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Rod Selection - Dickerson Tapers

Can someone help me find the taper for the Dickerson 7613.  I have looked on the Rodmakers site under tapers and it is not listed.  (Tom Peters)

    7613 LT (Golden  Witch)

    0.360 (Tim Pembroke)

    To my knowledge there are at least 3 versions of the 7613 out there. One from the 1950s, one from the 1970s, and Russ Gooding's Golden Witch version.

    I have built Russ' version, which I believe was posted yesterday, and I love it.  I think it is a fantastic taper.  Very smooth and plenty of power for a 5 wt should you need it.

    In case you didn't get the taper before, here it is:

    7613 LT (Golden Witch)

    0.360  (Jay Hake)

      So far everyone that has put the numbers up on Russ Gooding’s 7613 LT has listed 19 measurements. I think I originally posted this taper as Russ personally sent it to me. There should be 20 measurements not 19. So far all those posted were missing the 1st station on the butt section. The last  tip  measurement  (that  goes  into  the  male  ferrule) is .204. The 1st station on the butt section is NOT .214, it should be.208@0, then as follows:

      and .360@45.

      Ten measurements on the butt and ten stations on the tip.  (Will Price)

      Is not 7'6'' a bit short for a five weight?  (Robin Haywood)

        Is 8'4" a bit long for a 4 wt.?  (Jerry Foster)

          For some applications, like fishing dries from a drifting boat, it could be even a bit short.  I cannot come up with an application for a 7'6''#5, with its inherent disadvantages for roll casting. In the local streams we suffer the length to enable some sort of roll cast, but use #4 or #3 lines.  (Robin Haywood)

            I consider a 7 1/2-ft. 5wt. the all-around trout rod out here in the Western US. Most of the ones I have made and sold are the PHY Perfectionist taper. I've fished mine from a drift boat on the Green river and had great success. It also is fine on smaller streams.   (Steve Weiss)

            That's the rub isn't it?  You don't find a need for a 7'6" 5wt on your streams.  On the other hand, Dickerson was designing rods (most likely) for Michigan waters.  Yes, there are specific applications for a 7'6" 5wt here in Michigan.  In fact, I use the 7613 that I made a lot of the time, even while Hex fishing last week on the Manistee!   (Todd Talsma)

              I had rather hoped that I might finesse out of someone just what these specific requirements might be.  Overhanging trees?  Narrow steam but very exposed and windy thus needing a #5 line?  I'm probably going to have to find a use for one as it happens as a design for a 7'6'' #4 that is nearing ringing looks a bit beefy for a  #4.   (Robin Haywood)

                I made the Dickerson 7613 from the numbers in Jack Howells book. After looking at the taper which has a fairly big step down at the ferrule I decided in my humble opinion to put some of the cane back... about .01". I fish mostly Michigan streams where you are wading the stream casting to the edges, and casting to rising fish wherever you are lucky enough to find them. The 7613 is a wonderfully versatile taper, the rod is light in the hand, and is at home casting sizes #6  Muddlers to #16 Dry flies. A longer rod would help with the line control, but the drifts tend to be fairly short to rising fish.  Casting range allows for some delicacy up close and personal, to the times that you want to reach out and touch someone a bit further away.

                The best reason that I can give you as to why Dickersons are popular tapers (Along with another Michigan maker Paul Young) is that they are nice casting rods and fit our fishing very well. If you would like to give Michigan a try, let me know.  (Peter Jones)

                  If you "Put some cane back" in the bottom eighteen inches or so of the top joint you will have removed most of my objections. This is the second invitation to fish Michigan, and I thank you sincerely for it.  All that stops me is time, I get about six weeks a year unencumbered by business or meetings and I'm booked up to 2010! This is, of course, wildly unsatisfactory, but all attempts to reduce the problem seem to last for only a short time. I'm off to the antipodes next year, and I'm hoping that the 7'6'' #5 that should be a #4 will go with me.  (Robin Haywood)

                    About a week ago I was fishing the hex hatch on a certain small Wisconsin stream for the first  time in many years, with a 7.5 ft 5wt, and actually wished I had a much shorter rod, given the overhanging trees.  I was contemplating a rod with a 3.5 ft tip  section and interchangeable butt sections of maybe 2,  3 and 4 ft lengths. It seems that a Garrison-type taper with a straight, flat stress curve would be the most likely to be tolerable.  I just wanted to make the point that there's a difference between a rod with a straight taper and one with a  straight, flat stress curve.

                    The hatch did not materialize and the fish did not rise, which gave me time to think of such things.  (Frank Stetzer, Hexrod, Taper Archive, Rodmakers Archive)

                      I'm grateful to you for that point because a recent post referred to straight taper garrisons and I wonder if he meant straight stress "curves". Garrison would have like straight line stress/strain results for the same reason Richard Walker did. They were  both  practicing engineers! In practice most people these days do not take well to these technically correct ideas, preferring a slope to the straight line, giving higher strain levels near the tip, i.e. faster tapers.  (Robin Haywood)

                      I have just finished reading your post regarding Straight Line Tapers and Straight horizontal Stress Curves and I must say that you as well as robin really do need a refresher course in Stress Curves. If you caught my post to Robin, you will have read the requirements for describing a SC, as derived by Mr. Everett Garrison in his book. I fail to see anything in the manor of specifications for your making a point that you feel there is a difference between the two, in fact I would like to show you that they are, under the right conditions, EXACTLY THE SAME. If you look at the attached graph you will see that my Compensated Straight Line Taper does indeed have a Straight Horizontal Stress Curve at 20 feet of line outside the tiptop. Mr. Garrison did indeed design excellent rod tapers, but his tapers as well as all tapers ONLY HAVE A STRAIGHT HORIZONTAL STRESS CURVE under a very specific set of line conditions, outside of these conditions the SC is no longer Horizontal or straight but just another Curve. I think you have fallen into the same trap that so many people do and forgot to realize that Stress Curves are only good for the conditions under which they are derived; change the conditions and you have changed the Curve.

