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.
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
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.
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...