Sunday, March 24, 2013

Ring trends

It doesn't seem that long since Fuji were telling us that we didn't need large rings and that their new Low Rider design were guaranteed to add yards to your casts. They're horrible rings with bulky, heavy frames. I tried a set, briefly, on a spod rod. Apparently they were popular with carp anglers for a while on the continent.

20mm Low Rider
Low Riders have widely spread feet, which coupled with the heavy frames, made them very rigid and (I think) adversely affected a rod's action. For all they are supposed to be smaller than the usual rings they seem excessively bulky. You're also supposd to fit the butt ring the 'wrong way round' - as in with the single leg facing the reel. Looks bloody awful! Something that wasn't mentioned was the way they made a clicking sound as you flexed the rod. I don't think anyone worked out why, but I'm told a spray of WD40 shut them up.

20mm Low Rider and 30mm BSVOG from above
The latest 'must have' ring is the 'K-Series', which does look rather more elegant than the Low Riders. I'm writing this having just built a pair of rods up using these new no-tangle rings.

40mm K Series

Available in double and single leg frames they still suffer from the Low Rider's heavy frame and widely spaced feet problem. Maybe not quite so rigid a frame, but still unnecessarily heavy in my opinion. The big selling point is demonstrated in the video below. Any line tangles round the ring frame will unravel themselves. When did you last suffer from endless line tangles round your rod rings? Smoother casting should alleviate the problem if you get it.

For my money the nicest (as in aesthetically pleasing) frames are those of the MNSG style, which are also used on the Alconites. While they stand off as far as BSVOG frames they look lower profiled. There's also a little-known lightweight version in smaller sizes - intended for use on fly rods they are great on light specialist rods. I have them on my 1.75lb Torrixes.

20mm MNSG (L), 20mm BSVOG (R)
MNSG style frames may be a little heavier than the BSVOG style, but there's the added benefit of the frame protecting the liner. Not that I've had any problem in that department with old style rings when it comes to Fujis.

Something else that's new-but-not-new are stainless collars for 18mm reel seats. The rods with the K guides are fitted with 18mm DNPS seats and have the stainless collar at the front. It's worth noting that not all reels will fit in one of these reel seats, although most will fit in a DPS seat of the same size.