Saturday, December 24, 2016

New Rod

I posted pictures a couple of weeks ago of this rod. I finally got it finished and took it to a local fly shop K & K Flyfishers. I usually keep a rod there for sale. In the last 6 months they have sold 4 rods for me.

This was a 8' 3/4 weight rod. One thing to note about this rod is it only weighed 3.36 oz. That is very light for a 3 piece rod.

I started my spring orders this week. Also, as noted before I will be adding quads this year. I purchased a new beveler awhile back and got to use it for the first time. I will post updates regularly about the progress of those. Right now I am not offering them for sale until I master the process and feel comfortable with my product.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Reel Bags

So, about two months ago I wanted to start writing on my blog once a week. I have done that. I will try to keep it up as long as I can, so keep checking back.

Today I am posting a pic of three reel bags I have. Two just arrived. They are made by my friend Masaki Ishizeki in Japan. Masa makes rods under the Genten-Rod name. My reels were designed for the Japanese market and I thought how appropriate to have reels bags made in Japan to use with them. When I asked Masa for them he said that I don't want all the bags to be exactly the same. Its better to have the bags made from different material. I am planning on using these on all of my Hardy Lightweight Bougle's and will have to wait for spare material from other projects for him to make me more.

On another note, in last week's post I mentioned a famous Italian car company. After I did that my stats started going haywire. Normally, I have around 30-40 hits a day. All of a sudden I started having 400 to 500 and most of them from Russia. I am sure they are just interested in my rods! So I took the car name out of my last post and it has went down considerably.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Pozo Fly Reel

I had a customer give me this reel awhile back and thought I would talk about it here. I have never seen another one like it. It is an Italian reel from a company called Pozo. It has a rough anodized gray color with wood burl. The drag knob is wood and so is the handle. It has some kind of plastic drag system. I haven't used the reel so I am not sure how affective it is.

I have owned many reels from outside the US, but never from Italy. Its always interesting to see and handle these reels.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

New Rod 8' 3/4 Weight

This is a new rod that I am about to finish up. I normally don't label rods two different weights because I try to focus on a specific line weight. However, with this rod I tried to change that. When I designed it I made the changes for myself in mind. I have been traveling more the last past couple of years and have found that 3 piece rods work better for that. When traveling long distances its harder to travel with a lot of 2 piece rods. So I thought it would be easier to travel with just a couple of rods.

This rod is a combination of two rods. Its basically a 3 weight body with a 4 weight tip. Normally, I would use a .060 to .064 size tip on my 3 weights. This rod has a tip size of .066. Its a very smooth casting rod with a 3 Long Belly line. When I put on the 4 DT line the rod loads all the way to the grip and becomes very powerful. This synopsis is oversimplified, but with the addition of an extra ferrule more goes into the rod than just mixing and matching bodies with tips. I have also added an extra guide to the tip to add more line control.

Along the lines of this rod I am also making myself a rod that will handle 4 weight lines and 5 weight lines with the same parameters in mind. I will post pics of that rod soon.

Here also is a follow up pic to the post on what reels I use. They made them in three different sizes and I like all three sizes.

I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Rod Repair

Sometime ago I began receiving requests to do rod repair. It started with fixing Curt Elder rods. When Curt started building rods the epoxy he used on his ferrules didn't hold up in the long run. That was probably 20 years ago. Now days the technology is quite superior for epoxies.

I have now fixed a range of makers rods. I wouldn't say I do major fixes, but I do ferrules, rewrapping and revarnishing.

Since I use Tung Oil and Linseed Oil on my rods there are longer waiting periods between applications of the varnish. So I like to fill the time with these repairs. In the below photos is a rod I just repaired and sent back to its owner. It was a Charlie Rife rod. I don't know much about this maker, but it was a nice rod and well built. The owner had put it up wet and the moisture had made it under the varnish. Also, the reel seat had swollen up. All issues were fixed and the rod is ready to go!

So far I have been pretty good about posting on a weekly basis. Please keep checking back because I have other posts ready to go and will post them each week. I have some new rods just about done so I will be posting those soon. In my last post I talked about quads. I will also be posting about how the Quinchat beveller does and the process of making quads.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Quads Soon

Last spring I purchased some new items to start making quads again. In the past I made some with Chris Moore. Now I will be doing everything myself. I have a couple of great tapers I am going to start with. My first will be a 4 wt spliced joint rod. I will probably make these in small batches. They will be hollowed into the tips like all of my rods.

I purchased forms and a beveller to do most of the basic work. I went with a Quinchat Beveller. I finally got it setup today and hopefully start running strips in the next couple of weeks.

I chose to go this route versus buying a Morgan Handmill. We will see how it goes and in the future if you see me making a post about my new Morgan Handmill you will know it didn't go so great.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

What Reels Do I Use

I get that question a lot. What reels do I use to fish with? My standard answer is light weight reels. I generally look for the lightest reels I can find. Right now I use Hardy Bougle Lightweights. They were made for the Japanese market and are thought of as some of the nicest reels that Hardy has ever made. They also have an Agate version.

These reels weigh in at the low 3 oz. range. It has taken me several years to collect the few that I have, mostly from Japan. Since so few of these reels where made you will only see one or two come for sale each year.

The main reason I use light weight reels is the performance of the rod. I personally like the feel of the bamboo rod when it has a light weight reel on it. I think you can feel the action much better when the lever and spring are allowed to work properly.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Customer Pic

This weeks post has another customer photo. This one is of a pretty 20" brown trout caught on one of my 8'4" 3 weights. You will also notice that this rod has one of my lightweight reel seats. This rod generally weighs around 3.1 oz. This taper is a faster taper and can easily cast a 3 weight line 50-60 feet if you want.

