Leverage: Rod Building Tips with Larry Dahlberg

Find out how rod length affects leverage and don’t miss the video demonstration with Larry Dahlberg at the bottom.

How Rod Length Affects Leverage

Leverage is one of the least understood concepts in the fishing.

The concept of leverage essentially comes down to the rod length, but there are a few more factors to consider when browsing rod blanks.

Mainly the construction of the rod blank and what demands the fishing application requires from the rod blank.

The Two Parts of a Fishing Rod Blank

For starters, there are two commonly used terms that divide one rod blank into two parts: the blade section and the butt section.

The terms not only identify these two parts of the rod, but also help make sense why leverage behaves the way it does.

The Fishing Rod’s Blade Section

The blade section extends from the top of the fishing rod’s handle to the tip of the rod. This blade section provides a flexible shock absorbing system to increase sensitivity and to sustain hook sets.


The Fishing Rod’s Butt Section

On the other hand, the butt section refers to the entire handle segment of the fishing rod. This is where the true power of the rod lies to wrestle in the wildest fighting fish.


Longer Blade Section = Less Rod Leverage

But when it comes to leverage—the longer the blade section of the fishing rod, the more leverage you are actually giving up.

It’s true, with each foot that is added to the blade section of the rod, it requires a proportional increase of work or effort to lift the same weight.

How does that make sense?

Consider these graphics below:

These graphics illustrate the lifting force it takes to hold one pound.

As you can see, the 10-foot fishing rod is twice the length of the 5-foot fishing rod, which means that the 10-foot rod requires twice as much effort to lift the same one pound compared to the 5-foot rod.

For example, Think of a heavy, short offshore rod blank compared to a lighter, longer fly rod. It will take far more effort to lift a fish of equal weight on that fly rod compared to the minimal effort required to lift it with an offshore rod.

Fishing Rod Length and Tip Travel

So why doesn’t everyone just use shorter rods for more leverage?

Well it’s not that simple either.

With longer blanks, you are giving up leverage in the blade section in order to gain velocity as well as the linear distance that the tip travels instead.

Generally—on a 90 degree angle of travel—you can multiply the length of the rod by 1.6 to get a better idea of these two helpful measurements.

The first is the physical distance that the tip travels in situations such as setting the hook or eating line as a fish is running toward you.

The second is the conversion of angular velocity into linear velocity, which increases as the rod length increases.

This can be explained using the same 10-foot and 5-foot rod comparison in the example below:

So although it takes twice as much effort for the 10-foot rod to lift the same weight as the 5-foot rod, the 10-foot rod can move a lure twice as far and twice as fast compared to the 5-foot blank.

Watch Larry Dahlberg Explain Rod Leverage

Catch the Best Rod Blanks Here

Remember these trade-offs next time you’re browsing rod blanks in order to build your next favorite fishing rod!