Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas

Happy Holidays from the Carpenter Bros.!

I hope everyone is having a great holiday. We will be working hard the next few weeks to get the cane ready for our spring and summer orders. One thing that rod builders spend time on is nodes. There are some builders that spend a lot of time on these and are experts with making them very small. There is an importance with these and so much that some builders cut them out then glue the pieces of the cane back together. As a consumer you realize that every thing a builder does to their rods USUALLY is reflected in their prices. Nodeless rods usually cost more because of the the time that goes into cutting all the nodes out.

The medium in which we use to make our rods is not perfect. So we take the cane, which is all different, and try to make it how we want it. I buy my cane from the Bamboo Broker, as do most all other builders. We place an order and take what is given to us, somewhat like the diamond market. I believe Sweetgrass still goes to China and picks out their own cane, but not sure.

To make nodes micro small it takes a lot of time. Again, this would be reflected in the price. I am someone that wants to make rods that are for people to fish. I know I have told this story before, but I owned several Mario Wojnicki rods. I had the 7'7" 4 weight and caught a 9 lb brown on it one day. It scared me that I was going to break it and I would be out the $3200 I spent on the rod. So I sold my rods and began to build. I also want my rods affordable. Sure I would love to sell my rods for $2500 each, but thats not the person I am. Maybe someday through inflation I will be at that price, but I enjoy making affordable rods, if $1400 is affordable.

Attached are some pics of nodes that I am working on now. I have put a penny next to it to give some size perspective. I wish all of the nodes were this size, but with a natural product some will just be a little bigger and there is not much you can do about it and keep the price reasonable. Again I hope everyone has a great Holiday season and I appreciate your business!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Almost Done

Well I started expanding my shop in July and I will be done with it this weekend. That took about 2 months longer than I thought! At some point I will take a couple of pics and put them on the blog.

I started my spring orders today. I am pleasantly surprised that about half of my orders this year are for rods with composite ferrules. I am still at about a year to year and a half on wait time.

You can see my fishing buggy next to the cane.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Colorado Cane Conclave

I just got back from Mike Clark's get together and had a really good time. I got to meet lots of good people that like to fish bamboo. I shared a table row with Brian Morrow of B.D. Morrow rods. He makes excellent looking and casting rods. They remind me very much of what a Colorado bamboo rod should look like. Brian's mom makes my rod bags for me and does an excellent job. I have posted some pics of Brian casting my 8'3" 5 weight with composite ferrules.  I would have to say with about 99.9% certainty, that is one smooooooth casting rod!

After the show on Sunday I headed up to fish the Frying Pan for two days. This 5 weight was my go to rod for the trip. I had actually made several new rods to try out on my trip, but I liked this one so much I didn't use most of them. Just means I will have some demos for sale at a discounted price. I appreciate the orders I received while out there. My wait time now is just over a year. I am taking the next month off and expanding my shop. My wife is getting tired of my sander and strip cutter on her side of the garage.

I will be heading to Japan this December for a show in Tokyo. I have several good customers over there and will be glad to meet them. I normally don't make rods under 8', but will start a limited production of shorter rods for the Japanese market.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Customer Pic

Here is a customer pic of a Carpenter Bros. 8'3" quad. I might be a little partial because its my rod, but that is one sweet looking picture! I will be using my 8'3" quad out in Colorado next week.

I will be leaving for Mike Clark's get together this Friday. I will have a range of rods with me. I will have several different 3 weights, composite ferruled 5 weight, 8'5" 5 weight and a couple of 4 weights.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Rod Hollowing

Every so often I get the question about hollowing rods and how I do it. I use a Curt Elder Hollowing Mill. Curt came up with this about 7 years ago and sold a few while he was building rods. The one difference between his and mine is I have set depth controls for butt sections and tip sections. Curt's mill had an external adjustment and depth gauge that you set the mill to. I hollow to certain depths for butt sections and a different depth for tip sections.

I am currently working on a prototype of a 8 wt 8'6" rod with composite ferrules. The blank weight is 3.2 oz. However, with extra cork and a bigger reel seat I am not sure where its going to end up. I hope to have a pic by next weekend of the rod. The taper is based off a parabolic style so I am excited to see how it turns out.