                      When things are stated incorrectly, many of the newer makers on the list can get very confused.  (Bob Norwood)

        I don't find the 7'6" length to be too short.  I have fished some pretty big water with this rod and it has served me very well.  This rod has some meat in the butt section and seems to mend a fair bit of line with ease.

        I am sure there are situations where a bit more length would be helpful, but who am I to argue with Mr. Dickerson?  (Jay Hake)

        Apparently Dickerson didn't think so.  (Greg Holland)

      Who knows, he may have just been responding to a client request, presume he had to eat.  (Robin Haywood)

        As a rule I only make #5 rods ( like Marinaro) and the bulk of these are less than 7'6".

        Why do you think a7'6" rod is short for a #5 ?  (Paul Blakley)

      I think a 7'6'' rod is short for any line weight. I only use short rods on overgrown streams. Even then I wince about their roll casting deficiencies. I do find that I am using much shorter rods than I did, I think its the American influence of this Listserv! On Corrib I used an 8'8''#4 nearly all the time, in fact I designed it for the job. In fact I've just made a new tip for it as the original developed a kink when being cooked to set off the UHU which no amount of ironing will remove. Following tests I no longer cook UHU. It was considerably more effortless to use than my colleagues 8'6'' to 9' supposedly #4 carbons. Except that they are US rated and thus #5's! The rod in question has a test curve of 4 ozs, by the way. Don't you find short rods a problem on those splendid Yorkshire chalk streams? I really must stir myself to come and fish them, it's time that's the enemy.  (Robin Haywood)

        Why don't you design some roll casting ability into every rod?  I have a tough time roll casting over about 65' with any rod, no matter how long or limber.  Can do a little better some days, but not always.  (Harry Boyd)

          You bring up a question I have been trying to work through for some time. What physical characteristics make a taper roll cast well.

          I'll give you a bit of background on the question. I have been working with Bob Norwood's taper program, using it to derive a basic set of reference tapers. It is my belief that there are only seven truly different tapers available as a base to design rods from. They would be;

          The Straight line taper is the most basic and then the six major deviations of the SLT. They would be, Heavy butt section, Light butt section, heavy tip, light tip, Parabolic (heavy in the middle) and the hinge (light in the middle). All tapers are based solely or partially on the combinations of these basic deviations from the SLT. Take a Garrison. Typically it is a heavy tip section combined with a light butt section.

          So the question - I have been trying to define the specific characteristic that each basic deviation from the SLT imparts to the action of the rod. What does the taper of a rod that roll cast well look like? Is there a classic taper that roll casts better any others?

          Just a topic to ponder on these slow summer days.  (Will McMurrey)

            Just very briefly, a Castle Connell taper is a good example, where you have a curious reverse taper in the upper part of the lower half of the rod. The trouble is, that's all it does! For any thing else but roll casting or keeping a very finite weight of DT in the air, it's useless. You can design a flyrod, racing bicycle, airplane or motorcar to do one thing superbly with ease. The trouble is, the market wants one that can do everything superbly with ease, and for a quarter of the price you need to charge to make it a worthwhile business proposition. Cynically, but I may not have entirely given up,  yet.  (Robin Haywood)

          This would be very easy, but would impact on other desirable qualities. In fact, as the requirements of a stream rod are very simple, this is what we do. We are typically roll casting about five yards of line at very small fish, so all things can be subjugate to that. in practice however, there is little point in going below 7'6'', really.  (Robin Haywood)

          Consider this, the aspect of looking at tapers as deviations from straight lines is most valid when you are designing from numbers and not from stress or deflection. You can draw a straight line between the tip and the butt of any taper. What you have done is show the slope to the tip to butt. Some use this to define the average rod speed.  But all you have done is show the straight line taper for between two dimensions. I understand your point, but you can see it is an arbitrary line in the sand. You could have chosen Tom Fulk's true arc taper as the norm and try to describe the deviations from that.  It's really funny that a True Arc turns out to be a parabolic taper  (how drunk were those guys?). We all have devices to try to self describe tapers.

          The second you deviate from a straight line, no matter how you want  to describe it, the fact that there was a straight line is  irrelevant. The rod action will not resemble a straight line taper  any longer. Also, your shorthand doesn't describe where these changes  take place, which is as equally as important as the changes  themselves. If you were to design rods using a visual representation  of it's deflection then deviation from a straight line doesn't matter.

