Thursday, January 11, 2018

This rod was made for my dear friend and master rod builder Christ Barclay. It will be paired with one of my The Can-reels, and will make a wonderful combo for North Carolina brookies. The blank is another of Tomo Ijuin's 7'02'', 3wt Hard Parabolics. Smooth and yet powerful. This rod shows my new offset reel seat design, this time with a gap between the grip and the cork insert. The back of the grip aligns seamlessly with the reel seat, allowing the hand to move freely. To be honest, I assumed I was first with this idea, but another friend and rod artisan Steve Boshoff kindly made me aware of the work of Mr. Henry Haneda in Japan who has used this concept. Sharing ideas and developing the craft is a prime mover for me, and I was happy to hear about Mr. Hanedas work. The rod was completed with a straight cigar grip and a raw bark check. Quite straight forward, but still very Fine Tackle in its style, and a nice addition to my catalogue. 

Here comes a recently finished Epic 580-4 in Mocha color. This rod was built in Orvis Superfine style, with a reversed half wells grip and a threaded winding check. Uplocking hardware in polished aluminum and chrome guides wrapped in chestnut Kimono silk. This rod was made to a friend and a prominent fly fishing guide in the Swedish Lapland. I'm sure it will see some good use this summer under the midnight sun. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

I have known Fred for almost ten years, he was one of the few builders who was dedicated to fiberglass back then. Fred was also a great help and inspiration in the beginning. We exchanged emails and thoughts, and step by step I started to learn the craft. Two years ago we spent some time together in Michigan, fishing and having a great time. Fred had brought his new tapers, and showed us blanks rolled by Mike McFarland. Another friend of ours asked me if I was interested in building out a 805-3 Paddock blank from this series, and here is the result. Fred has been moving towards faster glass, but this is still a smooth taper, well balanced with medium progressive action. The rod was appointed with a Lemke DL seat in dark nickel and varnished cork insert, a 6'' full wells grip and Snake Brand Originals wrapped with Pearsall Naples silk. I look forward to see this rod baptized in the Au Sable river next summer. 

This Morgan rod was completed a few years ago, but came back with a change request from a friend of mine in Utah. The reel seat was originally a threaded down lock, but I was asked to replace it with a signature seat in all cork, to match another Fine Tackle build in my friends collection. It came out very well. And yes, this is a really sweet taper, the 8', 4wt by Tom Morgan. 

Saturday, November 4, 2017

This rod is also from Tomo Ijuins "Hard-Para"-series, but the 7'02'', 3wt taper. This rod was made with the same off-set reel seat, in a more articulated manor. The back of the wooden insert aligns seamlessly with the cork grip, and it becomes like one long grip for the hand to move along. The balance is amazing, and the ergonomics are prefect. The reel seat is made from Turkish walnut with brass skeleton. A straight Ritz grip, 5.5''long, and Snake Brand Universals wrapped in bright chestnut Kimono silk. This rod was built for my friend the shoemaker Norman Vilalta, and delivered in person in his amazing workshop in Barcelona last week. Keep up the good work, Norman!

Here comes a recently finished favorite, the Ijuin "Hard-Para" 7'05'', 4wt. This rod was appointed with a new type of reel seat, where the center of the reel seat is slightly off-set from the center of the blank axis. This concept moves the reel weight closer to the hand and improves the balance when casting. Loop did this in early prototypes from the 90's, and Sage developed it with the Centre Axis rods. My take is however more traditional, with a regular skeleton in aluminum. The rod was appointed with a straight cigar grip, chrome guides and brown silk wrappings.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

This blank has been waiting in the shop for many years. My own curiosity finally pushed me to build it. I have built a few Tom Morgan 5-6wt tapers over the last year, and every time, I have been thinking about this blank. This is a NOS Winston 8'6'', 6wt blank, that was cut and ferruled for me by James Green, using original white Winston ferrule stock. A couple of years ago, I refurbished a custom rod that had an old Winston reel seat on it. Same type of seat as featured in the old Winston catalogues, with walnut and German Nickel Silver. The customer wanted me to replace it, and that I could keep the reel seat. I finally figured out that this would be a perfect match for this old Winston blank. I even had an original Winston Trophy Cup water decal for it, that was given to me by a Winston employee many years ago. End of story, this is a very special rod. It's not a replica, but rather a blend of the old Winston design and the sparse Fine Tackle style.