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Stiff Rods, Light Rods, etc


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#1 DB Cooper

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 03:26 PM

What is the preferred rod for wind conditions?

If you have a light wind and you have two rod sets that weigh the same, but one set is much stiffer than the other which would be better? Does the stiff rod set keep the sail tighter or does the flexible set allow the sail to billow and hold the wind better?

I hear lots of talk about race rods, a rod with the weight of a 2 wrap and the stiffness of a three wrap. People seem to fly it in higher winds than a 2 wrap also. Is it stronger or just stiffer? Then to further confuse things people dislike the SLE rods because they are too stiff, not to mention heavy.

What limits the rods for wind speed, is it strength or flex? If the wind is to high will the rod break or flex to much for precise control?

(Winter here with negative temps, blowing snow etc so I can't experiment right now, just trying to understand some of the theory)

#2 Sailor99

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 09:44 PM

Yes I can see how this could be confusing. I think part of the confusion may be coming from the way we use words loosely. For my part I use a "stiffer" rod as the wind increases working my way up from 2 wrap to 4 wrap then doubling up the rods in the LE, That bit is pretty clear I think. The RR offer two extra advantages. They are indeed the weight of a 2W but they are the strength (not stiffness) of a 3W. So they give you all the wind range of both 3 and 2W frames. The other advantage is that the way they flex is different. They bend a bit like a 2W but then they spring back faster. You might say they recover quicker. Most people LOVE the faster recovery time.The SLE is way too stiff for most people No bend, let alone any recovery at all. Having said that there are some people who love its solid felids is very robust for teaching (new by crashes!) and is vital in the speed series kites.

So, if you want solid go for the SLE but you may find it feels dead. If you are budgeting use the 1/2/3 wraps your kites probably came with - there is nothing wrong with them, they are the Porsche of rods (Compared to the Ferrari RRs). If you want a sensitive, flexible frame with a wide wind range go for a RR set.

BTW - you may have noticed that I only mentioned weight once, and even then it was only because I had no choice. When I started our I thought weight of frames was the whole deal - the lighter you could get away with the easier it would be to fly. As I have gained experience I have found the weight is pretty irrelevant in terms of helping you to fly. Its all about the frame flexing which introduces camber (Billow in US English I think?) into the sail and therefore power and lift. Weight does add momentum to the kite, which can be both positive and negative in turning - just something you have to work with or control as appropriate really.
Over - Jeremy

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#3 Baloo

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 10:45 PM

Now that Jeremy has sat down and taken a breath.

Yep, pretty much what he said.

I would add however there is an element of "what works for you" if that makes sense.

#4 big bri

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 11:18 PM

My Personal prefrance on Rods or the way i use them is below.Also works well if your on a tight Budget.Thers only two frames required for most wind conditions.That said though.Dont underestimate Experiance and wher the rods sit in both use and wind range.

EXAMPLE
The SLE 4wrap[Suuper,Leading,Edge rods]for a beginner are a good piece of kit and can take a pounding when in the learning and early stages of Rev Flying.Wouldnt liked to have had Race Rods in when i first picked a Rev Up.I would have needed a remorgauge for broken spar costs.
Also its worth mentioning.The setups below and above, would be for a 1.5 and not the same for a Rev One for me.Again this is a personal thing.I wouldnt fly a Rev One after 9-10mph at all.I just dont like the feel

Race Rods from 0 up to 15mph max.
4 wrap from 15 mph up to 25mph max.
25mph or gusty conditions over 20mph
i put Race rods and 4 wrap in together

As you fly more and get more experiance.The Rod thing becomes second nature.Personal choice comes more into play,I also like the feel of a Race Rod centre spar and 3 or 4 wrap outers,Again a personal thing,but dont be put off trying diffrent stuff.Once you have a wider selection of spars[because ya will].Dont obviously try 2 wrap in a gale.Once you understand wher in the wind scale a spar should fit.Experiment a little.Find your taste,feel,flex.
Carbon Rods are proper strong.Ive never had one break in the leadingedge.Apart from when a ferrule slipped and split the rods end.The ends of the rods seem to be the weakest point.Take care that ferrules are glued well and dont stand on them by accident,trap in doors,your car boot[trunk]the Rods ENDS.
One last rod tip.Always check youve located a spar in your verticles properly.This is the cause of most spar breaks in my experiance.The verticles do take alot of pressure and need tobe well located in the fitting.

Hope that helps ya

BRIAN...36GERUPS

#5 DB Cooper

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 11:48 AM

Thank you all for taking the time to reply. I have to mull over the responses now and figure out a few things .... mostly I am itching to fly, luckily I shall be in a nice warm climate in a few days.




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