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04: Rod Bits

Between The Line - Chapter 02: The Gear

0204 00rodfull

0204 gimbal

Rod Gimbal

The bottom end of game rods have gimbals on them. These are a slotted butt that fits into the cross bars of the gimbal on a fighting belt or game chair. This system gives great sideways support and balance to an outfit under load with the reel, often wide and heavy on top of the rod twisting the rod. Because of this, the gimbal should be made from solid materials. There are strong synthetic ones available that are acceptable on light and medium tackle. Heavy tackle rods of 50lb and over should have solid metal gimbals.

0204 rodbuttRod Butt

There is a great deal of pressure on the butt when a rod hooks up that is in the rod holder. The torque of the rod between the grip or harness lugs and the lower end of the rod or gimbal also exerts massive force.

Often the butts are made of aluminium for lightness and strength or as in this case a section of the rod 0204 rodtypesblank is reinforced.

There are three basic forms:
Straight Butt for stand-up rods of ultralight to 50lb.
Short Bent stand-up butts for heavier line classes of 50lb up.
Long Bent Butt for chair rods in line classes 50lb and up.

0204 reelseatReel Seat

There is a considerable amount of pressure applied to the reel seat over a relatively small area. When the outfit is clipped into a harness the entire weight of the outfit and drag settings are applied to this small area. The more robust, the better. There are good graphite reel seats as well, though these should be used on 50lb and under.

0204 foregrip

Fore Grip

To a large extent, the Fore Grip is cosmetic. When a harness is used the foregrip is not used at all apart from removing the rod from the rod holder and transporting the outfit. The name is also misleading. It is really a "rod cradle" as the rod should be cradled rather than held with a death grip.

Some fore-grips, such as the one shown here, are shaped to aid in comfort and in adding pressure with the fingers.

0204 IanMillerButt Bind Labels and Rod Blank

The labels are often a sign of the quality not only of the blank and components but are often an indication of the effort in getting the design right. In this case, the series was designed by Ian Miller and chosen by Steve Starling as part of his range of Shimano tackle, one of the world’s most respected names in custom rod building, which is a sure sign that the components, blank and fittings are all top grade.

0204 6stripperStripper Guide

The guide closest to the reel is called the Stripper Guide. They have an upper and lower roller. It is the lower rollers job, as with all top mounted guides to keep the line from hitting the rod blank. It is the upper rollers job to control the whip of the line as it comes off the reel spool at speed.

0204 guideRod Guides

The Guides have a single roller to keep the line above the rod blank. The rollers should run smooth and quietly with a tight fit between the rollers and frames to avoid line jamming in the sides.

0204 rollerbigtipRod Tip

Roller tips are the preferred type of game and sports fishing. Choose the largest roller for the size rod you are using as this lessens the angle of pull. All edges should be round and smooth to avoid line abrasion.