Thursday, March 29, 2012

New Rod design

Here is a picture of a rod I am currently working on. It is a 6'5" 3 piece 3 weight. As it is right now it weighs 1.7 oz and should end up right around 2.0 oz when finished. I hope to make longer rods with carbon fiber ferrules and spey rod with Kevlar ferrules.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Hollow building

In the picture below you can see the pieces of a rod laid out before gluing. Depending on the action a person wants or what I want, determines where and how I do the hollowing. Some builders have systematic forms of hollowing (a 1" dam every 1/2"). I like to change it up in order to bring the rod to life. All of the rods I have made with the exception of one have been hollow built. I keep my wall thicknesses right around .040" thick. This rod is a 7'11" 4 weight that will be slightly medium fast. I want the flex point to be right about 2-4" above the ferrules, a powerful loading rod, but with a delicate tip for quiet presentations. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012


In one of my earlier posts I talked about using lightweight reels. I believe in using these because it moves the fulcrum up out of the grip area. In years past I always bought or made reels that balanced the rod in hand. I no longer believe that.

Why should the fulcrum be moved up? If you ever read anything that E.C. Powell wrote about fly rods he talks about them being two types of machines: simple-lever and complex-spring. If your hand is directly over the fulcrum what control are you going to have over both sides of the lever? You will have very little control. The spring mechanism works more effectively when it is allowed to fully recoil and load. This occurs when the fulcrum is in the middle of the butt section and you control the power output to the other side of the lever. This is a discussion that can go on for ever, but I wanted to briefly describe it and explain why I like lightweight reels on bamboo fly rods. On a different note this doesn't work as well with graphite/fiberglass  rods because the tips are so light. Bamboo tips are much heavier and require action at the butt section for them to coordinate correctly.

A little story. Last summer I went to a gathering of builders in Island Park. I cast several rods by Per Brandin. I had never seen one of his rods and I was very curious because you hear he is the best.  I cast his rods for about an hour. They are different than other rods and I couldn't figure out why. On all of the rods he brought each rod had a cork reel seat and lightweight british made reels. I just thought maybe he REALLY liked that set up. However, later on I realized what I was feeling in his rods. He had moved the fulcrum up and thus created a more powerful rod. I don't know if he did this intentionally, but I liked what I felt. So, after that I changed how I built my rods and what I know use on them.