View Full Version : The Common Sense System
Does anyone have any experience with this system? How does it compare to other rating systems?
Upon further examination I think that Gonetoseed had shared this site with us a while back.
12-21-06, 04:56 PM
I was looking at that the other night and could not make any sense of it. It makes me question why there are not more afta line weights, how that they affect the way that a rod performs, how it affects rod manufacturers select line weights for their rods, as well as how much lines have evolved from what they were when they developed our industry standards. ( how long ago was that ?)
12-21-06, 10:12 PM
zac - here is an article that answers some of your questions
Ivan - I use the Common Cents system as a starting point for comparing blanks. I do this because descriptions of action and blank designers' recommendations for line weights are subjective. If I don't have personal knowledge of a blank I use the CC database for data for comparison to other blanks.
Action Angle (AA) is very helpful because it provides a consistently measured angle number for a blank under a defined load. This works a lot better than an advertisement or a post here where the rod is said to be "fast" or "slow" or the real compromise of "mod-fast". These are very subjective descriptions and I have no basis for knowing what the person finds "fast" or how his "fast" compares to someone elses. You can have one angler say blank X is "fast" and another angler say blank Y is "fast". Are they really identical? Or is one faster than the other? Is one really "mod-fast" ..... The Action Angle (AA) provides a relative measurement that can be used for granular comparison. Just like I know an 8' rod is shorter than a 9' rod and I have an understanding of just how much shorter, I can determine that a rod with an AA of 62 is slower than a rod with an AA of 68 and a heck of lot slower than a rod with an AA of 72. Another use is for finding a comparable blank. If an angler really likes a rod with and AA of 62 or so, then if they need to replace the rod or get one for a different line rating then the hunt can be objectively narrowed to a selection of rods with an AA of 60-64.
Effective Rod Number is more complex and more controversial. All blanks have an inherent power - its resistance to bending. The weight (mass) of the length of line outside the tip top is a critical factor in loading the blank - bending it, ie overcoming its power. Therefore the weight (mass) of the line outside the tip top needs to match or at least closely match the power of the blank in order for it to optimally bend (load). The AFTMA standard was developed to provide a "number" for the weight of the line so that designers and anglers could match a fly line to a blank's power. Because the weight (mass) of the line obviously changes depending on the length of line outside the tip top the AFTMA committee (as described in the article above) decided to set the standard weight measurement for 30'. The basic reason being that back then 30' was pretty much the "normal" fly fishing distance. The designer could then recommend an AFTMA line weight that optimally loaded the blank for casts for "normal" fishing distances of around 30' (20'-45'). Anglers also understood a basic rule-of-thumb that if he/she were casting really close in then uplining helped or if casting long distances downlining helped.
The "problem" started when the higher-modulus, faster action rods came on the scene. A blank very light in weight could be very powerful and carry the power far up the blank (the taper). This opened up whole new opportunities for fly fishing for species, conditions and environment where long casts were best if not necessary - SW flats fishing, big windy Western rivers, etc. Designers started rating their blanks for casts 60' or more. That is 60' of a particular AFTMA line weight. The relationship between the AFTMA 30' standard and the blank's line rating (power) being lost. For example, another designer might design a blank for optimally loading with 30'-40 of AFTMA 6wt (intended to be marketed to anglers fishing Eastern tailwaters). The result - two rods with 6 wt on their labels, but with very different inherent power. Designers can do this because because there is no standard for measuring the blanks power. The designer is free to recommend any line weight and does with some idea of the most frquently casted distance for the market he is selling to.
Most of the time this isn't a problem, especially for light line weight rod (<4) or heavy line weight rods (>7). The distances that will be most often cast for these line weights is pretty much understood. Where most of the problem lies is with "5" and "6" weights. These can be used for things such as small river fishing to casting competitions to light SW. The Common Cents ERN is a consistent relative measure of the blank's inherent power. It doesn't mean one blank is better or worse or attempt to convey "feel". Just a measurement like length in feet or weight in ounces. And like these other relative measurements you have to have an idea about what you want to do what you want in order to interpret the CC data base.
An irony is the ERN is effectively equal to the AFTMA line weight for 30'. It brings the AFTMA standard and a measurement for blank power back into relationship. And, makes the old rule of thumb for when to upline or downline valuable again. Except for one thing. When then "problem" of loading modern, high-modulus, fast action rods began to surface, the line manufacturers responded by marketing new "heavier" lines. Uplining works just as good, but marketing the newest and highest-tech is better for profit margins :)
Thanks GTS. I have to read the section on ERN I am still not clear on that one. Is a rod with a 9.2 rating better than one with a 3.6; does it make a difference?
12-22-06, 02:24 PM
Ivan - ERN is not a rating. It does not rate the rods as better or worse. It is a measurement of the blank's power. A blank with an ERN of 9.2 is close to 3 times more powerful than a blank with an ERN of 3.6. It takes 3 time more weight to bend the 9.2 than the 3.6.
The guys that developed the system do not like this explanation, but I think it works. At 30' the blank with the 9.2 ERN is a "9 wt". It will comfortably load with a 9 weight line. At 30' the 3.6 ERN rod would be a "3 wt". The key to understanding the ERN is to make the connection that the actual weight of the line goes up as distance goes up or down as distances are shortened. So a blank with an ERN of 9.2 can also be consider about a "7 wt" at 80' - it will comfortably load with 80' of AFTMA 7 wt line (pretty close in weight in grains to 30' of AFTMA 9 wt). As a result, the blank's designer could label the blank a "9 wt" if he wanted to market it to Bass anglers that will be throwing bigger bugs close distances or label it a "7 wt" if his target market is angers chasing flats fish.
