Friday, January 27, 2012

New Wood for reel seats

I guess I am a fanatic about wood. I saw a local listing about a cabinet shop that went out of business and they had a lot of burls for sale. I went down there and purchased a bunch. I really like the Spanish Cedar I use, but I always like to try new woods. I picked up a bunch of Cherry Burl, Black Ash Burl, Spalted Maple and much more. As I wait for my rods to dry over the next several months I will be working through some of the wood. Here is a pic of the first one I chose. Its a beautiful Cherry Burl.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Spring and Summer orders

I started my spring and summer orders today. I usually flame all of my rods because that seems like what most people want. You would be surprised how long it takes to flame, split, sand and organize the culms in order to get ready to cook the bamboo.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

7'7" 4 weight

This is a 7'7" 4 weight that I am making for myself to replace the first rod I made. The original was a 7'6" 4 weight based on a Payne 98 taper. It was a great rod. That taper is a favorite of a lot of builders. I know some of you know this story already, but I broke my first rod I built out in Colorado last summer. Most of the streams were blown out last year in Colorado because the tremendous amount of snow they received. There were several places that were fishable, but extremely crowded. So we headed up to the famous "Hog Trough" on the Taylor River. I had always heard about how difficult it was to fish here. I guess I was intimidated by the stories so I never made it a priority to fish. Well, we went up there and had a great day. I caught two fish over ten pounds on this rod. I probably should have known something was going to happen with such a good day on the stream. As many a fisherman have done I put my rod on top of the car while getting changed out of my waders. I am sure you know where this is going. I forgot to get my rod off the top of the car. I didn't realize it until we were heading down the mountain and I heard it skidding off the roof. I quickly turned around and saw it bouncing off the highway. I was excited, it looked like the rod was OK. We quickly pulled over and I got out. On my way back to the rod (running up the hill out of breathe) I heard something and I looked up and here came a minivan. It was like slow motion. The rod didn't stand a chance. I probably looked like the father in "A Christmas Story" when his fancy leg lamp was broken by his jealous wife. It must be from France it says "Fragile"! Later that night you could hear the sound of Taps throughout the Rockies.

When I build blonde cane it always reminds me of the two Wojnicki fiberglass rods I once owned. They were beautiful rods! Sometimes I think about those rods and wish I still had them. However, we all evolve as fisherman and they wouldn't suit how I fish today. This rod is based off a EC Powell taper and I am excited to see how it works. It is a fast taper!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Evolution of the 3 wt!

Well, I didn't think I was going to be able to start this project for awhile, but with a good case of insomnia, but here it is. In the picture is a revamped 8'6" 2 piece 3 wt rod. This is my 8'4" taper, but with two more inches. 

You might think just adding two inches to a rod that's no big deal. The question is where do you stick that two inches? Do you put it at the tip? No, because the tip weight wouldn't hold the line right. Do you put it in the butt, like a lot of guys like? :-) No, because then the rod would become a 4 wt. Maybe you can just hide it somewhere in the middle? That is probably closer of an answer than the first two. I tried to keep the flex point right above the ferrules. In order to incorporate that extra two inches I put one in high in the butt section and the other at the base of the tip. 

I have always wanted one of my 3 wt rods, but never kept one. This one will be mine. I need to have one as a demo as well. I know once that I bought a Winston quad. The area rep for Winston had one and the company set it up so we met and I could cast his rod. This is always nice when you spend this kind of money to test the product out before you purchase. What I will probably do with this rod is send it out to people that want to try my 3 wts. If someone wants to pay for shipping I will send it to them and they can try it out. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Shop News

Well, I have sent out the last rod for 2011. Its now time to clean up the shop and get ready for 2012. I have about a month before I have to really get busy on rods. So I will be working on a project that I started last year. Its the Carbon Fiber Ferrule (CFF).

Last summer I went to a bamboo rod makers gathering on the Henry's Fork river. There I met Tim Anderson and his rods with CFF's. I fell in love at first cast. They were light, responsive and great looking. After unsuccessfully trying to buy or trade Tim I decided I could make one myself. That's were the problem started. It's not as easy as it looked. So I will be picking that up again this year.

The two main reasons I like this system is weight and Travel. I think I can make a 8'6" 5 weight 4 piece that comes in under 3 oz. The blank in the pics below weighs 2.23 oz. I have always been a weigh weenie and looked to cut the weight of a rod anywhere I could, as long as it didn't affect the action of the rod. This is a project with great rewards, but I assume that it is going to take a lot of experimenting. The main reason is I want a spigoted ferrule system instead of the sleeve version several rod makers use.

I hope everyone has a great 2012 and feel free to contact me and talk fishing!