          There are many ways to skin this cat.  (Jerry Foster)

            Thanks for the feedback, very helpful. I'm not familiar with Tom Fulk's true arc taper. Can you direct me to where I can find more information on this? It sounds very interesting. I search on Google and didn't come up with anything.

            You are correct, this is just a way of evaluating the effects of adding or subtracting material from different areas along a rods length. A straight line taper could be arbitrary, but in this case  it is very specific to line weight. Starting at a tip dimension specific to a given line weight you add diameter to the length of the rod in linier increments until you reach the rod length you want. Now you have a rod in the length, line weight and number of section you want. You can build this rod and have a neutral action rod (my term). But you also have the opportunity to add or remove material any ware alone the length of that rod and doing so will have an taper specific effect on the casting/fishing characteristics of the rod. The only limit you have in this process, you can't change the tip diameter because you would be changing the line weight of the rod. So now where do you add or subtract material and what effect will it have on the rod. I think we can say that adding more material to a tip section would produce more power and reducing material on the tip section will increase accuracy and delicacy of fly presentation. Adding material to the butt section will stiffen and add power. Reducing material in the butt section will make the butt more limber and allow flex deeper into the butt. Removing material in the center creates a hinge aiding in roll casting ability (thank you Harry for that bit of information). I am still trying to fully define the effect, positive and negative each of these regions have on rod action. Help from forum members would be welcomed.

            The point here being, if we can define areas along the straight line or linier taper. Determine the effect of adding or subtracting material as to what effect it will have on rod action, we can design rods for a specific purpose. Yes you do have the seemingly limitless variation of moving the point or points and amount of material added or removed along the rod length. However if we can define specific regions (tip, middle, butt) and understand the effect of removing or adding material in these areas. We now have solid parameters around which to modify, to refine rod design characteristics.

            All through this process you must be aware of the stress curves as well, you don't want to make changes that will  cause a rod to fail. Stress curves are an integral part of this process and have to be evaluated. I personally have never been able to use them to describe the characteristics of a taper.

            This system could also be very helpful to understand why a classic taper feels the way it feels. In the end I don't want to necessarily build a Dickerson 7613. I want to build a rod that does what a Dickerson 7613 does when casting and fished. I would also like to know why a Dickerson 7613 taper imparts those characteristics. That's not a lot to ask is it?  (Will McMurrey)

              At the Grayling gathering, Bill Harms gave a presentation of Marinaro's approach to rod design. It is quite different that the Garrison math method.

              Bill said that the book he has written on the subject is going to the printers and should be out soon.. (No financial interest.)  (Rich Jezioro)

              The reason I also advise using stress curves is that when you make  changes, add or remove bamboo, you also effect the rest of the rod.  If you add bamboo the the tip of the rod, you have changed its mass  (MOI/MOE) relative to what it was. If you want the rod to have the  same characteristics as before the change, the you must add some cane  to the mid/butt of the rod to maintain the balance that was there  before. Stress curves are the only tool I have seen that give you a  visual image of exactly what you have changed and the consequences of  that action.

              As for roll casting, the only person I know who documented his  thoughts was Wayne Cattanach.. I believe he told me he placed his  roll casting hinge 10"-15" above the handle, depending on rod length.  He can correct this if he is still hanging around. If you move it up  to the mid section you might add a hinge that gets involved in the  normal cast.. which is usually to be avoided. Unless that is what you  are trying to achieve. (Jerry Foster)

              I agree, well put!

              I can add that there is not one single straight line taper for each line weight. The line weight standards are simply points in what is really a continuous spectrum. As we all know, rods can often cast line weights one up and down from their designated ones. Some rods might in fact be best with a line weight that falls between two designated ones eg. a 3 1/2 wt  - were that possible. Rods also tend to have varying sweet spots in terms of when the amount of line out feel just right. All of which indicates to me that there is not one 'correct' straight line taper.

              The other point is that in the case of, for want of a better word, 'non-extreme' rods, I believe that what happens in the top 20" is  the primary determinant of the line weight. Variations below this point have more to do with the character of the rod than the line weight. 

              To vary the straight line you can adjust the tip dimension. You simply have to then adjust the rate of change of the taper - the rise. Obviously this has to be judicious, as there comes a point where the taper tends more towards an adjacent standard line weight.

              I would be interested to hear Bob Norwood's approach on this issue. If you read this Bob, I would be interested to know how you choose your tip dimension and rise?

              In terms of rod design I think that it is really worthwhile considering as many design approaches as possible when trying  to design and assess tapers. I like to look at the taper itself and how it compares to  a straight line taper, the stress curve, the tip deflection under loading, the shape the rod assumes under maximum loading, the rod weight and the center of gravity. All of these factors when considered together give a better picture of the rod than any one does in isolation. It is obviously also extremely useful to compare one rod with others at the same time.

              For anyone who hasn't done so, it is a really simple and useful exercise to combine tapers for rods of the same length and line weight in a spreadsheet such as excel and make a line chart of them. You can easily introduce straight line tapers as well. If you 'hide' columns you can then compare and easily see differences in any combination of selected rod tapers. This in itself is a very interesting exercise. Especially if you know how the rods actually cast.  (Stephen Dugmore)

                Some good stuff here. I would agree that one system is not all encompassing and I agree with the selection of evaluating criteria you outlined. Interesting thoughts on line weight and the first 20", I will have to roll that one around in my head for awhile. 

