Custom Fly Rods - What I use and how I build 'em.
The Fly Rods shown on this site were created by me with what I feel are the best quality components to have on a custom fly rod since that is what the customer expects. The best customers will
have no issue with purchasing a high quality product.
------- It's the poor quality rods that cause the issues!--------
I do not have various levels of builds for the customer to choose from as I have only one...the best of what the customer wanted. I have had this option for years and it seems to work quite well. I prefer to set the design and construction standards and let the customer give me the other details that they would prefer for the purpose at hand that would be personal to them. . .then I make it all happen!!! Each custom build has the option of using any of the components on this site as the customer sees fit - within the design standards...
The Rod blanks are from highly reputable manufacturers such as St. Croix, EPIC & CTS of New Zealand, Winston, ORVIS, SAGE and North Fork Composites, all of whom take pride in their craftsmanship and are willing to guarantee its quality to be the best they can produce.
The FLOR grade cork for the grips is purchased in bulk and then hand selected from the lot for the specific build. The grip is glued up with epoxy adhesive prior to installation to the blank and then turned on a lathe to the customer's specifications. NO WATERBASED ADHESIVES are ever used in the construction of the fly rods that I build...I don't build them to come apart!
Cork that is the best for high quality fly rod building is getting to be a rare commodity this day & time due to so many other uses for the same natural products. Thankfully, cork is a natural wood product, actually the bark of the Portuguese Cork Oak tree,
and is a renewable resource, even though a rather slow one!
The Reel Seats are made by Joel Lemke and will look like jewelry once on the rod. The aluminum reel seat is then coupled with a piece of solid figured wood, turned in a lathe to fit the hardware and then hand polished to a high gloss finish -- the wood and metal combination is as beautiful to look at as it is functional.
The Snake Guides and tip tops are made by Snake Brand and are the most consistent in finish and size compared to other brands I have used. The feet of these guides is very consistent in length and fit the curvature of the blank for a solid installation. The stripping guides are by FUJI to fit the design scheme with either Alconite or Silicon Carbide (SiC) ceramic inserts.
REC Titanium snake guides are also available for any rods up to and including 12wt designs and not only for the saltwater models either. I have even used the REC Titanium Light weights on the Ultra Light fly rods also and a few between.
The Guide and Decorative Thread Wraps are nylon for the graphite builds and YLI silk for the Fiberglass builds. Each rod will get multiple layers of epoxy thread finish to protect the thread work. The guide wraps on all of the rods will have the fine trim rings at each foot and not just at the stripping guides. This makes the guide wraps look like they have been finished...!
GRAPHITE - Fresh & Saltwater
The Sweetwater Edition of ultra-light fly rods utilizes blanks from
one of the premier manufacturers in the US - St. Croix. The blanks in this edition are extremely high quality yet very affordable in a beautiful Chestnut Brown Metallic which St. Croix tells me was once a standard color for them many years back. The Burgundy gloss finish has been discontinued but the actions have not!! They are still alive in the new Chestnut Brown color. The blanks are listed as a fast action even in the 3wt models but still have the ability to allow accurate fly placement at close range or at a distance. These blanks build into one of the best fishing tools I have ever used.
This site is not limited to just the Sweetwater Edition. The same line of St. Croix Chestnet blanks includes line weights from 3 to 10 in various lengths and rod pieces and any rod design can be made to order to fit your needs....or wishes! This series of blanks are the ones I will have in stock, or at least try to...Please call or write for details.
I also have access to, and build on the high quality ORVIS, SAGE,
and CTS blanks for fresh and saltwater designs. I will also build you a fly rod on any high quality rod blank you may have. Call or write for a pricing and delivery quotation. You can see from the photos on this site that just about any design can be created.
The Bluewater Edition of saltwater fly rods utilizes blanks from any one of the premier manufacturers stated previously. The heavier weights in the St. Croix line of Chestnut Brown blanks are well suited for light saltwater or heavy freshwater fishing. The St. Croix SCV, Belize Blue models, are specifically designed for saltwater action.
FIBERGLASS - Epic F/G blanks are now available in the new FASTGLASS II blank designs.. Swift Fly Fishing of New Zealand has restructured their line of fibergalss and models of blanks and are in the process of building their inventory with the new style offerings. Check the "Rod Blanks Available" tab to see what is available.
I have also began to stock a few fiberglass blanks from McFarland Rod Co. located in Bellwood, PA. Their actions as described by Mike McFarland relating to one of his designs, "Soft, smooth, and deep flexing with the perfect balance of power from tip to butt." I can vouch for that as they have a wonderful feel in the hand and when loading and casting the fly line.
Fiberglass rods are becoming a large part of what I am offering my customers this year so, if the look and feel of one of the new modern fiberglass fly rods is what you have been waiting for, then these blanks are the way to go for high quality, moderate and moderate-fast actions that will make a great transition from the feel and weight of bamboo to the lightness and speed of modern day graphite.
These fiberglass rods are not your Granddaddy's old fly rods but models that are lighter, have faster actions than in the old days and come in an array of colors that will surely please everybody.
Since the EPIC line of fiberglass blanks are in high demand, they have the potential to have a long delivery from the time of placing the order to the delivery of the final rod. I will try to keep an inventory of these to prevent long deliveries as best I can.