Titanium Fly Reel Does Every Fisherman Need One?
Titanium Fly Reel The Benefits For Fishing Are Obvious
Titanium is an excellent all engineering metal however is it the best material for a titanium fly reel? As there are many variations of Titanium in this article we will consider Ti-6Al-4V also known as Grade 5. Until recently Titanium has been used primarily as an aerospace material, though it is slowly penetrating many niche markets, though at fifty times the cost of plain carbon steels it is prohibitively expensive for many applications.
Engineers measure properties such as strength, hardness, toughness, lightness and durability to evaluate materials.
Titanium excels in strength and toughness. Durability is not a scientific term we think of it as the life of a material under cyclic loads, like a turning shaft i.e. fatigue life. Titanium is also great in this aspect, making it potentially ideal for a fly reel.
Titanium has very high strength around 1000 MPa for Grade 5 which is five times that of ordinary steels. However there are alloys of steel that have even more strength than titanium. Titanium performs very well from a toughness as it, absorbs lots of energy, however once again there are steel alloys that are better.
Titanium is light and resists rust
For strength and toughness steel is very good, but where titanium actually pulls ahead is in terms of lightness (weight). It is circa half the weight of steel for the same volume so for a fly reel casing that has the same strength, a titanium reel casing would be half the weight of a high strength steel case. Titanium is excellent at is corrosion resistance where it is so good that it is almost impossible to rust titanium. It is impervious to all acids apart from nitric acid but how often do you come into contract with nitric acid when fly fishing. It’s corrosion resistance is similar to that of platinum, and in terms of engineering metals only zirconium can beat titanium for corrosion resistance
So in summary a Titanium Reel should outperform a fly reel made of alternative materials which would therefore indicate that all fisherman would be using them. The reason that this isnt the case id down to cost. So once again from a marketing perspective we can see that whilst it may be possible to create a superior product it is unlikely that it will be suitable for all. Pricing and value being significant factors.