To many a fisherman, and woman, their CTS rod is a magic wand. However, there’s a lot of science and technology behind that magic.
For a start, CTS blanks are manufactured entirely from non-woven fibre. A single helical spiral is at the core of each carbon fibre blank.
This type of structure is regarded as the most effective way to maintain cross section stability while bending. By contrast, woven based blanks exhibit large amounts of fibre crimping that results in markedly reduced loading potential.
In fact, every CTS blank has a number of unique engineering features. All designs are computer generated and feedback from one design is used to improve the next. That’s how most CTS blanks undergo around 3 to 5 design improvements every year.
Furthermore, the company invests heavily in its design and production tools with much of the in-house machinery being custom built in order to cater for the ever-increasing demand for stronger, lighter and more highly refined rods.
At the core of our blanks is a single carbon spiral, known as the ‘carbon helix’. This type of structure is regarded as the most effective way of maintaining cross-section stability during bending. Our carbon helix core minimizes cross sectional deformation during loading, improving power and response.
Through the use of the CTS carbon helix core, our blanks achieve a true 100% carbon construction. We achieve optimal response and agility by utilizing the lightweight and high strength characteristics that only carbon can provide.
When a rod blank is flexed and under load, the pressure exertion can cause what is called ‘ovaling’ (the blank can change from a round shape to a slightly oval shape, as shown below). If there is minimal ovaling under pressure, this indicates the blank has a high ‘hoop strength’. CTS blanks maintain high hoop strength even with their lightweight design, as a result of the carbon helix core.
All our carbon helix core blanks use 100% non-woven fibre. A non-woven fibre can achieve 100% of its tensile and compressive loading, unlike woven based scrims which exhibit large amounts of fibre crimping – resulting in greatly reduced fibre loading potential.
The join lengths between each section within our multi-piece blanks are varied according to the load that they are designed to carry. This ensures flat spots and swing weights are minimized.
This new type of construction enables us to place totally different modulus materials at each part of the blank. Unlike traditional multi-modulus systems which lay up materials of differing modulus materials together, our new Modulus Replacement Technology is all together different, taking blank manufacture to a new level.
Fibre alignment along the length of a blank is critical, since even the slightest deviation in fibre alignment from the axis of load will greatly reduce the strength of the blank.
All CTS blanks are designed and produced to ensure all fibre is aligned as near perfect as can be with the load.
CTS uses a tube rolling process which involves placing material fibres around a circular mold, or ‘part’, to be heat cured and then removed. The process begins with the cutting of patterns, known as ‘flags’, from epoxy pre-impregnated carbon, glass or aramid cloth. Flags are expertly rolled around a steel or alloy mold (mandrel). It is vital to achieve a tight roll, ensuring minimal air entrapment and optimal fibre alignment.
Next, the part is pressure-wrapped with a plastic film. This process, known as debaulking, further compacts the part and purges any remaining air. Finally, the part is heat cured, then removed from its mandrel, leaving a hollow tube.
Key benefits of the tube rolling process are:
In 2014 CTS introduced its G3 (Generation 3) design philosophy. The principle behind this system is that each blank within a CTS range should maintain the same deflection curve under the same load.
This theory matches with the ‘Common Cents System’*, which defines the action of a rod based on two measures: the weight required to deflect the tip of a blank by 1/3 of its length and secondly the angle the tip has from the horizontal plane at this deflection.
For example, if you were to hang a 60g weight off a 9’0″ #4 blank and it deflected 1/3 of its length, then hanging the same 60g weight off its 8’0″ #4 counterpart will exhibit the same 1/3 deflection. But – more importantly, the deflection curve shape would be the same and thus the tip angle will be the same.
Our previous system (G2), which followed some industry norms, would have a shorter rod de-powered in the butt to maintain the same overall deflection. Very basically speaking, you’d cut 1′ off a 9′ blank to get an 8’. While this more basic approach does result in the same overall deflection, it does not maintain the curve shape across the length range or the tip angle.
The G3 system has the effect of creating livelier feeling rods in shorter lengths and more forgiving rods in longer lengths.
* You can read more on the ‘Common Cents System’ here.