                I based the statement of one SLT for a line weight on Bob Norwood's tip dimensions. Bob through extensive research determined the tip dimensions for specific line weights and then calculated SLT for each. These are Bob's dimensions.

                Line Size  Tip Size 
                1 wt         0.0540
                2 wt         0.0585
                3 wt         0.0638
                4 wt         0.0680
                5 wt         0.0720
                6 wt         0.0752
                7 wt         0.0790
                8 wt         0.0830
                9 wt         0.0890

                I will let Bob speak to the numbers and how they were derived. They look very representative to what I have seen.

                Great conversation. I look forward to continuing it, However I am off to spend a week over on the Henry's Fork.  (Will McMurrey)

                A picture says a thousand words. As  Stephen points out if you can cast the rods then graph them out you really start to understand how it all comes together. It’s a very useful exercise. And well worth the  little time it takes to execute.  (Gary Nicholson)

            So out of great curiosity then - how would you describe to me ( someone who doesn't have a clue ) how the action would feel or perform with regard to a "Straight Taper Rod " comparatively speaking .  (John Silveira)

              On a theoretical straight line or linear taper the rod would load progressively down to the handle. As you got more line out the rod would flex deeper into the shaft. In other words as the load increased, more of the rod would flex in a liner fashion.

              How would this feel? Good question and I will tell you as soon as I finish my 5wt SLT. I have always wondered why we don't just build linear tapers. So I thought I would answer that question and build one. It will be one of the rods in what I am calling my Basic Reference Taper set. This will be three tips (light, heavy and SLT),  three butts (light, heavy, SLT), a parabolic and a hinge. All 5wt with identical terminal tip and butt dimensions. All but the parabolic and the hinge will have the same ferrule dimension so tips and butt sections can be interchanged to create any of the major taper variations. We will see how it turns out.  (Will McMurrey)

                One of my favorite rods is a linear taper with a "slope" of .290/100". This is the equivalent of a Powell B-8.70, a bit slower than the Powell B-9. This taper, starting with a .068 tip dimension, makes a great middle distance 8' WF6 or 7-1/2' 5wt. I've also made an 8-1/2' with tip dimension of .072,  which made a really nice 6/7 weight.

                As Will predicts, this is a very pleasant and easy rod to cast.

                Here's the taper for the 5/6 weight

                Station    Diameter
                0               0.068
                5               0.0825
                10             0.097
                15             0.1115
                20             0.126
                25             0.1405
                30             0.155
                35             0.1695
                40             0.184
                45             0.1985
                50             0.213
                55             0.2275
                60             0.242
                65             0.2565
                70             0.271
                75             0.2855
                80             0.3
                85             0.3145
                90             0.329
                95             0.3435  (Tom Bowden)

                  I've had good success designing new tapers starting with the ferrule size, not tip top size.  As a general rule, a 12/64 gives you a four weight, a 13/64 a five, 14 or 15 a six.  You can vary the slope to get the "speed" you want (Garrison's are .013/5"; a B-9 .015/5"; and I've built them as fast as .018/5").

                  You can built say a 5wt using a 13/64 ferrule and any of these slopes, and they'll all be 5 weights, but if you do the math you'll see that the tip dimensions would vary greatly.  The Garrison tip would be .078, B-9 tip would be .059, and a fast .018/5" drop a tip of .035.  (Chris Obuchowski)

                In short, very short!

                Any rod with a straight taper under load will feel to a greater or lesser extent, unnecessarily heavy in the tip and too soft in the butt.  You may, or may not, as a rod designer, wish to achieve either, but probably not both! Parabolic is a marketing term and thus entirely meaningless in discussions on rod design.

                If you want to make one as a sort of standard then try a rate of taper of 13.5 thousandths per station, it gives a Gould rating of 270 which is a useful point about which to have a conversation with yourself about what you think is medium fast and what you think is fast.

                Your projected experiment may be described as simplistic and wasteful of time by some, but I think that you will learn a very great deal about what you personally like about taper rates. Anyway, far too few people concern themselves over what should be the staple obsession of every rodmaker-design. There is a view that all the great tapers have already been invented. There are no great tapers and nobody invented anything. Just basic principles that have been around for years.

                This is merely about applying engineering principles to designing a rod for a particular application. A significant part of that application are the prejudices of the person who is going to be using it. Just like the makers of Ping golf clubs, who ban their retailers from selling on the internet, I do not see how it is possible to make a rod for someone without the presence of that person for a considerable time on a casting court. Perhaps you can see why I think that a 1500 cane rod may be a bargain!  (Robin Haywood)

    I have a taper for the Dickerson 7613 and am a little confused.  At location 45, the taper shows the numbers 208/213.  Can someone explain what this means  and what number should I use.  (Tom Peters)

      Dickerson used step down ferrules, use a CSE Step down to recreate that Dickerson classic action. (Tim Pembroke)

      The two different numbers are for the tip and the butt of the rod. For the tip section use the smaller number and for the butt section use the larger number.

      The difference is for a step-down ferrule.  (Mark Shamburg)

Did I just read something about someone saying Dickerson rods are outclassed by today's makers?

That his tapers could be surpassed by today’s standards?

