Saturday, January 28

Rod building: a new way to throw away money. (updated 1/30)

Y'know, I meant to do this thing, like, where I rant about shit like dumb shit... I sort of alluded to it last time, and I had this awesome anger about line weights, tapers, the AFTMA and how stupid the modern fly fishing industry is...but, whatever. I shot my load on local forums. I've been thinking about throwing it together, but I've yet to do so. Its filled with ranting, vulgarity, and stupid hyperbole and I'm quite impressed with the run away train of thought but you may never see it, eh? Sucks for you. Or, well, maybe not.

Monocacy TU is back in action with their short run of presentations, and held their first presentation. I think we shot our expenditure load on getting a local Poconos guy, Don Baylor, to come down and do a presentation on the history of fly fishing in the Poconos, which mostly centered around the Brodhead. It was a good time. You should've gone. I did.

I like history, I'd like to experience some of those places strictly because I'd like to walk, as it were, in the footsteps of history. Don told me a public spot to check out on the Brodhead, so if I don't end up with Lyme facial paralysis cancer leprosy or some bullshit this summer maybe I'll check it out. The thing that blew me away is how much of that water up there is still private. Money, I guess, gets you alot of things even in the newest borough of Manhattan.

And, on the subject of history, I give you the start of a project I'd bought materials for back in October. I'd been planning on making a "really nice" fly rod for myself for awhile, now, even before fall. However, everyone always suggests that you start with a low cost rod for your first. I'd waffled over a rod I'd want that I didn't need, and hadn't found anything although I'd bought a "combo kit"from the Cabela's Bargain Cave sometime in the summer.

Ebay gave me the answer, an unused 1 piece, 6' Lee Wulff Special. It was originally intended as a 7wt (!) rod but people seem to prefer them with a 5/6 line in our time. Me? I was excited to find a reasonably priced glass blank that had historical notes and could let me indulge my Lee Wulff fetish all while meeting the requirement of being a rod I don't have.

Not that I know what the fuck I'll do with this thing.

Sir Topham Hatt approves. 
Anyways, been putting it off a long time and decided I'd get on it today.

They included the original squared grip and sliding band reel seat. I didn't have bands for the seat, and frankly, I hate sliding band seats, so I wanted to augment it. Trying to keep the cost low, I cut off the cork seat, and just completed epoxying the uplocking Pac Bay seat and hardware to the butt of the original Wulff grip. The combo kit came with the industry standard reverse half-wells, inletted for the hidden portion of the uplocking reel seat. Unfortuantly, the petite size of the Wulff grip didn't leave me an option to inlet it with a file without destroying it, so I had to leave it exposed. Fuck it, it it what it is. Anyways, epoxied all that shit up. Looks good.

Tomorrow I'm gonna start wrapping guides, I think.

EDIT January 30th: I did. It was a bit. So far, starting thread is fucking obnoxious. Its not that its hard to do, really, just get started. Thus far, I'm about every other guide has a major issue, and they all seem to have a bump or something. I can see them getting better, though, with each one.

I also added some thread to the exposed reel seat area. I'd thought I'd read that before, and the folks at FFR suggested it It should look sweet when covered in finish.

I have no idea why Cabela's included combo stripper guide is fucking black while the snakes are chrome, though, and it irritates me. I need a new tip top too because the included one appears to be sized for a 1wt rod.

In other words, half of that lame Cabela's kit I'm not even using. Shouldn't have bothered. Live and learn.

And, for what its worth, I also bought the "good blank" about two months ago, with expected delivery in late Febuary. A Kabuto 8053 in translucent white. Part of the project includes having a friend lathe down a reel seat from a branch I'd retrieved from one of the Illick's Mill/Monocacy Park ash trees, which date from the original 1936 WPA construction of the park. I've been drying the wood for nearly a year now, I can't wait to see how that turns out, too.

1 comment:

  1. Nice man.

    I'm not to the building stage. I'm actually trying to convince my non-fly fishing father in law to try building. He's an awesome woodworker and could make some cash making rods in retirement. I've even tossed the bamboo word to him without reception though.

    Maybe one day when life isn't crazy I'll buy some crappy kit and put together a rod I'll never use too.