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What Are Fishing Rod Blanks? Dive into the Basics!

What Are Fishing Rod Blanks

Fishing rods have various parts, including handle, reel seat, eyelets and other, but the one connecting it all is the blank.

It is an important part of it that determines many rod features, and it defines its performance. So, what are fishing rod blanks exactly?

Rod blank is the core, or the backbone of the rod. It is hollow and tubular shaped, and can be made from various materials including graphite, fiberglass, and similar. Blank gives the rod its power, action, and has a huge influence in casting performance.

Anglers can choose blanks that are one piece, or in sections. Those sections may be telescopic or multi piece. Of course, all types of blanks have their intended use and various advantages and disadvantages.

This crucial part of any rod is frequently neglected by novice anglers, and that is a big mistake. In my opinion, this may be the most important part, the one that makes or breaks your experience.

So, to choose wisely, and to have a rod that fulfils all your angling needs, check out this guide and find out everything you need to know!

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What is a Blank on a Fishing Rod?

Fishing rod blanks are the spine of every rod.

Every other rod part like line guides or handles are connected to it but they are not a part of the blank itself. It can be observed as the core of the rod.

How the blank is designed and made determines all rod features including:

  • Power
  • Action
  • Sensitivity
  • Casting performance
  • Durability
  • Flexibility
  • Strength
  • Stiffness

Of course, some of these elements are connected to each other. For example, the higher the power, the stronger rod will be.

Because of all this, it is essential to pay a lot of attention when choosing rod blank material and features.

What are Fishing Rod Blanks - Action

What Rod Materials are Used for Blanks?

Rod blank material determines rod performance, and of course, the price range. There are three main materials that I will mention here:

Fiberglass

Fiberglass blanks has many benefits, and one of them is relatively low price. This is why many beginners choose fiberglass rods. They are durable, forgive many mistakes including mishandling, and are quite resilient to damage. Their action is usually slow, and casting distance and precision are lower. When it comes to flexibility, they have decent properties.

Graphite

This material gives extraordinary sensitivity. In addition to that, graphite blanks are very responsive and lightweight. This makes them excellent for prolonged use, and many experienced anglers choose them.

Downside is their price, however you will get excellent and precise casting ability, as well as excellent casting distance. Unfortunately, although they are very stiff and strong, these rods are not resilient to damage and impacts.

These blanks are used when you need high precision, like for bass fishing.

Composite

Composite blanks, as the name suggests, are made from combining various materials such as fiberglass and graphite. These blanks are versatile and have properties of all materials used in production. Prices can vary a lot, but they are usually more expensive than fiberglass but cheaper than graphite.

When you combine these materials, you get rods that are more sensitive than fiberglass, but not as light as graphite.

What are Fishing Rod Blanks - Materials

Does the Material of a Blank Affect its Performance?

This was briefly explained in the previous chapter, but here are a few more details.

Every material has different properties! For example, graphite is extremely strong, stiff and rods made from graphite are very light. Because of this incredible strength less material is needed for constructing rod blanks, and that is why their weight is much lower.

Graphite, as a material is very sensitive to vibrations, even the slightest ones. It transfers vibrations much better than fiberglass. This gives it that sensitivity I mentioned before.

Let’s assume that fish is just slightly checking out your lure. Vibrations from fish touching it will travel over the line, through the rod, to the handle where you can feel it. Those smallest activities can not be felt on fiberglass rod due to material properties and much lower ability to transfer vibrations.

From this you can see how the material affects overall performance of the blank and how to choose the one that will suit your needs.

What are Fishing Rod Blanks - Eyelets

Importance of Rod Action (Taper) When Choosing the Best Rod Blank

Now you know what are fishing rod blanks and I already mentioned action, but here is a bit more details.

What is important here is not to think that power and action are the same. Let’s define it.

Fishing rod action related to how much the rod will bend when pressure is applied. Depending on material, only the top third will bend, half of it, or the whole blank.

It is divided into fast-action, medium-action and slow-action (or combinations like slow-medium). This slow/medium/fast feature describes how fast the rod will come back into original position when pressure is removed.

Fast rods are those where only upper third will bend ad swiftly come back. Slow ones are those where the whole blank will bend and take longer time to straighten.

Depending on intended use, you should choose the rod action. If you need a rod that is sensitive, responsive, and enables fast hooksets, you need fast action. This is very useful for bass fishing.

If you plan to use live bait and need rod that doesn’t move so swiftly, you should go for slow action.

Action is very important feature you must consider before buying a rod.

What are Fishing Rod Blanks - Action-Taper

Can you Replace a Fishing Rod Blank in an Existing Rod?

There is nothing worse than seeing a damage on your favourite rod. Whether it is a result of misuse, or something else, the good thing is that you don’t necessarily need to buy a completely new rod.

Of course, on a one-piece rod, it is not easy. Replacing a blank in that case would mean buying a completely new one. Repair is the only option here.

However, if you have multi piece rod, you can change just one section, if you can get your hands on the spare one.

Most of manufacturers don’t have just one section to order, so your best chance is to find used rod that is same as yours and take the part.

If something happened to your rod, most often, it makes sense to simply repair it. You can find detailed guides on how to do it online, or you can take it to the shop where professionals can try to save the rod.

What are Fishing Rod Blanks - Multipiece

Can Fishing Rod Blanks be Customized? In Rod Building - YES!

The answer to this question is YES!

You can customize rod blank to completely fits your personal preference. You can choose properties such as length, material, action, power, rod design and all other parts that connect to it like line guides and handles.

You can choose these properties in accordance with the fishing technique, species, lures you intend to use and the rod type you need. All this for you custom fishing experience!

However, custom rod building is not something that beginners will often do, and it is targeted towards very experienced anglers and rod builders, even professionals. Custom rods are frequently used for tournaments too.

There are fishing rod companies that allow their buyers to choose among various features and rods are built on demand.

And there are fishing rod builders who can build custum and unique rod just for your need! If you need one, you can contact me!

What are Fishing Rod Blanks - Building

Conclusion

Knowing what are fishing rod blanks and how they affect properties (some of them even float) of any rod is very important when choosing your rods for specific use.

As a beginner, you can focus on cheaper variants, however, that doesn’t mean that those are bad. You just have to be aware of their performance and know how to maximize it.

And the most important tip here – take care of your rod! Clean it, handle it, and store it properly to avoid damage and to make sure it lasts for years!

About Me

Slo-fishing - About Us

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I am Siniša Pintar (friends call me Sina), the guy behind Slo-fishing.si and eBook writer. This site is base camp for fishing enthusiasts from all over the world. I love fishing and want to share all my stories, knowledge and my experience with any and all potential anglers. Read more ...

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