From Science Teacher (and carp-guide extrordinaire) Joel Hays:

hey Bart –

cool stuff! Now, here’s some real chemical geekness . . .

Boron has never “taken off” as a sole rod component because of its goofy metalloidal proprties. It’s in the same group as aluminum and shares similar proprties like incredibly high strength-to-weight ratio. And, it’s a smaller atom than carbon so you think that would extrapolate out to a lighter rod. Unfortunately, the bonding characteristics of boron make it difficult to produce a small fiber. A boron fiber IS very strong, but it’s also big. One boron fiber is about 15-20x larger than a carbon fiber (it’s about the same size as a fiberglass “S”glass fiber).
When a manufacturer like Winston uses boron, it’s usually sandwiched between two graphite sheets, and usually only in the butt section. What boron probably DOES give you is some great dampening characteristics as well as a favorable strength to weight ratio. Other manufacturers achieve the same result with more,”finer” graphite fibers in ever-increasingly complex lay-ups (like the TCX!).
what a geek!

About The Author

Travis was born and raised in Texas, and began his fly fishing journey on the streams of the Texas hill country. After graduating from Southwestern University he joined the team at Blue Drake Outfitters in Dallas and has been a fixture in the local fly fishing scene ever since. Travis is our company General Manager, Head Buyer, FFF Certified Casting Instructor, and E-Commerce director. Travis and his wife, Amy, live in Lake Highlands with their twins, Luke and Emily.

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2 Responses

  1. Ken Morrow

    sandwiching boron also has another neat little phenom with fly rods: nobody has yet figured out the epoxy side of the equation quite right yet, and over time it delaminates. after some use, pick up a rod containing boron and cast it. you will likely hear a clicking sound. that sound is the result of delamination…where the boron has separated from the carbon fiber sheets and as the rod flexes and then recovers a gap forms and closes. the inferences vis a vis durability and vibration are relatively obvious.


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