Graphite fishing rod blanks are made of carbon fiber composites produced by the chemical industry through a long and costly procedure. The composite is a material made of carbon fibers reinforced by impregnating them with a polymer such as epoxy.
In a carbon fiber composite; the raw material is in its graphite form and the structure is very flexible, resistant to stretching, strong, and light which makes for an ideal platform for a kokanee rod!
A fishing rod company such as Lamiglas who make their own blanks must know which composite to order since the end need can differ in purpose, composition or fiber type, orientation, resin content, and weight per square meter.
There are many types of carbon fibers: IM6, M8, M55, M40, M40J, M46J, T300, HR40, just to name a few. Each having their own properties: which are the modulus and the strength. Good fishing rods, depending upon the end use; have a high modulus, a high strength, and intermediate percentage of fibers.
Modulus is the ratio, expressed in millions of pounds per square inch, between the stiffness and the weight of the graphite blank. The higher the modulus, the more energy the rod can store and release. The energy is a way of saying the speed and the power of the rod. The higher the modulus, the more expensive is the blank and also more brittle the blank after an impact. The modulus is the resistance to flex: the higher the modulus, the more expensive the blank and also more brittle the blank after an impact; which is one of the reasons that rods that are stepped on or railed (allowed to run over the gunnels of the boat) snap leaving you with a three piece rod.
When the rod is formed, the graphite cloth or material is wrapped around a rod or form and then put in an oven or furnace. The shape of the form, type and combination of different carbon fiber, and the type and amount of resin all contribute to a true quality rod.
Today, most rods are made out of country, predominantly in countries like China where the wage rate is very low. There are only a few rod makers here in the USA that actually produce their own rod blanks; Lamiglas being one of them. I am all for supporting our US rod builders who are intent of providing us with top quality equipment made by fishermen who are just as avid as I am and because of that more in tune with my needs as a fisherman!
Historically, fiberglass has been the material of choice for good kokanee rods due mainly to the flexibility which is inherent with this type of rod. With the constantly improving technology in rod production, this has now become a thing of the past. I am now a strong proponent of the graphite rods for catching kokanee because when you need rod control, the graphite product brings it while the fiberglass rod does not unless you go with a heavier fiberglass blank.
With our improved fisheries of today, thanks to Kokanee Power working in partnership with our fish and game departments more rod control is becoming essential to landing the trophy sized fish.
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