Young Perfectionist

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GerardH
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Re: Young Perfectionist

#21

Post by GerardH »

Peales wrote:
11/18/22 15:19
Describing that PHY customers could have a Perfectionist configured with lighter or heavier tips, not to mention 13 or 14 ferrules, might suggest very neatly why the myth of multiple models exist for the Perfectionist rod.

Seems like a very plausible reason.

I’m basing my perspectives on original rods. I currently own three PHY Perfectionists, two are somewhat similar (with fine tips), with the third being noticeably more powerful.
Exactly my observations from the half dozen or so originals I've cast over the years. A couple have had the extra fine "dry fly" tip.

To further exacerbate this, supposedly Wayne Cattanach published Perfectionist tapers directly from Young's taper bar and one had a .275 butt and another had a .284". On Bob Summers' site, he has a 3/4 wt listed amongst the 5-6 4wts shown...I'm not clear on the distinction there. My particular copy has a .288" butt from The Lovely Reed. I'm not a rod maker, but I do understand these dimension variances can translate into different line weights.

NewUtahCaneAngler
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Re: Young Perfectionist

#22

Post by NewUtahCaneAngler »

I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around full flexing and fast. To my mind, they can't be both full flexing and fast. Am I wrong?

I like what I perceive to be rods with a slower action. I like the Orvis Seven-Four, Seven-Three, Midge, 8 1/2' 3/2 10 & 16 ferrule, Rocky Mountain and 3-piece 7 1/2' "4 oz" models much more than say my Sweetgrass 7'9" 3-piece 4/5 or Orvis 6 1/2 2-piece and even the 8040 or Phillipson 8' 4 1/4oz because I feel that these later rods are faster or much faster than the first 6 listed.

I look forward to trying the Perfectionist built by 3creeks and will post my thought here afterwards.

Cheers,
Joe

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quashnet
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Re: Young Perfectionist

#23

Post by quashnet »

driftless angler wrote:
11/18/22 15:56
The PHY rods at 7.5' and below just don't feel that parabolic to me at normal fishing distances here in the midwest - more of a faster tip action until you get quite a bit of line out.
Yes, the 7'6" Perfectionist and Martha Marie models seem to have very smooth, built-in "automatic transmissions." As you lengthen line, the parabolic characteristics become more pronounced. The Driggs is more supercharged at shorter distances, including making roll casts.

Carl's assessment is reliable. Consistency belongs to the Bob Summers era. But sometimes Paul H. Young introduced variety. The earliest Martha Maries, dating to the early 1950s, had 13/64" ferrules and 4/64" tip tops. But by 1958, the cataloged rod had a 14/64" ferrule and 4-1/2/64" tip tops. And yet, a "Featherweight DeLuxe" version with aluminum ferrules (rather than Super-Zs) appeared for one season in the catalog, with a dual reel band and a ventilated grip, listed as weighing, in total, only 3.05 ounces. Like the Para 15, this featherweight Martha Marie could be supplied with two differently-tapered tips, for HDH and HEH lines.

Perfectionist ferrule sizes from Young's time in the shop may be listed as 14, 14/13, or 13, often with the designation "featherweight" for aluminum ferrules, but sometimes Pernack ferrules or even Super-Zs!

Young built a Para 15 for his friend Chauncy Lively with a parabolic tip to make an 8'0" rod and a dry fly tip to make an 8'3" rod. I recently received a Para 15 made by Young for H.J. Noll, the fly-tying kit supplier of the 1950s, that has three tips, two parabolic and one dry fly, and all of them make an 8'3" Para 15. It casts like a dream and handles big trout well.

So yes, there is variety available within the Young oeuvre. It's a feature, not a bug. I love it! And Bob Summers' contribution to consistent quality in all aspects of rod building is also an important feature of the rod output from Paul Young's last years, where Bob really helped out in the shop, and in the dozen or so years after Young's death in 1960.
Please visit and bookmark the Paul H. Young Rod Database
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cdmoore
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Re: Young Perfectionist

#24

Post by cdmoore »