Hummmmm.  (John Silveira)

    And why not? That's like saying that only the 49ers could find gold. Tapers are very personal things. For my money I can think of a couple of rods I like better than anything Dickerson made.  (Mark Dyba)

      Okay, to continue the discussion, what are they, and why?  Don't leave us hangin' here with a sniper shot and leave...  ;-)  (Mark Wendt)

        Truth be known, I prefer Payne to Dickerson.  (Mark Dyba)

          Heh, nothing wrong with that.  I like Paynes too!  Different tools for doing different things.  (Mark Wendt)

          Well, Payne sure has Dickerson beat for workmanship and material.  I like Dickerson's fast action, but I have not had a chance to try every rod Jim Payne made. It could very well be that you could order just as fast a Payne.  And, it's true, if you were really screwed and couldn't get a Dickerson, and were absolutely forced to rough it with a Payne, I do think you could manage to get by without shedding too many tears.  (David Zincavage)

            I wouldn't turn down a couple of each for crackers.  (Mark Wendt)

              Dickerson rods have the charm of  being different (and scarce).  (Weren't they made in a garage?)  The most interesting rods have a distinctive type of action, and a particular form and design, which is distinctive, and which seems to express  a particular maker's vision.  Some rods, I think, have a regional quality to them, too, and just holding them gives one a kind of flavor of a particular time and place.

              One authority I know claims Jim Payne actually built more fly rods than Orvis.  "And look at the difference in the prices they go for!" he then concludes with a  diabolical smile.   (David Zincavage)

                You can inform your authority that he is wayyyyyyyyyy off base!! According to Hoagy Carmichael Jr. who filmed a documentary for Boston Public TV, the Payne Rod Co. made approximately 12,000 rods during it's existence. Orvis passed the 60,000 bamboo rods made number quite some time back and of course is still making them. Quite a disparity.  (Will Price)

Here are the tapers of the Dickerson 8014GS from the rod Jeff Fultz mic'ed and from Banjo's rod, since I had several requests both on and off list, I'll post here so anyone who wants them can save them. Whether Dickerson tweaked them to suit individuals or not I can't say. But I imagine that high output builders didn't have every rod turn out the same for whatever reason. As most of you already know Paul Young was notorious for having quite a few different tapers for the same model over the course of his career. This first set was posted on The Classic Fly Rod Forum by Jeff Fultz.

         TIP         BUTT                         

0      .084        .238 (2 1/2" @ ferrule wrap)
5      .096        .244
10    .112        .262
15    .128        .278
20    .140        .298
25    .156        .310
30    .174        .318
35    .186        .326
40    .200        under grip
45    .212        under reel seat

The numbers listed below are from Banjos' rod                                   

         TIP         BUTT

0      .084         .238
5      .092         .242
10    .110         .254
15    .128         .274
20    .143         .292
25    .160         .308
30    .174         .322
35    .188         .332
40    .202         .375
45    .216         .375
48    .224         .375   

I don't know how Banjo arrived at the measurements under the grip and reel seat. I assume that he extrapolated those measurements. All measurements were taken over varnish.  (Will Price)

    Dickerson standardized his reel seats with a 3/8's inside diameter bore, hence the .375 under the grip and reel seat. Suggest that you subtract .006 for varnish. I've cast the original and it is one strong casting rod and deserving of the Guide Special nomenclature. (Tim Pembroke)

      I wasn't aware of that but now that I've been told it does make perfect sense. I did subtract the .006 when I made mine and I love it as I do every Dickerson taper that I've cast. Only trouble with the rod is that there aren't many places in Md. to use it on trout other than the Yough, Savage River reservoir and some lakes. I've mostly used it for bass. Still looking for a guide to hire for a striper trip to the Bay. I think the 8014GS is up to the task. Must have been a real thrill to cast Banjos' rod.  (Will Price)

I have noticed several folks mention the Dickerson 8014. I have also noticed the mention of a Dickerson 8014GS. My question is, as I plan for my next rod, are these the same rod or is there a difference?  (Matthew French)

    Different rods, the 8014 is a true 6wt, the 8014G (G stands for guide) is a heavier rod, a point and shoot, no false cast, lay out a ton of line type rod.  (Pete Van Schaack)

Has anyone made the Dickerson 8015 guide special at some time? Tell me about it please.  (Gary Nicholson)

    You can find the taper here.

    Haven't made one though.  (Ken Paterson)

      I just posted on the Rod Builders forum a 861711D Dickerson taper taken from  a rod built in 1938 and restored by RW Summers in 2005. Measured over varnish.

      I measured the rod after seeing David Ray's posting of an 861711 in his taper library that is accessed from Hexrod. The tips look essentially the same.  Except for where the swell begins, the butts are similar as well.  The mid sections are very different. I would be very interested in hearing what you have to say about the differences between the two tapers.

      Could this be the difference between an 861711D and an 861711? 

      Design notes:  Dennis Higham's 861711 found in David Ray's taper archive is also designated a 'D' model. The  rod I measured generally has 3/3 node spacing with the exception of two nodes falling right next to each other.  Dennis looked over his rod and it, too, has two nodes right next to each other.  Apparently, the 'old masters' were just building fishing rods and not too worried about picking the fly poop out of the pepper.  (Reed Guice)

      Thanks for posting the Dickerson 861711 taper. The taper on David Ray's site is an 861711D. Somehow the "D" was either left off by me in the original posting or was lost in translation to David's site. My original Dickerson is an 861711D dated 1936.

