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In Praise of Smaller Straight Pipes...

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Dock

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For the last decade my focus has been on very large pipes which I've filled with various english blends.There was never such a thing as too big and many of them have bowls that are 3" high and most of them are bents. As my tobacco taste changed almost exclusively to flakes I began seeking out smaller pipes.I picked up a lot of seven grp 4 GBD Prehistoric billiards with clear perspex stems.These fast became my favorite pipes.I appreciate everything about them.They have excellent blasts,are lightweight and the stems can't oxidize.These pipes totally chaged the way I look at things.For the first time I began lusting after the same smaller straight pipes that I used to find boring.I now find great beauty in the billiard and the subtle gracefulness of the brandy and.I've sold off quite a few of my very large pipes over the last coupe of weeks (some here and some privately) with the intention of using the proceeds to buy more smaller blasted straight pipes.Weight has become a large factor as well as It's nice to be able to leave the pipe in my mouth while typing or reading,something impossible with my monster sized briars.It's funny how quickly tastes can change in the pipe world :lol:

Best,
Dock
:pipe:
 

Carlos

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Some of that change is seasonal. We are having a normal winter, so a lot of latakia has been smouldering at my house. :D
 

Dock

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For me, I don't think it's simply a sesonal change.I smoked Dunhill's #965 12 months out of the year religiously for nearly a decade.Now my go to blend is Macbran's Navy Flake.My own taste in pipes and tobacco has just simply done a 180% turn around. I really used to love big and wild freehands.Now I find them terribly boring.I got rid of all I had except a few.I now find smaller more elegant pipes to be beautiful.I still have around 100 pipes which I'll be selling to make way for smaller,lighter and more streamlined briars :lol:

Best,
Dock
:pipe:
 

ZuluCollector

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Doc, I think there is a lot of interest in smaller, more compact and elegant pipes. One of the reasons I love my Jack Howell nosewarmer is that it combines capacity with lightness, balance, and cool smoking. It's a hard combo to beat, IMHO.

Same thing is true with my Florov nosewarmer.

Like you, I have a growing interest in smaller pipes, but I also like having a big pipe around as well.

It's all in the context.

I notice, too, that we both enjoy blasts a great deal. Good luck in your hunt.
 

ftrplt

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I've long enjoyed the classic "English" long-stemmed, smaller-bowled (DH 2 or 3) pipe. I especially enjoy them with flakes or finer-cut tobaccos. I still adore my "Bigs," but there are just times when the smaller bowls just hit the spot. FTRPLT
 

Justpipes

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Dock,

My taste have been changing also in that I have really come to appreciate the Billiard shape though I still very much like a bent pipe. I am also beginning to lean towards smaller pipes though small to me is a group 4-6. My tobacco taste has changed a little too in that I have really been enjoying VA/Burley, VA/Perique blends. I think that I am completely losing my desire for Latakia. I still love Walnut but have been open to trying and enjoying other blends. This is quite a change for me since in the past I have smoked the same blend for at least 2 years at the time without even trying anything else.
 

Natch

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I've also started to find myself enamored with Lovats and Canadians rather than larger 1/2 to 3/4 bents. And the bowls seem to be getting smaller as well, (or my eyes are deteriorating faster than I realize?) Straight shanks seem to come into the bottom of the bowl better and slightly smaller bowls take my preferred Va flakes well. Guess we all evolve over the years.

Natch
 

Davey

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LOL Mark. Gr 4-5 is small!

I am veering more and more toward va blends lately, but I think that has a lot to do witht eh fact I am smokingin the a.m. on the way to work, and the latakia is too much for me. With warmer weather my evening smokes that can be taken outside to the porch with turn toward latakia I think.

Funny, though my smaller straight pipes ( a BBB and a Bewlay) are great with my english blends for a smaller smoke, but I wnder if I should convert at least one to a VA, if flakes really do cotton better to that style...



thoughts anyone......?
 

Puff Daddy

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Davey":pityirou said:
thoughts anyone......?
Pipes have personalities. Some like Va and some English and it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with bowl size. I have a pot that loves Va flakes and a little group 3 Viprati billiard that sings with English. You just have to try things out and see what the pipe has to say.

I know, that was no help whatsoever, was it :|
 

puros_bran

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Size is a very subjective thing. For 20-30years it seems the American market has slowly enlarged pipe sizes. What we consider a small pipe was actually the average size not to long ago.
The trick is to match the pipe to the tobacco and the smoking conditions. If you have a while to smoke grab a mild-medium strength weed and a big pipe. Interested in some stout weed or pressed for time? Grab a smaller bowl.

As for what to smoke in what, I start all pipes on Va or Va/per. If it seems off after a bit I'll switch it to english. This method allows the hard Va cake to base the pipe and prevents the latweed crossover you'd experiance if done the other way around.
 
A

Anonymous

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Davey":cb3yepse said:
Funny, though my smaller straight pipes ( a BBB and a Bewlay) are great with my english blends for a smaller smoke, but I wnder if I should convert at least one to a VA, if flakes really do cotton better to that style...
They do --no question about it. And IMHO, flakws smoked as flakes are even more nearly ideal in shorter bowls (bent bulldogs, apples &c.) than in billiards and similarly taller bowls.

But there's a surprising degree of variation in results from airway dimensions, head space &c. even within smaller sized pipes. "Try it and see" is about the only way to find where magic happens.

:face:
 
A

Anonymous

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D.J. Perry":5cnohu7c said:
It's funny how quickly tastes can change in the pipe world :lol:
When I started smoking pipes, I was very fond of bents. Now, nearly every pipe I have is a straight piece and those that are bent are no more than 1/8th. I also didn't like pokers but now I marvel at them.

Yep, tastes do change over time.
 
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