Former NASA Engineer and World Champion Angler Claim Invention of First Graphene Fishing Rod
The world of fishing has taken a significant step forward following a recent breakthrough by a global angling champion and a former NASA engineer. The two say they have created the world’s first graphene-based fishing rod, which would be the toughest rod made so far.
Graphene is a type of carbon, one million times finer than a single human hair whilst possessing 200 times the strength of steel. It is also 15 times as strong as diamond, as well as 30 times tougher than Kevlar (a material used in bullet-resistant vests across the globe).
Graphene was discovered in 2004 by Sir Konstantin Novoselov and Sir Andre Geim, both of whom received the 2010 Novel prize in physics for their efforts.
This new invention has the potential to transform fishing, empowering angles with more robust rods in years to come. Professional angler Scott Mackenzie and Gary Savage come from different backgrounds, but their shared passion in the sport led to their breakthrough.
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Mackenzie, based in Inverness, is a former world champion Spey caster, with 20 years’ experience as a ghillie in various areas of Scotland. Though he retired in the mid-2000s, Mackenzie took part in the International Spey Casting competition in 2013 and won. He also broke the world-distance record during his angling career.
As well as NASA, Savage has worked as an engineer with McLaren and Honda, helping to design Formula One vehicles. He is based in Oxfordshire, and is an experienced professor of engineering.
Savage told the BBC that he and Mackenzie have “taken the best of everything we have learned in Formula One to create the best fly rod ever made.”
Savage and Mackenzie created two rods: the Mackenzie FX1 models, measuring between 13, 14, and 15 feet. These were created by rolling graphene sheets, each only an atom thick, into tiny tubes. Following this, the tubes become bonded and woven threads.
The Mackenzie FX1 rods are designed to offer deep flexibibility wth the beginning of the user’s cast, before becoming flat again to give the angler greater reach. Mackenzie and Savage claim this maintains the specific “feel” which helps salmon fishers rely on to alter their technique for accuracy.
Standard fishing rods are generally between two and 20 feet, and are typically built with fibreglass or carbon fibre. The type of fishing usually dictates the specific rod will be used. By bringing new graphene rods to the market, Mackenzie and Savage are bringing a bold change to the field for fans across the world.
Mackenzie assures anglers that graphene rods will be transformative: “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.”
The Mackenzie FX1 rods retail for £1,000 ($1450.90). They have just been released on the commercial market, and have been purchased in North America, the UK, Europe, and Japan.