) as a guide to rod power and action. It actually describes the deflection of a rod under load: it’s the weight in pounds and ounces needed to pull the tip to 90 degrees to the butt. No wonder, it were the carpers that invented the TC, since fishing for the most powerful freshwater fish means primarily dealing rather with POWER than with casting weight. However, there are also many lure fishermen pursuing hard fighting prey. Should they adopt the test curve? Certainly not!
Firstly, there is a certain problem of TC measurement, and secondly, and more importantly, it works only for rods of similar action. For instance, it works fine for classic through-action carp rods. What about modern spinning rods featuring a tippy action?
Therefore, we have to look for other measures. I would say that there is a possibility to find and adopt a universal and convenient way to measure the rod power. The big question is whether it is worth the trouble…
To be continued