Thursday, January 22, 2015

This is a new Japanese blank, Alchemy Dharma 7'5'', 4/5wt that was designed by Mr Akihiko Kawasaki on Alchemy Tackle in Japan. I'm very pleased about the performance of this rod. Many people refer to glass rods as "close to bamboo", but I would say that is quite unusual. Modern glass is light and crisp, and not very like bamboo at all. At least when it comes to traditional progressive tapers. But this taper is parabolic, which means it has a flat mid section and a soft butt. This taper geometry gives the rod a very special performance. The soft butt section acts like a hinge in the blank, helping it to load very deeply. This makes the rod an excellent distance caster, but it's also great for casting situations where you need to unload the line in narrow spots, for example roll casting in between trees. The swing weight is relatively high on this blank, which makes the rod less line weight sensitive and more open to different line weights. The mass distribution makes the rod load nicely by using only its own mass, which allows the rod to load with a lighter line than it's designed for. There is a big gap in the market for parabolic rods, and I will get back to this blank in future builds. 

This build was appointed Japanese style with nickel silver and bamboo details, featuring my new down/uplocking reel seat. It will be sent to a fellow rod builder in the US who is currently making a rod for me on the same blank. I can't wait...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Where would we be without CTS on New Zealand? They are one of the most important manufacturers of contemporary fiberglass blanks. They supply high end custom tapers to builders all over the world. They also have their own line of fiberglass rods, the Quartz series. This is an 8', 6wt Quartz rod that has been given +25% stiffness. It's a special edition made for the Swedish tackle shop Flyfishing Masters. This custom Quartz blank is available in other weights as well, and I can highly recommend it. This build was appointed in saltwater style, and will be the perfect companion for sea run brownies, bass or arctic pike. This rod is spoken for. 

Here comes another old stock inventory build. This is a extremely light graphite rod, CTS Affinity 7'6'', 0wt. The original build had a different grip shape.  I have turned it down and straightened it up. I like the idea of straight grips, but they look terrible.  A minor flare at the nose made all the difference on this rod, both from an aesthetical and ergonomical point of view. This rod is for sale. Asking price $295 + international EMS shipping $60. 

This is a rod I made a couple years back. It's a replica build on a NOS Winston Stalker 7', 4wt blank that I got from James Green many years ago. I have kept it in the shop as a reference rod, but I have never been satisfied with the grip. Last week, Matt Leiderman posted a few stunning Winston replicas, so I decided to do something about the grip of this rod. I have turned it down in the front, and made it more of a traditional Winston full wells. I have also decided to offer it for sale. Asking price $495 + international EMS shipping $60.  

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

This is the last Epic 480 from Decembers work. I made this rod for a customer to honor the memory of a lost family member. It was appointed in a purple color scheme, with an up/down locking reel seat in blued brass and rubber, revealing a beautiful wooden insert in tinted, stabilized maple burl. The grip has a classic torpedo shape, and for a change I decided to turn a small winding check in blued Duronze. Snake Brand Originals in dark nickel, wrapped with purple Gossamer silk. This was a very special build for me, and I hope it will bring joy to its new owner. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

This Epic 480 was appointed in a similar conservative way as the Mocha rod in the former post. I almost forgot how beautiful the Bellinger reel seats are. This has a wonderful ebony insert, handpicked by Chet Croco. It looks black, but has a lot of dark brown in it, just like the dark chocolate silk wrap over the stripping guide. Sometimes, less actually is more...

I have lost count of all Epic 480 that has left my shop this last year. Here comes another build, this one appointed in a rather conservative way. Bellinger NS slide seat, full wells grip and chrome guides wrapped with Gossamer Java silk. The leather fly box holster comes from the extremely talented craftsman Chris Fox in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This beautiful piece of gear shows a De Young-style trout pattern, and the quality is outstanding. It's a great honor for me to feature Chris work together with one of my builds. Don't forget to support all independent craftsmen in the fly fishing industry. It might be a bit more expensive, but the soul you get is priceless...