Monday, January 8, 2018

Remembering Tom Morgan

At the end of the year the TV stations always run the shows about the previous year. It made me think about 2017. For a number of years we would visit Tom at his home for lunch and discuss building rods. In the pictures below we met Tom at the El Western one year to do some fishing. The El Western was the motel Tom's parents owned when he was growing up. It is probably the coolest motel I have ever been too!

While discussing rods, Tom was always very open about what he did and the processes by which he did them. I always appreciated that about him. I think when bamboo rod builders talk with one another and they are honest and open about building there is a respect that is developed.

I didn't know him as well as many others did, but I knew him enough to look back through my pictures and smile when thinking about this particular day.


Friday, December 22, 2017

Merry Christmas

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We are working hard on the 10 yr rods. I hope to send the first one out by the end of January. We have all the blanks completed and have begun ferruling them. Some have even had the pleasure of getting their grip.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Thursday, October 19, 2017

New Reel Seat Hardware

Here is a pic of the new nickel silver pocketed cap/ring reel seats. On the 10 yr rods I am making right now this is an option. I have two options on the stacked bamboo inserts. You can chose either Blonde or Honey. The Honey is a warm brown color that matches the color of the blanks perfectly. Sometimes I like matching the color and other times I like to offset it, like in the pic below.

I am leaving today to go to the Southern Rodmaker's Gathering. I should have a good report to post when I get home.

Saturday, July 22, 2017


I just received a shipment of 5 star cork. I plan on using this on the 10 yr rods I am currently working on. Sometimes as builders we become obsessed with things and they don't necessarily have to do with the action of the rods. I have always been a believer is good cork on my fly rods. It makes the whole product look cleaner and better. You really can't buy 5 star cork anymore. The best you can get is Flor and its debatable if it is really Flor grade. However, good cork is hard to find and its expensive.

I have attached some pics of the cork. The top row is the 5 star and the bottom row is the Flor I purchased off the large auction site. Back to the point I was trying to make in the first paragraph. The cost of the grip on the 10 yr rods will be almost 10% of the total cost people paid for the rod. That is ridiculous, but like I said we get hung up on things!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Thursday, June 15, 2017

10 Year Rods

I am going to chronicle the process of making the 10 year rods, so check back regularly. This is a process that will take about 6 months. Making 10 rods is not difficult, but not easy either and since I am actually making more than ten rods it will increase the difficulty level. I have made the decision for this series to actually make about 15 butt blanks and 30 tips. I will then select the best ten butt sections and 20 tips for these rods. I will destroy the rest.

When making quads, its a little different than hex's, there is a lot of waste when it comes to the strips. Due to the angles and processes not being as refined as hex making it causes there to more waste with the strips.

The top pic is the culms ready to get flamed. There are actually more culms outside the pic that will be needed for the tips.

In the lower pic you can see the butt section strips all sanded ready to go. There is one batch of tip strips also. When dealing with so many strips (I have done this before) you can get them mixed up from one another. So in order to avoid this the butt sections are colored different than the tip sections.

Why does it matter that the strips stay separated? Several reasons, the main being I hand select each set of culms for either tips or butt sections. I believe all builders do this and all probably have their own theories of what to do. I know many quad builders want the XL poles for their quads, I don't necessarily. I am not going to get into what I do here, because I think its one reason why my rods have a better action than most bamboo fly rods. There are many inconsistencies in the bamboo, no one can master this aspect!

Next week I will post a video of the demo 10 yr rod in action. I let one of the Carpenter Bros. use it on a recent trip catching 12" trout. One theory I have about this is if it holds up to a 10 yr old buggy whipping the hell out of it and it doesn't break its a good rod!