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Counter balance?

Discussion on tenkara rods

Re: Counter balance?

Postby adventureR » Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:53 pm

I added enough weight to move the my Ayu rods balance point @ a 30 degree angle like in Greg's link to Toms Blog, to the front of my grip. Where I enjoy holding, with my index finger on the carbon hand on the cork. The rod weighed more than I would ever use for casting in the yard, much less fishing with. Like pechelman I seem to like my telescoping rod tip heavy. Never really gave much thought or tested the way the rod balances. I definitely wouldn't do anything permanent to the rod balance wise without testing on the water. So far all of my rods seem good.
Might seem strange but tpalka you may want to test some weight forward grips. My Namazu line holder is very comfortable and light feeling in hand on the Yamame. Much less weight can be added using the existing handle length as the lever arm and having a grip position slightly closer to the end of the handle segment of the rod. :idea:
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Re: Counter balance?

Postby tpalka » Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:13 pm

Thanks, everyone. I have been changing my grip, and casting left-handed, and changing where I hold the rod. Still, for some reason, my hand hurts after fishing an hour or two. And I have no such pain after fishing a full day (even 6am - 8pm one day this summer on a float trip) with a western rod. I'm guessing that it's the tip-heaviness, because my technique doesn't really change all that much. If anything, my western casting improved because of tenkara :)

I cobbled a counterweight from some stuff I found in the garage and will try it out on the river tomorrow. If it works, I'll definitely get a shorter bolt and maybe one with a smaller head. It'd be nice for the head to fit inside the cap so that the nut removed all the play between washers.

I'll report tomorrow, thanks,

tom.
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Cap fits tightly onto the rod's butt cap
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Nut inside cap
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Bolt holds the washers
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Re: Counter balance?

Postby jd_smith » Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:34 pm

Did you try it with the nut on the outside? Maybe the head of the bolt won't fit inside but if it would you could tighten the assembly.
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Re: Counter balance?

Postby tpalka » Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:22 pm

Pechelman: you're not weird, seems like most people don't mind the heavy tip or casting with the extended index finger :) If anything, I'm the one that seems to be in the minority.

JD: Yes, that's what I meant by putting the bolt head into the cap -- what I found in my parts drawer didn't quite fit, the bolt head it too big to fit inside the cap. But it'll be good enough for a test. We agree.

I don't think that I'm looking to *balance* the rod -- but since I hold the rod mostly at the front side of the handle, I just need a bit of weight in the back. We'll see, and I'll report more tomorrow.
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Re: Counter balance?

Postby tpalka » Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:54 am

It works well, though I won't know for sure until I get to fish with it for 3+ hours. I bought a shorter bolt, 1/2" diameter, the head fit nicely into the rubber cap. I used two nuts so that I could move the weight around, but it was not necessary. Started with 6 washers, way too heavy. Three felt right. And I like the fact that I can take the whole thing off and stick in my pocket if I don't want to use it.

Now I'll just need to add a hook of sorts and I'll have a nice line management system too.

Thanks all for your ideas and suggestions,

tom.
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Re: Counter balance?

Postby rmcworthing » Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:46 pm

This is a nice string, and looks like it has been going for awhile.

While I certainly agree the Amago is tip heavy, from the details of this discussion, I am not so sure the answer lies completely in the rod. I do believe there is a casting technique variant involved for some. I know many on this thread are experienced tenkara anglers, but bear with me as I try to share a bit of consilience between my job as a Physical Medicine and Rehab physician and a tenkara junkie.

Both Tenkara and Western anglers present to me, both in clinic and on the water as a guide, with complaints of hand and forearm fatigue and pain. A combination of physical exam and evaluation with musculoskeletal ultrasound appears to have revealed a pattern of injury that varies between Tenkara and Western anglers. Keep in mind this is not research based but rather clinically based.

If you want to skip the technical stuff, go down to the last two paragraphs:

Western anglers tend to develop medial greater than lateral elbow discomfort. Many involve ulnar collateral ligament strains or medial epicondylitis (aka golfer's elbow/little leaguer's elbow). This is a result of eccentric load on the forearm flexor tendon complex in conjunction with valgus stress that is experienced when slowing down the backcast and initiating the forward cast (similar to the cocked position that leads to this injury in baseball pitchers). They also tend to develop tendinopathy in the first thru third dorsal compartments of the wrist. This is a result of eccentric load on those tendon groups at the end of the forward cast in a "thumbs up" grip position.

Tenkara anglers tend to develop more wrist extensor tendon pathology. When they get extensor tendon injuries, they tend to occur in the fourth dorsal compartment of the wrist (one of the tendons that goes into your pointer finger). This is a result of load on the extensor indices and/or communis in the extremes of its range (concentric load during initiation of the backcast if too much wrist is involved, eccentric load during the end of forward cast if too extreme a stop is used). Tenkara anglers also develop flexor complex fatigue, but do not seem to get medial epicondylitis nearly as much (presumably because we stop around 12 and not at the extreme end of range at 2). They do, however, sometimes develop lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow, probably from use of elbow motion on the forward cast resulting in eccentric load of the finger and wrist extensors at the end of the forward cast).

Got that? Here's where the rubber meets the road. My tenkara clients that experience the most fatigue and especially pain in the back of their hand and wrist (aka. extensor, or dorsal, surface) tend to use 1) too much wrist and not enough elbow on the backcast, 2) too much power in the forward cast, or 3) a combo of both. When we work on correcting their cast to include more elbow on the backcast and a soft wrist flexion on the forward cast, their pain improves. Clients that experience the most fatigue in the flexor complex (the part of the wrist and forearm you're looking at if you have your palm facing up) tend to break their wrist at the end of the backcast, unintentionally dropping the rod past 12. When we work on keeping a tight wrist at the end of the backcast, their fatigue tends to improve.

Like I said, I agree the Amago is tip heavy, but next time you're out, or if you have a chance to check yourself out on film, compare your technique to the slow-motion video of Dr. Ishigaki at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMza19EFLf0&list=TLmWnysmvjYD0. Notice how he uses more elbow on the backcast and doesn't break his wrist? Notice how he uses more wrist on the forward cast but does not overpower it?

Rob
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Re: Counter balance?

Postby tpalka » Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:42 pm

Thanks, Rob. It took me a few days to digest what you wrote :) I will video myself casting and then compare to the Dr Ishigaki video to see what I'm doing differently. Thanks!
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