01-26-2008, 12:32 AM
What are the main strengths and weaknesses of having a 2 piece design versus a 4 piece design, all other things equal? Improved packability is definitely a plus in a 4 piece design. A 9' rod that only breaks down into two pieces means the rod tube will be 4.5 feet long! However, do people find improved performance in 2 piece rods as opposed to 4 piece ones? Or do fly rod makers only make the 2 piece ones because they are slightly cheaper to manufacture and thus help their catalogue have more of a range of prices?
01-26-2008, 07:23 AM
I don't think there is any advantage to two-piece rods.
I'm with Josko except for one aspect... you can be ready faster than the 5-pc posse on a dawn raid :lildevl:
Travel (4+ pc) are typically a little stiffer because of the ferrules. That might be good.
You do have a little more risk of ferrule slippage which splits the female end. If that sounds kinky to you, sorry we're not going there ;) However you have less risk of closing the car door on it I guess. We'll call that a wash, unless the angler does not check ferrules and give them a good seat.
I've fished with guys who barely put their ferrules together without any pressure or twist to seat and feel like I need to fish far apart from them because I just hate the sound of splintering graphite. Multiply that by the number of ferrules.
I have owned a 5pc RPLXi travel SW rod for many many years and it has given me no problems whatsoever. What I love most about it is that I've never been bothered with it on my shoulder when flying so I NEVER arrive without a rod at a fishing destination.
There's no question to the advantages of multi-piece rods. Certainly, all of my travel rods are now multi-piece (with one exception).
Rod makers have improved the smoothness of multi-piece rods a lot. However, I think there is an inherent smoothness to single-piece and 2 piece rods. In most cases, I don't think the difference adds up to too much . . . however . . .
My single-handed salmon and steelhead rod is a Sage RPL 8100 (10' 2pc 8wt). The incredible smoothness is far superior to the RPL 8100-3 pc rod. It's a powerful, tireless, all-day rod. It might just be that Sage didn't refine the 3 pc version, but the difference is quite evident. And I haven't cast comparable current rods that I like as much. After Sage stopped making it I was freaked that should I ever break it I bought a used one on ebay as a backup.
01-26-2008, 02:36 PM
Manufacturers have definitely improved the feel of multi-piece rods. I would not agree that there's no difference between a 2 and 4 piece if everything else about the rod is the same. The ferrule sections are always going to be heavier/stiffer/more reinforced than the rest of the blank, so inherently a 4 piece can never flex the same as a 2 piece. However, I think some of the biggest improvements in rod design in the last 5 years have come in ferrule design and creating ferrules that more closely integrate into the overall action of the rod. This has led to 4 piece rods that cast more and more like their 2 piece counterparts, to the point where it's very difficult if not impossible to tell the difference.
Personally, I will never buy another 2 piece rod unless it's a bamboo. The advantages of being able to pack a 4 piece rod in your carry on, and in general travel with it easier, are simply too important to me. I want rods that can come with me easily to all the fishing destinations in my future.
01-26-2008, 03:53 PM
Wow thanks for the replies everybody. I ask the question mainly because I recently bought a new Sage SPL 490 (2 piece) on clearance for about half msrp, which is a dang good price in my book. I was thinking that most of my fishing is done locally (or after some travel by car), and packability is less of an issue in that case. However, it might be nice to have a 4wt that I could fly with. Since I'm a cheapskate, I initially decided not to splurge for the 4 piece version of the SPL 490, which was $50 more expensive. It looks like maybe a 2 piece rod has an advantage to a 4 piece in smoothness, though. It's a great rod, to be sure, I've just never owned a 2 piece 9 footer so I'm a little daunted by the gigantic rod tube.