      Regarding Chris Bogart's Dickerson. I brought my recently acquired 861711D to Luray, Virginia to show/share with Chris at his rod shop open house some years ago. Chris acquired one shortly thereafter. Chris' rod is also an 861711D. Chris likes it for Smallmouth on the Shenandoah.  (Dennis Higham)

    While I have never cast an original ( I think only a few were ever made by Mr. Dickerson) I have made a 4-5.  The taper I used was from "The Lovely Reed."  All were very powerful eight weight rods with most of the action in the upper half.  In the hands of a good caster, this taper will make a fly line do things that amaze.

    That said, even this quite powerful taper isn't sufficient to handle large deer hair bass bugs or heavily weighted 2/0 streamers.  More than an eight weight is required to handle the largest of flies.  (Harry Boyd)

In Dickerson-speak, does a 7613 have a 14 on the butt to 13 on the tip or a 13 on the butt to 12 on the tip stepdown? It seems several people have made rods for a given ferrule size (Dickerson #) with a size larger Super-Z. Inquiring solvent-afflicted minds want to know.  (Henry Mitchell)

    In Dickerson-speak, it would be a size 13 on the butt, and a 12 on the tip.  (Mark Wendt)

      Nu unnnh !

      At least according to Jack Howell's measured tapers in "The Lovely Reed". He has two Dickerson 7613 tapers, from 1952 and 1970, that show dimensions for a butt ferrule that would be 14/64 and a tip ferrule of 13/64.  (Larry Swearingen)

        Thanks, I suspected that.

        Sorry about the double question, original question appeared lost in cyberspace.  (Henry Mitchell)

        Yes but those 2 particular tapers are what many Dickerson aficionados refer to as the 7613 Guide and are much more comfortable with a 6 wt line than a 5 wt. Dickersons original taper was as Mark stated and a true 5 wt. 13/12.  (Will Price)

          I like 8013's. Made several of them. As for the ferrule size, I use a 14/64 ferrule. Why? The butt dimension at the ferrule is too large to fit in a 13/64. I beef up the last 3 inches of the tip to fit the 14/64 male ferrule.

          For each size ferrule there is a specific range of dimensions that will fit inside each size. I have a chart of the dimensions at home, if you need a copy email me off list.

          What I do is look at the actual flat to flat measurements of the blank at the ferrule ends, match it against the chart for the best fit. If you are building in the drop at the ferule that Dickerson used, you will usually end up using a size larger ferrule than you'd normally think.

          For example, the 8013 taper I use is .202 at the ferrule end of the tip, and .212 at the ferrule end of the butt. .203 is about all you can get into a 13/64 ferrule. .212 is way too big for a 13/64, it's well into the 14/64 fit range. Conversely, the .202 is at the low end of fit for a 14/64. I add a few thousandths to the last 3 inches to get a better fit.  It does not do anything to the action as most of the last 3 inches is inside the ferrule anyway. By going a ferrule size larger, you do not have to cut into the power fibers as far on the butt end.

          My first few 8013's have 13/64 ferrules and one of them broke off INSIDE of the ferrule. As this was my favorite rod, much foul language followed. I repaired the rod with by putting on a custom ferrule. A true 13-14 step down. Only lost 1/2 inch in rod length. CSE made the ferrule for me.

          The ordeal with the broken rod changed my whole way of looking at ferrule sizes. Regardless of what any book says about what size ferrule belongs on this or that rod, i look at the flat to flat measurements at the ferrule ends and make my own decision about what ferrule to use.

          Over the last few days there has been a long thread about rods breaking at the female ferrule. Using too small a ferrule may be a factor.   (David Atchison)

            Didn't Dickerson make his own ferrules and weren't they slightly oversized? For example a 13 was really a 13.5?   (Larry Puckett)

              If you look at page 104 of the Dickerson book you will see his die set. Maybe they were off a little but I have no reason to  believe that  if his  13 die were 13.5 he would not have marked it thusly. Dies are not so easy to make that he would have probably have made an entire offset set. Although it takes only 3 sizes to make a given size ferrule, he may have made a specialty set. Unknown, so I would hesitate to speculate. The other issue is mandrels and they just don't come in 1/128 sizes.  (Jerry Foster)

      Where do you get that? That's not how they're made, see my previous post, or get a set of old time Leonard, Payne, Dickerson or anyone else's, other than cheep H-I or Montague's which had a necked down female, and measure them, the bamboo opening on both kinds of ferrules is the same on the male as it is on the female.  (John Channer)

        Well, the #13 Payne ferrules that I've mic'd had a female ferrule internal  diameter  of  .203"  and  the  step-down  internal  diameter of .1875".  The Dickersons that I've seen were similar.  (Mark Wendt)

          Dickerson (like all of us who draw their own tubing) used 1/64 wall tubing to construct his ferrules. There seems to be a misunderstanding about the results this yields. Just as the "super Z's" have a female barrel that is 2/64's larger than the bamboo sleeve or male insert, it is the same, but opposite with the Dickerson style "stepped" ferrules.  The stepped down portion of the male is 2/64's smaller than the sleeve. So a 13 size ferrule has a female and male sleeve that is .203 and a male insert that is .1718 or 11/64's.  (Jerry Foster)

          I just put stepdown ferrules on my first rod, an 8014 Dickerson.  The part of the ferrule that fits on the bamboo on the female side (butt side)  had an inside diameter (ID)  of .221", or 14/64.  The ID of the female ferrule where it accepts the male slide is .187", or 12/64. The part of the ferrule that fits over the bamboo on the tip section (male ferrule)  had the same exact inside diameter of .221" INITIALLY!  Then the part of the ferrule that fits on the bamboo inside the male slide 'stepped down' to .187" ID, or 12/64. 

