The first Graphene fishing rod in world made by NASA engineer
The first Graphene fishing rod in the world made by a team from Mackenzie DTX have teamed up with Professor Gary Savage who is a professor of engineering who has worked with Nasa and also with carmakers Honda and McLaren on designs for Formula One racing cars.
He said: “We have taken the best of everything we have learned in Formula One to create the best fly rod ever made.”
Why used Graphene?!
Graphene is the strongest and stiffest material known to man. It is up to 300 times stronger than steel, even stronger than diamond, and 30 times stronger than Kevlar – the material used for bullet proof vests! Graphene recently revolutionised the tennis world after Head launched a new tennis racket using the material, now used used by Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic.
Mr Mackenzie is a former world Spey casting champion and a professional ghillie for 20 years, working on the River Ness in the Highlands and the Deveron in Aberdeenshire.
Mr Mackenzie said: “We had an incredibly exciting opportunity to take the art of salmon fishing to a whole new level by harnessing graphene in the right way before anyone else.
“The rod is a game changer for expert and less-experienced anglers.
“It not only flexes deeply at the beginning of a cast but it straightens again powerfully, which gives you distance, and critically it also retains the vital ‘feel’ that salmon fishers need to adjust their technique and accuracy.”
The rods cost almost £1,000 to buy.
Graphene is a form of carbon that exists as a sheet, one atom thick and arranged into a two-dimensional honeycomb structure.
Geim and Novoselov isolated graphene at the University of Manchester.
How Graphene fishing rod made?
The way it is used in the manufacture of the FX1 blank is in the form of multi-walled carbon nanotubes – 1 atom thick sheets of hexagonally bonded carbon formed into tubes and added to a state of the art resin. Being 32 times stiffer than steel per unit mass. The sub-microscopic cylinders of carbon on a weight-for-weight basis are at least 120, and up to 300 times stronger than steel and 30 times stronger than Kevlar!
Approximately 1/50,000th the width of a human hair, Graphene nanotubes can stretch considerably rather like plasticine before breaking, up to 14 percent of their normal length. Their aspect ratio (length/diameter) can be up to 130 million: 1. To illustrate this, if we think of a carbon nanotube as a piece of spaghetti (typically 2mm in diameter) then, at this scale, the tube would be 66km long!
The Mackenzie FX1 blank is impregnated with this resin incorporating a weave of this new Graphene nanotube material. We tried the rod in less than ideal conditions and found that it flexes well during the cast and recovers powerfully. The fast recovery makes it easier to cast further with little effort, yet retains the ‘feel’ that is so important in a Salmon fly rod, especially if your casting is not on top form.
As well as being the first rod to incorporate Graphene, the blanks are produced using a further unique process where the blanks are cured inside a high pressure Auto Clave, a machine normally used to make parts for the motor racing and aerospace industries. This extra process removes as much air as possible from between the carbon layers in the blank as it is cured that would normally remain trapped during the normal rod making process, creating a much stronger blank which means the FX1 rods are extremely strong and durable. With these new manufacturing processes, the new Mackenzie FX1 Graphene Salmon rods are at the forefront of global design and composite engineering using new materials and techniques currently being developed for aerospace applications 7 to 10 years in advance everyone else!
The Mackenzie FX1 will be available from late-March in a 13 ft 8 wt, 14 ft 9 wt and 15 ft 10 wt models, covering almost any situation the Salmon angler will find in the UK and abroad. The rods have been designed to handle all types of lines, from longer traditional Spey lines to short Scandi and Skagit style shooting-heads.
The rods themselves are made in the UK, and feature the very best craftsmanship and fittings money can buy! Top grade Portuguese cork handles have been specially chosen and are made to a length and style to allow casters of all styles and abilities to use the rod in comfort.
Genuine Fuji SiC stripper rings with an ultra hard, ultra smooth, silicon carbide coating that will never wear and Titanium recoil snake guides that spring back into shape if knocked or bent grace the blank with smart orange tipped, gloss black whippings. A unique custom made ALPS down locking reel seat keeps your favourite reel securely in place. The finish on the blank itself features a self healing PTFE silicon coating meaning any scratches can simply be rubbed smooth, and with the addition of the Graphene resin system and high pressure autoclaving process that removes almost all the air from the blank, you wont find a better, stronger blank on the market today!