You’ve Been Thinking of Fishing Rods All Wrong (Modulus)

The second edition in our series of misconceptions and beliefs about fishing rods, focuses on the term modulus and what materials are used to build fishing rods.

Exhibiting at dozens of shows every year, we often are asked, “What is this? IM6 IM7?”

Our answer?


These names, (IM6, IM7, IM8 etc.) are ones that have been attached to conventional and fly rods over the past few decades. Despite being seen as the “gold,” standard, they really aren’t.

A number of recently rolled rods of various modulus await the next phase of the building process.  Photo by TFO Rods.

A number of recently rolled rods of various modulus await the next phase of the building process.
Photo by TFO Rods.

What they are, are trade names for particular graphite makeups produced by the Hexcel Corporation.

These numbers are not an indication of quality, especially since other companies use the designations to refer to graphite not made by Hexcel. At best, they allow you to compare the quality of the material used to build different rods by the same manufacturer. You can be confident that the IM7 rod would use better graphite than the IM6 rod if both are made by the same manufacturer.

It would be a much more inaccurate to use these brand names to compare rods made by two different companies.

What is important is what is refereed to as modulus.

Modulus refers to the stiffness of the graphite, not the amount of material used or the number of graphite fibers incorporated into the sheets.

It is a stiffness to weight ratio. That stiffness is a major factor in determining which rod is the best, for a desired application and fishing scenario.




About templeforkoutfitters
Armed with a lifetime passion for fishing, we set out to establish a new standard of value for fly and conventional rods. We have relied on our own experience and advice of many professionals in creating what we believe is the perfect marriage - price and performance. Sound too good to be true? Cast one and you be the judge.

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