Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Lure rod “recovery” - strange bending?

I’ve done a blog post about this before, but I got a decent sequence of a good lure cast over in Ireland last September and I thought it might be of interest to show how a modern lure fishing rod goes through a cast and then “recovers”, i.e. recovers back to straight after the compression of a cast. The angler here is an Irish lad by the name of James Barry, and he is casting the new and rather outstanding Major Craft N-One 9’ 10-30g lure rod (review here) - another wickedly efficient but so, so easy to fish with lure rod that we can now get our grubby mitts on here in the UK and indeed Ireland.

Because a cast happens so fast, you might well believe that a fishing rod simply compresses into a lovely arc and then just folds out nice and straight - but it doesn’t. It can’t. This is all perfectly normal even if it does look a little ungainly, but what is so evident to me these days is how fast many of these better modern rods “recover” - or reverts to straight I suppose. There are any number of different and sometimes confusing ways to talk about lure rods and their actions etc., but a rod doesn’t have to be poker-stiff to recover fast, and the recovery on this steely but thankfully not poker-stiff 9’ N-One is really quite something.

Bear in mind that I am shooting this sequence at eight photos a second, and the top shot above is literally a split-second after the compression shot above the previous paragraph. Because it’s the bent rod shot that tends to look the best in a photograph, those are the ones I tend to keep whilst editing out most of the rest, and even then you sometimes have to shoot a lot of casting to get that “perfect bend”. Things happen fast in a cast, and even at 8+ frames a second there are any number of factors working against you - angler’s casting style, rod, shutter speed, light, the angle you are shooting from, background, and when you actually hit the shutter, because believe it or not, a cast happens so fast that the “perfect bend” is firstly not always there, and secondly it only happens for the smallest of milliseconds anyway. Sometimes I will get a good sequence which shows the lot, and then I might choose to keep that entire sequence for something like this blog post or magazine work etc.

What I am going to have to do someday is head out with a mate and ask him to cast one of the older style spinning rods that in the UK tended to be based I believe on salmon and sea trout blanks, because you would not believe the difference in recovery rates. I remember when I was first getting into lure fishing for bass and I would be editing down casting sequences and there would be a bunch more frames of the rod looking rather ugly as it bends right down after the cast, bends some more, the tip would often hit the water without the angler even realising, and then would sometimes bend back up the other way before returning to straight (I didn’t keep the shots at the time because to be honest they look so damn ugly). Does this matter? Well I assume that a slower recovery is cutting down on casting distance due to the excessive tip bounce I suppose you might call it, but please bear in mind that is not fact and is merely my opinion. Whatever the case, I hope it’s of interest.

And how about the cricket? Test cricket is always going to be the one for me, but that final was some game. So wish we had got over the line, but on the flipside, how far have we come in such a short space of time?