Been awhile since I cast either rod but my guess is you will find the orvis rod to have a slightly stronger butt, a softer feeling mid and a slightly stiffer tip in the first 15inches or so, the latter two of which will make the rod feel like it is fairly full working down to just past the ferrule until the butt strength becomes obvious. It will still be soft enough to cast a short line but not with the same precision and recovery speed of the Perfectionist which should cast off the top very well for most. Intrinsic loops will be tighter in the Perfectionist. Both rods are capable of high line speed without tippiness once you understand how to apply power to the butt. This will feel more intuitive to more people with the Young owing to the relatively stiffer mid. The bendier arc of the tip section of the Orvis with its thicker tip diameter requires more subtle power application to achieve high line speed and avoid a tailing loop. Neither rod I would consider heavy, most of the weight difference lying in the Orvis ferrules and reel seat choice, though the Orvis will feel more tip heavy given the mass distribution. My .02 fwiw

3creeks
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Re: Young Perfectionist

#25

Post by 3creeks »

Yikes! How my "Perfectionist" will compare with an original or even a good reproduction by a competent maker is a mystery to me. Having never handled one I simply followed the formula in the Mauer book and built the one with a .275 butt. I had a lot of fun with it and caught a lot of fish on exactly one or two trips. I finished it with Tru-Oil and a preformed grip that I bought, also rushing through the final wrap varnish stages so I could actually take it on the first trip. It's one of the earliest rods that I built. I've since built another that I'm a little prouder of, but alas, I am in California. By the way, the second one came from Wayne's measurements from Young's shop and I used different guide spacing. I think I used Tom Morgan's guide spacing chart for the first rod. Anyway, it's free for the trial but just know what you're getting!

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Peales
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Re: Young Perfectionist

#26

Post by Peales »

I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around full flexing and fast. To my mind, they can't be both full flexing and fast. Am I wrong?
This rod seems to be able to do both. I can frequently feel this rod working all of the way down into the grip and still generate significant line speeds. A finer tip stays out of the way when long casts are in play. I’ve never detected a hinge, lever or bump in the action. At times it can feel freakishly resilient, not stiff, for its weight. It’s a nice design.
Last edited by Peales on 11/19/22 00:35, edited 1 time in total.

driftless angler
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Re: Young Perfectionist

#27

Post by driftless angler »

Quashnet, interesting that you said the Driggs is more turbocharged at shorter distances. I really want to give that one a go now for comparison. I do need to clarify that my statement about having more line out to feel the parabolic nature of PHY rods 7.5' and less should only be applied to the Perfectionist and Midge clones I have cast. I have not cast the Driggs or Martha Marie. My bad for making a blanket statement like that.

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quashnet
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Re: Young Perfectionist

#28

Post by quashnet »

No criticism intended. I think your observation is generally true for the smaller Young rods. The Driggs is a little bit different than the others, but is still recognizable as being part of the group. Paul Young told Chauncy Lively that of all his small trout models he liked the Driggs best until the Perfectionist came along; thereafter, he preferred the Perfectionist (Young's personal Perfectionist is reported to have a measurement of 0.275" at the butt). Which one do I prefer? Answer: Both.
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driftless angler
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Re: Young Perfectionist

#29

Post by driftless angler »

I know no criticism was intended. I appreciate all the PHY knowledge and history you bring to forum discussions!

nuchamps5
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Re: Young Perfectionist

#30

Post by nuchamps5 »

I just got out my Perfectionist clone and Orvis Midge and would pretty much agree with everything that's been said. It's a tough comparison to make, even though they are both lighter line 7.5' rods.

In terms of deflection, the Midge does have a stiffer tip and much more give in the mid section, resulting in a fuller flexing rod. If you come from the graphite world, think of an Orvis Superfine or one of their full flex rods. The Perfectionist deflection is more in the tip, but as others have said, this is kind of a function of it being unlined. As you get more line out with the Perfectionist, it continues to work deeper into the blank. I don't have a good comparison to the graphite world for this!

For me, these are two very different rods. My Perfectionist clone is rated for a 4 wt line and really does perform well with the 4 wt. I loved it for small flies on Wisconsin spring creeks and it will easily punch out a bigger dry or small hopper, or even a small-ish dropper if necessary. It's a really versatile rod. Contrary to a lot of people, I actually love the Midge with a 5 wt line, as it is rated. Likely because I'm not a stellar caster, I don't love pushing this rod to throw big hoppers, but it lays out a beautifully delicate line for me. If I were a better caster, I'm sure I could put out a ton of line with this as well, but I just don't have occasion to do that very often, nor the skill to even try. :)

tl;dr I'd definitely suggest trying out a Perfectionist, clone or original. Actually, try several! I got lucky that the first clone I got (from board member Jim Ifert, aka KentuckyJim) really speaks to me, but don't give up on it if the first doesn't work out. I'm in the Denver area, so if you are ever up here in Colorado fishing, shoot me a message and you're welcome to try mine out.

