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.

Bill Phillipson was born in Sweden, and was one of the greatest rod designers during the 20th century. For some reason, his name is not that much heard of outside the fly tackle collector's community. This rod is a Phillipson Royal Wand, 6'6'', 6wt, that was a trade in. It came as a poorly built cabin rod, and I decided to give it a face lift. The result is an amazing little trout rod for tight quarters. The action is medium fast, with lots of lifting power. This rod is now sold.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

This rod was made for my fishing buddy Anders. In return, he made me a nice little knife. I love swapping crafted goods. The blank is a sweet little Asian 6'6'', 3wt blank. Nothing fancy, but it performs very well. Nice tea colored finish, and with spigot ferrules. Some of these Chinese tapers are actually value for the money, and for fishing short distances in rough terrain, this actual blank is surprisingly often my first choice. Appointed with a small aluminium skeleton turned in house, and an all cork grip. Sweet little broke rod. Maybe my favorite kind of fishing of them all...

Tom Morgan passed away last week. This is a great loss for the world of Fly Fishing in general, and for us rod builders in particular. I had the honor to represent Tom as his Scandinavian builder for the last five years, and he was always very generous and cheerful in our communication. My thoughts are with his family, and I hope that his business and legacy will continue to inspire and serve the sport for years to come.

I have always had a weakness for the early Winston years, especially the transition era between San Fransisco and Montana, when Tom Morgan revolutionized the industry with light line glass rods. This build was made for a Finnish friend and fishing companion, who share the same passion for old Winstons. We have been talking about this build for a long time. This blank comes from the first batch of TMR blanks, and was actually meant for myself. But sharing is caring, so I was delighted to offer this rod to Jukka. This first run of blanks are slightly more translucent in color, and has almost a tobacco sparkle in the weave. The build is appointed with classic Winston rods in mind. The combination of "German Nickel Silver" (as it says in the old catalogues), walnut and black delrin gives a nice flavor of old the Stalker and Trout series from the 70's. Together with a conservative full wells grip and a tungsten stripping guide, the result is very pleasing. I look forward to see this rod in action during our next trip together. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Here is another take on the legendary Epic 686, highly appraised and abused by glass aficionados all over the world. This was built to a returning customer and friend here in Sweden. The reel seat is made of NS skeleton and Bocote, and has an ergonomic transition to a comfortable reversed Ritz grip, with a slight flare in thumb position. Light chrome guides wrapped in YLI silk, and a Mildrum style stripping guide. I look forward to publish some fish pics with this rod later in the winter. 

Nico Vreugdenhil is a new, talented rod builder from the Netherlands. Nico has recently released a parabolic blank designed by himself under the brand Yamame Fly Rods. A couple of months ago, he asked me if I was interested in evaluating the taper and build a rod for him. I love new blanks and couldn't resist the offer. This is my take on this blank. It's a 7'2'', 5wt rod with true parabolic action, rolled by Mike McFarland. A few years ago, it was hard to find parabolic glass tapers on the market, but today there are a few. My personal favorite is Dennis Franke, but unfortunately those old rods never surface the market. Close behind is Mario Wojnicki, who has a bunch of amazing (and expensive) paras. Among contemporary builders, Chris Barclay has a few really nice parabolics in his line up at reasonable prices. Nico Vreugdenhil has designed a very competitive taper, that was made to fish and is surprisingly accurate on all distances. The rod was appointed with all cork reel seat, NS skeleton and bamboo/micarta butt. Straight Ritz grip, with a front ring in cork bark. Snake Brand Universals wrapped in Pearsall, and a Mildrum style stripping guide. I hope you will enjoy the rod, Nico!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Last year in March I participated in the Swedish Sportfishing Fair. One of the evenings, I was approached by Mr Gordon Sim, CEO of Loop Tackle. He was familiar of my work, and proposed a collaboration. Loop is a Swedish company that I have always admired, with great inventions and bold ideas. The offer was very flattering, and I decided to accept the challenge. I have been featuring a lot of fiberglass builds over the last five years, but to be honest, my philosophy is that all materials shine in their own way. This is the first outcome of our collaboration, a sweet 8'6'', 3wt graphite rod from the amazing Cross S1 series. I made one of these rods a couple years back, and decided to develop this build a few steps further. This blank is extremely light weight, and reasonably long for being a 3wt. Perfect for lifting up line when you have high banks behind you, or for high stick nymphing. Appointed with an all cork seat, with rubber/delrin butt cap, blued NS rings and pyrographic logo. No cork check, instead using the old Fine Tackle void. Straight Ritz grip, 5.5'' long, extra thin profile. Snake Brand Universals, wrapped with YLI silk in Charcoal. The reel is the iconic Loop Model 1, the smallest in the family - a perfect match. I have a bunch of upcoming trout weight blanks from this series. I hope that Mr. Sim will appreciate the result. I look forward to continue the collaboration with the amazing guys at Loop Tackle.