I started building rods about 5 years ago. When I started this voyage I asked Curt Elder to teach me. I had actually bought one of Curt's first rods. Back then I didn't know how to even use a bamboo rod properly. I had that rod for years before I was actually able to use it correctly. After I figured it out it was my go to rod. It was a 7' 4 weight and it did everything. That rod landed more lunker fish than any other rod I have owned. I have heard people talk about a rod having "Mojo", this rod had it!
Before I started building I was a collector of many nice bamboo fly rods. I was always drawn to the California style of building. I owned numerous rods from Mario Wojnicki and loved the aesthetics of his rods. I always preferred the hollow rods I owned over the solid built. So when I start this voyage I knew this was the path to take.
When I hooked up with Curt he was well into hollow building his rods. This was a true bonus for me. He was able to teach me everything that he had already learned about this method. I still use his hollowing mill to hollow my rods.
Since working with Curt I have met and discussed building with many great builders. My philosophy has evolved from where I started years ago. I know like smaller tips and more parabolic butt sections (if that makes since). I don't like huge butt sections to power the rod. I like for the flex point on the rod to be slightly above the ferrule on the tip section.
I try to incorporate the lightest materials and hardware in order to provide a lightweight fishing rod. I have a process that I use on the rod after glueing and sanding to remove all of the moisture from within the rod. Once this is accomplished I seal the rod with a high density resin varnish. The varnishes I use on my rods are only the best! The varnish brand that I use is not sold at your local hardware store.
Here is Curt and myself casting rods at the Herriman Ranch right above Millionaires Pool.