Wednesday, September 09, 2009

More Torrix thoughts

A few weeks ago I built a 1lb 12oz Torrix for a customer. I didn't have time to give it my usual back garden workout, and I didn't want to damage the blank either. So I restricted myself to putting a reel on it and running some line through the rings once it was completed. With the line tied to the padlock on the garage door I gave the rod a bend. It felt rather nice. The rod had to be sent out so that was as far as I got. I did add another of the blanks to my next order though...

The blank arrived in the shipment I received on Monday. With most of the blanks almost built, and in the interests of increasing my product knowledge, I subjected the Torrix blank to my usual rough and ready tests and comparisons. None of my procedure is scientific, most of it relies on 'feel', but as it is always done in the same way I find out what I want to know. Engineers and sticklers for micrometer precision look away now!

After the usual poking the tip against the ceiling test, the first job was to put a reel seat on the rod. In this case I trapped an NPS between two rolls of masking tape. So what if it spun round the blank? I wasn't intending to fish with it. Then a set of rings was taped on, the tip ring being secured with hot melt glue. With a reel on the rod the line was threaded and tied to the garage door. Then I walked back a few yards and gave the rod a bend. Backwinding at first, then using the drag, I simulated playing a fish - sort of!

The 'rod' felt rather nice. I've built up five of the 12ft Torrix blanks now; 1lb 4oz, 1lb 12oz, 2lb, 2lb 8oz and 2lb 12oz. They are not similar in action. The 2 and 2.75 are more tippy than the others - the 2lb being too tippy for my liking in a rod of that tc, the 2.75lb feeling more 'medium' actioned and likely to make a good pike rod. The best of the bunch, for me, are the 2.5lb and this 1.75lb. There is a new 12ft 1lb 8oz Torrix that I have yet to see.

When I had 'played' the garage for a few minutes and decided that the blank might well make up into a nice close to medium range tench/bream rod it was time to compare it to a 1lb 12oz Interceptor which is my current choice for that role. This rod was already rigged up so the line was tied next to that from the Torrix. The two rods were compared one at a time, then one in each hand. As I had suspected the Torrix was a midge's softer in the tip than the Interceptor, but still bent nicely into the lower regions with an equal feeling of power - unlike it's 2lb tc counterpart that stiffens up quickly.

To confirm my suspicions the final test was carried out. The two rods were rested on the top of the wheelie bins, a brick placed on the butts to stop them tipping over, and a six ounce lead hung from each tip ring. This is rather crude way of measuring the tip deflection and getting an idea of a rod's action in the top third. The rod with the masking tape on the rings is the Torrix.

1lb 12oz Interceptor v Torrix

The overall deflection is the same (lower photo shows this best), but it's clear to see that the curve of the two rods is not the same (upper photo). The Torrix is slightly softer at the very tip. In theory this means it will be less good for casting method feeders than the Interceptor, but it's so small a difference I doubt it will be noticeable in practice.

Out of curiosity I then did the deflection comparison with the 1.25lb and the 1.75lb. As can be seen below the 1.25lb deflects more than the 1.75lb as you'd expect.

1lb 4oz Torrix v 1lb 12oz Torrix

However, when I carried out the garage door test with all three rods (Interceptor 1.75, Torrix 1.25 and 1.75) it was hard to tell any difference between any of them in terms of overall 'feel'. Both Torrixes felt like they were starting to lock up in the butt, the Interceptor didn't. There was definitely more cushioning in the butt of Interceptor. The heavier Torrix was the softest of the three in the extreme of its tip. All this was very subtle and putting them into a full curve next to each other the differences were imperceptible - particularly between the lighter Torrix and the Interceptor. Which all goes to show that you can't rely on stated test curves, or even deflection tests, to tell the whole story of rod action and power.

I really like my 1lb 12oz Interceptors. They 'feel' the nicest of the three rods to be honest. I know exactly what they are capable of, and love the well used look they have with the caked on mud, groundbait and maggot skins. Even though I don't need them, I have ideas for building up three 1lb 12oz Torrixes with some SiC guides I spotted in the Mudhole catalogue, and the metallic thread I used on my 2.5lb Torrixes looks really smart on the woven blank. If only I could decide on a handle that would compliment the blanks as it seems a shame to cover up the weave on the butt with cork. Then again Mudhole have some cork accessories that would add a touch of bling...

Oh well, back to the everyday grind. Another Chimera 3 needs its handle fitting.