Please check back every week as I will be posting something new each Sunday/Monday.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Weekly Posts

I have been pretty busy with rod making and my kids baseball. There hasn't been a lot of time for posts on this page. However, I am going to start putting a new post every Monday. So come back every week for an update on fishing and bamboo fly rods. As you can see I am one day late already.

One thing I will be talking about and showing is an upgrade to some of the components I am using. For instance, I have upgraded my rod tubes. I have went with a mineral bronze tube and gold caps. They are about $25 more than the standard tubes I was using, but I think they look really nice.

This weeks post is a customer pic from back east. The rod in the pic is a 7'3" 4 weight. Its a great little rod. I can count on three fingers how many rods I have made under 8'. For some reason 8' seems to be the magic number for me. I just really don't want to go below that. However, sometimes I get a wild hair and build one.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Customer Pic

Here is a pic from a customer. The rod is a 8' 3 weight and the fish is a Wyoming Cutthroat. I have said this before, but my 3 weights are still my best sellers.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Monster Landed

I just returned from a great fishing trip. I used my new composite ferruled rods extensively and I am happy with where they are going.
I had lunch one day with Tom Morgan and as always learned a lot about the art of making rods. Below is a picture of one of my kids with a trout he caught. It measured 30". It was so big I had to take my shoes and socks off and jump in the lake to land it. I felt like if he had to bring it on land it would have broken the rod. I tried to explain to him that most people don't ever catch a fish like that their whole lives!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

3 Piece Rod

Here is a new 3 piece rod that is about to go out. It's a 8'5" 4 weight. I really like this taper. Sometimes you hope that the buyer disappears so that you can keep a nice rod for yourself. That's not going to happen this time so I am going to start building one for myself as soon as I get back from my trip.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

New Lightweight Reel Seats

I am introducing a new lightweight reel seat. They are made of a traditional blued aluminum hardware and have a Spanish Cedar insert. They weigh over 60% less than a traditional nickel silver cap/ring reel seat. I plan on using them mainly on my composite ferruled rods. The rods in the picture are demo's that I will have this year with me for people to cast. Weights on these rods with the fore mentioned items weigh the following: 8'3" 3 weight 3.05 oz, 8'3" 4 weight 3.30 oz. and 8'6" 5 weight weighs 3.6 oz.
I hope to see you out on the stream!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Making a Bamboo Rod

This year I took on a student. Larry has done a great job and is now on his second rod. Word has made it out about the Carpenter Bros. Bamboo fly rod school and I now have more requests than I need. One bad thing about teaching people, if there could be such a thing, is my wait time will go out. I really like getting people into bamboo. There are some people that love to learn and do things themselves. I can't say no to that. Here is Larry hard at work. I dig that shirt Larry!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Customer Pic

Here is a great customer pic from the Black Hills of South Dakota. The rod in the picture is a 8'2" 4 weight. I will be in Island Park, Idaho starting on June 16th and will be there until the 28th. Then I will drop down to the Green River in Utah for a few days. Then it's off to Crested Butte, Colorado until July 11th. If you are going to be in one of those areas and you want to cast/fish one of my new composite ferruled rods let me know and we can get together.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Blueing Hardware

Something I have never liked about hardware is the fact it loses its blueing. I have always been interested in applying something to the hardware so that it keeps its blueing for as long as possible. There are several things out there that people suggest. I haven't tried many of them. However, I do have something that a very prominent builder once told me about. In the picture below you can see the light variation in color from the bottom part of the ferrule (where the wraps go) to the top part, which is the female section. I haven't been doing this process for years and years, so I don't know if it will hold up for long periods of time. I hope so based on the knowledge of someone that had been building for over 30 years.

I am currently in the middle of building spring and summer orders. I will be at the Henry's Fork for almost 3 weeks if you are out there. Then it will be off to Crested Butte, CO for a week. I hope to see some of you out there!


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Fly Boxes

The next 12 rods I deliver will get one of these special Walnut fly boxes. Several years ago I took my family to Yellowstone for vacation. One day we drove up into Montana to go sight seeing. My wife, being the thrifty one, saw an estate sale. The loving husband I am we pulled over and stopped. Inside I found a Walnut mantle. The mantle didn't look like it fit and it just stood out to me once I saw it. So I hauled it back to Missouri and it has sat in my shop for probably around 8 years. I was always looking for something special to do with it. There will be just a few more finishing touches and then they will be done.

My friend Doug Tierney donated the silk line that is used as the hinge.

In the next week or so I will write more about the boxes and my friend that was behind them.

Saturday, February 27, 2016


I hope everyone is starting to thaw out from winter. It has been a very mild winter here in Missouri and I am looking forward to getting out to fish.

I just wanted everyone to notice the price change on my rods. I haven't raised my prices in almost 2 years. I like the price point I am at because it keeps me with plenty of orders. The main reason I am raising my prices is that supply prices keep going up. One item in general that is becoming a problem is cork. The cork supply that is available is not that good anymore. I guess its a personal fault but I refuse to use cheap cork. In my mind it takes away from the beauty of the bamboo. So what I have to do now is buy large expensive quantities of cork and sort through it for the best stuff. I also tend to use wood spacers on my reel seats that are from hard to find or rare woods. Like anything else in this world the word "rare" usually means "costs more".

Also, I have several big developments in the works right now! I hope to announce them by the end of the spring. I am very excited and will make the information known on here once they come to fruition.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Rod Building Class

I started a rod building class at K & K Flyfisher's yesterday. One of the builders is an excellent wood worker. He built everyone a rod wrapper. I am looking forward to getting rid of my old one and using this one!