In August 2014, I was presented with the opportunity to design close to fifty brand new fly rods for Scierra. These rods were to be presented on the market in 2016 and were to replace all existing Scierra fly rods. It was an offer I just couldn’t refuse!
I took on the responsibility with a serious and unwavering commitment to quality. I was adamant at making the best rod program in the history of Scierra – in close cooperation with the Scierra pro staff team. Here’s how we did it:
Based on my deeply rooted philosophy of fly rod actions I spent considerable time drafting rough sketches of the upcoming program. Fellow product developer, Robert Peetz, flew up to Oslo and we tested the current rods and discussed the upcoming range for two straight days before agreeing on which prototypes to start with.
I developed a thorough list of specifications for the first range of prototypes and this was sent to the factory. A few weeks later the prototypes arrived and now the hard work started: We weighed and measured every rod meticulously and photographed the bending curves against a background reference system and compared these to different reference rods.
Each and every rod was seriously tested with different lines, both inside (to avoid disturbing winds) and outside (for more realistic conditions). I had to spend countless hours in ice cold water, spey casting the double handers in their natural habitat. I enjoyed every second of it!
We spent a lot of time choosing the right finish for the different series: Colors, guides, reel seats, cork etc. Quality demands hard work. These procedures were repeated through 4-5 series of prototypes. Every time a new set of prototypes arrived in Denmark, I flew down so that Robert and I could spend long hours doing what rod nerds love to do: Measure, weigh, photograph, compare, test cast and finally decide on the necessary changes for the nest range of prototypes. Finally, we calibrated the rods to the different line series we were developing to be able to provide you with the perfect rod-and-line combos.
My initial idea has always been that a really good fly rod should require a minimum of human power to perform at its optimum. A fly rod is nothing but an amplifier of human speed, amplifying the input speed through leverage (rod length) and elastic recovery (as the rod returns from bent to straight). This brings us to the essence of good fly rod design: How the rod bends when loaded, how smooth the bending curve is and how fast it recovers from bent to straight during the stop. We believe that these are the key factors to efficient transformation of human input into line speed. Good fly rods require less effort to deliver a fly delicately to its intended destination. LESS IS MORE!
Scierra Product Manager
1. Flex Profiles
For each of the six different fly rod series you will find a number denoting what we have called the Flex Profile.
This a traditional way of defining HOW DEEP a rod bends (flexes) when moderately loaded. The scale we are using is this:
| 1/4: Only the tip part of the rod bends when moderately loaded
| 1/2: About half of the rod bends when moderately loaded
| 3/4: About three quarters of the rod bends when moderately loaded
| 1/1: All or most of the rod bends when moderately loaded
2. Recovery Speeds
The Recovery Speed is the time it takes for a bent rod to straighten. This depends on the quality of the carbon fibers AND the stiffness of the rod (the thickness of the rod walls and the diameter of the blank).
A good, old cane rod is made from nature’s own bamboo and bamboo is definitely slower than modern carbon, so it will come as no surprise that an average carbon rod of today is a lot faster than an average cane rod.
At Scierra, we are focusing on carbon rods only, and the quality of carbon (being the key element to high recovery speeds) will also be the most important factor deciding the price ranges of different rod series.
3. Bending curve smoothness
We also focus on the bending curves of our fly rods and the fact that we are always aiming for as unbroken (smooth) curves as possible, to ensure that force is transferred more effectively from fly caster to fly line, through the rod. Unbroken bending curves will also prevent rod breakage.