Back in the 80ties Reducers became popular for low reel casters. They were factroy made made for the most part. Although some people used homemade plugs, Most of the rods back then were quite large and hard to get your hand around, and holding the spool was tuff. They were also a great way to increase the overall length of tournamet rods.
Another use for the reducer is to allow you to cast in the low reel position while fishing. Bill H and myself both cast bait in the low reel [tournament position] and then insert the reducer to add length to the butt of the rod for fighting a fish and reeling the line in.
Just a couple of thoughts on the subject. I think the rods of today now account for the added length. Take a look back at all the big Zziplex rods like the Dream Machines and the Quattra's both the Match and Sport. Rods came through with 8 foot tips and 5 foot butts. It was the reducer that brought the rods out to 14 feet. Now just about every tournament rod produced is slim and anyplace from 13'8" to 14'2". and unless you request a reducer for them you don’t get one.
And now the reducer makes the rods even longer. I have many rods that IF i used the reducer in them would be 15 feet long.
This is a bit off topic
I believe that 15' is way too long a rod for ME to cast. I will accept the loss of tip speed knowing that I am able to really hit the rod at the end of the cast.
If you take a look at the rods on the casting courts, you will find most of the guys using rods in the 13 to 14 foot range. very few playing around with longer rods. Longer is not always better.
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