finishing Rod 1775 my 75th rod

Today i put the final touches on my 75th rod, and i really would like to keep it! well you cant keep them all but this one came out just super special. rather than doing it up with Java wraps i chose to wrap it in Black silk with a fine three wraps of blue for tipping. its really special to look at and cast. Nice smooth semi parabolic feel great for fishing on some of the higher up streams in the Sierras or Cascades. Tomorrow it will be off to Lost Coast Outfitters in San Francisco for sale. If your interested in checking the rod out let myself or George at the shop know and you can swing by and see it for real. While the epoxy was drying after pressing the real set on, I began the next rod, an all time favorite, a blonde Peerless 8 foot 5line 2 tip 2 piece rod.



I spent the later part of 2016 prototyping a new line of rods that I thought would not be a rigorous as it turned out. I knew that coming up with a spey rod that was in the quadrate format wouldn't be easy, however I didn't quite have the full breath of all the specific issues I would run up against. I have made a few hexagonal spey rods that came out fine.... I never really pursued them much since I just didn't get really excited over them. The single-handed fly rods have kept me quite busy the past few years, so I was very content to stay focus on them. However after being at Spey'o Rama spring 2016 my interest was re-sparked by new friends and the community there. My plan was to "simply" mutate the equation for my existing Freestone Quads into a new spey quad. I say mutate rather than clone because there simply is no easy way to blend out the equation from say 8 feet to 12 feet and have the action hold true. The only way to make this stretch was to jump in and make the first rod... see how it feels and casts and go from there. Luckily during Spey'o Rama I was able to Meet and become friends with James Reid, a rod designer and maker in Vancouver Canada. With his advice, over phone calls, imessage and video sharing, I was able to find my way to a taper that began to speak to me. Along the way I've made 7 of these rods to date. I discovered allot, and was able to grow past some technical hurdles that don’t exist in making hex rods. From the simplest things like turning the grip to keeping the silk thread evenly flat all became more difficult as the rods also became more dimensional. What seemed pretty straightforward in the planning process even became a challenge when hand planning strips that start at .530 in dimension. I found it was impossible with my current set of form to keep the strips from rocking in the groove of the forms, resulting in strips that had inconsistent angles by in some cases 2 degrees when all 4 strips were nested. I spent a whole month making by hand with Mill, file and drill a complete new set just to hand plane the butt sections. In the end allot has been learned. One thought, "if" you can find someone to make you the forms for under 1800$ and you have the spending cash its the way to go. But, if you only have 500$ then destiny calls! Below are some pictures from the process of making the first quad spey rods.

Planing quadrate strips

This past week I began working on a deluxe quadrate rod. I really enjoy how the strips plane out, the ammonia has an effect that I would characterize as fusing the fibers pickling. Below are two videos of the basic hand planing process. You'll notice, unlike planing a hex strips, quad strips require a second form since the strips that form the square are isosceles triangles. Quadrate strips only have two sides of equal length, rather than all three sides like an equilateral triangle that create a hexagon.

Yuba-Ku 3-8-2016

The wrong kinda boil and roll.
Shaking my head.
Turbid like a latte.

Timing is just way to off.
Another two weeks at least.
If there's any bugs left.

Almost ready to dream of somewhere else?
Not really disappointed.
But really was anticipating middle March.

Where will the fish go.
Where will we go?
What will they eat?

All will migrate I guess.
Maybe middle fork.
Somewhere near timberline?

Over the weekend of February 27 I had the opportunity to share my split cane rods at the Fly Fishing show in Pleasanton, CA.
I had a great time meeting people that knew of me. It was great to share tales, thoughts and cast rods during the three days.
One thing in common with us locals was a concern over the Yuba River. This river really has a cult following that seems to be always gaining new inductees every season.
Well, hopefully this spring won't be a wash out of turbid water. I've been really looking forward to the March Brown emergence since last year. The recent warm storms in the higher elevations have not been producing the amount of snow that i would thing we need. Rather the rain has been melting lower elevation snow causing high amounts of turbid run off.
But like everything, maybe this year won't be anything like last year and that will only force me to discover a new place and a new way to see the Fly Fishing experience.
If you came by and said hi at the show thanks! hopefully we can meet up on the river some time. look for me casting with some boo!

2015 busy year so far.

Since February I've been steadily working on rods one at a time, however, an exciting opportunity came up recently, to make two matching his & hers rods for a couple getting married back east. The expectation that Nick, the groom’s brother, wanted me to work towards were two 3/4 wt rods. The rods would be used to fish for feisty brook trout mostly. I recommended my Phantom taper that I use in the high sierra, a very proven taper with pedigree from classic Catskill tapers. The rods were to be dressed in my deluxe offering, and I was able to have my friend Jeff Pentecost to hand craft matching agate guides. The two rods took 2 months to make, probably combined 80 to 90 hours of labor. Here are some pictures of them finished and in progress.