Why are Fiberglass fly rods so popular?
While there has been a real renaissance in fiberglass fly rods much of this is simply romanticism with things of old – like old e glass fly rods. Truth be told these old glass rods are heavy, they cast like a wet noodle and simply aren’t great fly rods at all.
However, modern fiberglass fly rods made of advanced fiberglass composites such as S-2 and the more advanced Unidirectional materials are nothing like the fiberglass fly rods of old.
These new materials are light, incredibly strong, beautiful to cast and beautiful to look at.
Why modern Fiberglass Fly Rods?
Modern S-2 Fiberglass Fly Rods are totally unique, they are lighter, fuller flexing, a huge amount of fun to fly fish with and are very very tough.
The Epic Fly Rod philosophy is to use the very best materials for each fly rod application. Sometimes the properties of high modulus carbon fiber are called for, for many other applications modern unidirectional glass fiber is the way to go.
Modern S-2 Unidirectional Fiberglass is the perfect fly rod material
Modern Fiberglass is the perfect material to build fly rods that are very tough, smooth, durable and fuller flexing than Carbon fiber. Epic FastGlass fiberglass fly rods are perfectly suited for long lazy casting strokes, presenting dry flies like thistledown or slinging serious weight out on the flats.
Epic fiberglass fly rods are unique in that they are one of the only production rods in the world to be constructed using a fully unidirectional Zentron® S-2 Glass fiber material. Even today, most fiberglass fly rods are constructed using older E-Glass material – And of course, that old school glass feeling is a very real part of the affection many anglers have for ‘glass’
Glass rods are not only kinder on light tippets and the fish connected to them, but they are also kinder and easier on fly casters.
S2 Fiberglass Fly Rods have a much higher resistance to damage than carbon fiber – an important benefit. Fiberglass is a very warm, tactile material. Epic glass rods are fun to cast, there’s no other way to describe it. Glass rods just have more soul.
The Various Types of Fiberglass composites used in Fly Rod Manufacture
Old Style E-GLASS
The common E-Glass found in most inexpensive fly rods was originally developed as an electrical insulator in the 1930s (hence the “e”) it features cross woven or even chopped strand fibers. Due to its strength, high damage tolerance, low cost, and mouldable nature E-Glass rapidly found favor with boat & surfboard builders.
While a cross woven material might be great for building boats, kayaks and surfboards the very nature of the weave makes it less than perfect for building fly rods. To build a great fly rod we ideally need the majority of fibers to run longitudinally up the bank, and a smaller number of fibers running crosswise to hold the bundle together and contribute hoop strength. (Generally, hoop strength is achieved by utilizing a fiberglass scrim anyway) However, all those additional cross fibers in conventional E-Glass do nothing but add weight and resin load to the material. This is in part why most fiberglass fly rods tend to be comparatively heavy and quite slow to recover to straight. Think of the fiberglass fly rods of old. Overall E-Glass is cheap to produce and relatively heavy.
S-2 glass was first developed for military missile applications, and later, armor plating on military vehicles. It is a higher quality product than standard E-glass and is about 30% stronger and 15% stiffer. S-2 Glass is used in applications that require greater strength and less weight than common E-Glass. A very small number of manufacturers claim to use S-Glass in their fly rods, one manufacturer claims to use a “largely unidirectional” material in their glass rod construction. E-Glass and S-Glass are fine materials for fly rod construction, but for our Glass fly rods, we chose the most modern most advanced material available.
UNIDIRECTIONAL S-2 GLASS
Epic FastGlass® fly rods are produced from industry leading Zentron 8 micron Unidirectional S-2 Glass. This next generation fiber is specifically engineered for fly rod production and features 8-micron fibers developed and produced in the USA. These fibers are almost half the diameter of other unidirectional materials, resulting in a tighter, more precise and stronger material.
Zentron S-2 Glass is a modern composite material that exhibits very high damage tolerance, high tensile strength, high flexural strength and is extremely well suited to advanced fly rod construction.
Modern unidirectional S-2 Glass is primarily used in the construction of wind turbine blades, helicopter rotor blades and militarily aircraft. The Sikorsky Helicopter Corporation even has a patent on its use. We use it in our fly rods for the very same reasons.
With the majority of fibers running longitudinally – where they are needed most – we can produce fly rods that are not only very strong but are very light and have faster recovery speeds than conventional E-Glass or even standard S Glass
In short, because our FastGlass is so strong we can use less material, this gives us a very strong blank that is light and extremely responsive.
Epic FastGlass fly rods still exhibit the full flexing feel, strength and casting goodness of fiberglass, but without the associated weight and that ‘Noodle’ feeling we all know.
Fiberglass Fly Rods
Materials may come and go, but fly rods are all about tapers. These unique tapers are rolled using ultra-modern full unidirectional fiberglass and produce something greater than the sum of its parts – we call this FastGlass®.
These rods are unlike the glass rods of old or even new. Epic FastGlass® rods are light, crisp and lively. They recover a little faster than your average glass rod, but still have all that soulful feel, silky smoothness, and downright toughness that only glass can deliver.
Each rod in the Epic series was developed by IFFF Master Casting Instructor, Carl McNeil. Cast one and try not to grin.
FastGlass® is a Registered Trademark of the Swift Fly Fishing Company.
FLY RODS WITH SUPERIOR QUALITY
Our fly rods are produced using superior materials from top to toe. Our fly rod blanks, many with a translucent finish, are difficult to produce (our technology partner constantly reminds us), many blanks are rejected, and only the very best quality blanks from each batch go on to carry the Epic name.
We use superior cork & components and each fly rod is made one at a time, as the customer orders it, right here in our small studio workshop in Wanaka, New Zealand.
We take great pride in our originality of design and workmanship – even our natural glass rod tube is unique.
THE VERY BEST, WE GUARANTEE IT.