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Selecting & Building Tournament Equipment

ACA Events
Selecting Fly Accuracy & Distance Equipment
Selecting Plug Accuracy Equipment
Selecting Plug Distance Equipment
Rod-Building Specifications
Leader Formulas
Official ACA Supplies
Complete Langley Reel Cleaning

The A.C.A., which writes the rules and regulations for competitions in North America, also offers official rods, lines, plugs and flies that correspond to each official game. Look over the rules, and game descriptions, or go to tournament to see for yourself.  Once you’ve decided which casting games you want to learn and compete in, you’ll need to either select tackle from what you have, or buy it. There are certain principles to remember to select the best rods, blanks and components or reels for each game.

Generally, in plug or fly games, a rod action for distance is fast and stiff, but for accuracy, a slower softer blank is needed for feel and control. Here's Steve Rajeff's explanation of the term modulus which manufacturers use to describe their rod blanks:

"Modulus is the measurement of resistance to strain, expressed as a ratio. In the context of fishing rod design, it describes the stiffness of the fiber used to construct the rod. It does not by itself determine rod stiffness, weight or strength. High modulus materials can be used to make soft rods, and conversely, low modulus material can be designed into making stiff rods. Several other important measurements of rod material to consider include fiber strength, elongation, compression rate, resin content percentage and resin toughness, scrim type and weight. The goal of many rod makers is to optimize these variables, achieve the desired action (combined taper and stiffness), high strength at low weight and reasonable cost."~Steve Rajeff, G. Loomis

Generally, an outfit light in physical weight is best for distance casting because it enables fast hand speed, but proper action is the priority in accuracy games. In bait casters, light waffle spools help reach distances and far targets better than heavier spools. The best monofilaments are slick, low in memory and here, limp is good.  In some events, where braided super-lines are best, the smoothest low-stretch ones are preferred.