Thursday, December 31, 2009

Mike's Christmas Present (Rod Build #2)

I had talked with Michael several times during the summer about building a couple of 2wt fly rods.  I decided I'd better get busy and get one built for him as his Christmas present.  I finished the rod just before Christmas, but not in time for it to be under his and JaNae's tree.  At least he got it before New Year's.  Anyways, now that he's opened it, I can finally post pictures.  It was driving me crazy to be working on a rod building project and not be able to tell anyone about it! 

Here are the rod details:
--  6'6" 4 pc 2wt Tiger Eye (tiger eye brown color)
--  Struble dark nickel silver uplocking slide band reel seat with teak insert
--  Custom grip made from Burnt, Laguna, and Copano exotic cork
--  Dark nickel silver winding check
--  Black nanolite ring lock stripping guide (one size 8)
--  Black H&H single foot fly guides (one size 2, seven size 1 guides) and tiptop
--  Gudebrod chestnut thread with Sulky dark copper and light copper trim
--  Pheasant and jungle cock feather inlay

Here's the finished rod.  Michael should be able to find some fish to put a pretty serious bend in this rod up on the Logan and Blacksmith Fork.  It should be a lot of fun.

Here's a picture showing the reel seat.  I absolutely love the dark nickel finish -- still shiny but not bright.

I tried to keep the rod kind of stealthy; black guides and brown wraps to match the color of the rod.  The only real flashy trim is on the ferrules and butt section right in front of the grip.  Here's a shot of the ferrule wraps.  You can see how the chestnut brown thread wraps blend in nicely with the rod blank.  Only the trim flash on the ferrules lets you know where the rod comes apart.


Here's the feather inlay I put on the rod.  It's just in front of the grip and winding check.  The base feather is from a pheasant.  The top feather is a jungle cock nail.  I really like the way this turned out.  It's just enough to set the rod apart -- definitely a custom rod.


This was the first rod I've tried to write on.  Yeah, it's tougher than you might think, at least it was for me.  I wrote the rod details on one side and Michael's name on the other. 

One last picture of the rod ...

I included a custom rod tube with a built-in pocket liner as part of the gift.  Afterall, every new rod needs a new case, right?  And how else was I to mail the rod without risking breaking it into a million pieces?  Each rod section has its own pocket/sleeve inside the rod tube to keep it protected. 

I also sent a 2wt DT fly line so Michael would have a new line to try out his rod.  Now all he needs is some reasonably good weather before he can try his new rod.  Of course, a reel or spool to put the 2wt line on would help, too ...

Hope you like it Michael ... and tight lines ...

Fall Fishing

My friend John and I managed to get out fishing for an afternoon back in November.  While the fishing wasn't the greatest, we still had a good time.  If nothing else, it was really, really nice to get out of town and get up into the mountains for a while.  Whether or not I'm catching fish, the scenery sure is nice.  Here's what the stream looked like as we hiked down from the car.

Here's my one catch for the day - a very respectable brown trout.  He gave me a good little fight as I played him in to hand.

We came up on a nice little waterfall on the stream. 

Maybe I'll get out sometime during the winter and see what I can catch.  I'm not sure I can make it until springtime without some fishing time ...

(Thanks for taking the pictures John.  I still need to get a new camera to take with me ...)