Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sneak Peak: Building My Own Fly Rod

One of my goals this year is to build my own fly rod. I decided that I wanted a lighter weight rod - you know, something that will make those little trout I like to catch feel like monsters at the end of the line. So I decided that I needed to build a 3wt - light enough to delicately land a small dry fly, but with enough to it that it could handle a small beadhead nymph when needed.

I've spent a lot of time trying to decide on just what I wanted in my first custom fly rod. I knew I wanted a 3wt, but what length, color, number of rod sections, etc? What kind of guides? What type of reel seat? Well, decisions were finally made about two weeks ago. I ordered my rod components and they've arrived over the past couple of days (at least the stuff that I've ordered has come - I still have a few odds and ends I need ...). Here's a sneak peak at it:

The rod blank is a 4pc, Dan Craft Five Rivers Signature V 8'6" 3wt. It's a nice glossy, dark carbon/graphite grey and is a very lightweight rod blank. By all accounts, it should make a fine rod. I thought about going with single foot guides, but in the end decided on "black nickel" snakebrand snake guides. You can see one of these double foot guides and the matching tip top. I really like the black nickel finish on these guides. I think the dark, shiney grey matches the blank well. They end up being a lot more subtle ("stealthy" as I like to think) than regular chrome guides would be. Also shown is my titantium stripping guide. Once again, I was trying to match the "stealthy" colors of the other guides while going lightweight. Besides, titanium is just cool.

My reel seat is nickel silver with an amboyna burl insert. As seen in the first picture, the reel seat is mortised; the reel will sit in the grove along the bottom of the reel seat. I guess I'm going to need a new reel to go with my new rod ...

I also ordered some cork rings to make my own grip. Normally I wouldn't have thought about jumping into doing so - not sure I'm ready for this much of a challenge on my first rod build - but I got in on a group buy and bought this cork direct from Portugal for a great price. Let's just hope my untested cork skills are up to the challenge. Truth is I bought extra because I'm sure I'll need the practice ...

Well, that's about it for now. I'm really excited about this. In fact, I've been practically obsessed with this for the past couple months. I'll post updates as I work on putting it all together. Of course, it's become obvious that I'll have all the help I could ask for. Hopefully too much help doesn't become a bad thing.
- "Stay away from that rod!"
- "Can I please have my cork back?"
- "Take that piece of metal (the snake guide) out of your mouth right now!"

And that was just while taking pictures tonight ...