into the . . . .





Rod Blanks - St. Croix; Sage; RL Winston, North Fork Components (Loomis Blanks); EPIC Fiberglass; CTS New Zealand - Only the Best will do!

To the finished rod, the blank is the foundation that all other elements are built upon. So the foundation must be solid, high quality and dependable.  Each one is inspected prior to the start of construction for any obvious flaws or defects and returned if I feel they are not suitable for the requested build. Each rod is cast with the rated line weight prior to the final inspection, cleaning and shipment.


The graphite blanks are built on St. Croix, CTS, North Fork & Sage. CTS of New Zealand supplies both Graphite & Fiberglass.  The fiberglass models are under the EPIC line by Swift Fly Fishing, also of New Zealand. These are extremely high quality and are a wonderful compromise between Bamboo and Graphite fly rods.

REEL SEATS: Joel Lemke Designs

Aluminum reel seats designed and made by Joel Lemke are the mainstay of what I use on these flyrods. I like to think of them as “Jewelry” adornments on the flyrods as they compliment the other elements to make the design complete. I use several sizes in mostly Bright Nickel plated, Dark Nickel plated, and a few anodized colors such as Champagne – a soft luxurious satin finish!

Reel seat sizes I use are:

LC1 for the standard line weights from 3wt through 6wt;

LC2 for ultra-lights 4wt and under;

LC5 for line weights from 7wt to 9wt;

LC25 for line weights from 10wt to 11wt.

Any flyrod needing line weights from 12wt and heavier should have either a solid anodized aluminum seat or a solid titanium seat.

The WOODS: American Hardwoods and Exotics

This is where the uniqueness can run rampant…! I utilize mostly American hardwoods such as Cherry, Maple, Ambrosia Maple, and Spalted Maple that has been stabilized. Black Walnut in an array of highly figured pieces and some Oak burl on a few of the smaller rods. Then there is the rare but beautiful Desert Ironwood along with some Box Elder Burl (Blond & Grey) and Black Ash Burl to round out the selection. Finished inserts are generally done in high gloss but can also be done in a satin finish. This is especially beautiful when a heavily figured piece is used - the gloss glare does not take away from the look of the wood.


Some “exotics” I have that greatly enhance the custom look of a fly rod are: Bubinga or African Rosewood, Honduran Cherry, Zebrawood, African Mahogany, Cocobolo, Brazilian Cherry and Indian Sheesham wood, Coolibah or Australian Eucalyptus. 

CORK GRIPS: Various Standard Styles & Shapes as well as custom

Each flyrod grip is made from FLOR grade cork in the length needed and in a design specified by the customer or a design that would fit the rods purpose if the customer has no preference.  I have made grips from 6½” to 14”long so just about anything can be created for a high quality look and purpose.


There are also several designs of “patterned cork” that are finding their way into custom builds. I have utilized some of these unique pieces in the grip designs as you can see in the photo galleries. However, even with the quality generally good, I will be picky in choosing any of these pieces that go into these high quality grips.

GUIDES: Stripping, Snake Guides and tip tops

Only one style of snake guide will go on these fly rods, both graphite and the fiberglass - The SNAKE BRAND . . .!!

Either in Bright Nickel or Dark Nickel. The Stripping guides for the fresh water designs will be by FUJI in either the Polished Stainless frame with an Alconite ceramic insert or the Gunsmoke frame with a Silicon Carbide (SiC) ceramic insert.  


The Saltwater designs will have the FUJI polished stainless, or Titanium "K" style of stripping guide as well as the REC HD Titanium snake guides as standard on all saltwater builds.

The REC standard weight Titanium snake guides can be designed into your freshwater custom build as an add-on option if so desired. ADDs $20.00 to rod cost


AGATE Stripping guides

For fiberglass fly rod orders, Agate stripping guides can also be designed into your custom build as an add-on option if so desired. We will just have to determine the color scheme and get the color that blends the best. 

These stripping guides, beautifully handmade by Joe Arguello, are made as you would make jewelery. Each one of the Agate rings is hand bezeled which allows Joe to use some very fine rings to make the Ultra-lite Agate Strippers.

These are the finest Agate guides available - Beautiful as you can see!     ADDs $30.00 to rod cost

THREADWORK: Guide wraps, Decorative wraps

For the Graphite rods, the thread will be either Nylon or Polyester depending on what colors will be used. For the fiberglass rods it will the YLI #1oo SILK thread which is one of the finest silk threads made today. YLI is extremely high quality Japanese silk. 

The main thread colors on each guide will also have trim bands or “tippings” as some call them. There will be no extra charges for trim bands as they are standard for all rod builds  -  it just makes them look like they are finished!!

PROTECTIVE FINISH: Two Part Epoxy on all threadwork

The guide wraps, as well as other thread work when completed, will receive multiple coats of a two-part epoxy finish. This will protect the threads against wear and tear and keep the threads intact to do the job intended – keep the guides on the rod! A flawless finish adds timeless beauty to the completed rod.

PERSONALIZATION: Show them that it's YOURS . . . .Personally

Since I also make custom rod decals, the customer’s name or “whatever” he or she would like on the rod can be done as you can see in the photo galleries. Usually it is my logo, my name along with the rod specs and then the customer’s name.


There can be quite a few options here. . . .

ROD PROTECTION: Put it in a case to protect it...

Each completed Graphite rod will be supplied with a hard, heavy denier canvas covered PVC case with internal cloth dividers. Or, for the fiberglass rods, you will be supplied with a 2” Sage colored Graphite tube with a standard fly rod cloth bag. 


Or either way around – customers choice.. . . .The graphite tube only comes in one size:  2" diameter and fits a 9' 4pc so with a rod bag, any rod length less than 9' 4pc will that was easy!!

Please reload

Each insert is made one at a time from solid wood selected for color & figure. No color stains are ever applied prior to finishing - you get and see the real wood. On woods that need stabilizing such as spalted or burled pieces that are porous, some color can be added for a special effect. This will be rarely done as I prefer the natural look of the wood as it was created in Nature! The stabilizing process will add some variation to the piece, depending on its fiber makeup. Oily woods such as Cocobolo, any of the Rosewoods and others that are by Nature's design "oily", will not be stabilized.

 Sweetwater Fly Rods. . . .Sweet !!        Covington, VA