Sunday, February 26, 2012

Reel Seat Choices

Recently I bought a large lot of burls and exotic woods from a cabinet shop in my town. After working with it for the past couple of weeks I am offering several choices for reel seat inserts. The three choices I have right now (left to right) is Spanish Cedar, Cherry Burl and Maple Burl. The two burls are slightly heavier than the SC, but look very nice. The rod in the middle is a rod that I made for myself. I liked the Cherry Burl so much I put that seat on it.

In addition to the reel seat wood choices I also have two types of hardware that I am using. I have my lightweight hardware, which is on the rod to the left. On the rod in the middle is my new choice which features a slightly bigger cap and a lower profile ring.

When blueing hardware in the past, I have always noticed as soon as you start using the rod the blueing starts to wear off. Shortly after a few uses the blueing starts to have an antiqued look. In order to stop this and keep the blueing longer I have recently found a product that I really like that I will start spraying all of the blued hardware with. This will provide a protective layer to keep the blueing looking better for longer. It doesn't protect it 100%, but does protect it longer.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

8' 3 weight

Here is another 3 weight rod I am currently working on. The blank weight with the grip is right at 2.2 oz. After I put everything on it she should come in right above 3 oz. On this rod I am doing something I have never done before. I am putting silver components on a flamed blank. It seems like most people want blued hardware on flamed rods. I have to admit that I really like the color combination!

I have said it here before that I sell more 3 weights than anything else. I have two tapers for a 3 weight rod. The first taper is for a rod from 7'10" to 8'1" and it has a nice crisp medium action. The second taper has a length from 8'2" to 8'6" and is a medium fast action rod that can cast a 3 wt line 50 ft with no problem. Are 3 weights easier than other rods to make? NO! Sometimes I think that I am going to stop making 3 weights because I become frustrated with such fine tips. :- )

I started this rod over a month ago. However, with the finish I use on my rods I have longer dry times than most builders do. I use a combination of linseed oil and tung oil on the rod. The combination of these two items provides a very high density finish. This, I believe, will let the rod have a longer life. Once the blank is finished I hand rub this combination on it at least 6 times. After the varnish is smooth and dried I can start to wrap the rod. On my wraps I use a high gloss finish to provide a nice contrast that highlights all features of the rod.

Friday, February 10, 2012


I have attached a picture of the two rods I am finishing up for myself. One has an agate guide the other a Mildrum guide. The Mildrum guide doesn't get the fame its fancier cousin the agate gets. However, I think its just as cool. It has a traditional look that is simple and elegant. Its not to flashy and gives the rod a more clean look. Plus, it comes in at 1/3 the price of the agate. There are a lot of choices when it comes to stripping guides, but I have always been a fan of the lower profile stripping guides. This one sits lower to the rod and doesn't take the eye away from the bamboo when looking at it.
I would have used to Mildrum guides on the rods for me, but I cut the agate off of my broken rod from Colorado. When they cost $35 I am going to recycle guides whenever I can! :- )

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dreaming of warmer days and fishing trips to come!

I have been thinking a lot this week about trips I am going to take this summer. I think as a fisherman I always dream big of taking lots of trips, long and small. However, with a job and kids I take the ones I can and enjoy them. A trip I hope to make again this year is back to Yellowstone. There is no place in the world like it. I know there are some top notch places out there that are considered mecca's for a flyfisherman, but mine is Yellowstone, minus the traffic. Here are a few pictures of my trip to the builders get together last year. The first set of pictures is Leon Hansen and myself discussing casting. The first picture shows me explaining casting to Leon and the next picture is him telling me what I was doing wrong. :-) Leon is an extremely nice guy that makes an out of this world rod. His cosmetics where an 11 out of 10!

This is me with Per Brandin. Listening to him, Glenn Brackett, Curt Elder, Dana Gray and Marty Kartstetter discuss tapers and rods was priceless.

Here I am with my mentor Curt Elder. If you ever decide to get into building find an established builder to learn from. It takes years off of the process. Curt was an excellent teacher and still is.