The Taper – your rod’s “DNA”

Taper” is a technical/engineering rod building term from the last century that defines a rod’s shape (length & thickness) in very exacting measurements – some as exacting as 1/1,000”. Taper creates the rod’s flexing “ACTION(slow, medium & fast) under the stress of casting and catching fish. Simply put, it’s the length and shape of the rod, and it defines how a rod will perform in your hands.

Just as a human’s DNA defines its makeup, bamboo fly rods have DNA too – its TAPER. And just as some humans are good… some are not so good. Rod tapers are the same. Some are great, some good… and some not so good. That goodness and badness for a rod is determined purely by the quality of the original taper, and how accurately that taper’s metrics were transferred into the rod’s actual construction. Generally, there are three ACTIONS used to describe a taper’s Action:

  • Fast Action: a relatively stiff rod - usually only the top 1/4 of the rod flexes under stress. Shoots the line across the water with a high degree of control – even in windy conditions. A great choice for control and distance and trophy hunting big fish.
  • Medium Action: this taper is very versatile allowing you to battle wind and works well in dry-dropper situations where you may need to get a weighted dropper out there while still providing accuracy. This occurs because of a little more back bone providing deeper flex – usually the top ½ to 2/3 of the rod. These tapers are great for beginners providing improved line control and covers the broadest range of fishing conditions.
  • Slow Action: these tapers flex almost over the entire length of the rod, and a solid choice for those smaller streams and smaller bugs where shorter casting distances is the norm. A good choice for beginners, however it isn't your friend in windy conditions. 

At Wild Bearings we don’t invent tapers. That’s already been done by some rather smart rod designers and makers back in the last century. We craft our rods using those tapers, and our library contains a hundred or more tapers by legendary makers such as Goodwin Granger, F.E. Thomas, Payne and Dickerson to name just a few. All provide great action.

Based on your preferred fishing style and desired action, you can pick a taper, or after a discussion with us, we can suggest one based on your style of fishing. The chart below outlines the tapers we use most often for each of the rod lengths we sell:

Our Most Popular Tapers

6.5 Foot / 2 Piece / 3 WeightCarpenter, FE Thomas

7 Foot / 2 Piece / 2 Weight – Lacey & Johnson

7 Foot / 2 Piece / 3 Weight – Lacey & Johnson, Carpenter

7 Foot / 2 Piece / 4 Weight – Paine, Leonard, Granger, Carpenter, FE Thomas

7 Foot / 2 Piece / 5 Weight – Gillum, Granger

7.5 Foot / 3 Piece / 4 Weight – Leonard, Lacey & Johnson, FE Thomas

7.5 Foot / 3 Piece / 5 Weight – Payne, Halstead, Granger, Dickerson, FE Thomas

8 Foot / 3 Piece 4 weight - Leonard Granger

8 Foot / 3 Piece 5 Weight – Granger, Dickerson, FE Thomas

8 Foot / 3 Piece 6 Weight – Granger

8.5 Foot / 3 Piece / 5 Weight- Granger

8.5 Foot / 3 Piece / 7 Weight – Granger, Payne

9 Foot / 3 Piece / 5 Weight – Granger