SportsFishing Rods

Light but strong rods offering excellent
vibration damping transmit the response of the fish effectively.

It is generally said that "thin, light and strong" fishing rods are the best. The use that is highly required is "High rigidity and Weight reduction." That's because fishing rods must be appropriately sized for ease of holding and light, very rigid, easy to tackle, feel the response from the fish, and take in the fish. In particular, "sweetfish fishing rods" used in Japan from ancient times are long and heavy (bamboo rods each span 6.2 m, weigh 1.5 kg and have an outer diameter of approx. 50 mm), and must be handled with both hands, which is fun but a lot of trouble. With the development of carbon fiber offering high specific modulus of elasticity, however, these fishing rods have become lighter and are now called "carbon rods" and considered premium/sports fishing rods along with "crucian carp rods and mountain stream rods."

Historically, Toray's TORAYCA® was adopted in 1972 by the world's first sweetfish fishing rod "Seiki sweetfish" by Olympic that used TORAYCA®/glass textile and phenol resin sheet based on the winding method. This fishing rod spanned 7.2 m, only one half the length of the conventional "glass rod," and became much lighter at approx. 600 g reportedly. The Seiki sweetfish was a big hit despite costing four times as much with a price tag of 50,000 yen. In the following year, the Seiki sweetfish adopted TORAYCA®-only textile and utilized unidirectional prepreg for further weight reduction, allowing TORAYCA® to make a solid inroad into the fishing rod industry. On the other hand, fishing rods using unidirectional prepreg with anisotropy had an issue of "vulnerability to crushing" due to insufficient peripheral strength. As a solution, a glass cloth called "Scrim Cloth," which was originally electro was electronic substrate material, was utilized to step up peripheral strength, and use of Scrim Cloth also led to improved shape retention and ease of handling of unidirectional prepreg. Thereafter, the peripheral reinforcement material to "prevent crushing" benefited from the development of an extremely thin version of TORAYCA® prepreg (approx. 30 µm), which led to the realization of the so-called "100% carbon rod" the industry was waiting for at the time. Currently, extremely thin prepreg as slim as approx. 10 µm is being produced and this technology is a very important part of "preventing crushing" of the rod. To respond to the demand for lighter fishing rods, Toray developed unidirectional torayca® prepreg products of wide-ranging thicknesses, high fiber contents, developing resin, etc., and in 1997 premiered a 10-m long type weighing 300 g. In 2004, a product having an outer diameter of approx. 26 mm, practical length of 9.5 m and weight of 240 g was released.

Lighter carbon fiber rods have the following advantages, among others:
[1] Because they are lighter and thinner, these rods can be handled by one hand with ease.
[2] Their light weight prevents the user from getting tired.
[3] Longer rods cover wider fishing areas.
[4] More sensitive to the response from fish.
[5] Easy to taken in fish.

Making avid anglers increasingly satisfied year after year, these carbon fiber fishing rods made "sweetfish fishing" a mass recreation instead of a niche sport, created a new market, and added more excitement to sweetfish fishing. The benefits of adopting carbon (CFRP) to Japan's traditional "sweetfish fishing rods" naturally led to product application of TORAYCA® to all types of fishing rods used in ocean, river and lake fishing, helping grow and stimulate the industry. Today, general-purpose rods such as surf fishing rods and casting rods use high-strength types of TORAYCA® having a modulus of elasticity of 24 or 30 tf/mm2, while sweetfish, crucian carp and mountain stream fishing rods use high-elasticity types having a modulus of elasticity of 40 to 65 tf/mm2. Optimal rods for different fishing applications are being designed and sold.

Clearly, our carbon fiber TORAYCA® established itself as an innovative material that changed the way we look at fishing and continues to support the growth and progress of fishing as a sport.