Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Carpenter Bros. 2.0

The last few months I have been working and thinking about how I could improve my rods. I suppose all rod makers think this way, but maybe some don't.

What started me on this quest was my trip out to the Henry's Fork builder's gathering last summer. I was speaking a prominent builder who I consider to be a friend. We both had 8'6" 3 weights at the gathering and were letting people cast them. He picked up my rod and began to cast it. I think as all builders do I hoped for praise. Well, it didn't come and I started to think my rods weren't very good. He started explaining why his rods were better or at least that is the way I took it. For the next period of time I was formulating what the builder said and how I could improve my rods. Basically I felt he was saying that my rods weren't very good.

Several hours later a gentleman asked me if I was Cris Carpenter. I said yes and he asked if I would come over to his group of friends. They were casting my 8'6" 3 weight and loved it. I felt like a ton of bricks had been lifted off of my back. I felt vindicated.

I felt this way for some time. My friend the prominent builder didn't mean any harm by it, in fact he was just trying to help me make a better rod. After I got over the incident (the ego can be a hinderance) I started to realize what the builder had said to me had some merit. There were things I could do to change my rods for the better without changing my tapers or basic philosophy of how I make rods and this is what I have started doing.

The first thing I am doing is using Micro Ferrules. Only a couple of builders use these and they sell their rods for over $3000 (mine are 1/3 of that ;-). This is done for a couple of reasons. The main thing is weight. I have working with fiberglass and carbon fiber ferrules for some time. However, I haven't ever been satisfied with them enough to put them into production. The MF weigh almost the same as my CF ferrules and they look a whole lot better too!

My grips are changing as well. They will be thinner and smaller. I will stay around 11 or 12 cork ring grips. If a customer has a specific request for more I will accommodate that request. Looking back at pictures of my rods some of the grips look "clubby".

I have also started putting length and weight on my rods. That is followed by the date in which the rod was made.

My tips on my rods are getting bigger. I liked to stay below .060 on my tips, but I will be going over that for now. Why? because my butts are getting slightly smaller. I will go into that in a later post. Just think "Parabolic".

This is a rod I have just completed as a prototype for the ideas I have expressed in this post. I have been using some walnut inserts in my reel seats to enhance the color of my rods. This rod is an 8'4" 4 weight. The total weight on this rod is 3.39 oz. That's with the walnut insert!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Rod of the Week

I am slowing starting to catch up on my orders. I started four new rods last week as I try to finish up several orders. With the new rods I have started there are going to be some changes with how I do those. I am very excited about these changes and I think that they will be a big improvement for the rods. I have stated before that I am trying to stay around the 3 oz. mark with my longer rods. The changes I have made will allow me to do this without using fiberglass or carbon fiber ferrules.

This rod will be going to Singapore shortly. Its a 8'2" 4 weight hollow built rod that is based somewhat off of a leonard taper. The reel seat insert is the last piece of a small collection of a Maple burl that I received about 2 years ago. It didn't have a single black line in it anywhere and was just totally different than any thing I had ever seen.