Here's a real life example. The St Croix SCIV (Legend Ultra) 905-4 is labeled a "5" wt and has an ERN of 4.9. The TFO TICR 905-4 is also labeled a "5 wt " but has an ERN of 7.5. What the differences in ERN says is the TICR will cast more distance of 5 wt line for the same amount of effort as the St Croix. The TICR for the average caster should punch out 60' casts of 5 wt line pretty easily. The converse is true too. Between 25-40' feet it will be harder to load the TICR with an AFTMA 5 wt line (and in particular to "feel" it load), but this distance is in the sweet zone for the St Croix. In the 25-40' range the TICR will load "better" with 7 wt line. An angler that has cast and fished both rods probably finds this pretty obvious. The ERN just provides the relative numbers to explain what is going on. Is one better or worse obviously depends on the intended purpose of the angler.
Thansk GTS. The makes it very clear to me. I like your example and have casted both of those rods. I did notice that Ticr did not feel loaded at the distance I normally fish (10-30'). In fact a freind of mine here uses 6 wt double taper on is ticr rod when nymphing the hooch.
I am going to look more closely at numbers (both) on some the blanks I'm considering or have built.
01-18-07, 02:58 PM
I read the Common Sense System and I feel Dr. Hanneman is correct. If all blanks and rods were scored in the same identical manner one would be able to choose accurately their preffered fly rod. To your knowledge do any rod builders or manufacturer's use the method?:)
01-18-07, 10:07 PM
I'm not aware of any companies that have formally measured and publish the CC numbers in their product catalog specs. A couple that I know of have provided blanks to some builders that use the system in order for them to measure and publish the results on the CC database (http://www.superbob.org/CC_Data.htm). TFO and Dan Craft have done this. Some of the OEM manufacturers have also encouraged some builders that actively use the system to publish their results. Batson Rainshadow/Forecast has done this. Andy Dear the US distributor for CTS blansk (a New Zealand company with excellent product reviews) will provide the CC numbers when ordering.
I doubt that the industry will adopt the system. The majority of buyers don't need the precision. What they need/want and what the designer had in mind pretty much line up. In most cases the system would only confuse the buyer.
01-19-07, 05:19 AM
Although I feel the system would not confuse the buyer rather inform them well. Agreed someone new to fly fishing would not beable to fully grasp the concept until he/she has there first "based" rod. Anyway I appreciate your input on this thread I have learned a good source of information, and intend to keep looking for more.:)
01-19-07, 01:17 PM
You make a good point about the "base" rod. The CC system is a relative system. Unless you have a bench mark it is not very helpful. When you do have a bench mark it is very helpful for objective comparisons. For example if I have the CCS measurements of a favorite rod I can objectively narrow the search for a similiar blank and stay away from misleading subjective opinions. This board is a good example. The FAQ for recommendations for a "fast" blank currently get answered with: "I really like my fast action ....... It's a casting rocket". One angler's "fast" may be very different than anothers. One reason for this is a lot of angler's (beginners and veterans) combine action (where the rod initially bends under load) with the speed of the rod (its dampening/recovery speed). It is even more confusing because lots of anglers perpetuate the myth that a blank's "action" can be changed by over or underlining. The question and answer would be a lot more productive and accurate if the question was: I'm looking for a blank with an Action Angle in the range of 70-72 and an ERN of 5.5. This does however require that everyone use the correct definitions of the properties being measured.
As I write this I think you are correct. It would be easier - if everyone used the standard definitions for action, power and speed. Unfortunantely, many ffers, beginners and veterans alike, do not want to get into these details (nerds like me being the exception :) ). And, candidly, for the majority of anglers there is no need to get into the technical aspects if dealing with knowledgable staff in a shop. A knowledgable salesperson can hide all this from the angler and match the line to the blank for the intended fishing distances and techniques.
It's the subjective stuff too often found online and that's not grounded in an understanding of the real properties of the blank but are presented as fact that I think can be extremely misleading - "xxxxx is the best fast action 5 wt ever" can lead to anglers buying something that does not even come close to the fast action & power they need for the fishing they intend. So I guess I take back my cynical remark. The CCS system would not be confusing. At least not any more than now when both the rod & line manufacturers have abandoned even the AFTMA line weight standard. What in the heck is a line that is a half weight heavier in a standard based on ranges? Why a half line heavier to load a "fast" rod anyway? Action has nothing to do with loading. Loading is about power. If the rod is a 5 wt then it should load with a 5 wt line regardless of action - the fast in the upper and the slower down lower.
Sorry for the rant.
01-19-07, 01:35 PM
Hey its a good rant, I personaly would like to see the cc concept in full use. Then one can make a good choice for a new rod after the base rod. I have a Fly rod now and I have no idea if it is fast, slow etc because I have never used another rod of the same size, I just know it is suppose to be a 6wt and it is certainly 9ft. It does upload the weight 30 to 45 feet very well. When I purchase my next rod (probaly a custom) I will ask for the cc concept to ensure I am getting what I ask for, at least this way I can compare apples to apples dpwn the road.:)
vBulletin® v3.7.2, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.