We began this project by asking ourselves what each of us wanted from a rod. Given that our group was large, one might imagine that we would disagree a lot about how a rod should be and what a good rod really is. To our surprise, the guy crawling around in the bushes in search of trout in the smallest of creeks expressed the same general feeling about what makes a perfect rod as the guy who loves throwing the absolute longest cast possible, in the largest of rivers with the biggest possible rod, one that loads down to the handle but still has the fastest recovery possible! It’s as simple as that.
Our previous favorite large double hand rods were made in Korea. With this in mind, it was only natural for us to contact one of these factories. Over the years, there have been many successful partnerships between Korean engineers and Scandinavian rod designers. The match between Scandinavia and South Korea is simply perfect.
Our goal was to make a rod with the best possible performance, no matter the cost of materials, and that is exactly what we got. Unfortunately for us, there is a price tag to match. With the best possible graphite, the best possible resin, and the addition of graphene, we had the chance to make that perfect rod. Gary Loomis has an excellent explanation of what makes a good rod in general with his diving board example. If you’re interested in his explanation, you can find it on YouTube.
A few words about graphene as a material: well, we definitely didn’t invent it, but we were very curious about it. We learned that there are three cities in the world with special expertise about it: Manchester, England, the site of its invention; Seoul, South Korea, where our rods are made; and Gothenburg, Sweden, where some of us live. To learn more, we contacted Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg. We were invited to come and learn more about the material, and so we went. At first the professors tried to lower our hopes that graphene could be useful at all in our product. Real graphene is just one atom thick, and if you use too many layers it loses some of its benefits. So this material is just used as an addition to the primary material, through various methods (another long story). Although there was a risk that we were paying extra to add graphene to the blank with no effects, we did it anyway. We felt that we had to try, no matter what. We now believe that the method used to apply the graphene to the blanks is crucial. We also believe we can feel a difference in the rods with graphene compared to the ones without.
Presumably, we have been one of the pickiest, most annoying R&D teams the rod factory has ever worked with. Getting the best material was the start, and finding the perfect rod action with it was our journey. Learning along the way, improving and finding the key for every rod to perform better than anything we’ve ever felt before has been a very exciting experience for us. We think what we have now is something special and we hope you do too!