NewUtahCaneAngler
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Re: Young Perfectionist

#31

Post by NewUtahCaneAngler »

Thanks nuchamps5, this direct comparison is helpful. And thanks to everyone else who has offered their thoughts.

Cheers,
Joe

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Flykuni3
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Re: Young Perfectionist

#32

Post by Flykuni3 »

What a great discussion, fascinating how Paul Young was all over the map, restless as Ernesto the Schweib put it in his Trout. Am lucky to fish an early Summers Perfectionist, and it's very much a DT5 stick. I'd love to someday own a DT4 version. Maybe a Joe Bradley, who told me, "I make all of them!"

jim royston
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Re: Young Perfectionist

#33

Post by jim royston »

I’ve heard said the the 14/64 Perfectionist was the result of running out of 13/64 ferrules and they needed to run off some Perfectionists. I don’t mean to disparage Paul Young in any way. I think his rod designs were the epitome of castability. The Para 14 for example is an easy casting rod and very very useful. I grimace at times with the spiritual adjectives and poetic license that people apply to his work. The word that comes to mind when I read them is anthropomorphism.
And instead of the constant tit for tat, better you become a good flycaster (anybody and his grandmother can cast 30 or 40 feet straight ahead) and then determine for yourself whether a rod is suited for you.

j.robillard
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Re: Young Perfectionist

#34

Post by j.robillard »

It was mentioned in an earlier post that measurements were taken from Young's taper bar at different times, and that there were variations in the width setting at the butt end of Perfectionist strips: something like a hundredth of an inch. I'm newer to cane rods (just bought and fished my first rod, and two weeks later I have a second on the way [don't tell my wife]) so this may have been answered elsewhere, but would a maker, young or others, make small taper adjustments based on the feel of the cane they were working at the time? For instance, if the cane felt a little softer than typical, would they keep a little more material in a section to stiffen it up?

Thanks,
J

billems
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Re: Young Perfectionist

#35

Post by billems »

I casted a few "clones" made by Bob Lancaster a few weeks back--a Perfectionist and a Para 13. Both were steller performers, and Bob's work is gorgeous.

NewUtahCaneAngler
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Re: Young Perfectionist

#36

Post by NewUtahCaneAngler »

Here's a quick update. I ended up springing for a R.W. Lancaster rod. A Tricorythodes from 1984. The tube is marked as a 5 WT, I tried it with 406 WF5, 444 Peach DT5 and 444 DT4. I liked the 4 best, but it was also the last line that I tried, so perhaps I was just getting used to the rod. Many thanks to everyone who provided suggestions and feedback.

Cheers,
Joe
Last edited by NewUtahCaneAngler on 12/03/22 18:53, edited 1 time in total.

NewUtahCaneAngler
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Re: Young Perfectionist

#37

Post by NewUtahCaneAngler »

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Last edited by NewUtahCaneAngler on 12/03/22 18:53, edited 1 time in total.

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Bugtussel
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Re: Young Perfectionist

#38

Post by Bugtussel »

NewUtahCaneAngler wrote:
12/03/22 14:48
Here's a quick update. I ended up springing for a R.W. Lancaster rod. A Tricorythades from 1984. The tube is marked as a 5 WT, I tried it with 406 WF5, 444 Peach DT5 and 444 DT4. I liked the 4 best, but it was also the last line that I tried, so perhaps I was just getting used to the rod. Many thanks to everyone who provided suggestions and feedback.

Cheers,
Joe
I wondered who bought that rod. I almost went for it myself a while ago. Don't know if you know anything about the original owner of the rod but Tom was the founder of the Pittsburgh Fly Fishers I think in the early 60's if I'm not mistaken. Nice gentleman. And Lancaster makes beautiful rods. Enjoy.
You're never too old to have a happy childhood.
Jim

NewUtahCaneAngler
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Re: Young Perfectionist

#39

Post by NewUtahCaneAngler »

Hi Bugtussel,

Thank you for the info on Tom. I had not yet spent time looking for him.

Cheers,
Joe

driftless angler
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Re: Young Perfectionist

#40

Post by driftless angler »

Congrats on the new (to you) rod!

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