          These were Bailey Woods stepdown ferrules.  Leonard patent, I believe. The stepdown in the female is from a 14/64 ID where the ferrule goes over the bamboo to  12/64 ID where it accepts the male slide.  The stepdown in the male is from a 14/64 ID where the ferrule initially goes over the bamboo and steps down to  12/64 ID for the bamboo inside of the male slide.

          I just read this to myself and it's obviously as clear as mud!   (Reed Guice)

    Dickerson used the ferrule sizes in the rod to denote both the ferrule and the number of pieces in the rod.  An 8014, would be an 8' two piece, with a size 14 ferrule amidships.  An 861711 would be an 8 1/2' three piece, with the butt-to-mid ferrule being a size 17, and the mid-to-tip ferrule being a size 11.  (Mark Wendt)

I am wanting to build a Dickerson 7012 but can’t find a taper that accounts for the step downs.  All of the tapers that I am finding appear to be using a Super Z.  I  am not wanting to start the Super Z vs. Step Down debate again.  Just looking for a taper that accommodates the step down ferrule nicely.  Can someone email me the taper or point me in the right direction?  (Greg Reeves)

    This version appears to me to take a step into account. the mid is 42' and the closest measurements are 40" and 45" SO 2/5THS THE DIFFERENCE WILL BE BETWEEN 40 AND 42 AND 3/5THS THE DIFFERENCE WILL BE BETWEEN 42 AND 45th. that is less the difference of the step. anyway that's how I do it. I have never seen an actual inch by inch measure and measure for ferrules listed that I felt was more reliable than this. maybe someone else has one! that'd be super!  (Timothy Troester)

    Dickerson 7012 (1954)  from "the Lovely Reed".  I hope this is for step down ferrule.

    Measure over original varnish.  Deduct 0.006 from butt, 0.004 from tip.  Pt 0 is the butt side of the strips.

    Pt     Butt     Tip
    0      .326    .180
    5      .326    .168
    10    .310    .159
    15    .258    .144
    20    .245    .130
    25    .232    .115
    30    .216    .099
    35    .207    .086
    40    .200    .070
    42    .194    .066  (Max Satoh)

      Yep, the  drop at the ferrule is .014 which should call for the use of a step down.  (Will Price)

    You can adapt the taper that calls for a step down by putting a slight swell at the male ferrule end of the taper so that a super Z or super Swiss ferrule will work properly. The resulting rod won't know the difference and neither will you when you cast it.  (Steve Weiss)

Is the 8013 just a 6" longer 7613 or what are the differences?

My son likes the 7613 but he fishes mostly the bigger waters of the west and I'm thinking the 8013 would be a better rod for him.  (Lowell Davis)

    The 8013 is definitely NOT a longer version of the 7613.  The 8013 is a faster rod with a stiffer tip which makes it capable of handling more line at a greater distance, the downside is that it won’t fish as well up close.  It’s definitely a bigger water rod that the 7613.  (Al Baldauski)

    Regarding the similarities and differences between the 7'6" and 8' Dickerson's. There are actually at least four different versions of the 7613; two by Dickerson a 1952 and a 1970 model, one by Golden Witch and one by Todd Talsma. There are some differences between their tapers and line sizes, however they are all somewhat medium fast.

    It you look at the 8013 it is a 5/6 wt with a tip that's a little stronger than the 7613's but not by much. It has a small flex area in the lower tip with a stronger butt sloping up toward the end with a good butt swell; fast rod.

    The 7613 Golden Witch version, a 6 wt, has a somewhat softer tip than the 8013 getting stronger toward the lower tip. The butt has a long flex area from 45"- 75" and a butt swell. The 1952 Dickerson is similar to the GW except it's a 5/6 wt. The 1970 Dickerson has the same type tip as the 1952 except it has a very shallow flex in the upper butt and a faster swell into the butt, a 4/5 wt, faster rod. The last 7613 is a version by Todd Talsma, it is the strongest one a 6/7 wt similar to the 1952 model.

    I hope this helps you out some, they are actually all nice rods, but as I said there is a little different in line sizes.  (Bob Norwood)

I was wondering if anyone has tried out the Dickerson 8615 7wt, the Garrison 221 7 wt, or the Payne Canadian Canoe 7 wt? If so,  which would work best as an all-around rod for lakes/ponds and steelhead/salmon? Or, if these are not good tapers for this, any suggestions as to which tapers would be?  (Nick Nasello)

    I made the Dickerson 8615 last year for lake bass and liked it but it does get to be a bit if a bear to cast after about 3 hours.  So this spring I made the Dickerson 8014 Guide taper and prefer it for Lake Bass and larger bluegill.  It's a 7 wt too but being a little shorter is easier on the arm and shoulder due to the shorter lever arm length.  (Larry Swearingen)

    Here are the numbers someone else posted earlier this year for the Dickerson 8014 GS.  To my way of looking at this taper, it’s definitely an 8 wt.  Even if you take off 0.006 for varnish, in case that wasn’t done, it’s still a 7 1/2 wt.