I will be attending Mike Clark's get together the first weekend of August. I hope to have several rods for people to cast.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

New Shipment of Silk

It's the little things in life. I just recieved a new shipment of silk. The colors that are available are amazing. I truly enjoy picking colors and seeing how they turn out once on a rod.

I will be giving a presentation on bamboo rods this Monday night at Heart of America Fly Fishing Club.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ferrules 2.0

Here is the newest version of the composite ferrules. The 8'6" 4 weight went out last week and it sounds like it won't be coming back! So this will be the demo. It's an 8'4" 4 weight.

The more I work with these, the happier I am about them. They add something to the rod that which is hard to describe. I have said it before it removes the hinge that the metal ferrules bring to a rod. On faster rods the hinge provides extra strength and speed, so its not necessarily a bad thing. Soon I will be starting on a 3 piece rod with these ferrules.

Friday, February 27, 2015

New Ferrules Coming Soon

I have come up with a new design for ferrules. They are made of a composite material that is more flexible that carbon fiber and lighter than fiberglass. I will put this rod through all the tests this spring and summer and hope to have some ready by late summer or fall.

Its amazing the feel you get from the bamboo when you don't have the hinge of metal ferrules in the rod. The one problem with this material is it has only one color and thats black. So in the finish product they will be over wrapped with silk.

I hope also to do some 3 piece rods with this material.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Joe Tomelleri

Today I was able to hear Joe Tomelleri talk about his art work. I have always been an admirer of his pictures of trout. When I sat there and listened to all the work and detail that had to go into each pictures, it was amazing. It reminded me a little of making a bamboo rod.

In the picture below he is showing and discussing his many trips to Mexico in search of trout. He had many stories and videos from his trips. He hasn't been in several years because of the unrest in that country, but hopes to go back soon.

One funny thing that I learned about him is, he loves to fish for carp. Here in Kansas City we have an abundance of them, so they are easy to find. Someone asked him if he has ever drawn and sold pictures of a carp? His answer was no, because no one would buy them. Carp are an interesting fish, but most of us admire the trout for their colors.

Currently he is working on pictures for a book on the fishes of Idaho.

I can't get enough of his artwork. Here is his website below. If you don't recognize his name you will recognize the artwork.

Friday, January 30, 2015

What Makes My Rods Different

I sat down this week and jotted down a few things that make my rods different. Sometimes different isn't good, so I left those off the list and I will only name the good ones!

  1. My Tapers - I have come up with my own tapers. I developed these with the help of my mentor Curt Elder. 
  2. Varnish - I use one of the best varnishes produced. It costs around $130 for a gallon. I want my rods to last a long time and stand up to the abuse a fisherman puts on it. The varnish I use contains Linseed oil and Tung oil. These two ingredients have proven they will stand up to the test of time. 
  3. 5 Star Cork - I don't like the way that pitted cork looks on a rod. There isn't anything wrong with it, but I like the smoother transition of the better cork. 
  4. Hariki Ferrules - I use these ferrules because I know they are the best! They are expensive and a pain in the butt to get. Yet, they are worth it!
  5. Hollow built - All of my rods are hollow built into the tips. This produces a better action rod. 
  6. Long Rods - My rods are designed to be longer. I want to be able to cast 10' or 80' with the same rod. Shorter rods have a hard time delivering on this.
  7. Reel Seats - I use woods that can't be found most places. I want you to be as proud of your rod as I am. Plus, I don't want it to look like every other rod being made today.
  8. Price - I have never felt comfortable fishing expensive rods or reels. I grew up poor and that has stuck with me I guess. I think that my price is very attractive for what you get in a rod. Most people that offer what I am making have prices much higher than mine. My 8'5" 3 weight is out of this world and for only $1400 that's a steal!
  9. Low # - I don't make that many rods. I don't want to become a slave to my shop. I also don't want to flood the market so that my rods are a give away when you have to resell it. Last year I only made 18 rods. 
  10. Custom - All of my rods are custom built. I change the internal taper to reflect how I want the rod to cast and fish. I DO NOT have one set internal taper that I use on all of my rods. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Update and Customer Pic

Well, I have been very busy in the shop. I have quite a few rods in the works. In about a month I should have some rod pics to post. During the next year I will only be making lightly flamed rods. I am going to hold off on the blondes and darker flamed rods for awhile.

Here is a customer pic from Texas. The rod is an 8'3" 5 weight.