    0.369  (Al Baldauski)

      Ya'll, I have built this & I use a 6 weight forward on it.  It does handle a 7 very well too. I have not tried it with an 8 weight but I will as soon as I get back from Texas, ya'll.

      I use it as my Hex rod & for throwing big streamers.  The 6 for the Hex the 7 for streamers.  (Bret Reiter)

        I call this one a seven too. In fact, I used this taper, hollow built, when taking the FFF casting certification test.  The line was a Scientific Angler's WF7 in their XXD (distance) format.  Worked well enough for me to pass the test.  (Harry Boyd)

          I would say it's a strong 7 wt, but it should work well with a 8 WF. Strong tip; butt has flex area from 45" to 80" then a butt swell at 80". Nice taper but you may feel the large flex area on long casts with a 8 WF line.

          As you know line weight do  vary so maybe your 8 wt is my 7 wt, or something like that?  (Bob Norwood)

Has anyone cast both 1949 and 1951 versions of the Dickerson 8013 as described in Howell's book?

How would you characterize their casting characteristics? Howell says "they are just different" in his book, but I am looking for something bit more specific.  (Jimmy Chang)

    I have made rods using both tapers. Can't remember which is which without looking in the book, but one is lighter than the other. Made 4 or 5 of the lighter. They are very nice 5 weights ( IMHO it is THE 8’ 5 wt). Made 2 of the heavier one. They turn into 5 wts at about 60 feet, up till there, they are are 6 wts. I sold one to a co-worker who is a streamer guy and he fishes it with a full sinking 5 wt line and is happy with it. Still own the other and it has a DT6 on it. I haven't tried a WF6 but suspect it'd be about perfect. I think of it as an 8013G.  (David Atchison)

Wondered if anyone had the taper for the Dickerson 8012 laying around.  (Mark Wendt)

    You'll find it here..  (Dennis Higham)

      Thanks Dennis!  I thought it was in there, but I didn't have the link, and the CD I got from Lowell is at home.  (Mark Wendt)

      Was the varnish allowance of .004 already subtracted from the numbers for the 661510, or does it need to be done?  (John Channer)

        I think I can reply for Dennis, as I was one of the guys who measured those rods.  Ralph Tuttle did the actual spreadsheet work.

        In the upper left corner, in blue, you'll see the real measurements we took, for all 3 flats at each measurement point.  The 3 flats got averaged and put into a column in the center of the page.  (There is a table of blue numbers for each rod section)

        To the right of that you'll see there is a column allowing for varnish.  The thickness of varnish of course was just our guess.  The long column to the right of that is what we think the raw cane would have measured, subtracting for varnish, and interpolating between our measurements so as to put everything back on 5-inch stations.

        The last page shows our interpolated numbers, on 5 inch stations, with varnish already subtracted, using both the Howell method (measure stations from the butt up) or the "classic" method (measure stations from the tip down.)  That's the "raw cane" numbers.

        So the data exists both ways in the spreadsheet.  If you're willing to accept our assumptions about varnish thickness and how to interpolate between measurements, then the table on the last page is the one to use.  If you want to adjust for a different varnish assumption, or if you want to interpolate differently, then our actual measurements are there for you (or anyone, of course) to do so.  (Lee Koch)

I primarily use RodDNA for my taper selection.  Looking at the 5" dimensions for the Dickerson 7613 (1970 taper), there is a big swell under the grip.  From 80 to 85, there is an increase of ~.070.  For those of you that have built this rod, does it flex into the beginning of the handle?  How drastically do you think it would change the action if I pushed the swell out in front of the handle?  For that matter, how big does the swell actually have to be to stop the action of the rod?  (Greg Reeves)

    There are about 4 to 5 version of the 7013, I like the 1970 version the best. It has a butt swell of about .070 also. If I were to make it I would use .040 bring the 80" value to .328, this is enough to stop all the rod action. The rest of the shown increase is, in my opinion, just for looks. Actually I feel an increase of .030 would be sufficient.

    Should be a very nice rod, good Taper.  (Bob Norwood)

      That is kind of what I was thinking but if the rod is 7'6", that is 90".  The swell starts at the 80" mark which will be under the cork assuming I have a grip and an insert roughly 10" in length.  (Greg Reeves)

        Something ain't quite right there. The swell should start in front of the cork, at least 3" to 5". That's so the swell is still in the action length. If it's starting at the cork, somebody got their dimensions messed up.  (Mark Wendt)

          I checked the several places that I usually look for tapers and they all had the swell starting at 80".  It didn't make since to me but went ahead and planed the butt section the way it was listed.  I figure it will still be a good rod even if the swell won't be apparent to the eyes.  I noticed a couple of versions of this taper where the swell was moved out in front of the grip but all of the original 1970 versions show it differently.  I can always build another and I'm sure I will.  (Greg Reeves)


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