Cane flyrods in their purest form. A matched pair at 6ft 6in and 7ft 6in, clean blond cane with Garrison inspired fittings. Very simple very effective.
A recent rod for a regular customer (2019), this one is a replica of a Dickerson 8013, 8ft for a 5 weight and a very popular rod.
I have seen about four published tapers for this rod but this one is the nicest especially for making as a 3 piece.
Obviously a full replica is not needed to benefit from the taper, scroll down to see a 2 piece example with a very fine trout!
One of several from the mountain streams of Austria for Damian Fenlon.
Patagonian Rainbow for Clem Booth. Hard fighting fish in a small stream!
A magnificent 6lb Brown Trout from the Test for Graeme Phillips. That is a 24" diameter net!
The rod is an 8ft 5 weight to a Dickerson 8013 taper.
Horrible weather in the UK at the moment (February) but this picture shows how much nicer things are on the other side of the world, a sizeable New Zealand brown to Fred von Reibnitz and his pack rod.
A solid looking wild Rainbow Trout landed in Germany by Dirk Kruger, along with the stick it got attached to!
A 20" trout from the River Nidd. Jon Wood making good use of both his new rods. This fish to the 206.
A nice trout from a small stream. See Richard Barrett's blog for more information on small stream fishing.
A matched pair
My two most popular coarse rods, Specialist Barbel and Roach shown together in matching colours, Antique Gold with Java Brown tipping on rich flamed cane.
TKM proving once again that tight loops are perfectly possible with a Garrison taper and also that long leaders are the way to go in Norway.
The fighting curve of a progressive actioned 5/6 weight in the hands of Per Christian Krane.
Below the result of 30 minutes hard work. PC would be first to admit he was fishing for Trout at the time, the Salmon was released to fight again.
The 8ft trout rod survived unscathed.
That special first fish and a fine looking Mirror Carp. Trotting rod!!
A seriously wild trout for Torbjorn, from the wilds of Norway to the 8ft 6in "RW taper".
Something a little different, Arctic Char.
A magnificent Sea Trout to Uwe Heyk who was using a 7ft 6in Garrison 206, in this case rated for a 5 weight line. The fish weighed over 8 1/2 pounds and was more than 26 inches long.
I thought this might make some folk think twice before complaining about the cold! Very early season Grayling fishing in Norway Torbjorn puts a Garrison 206 taper rod through its paces.
The above rod, is an example of a blond rod constructed on a 3x3 node spacing and fitted with my own design cap and ring reelseat with morticed burr mallee insert. The genuine agate lined butt ring is from a pre-war rod.
The rod shown above is constructed in conventional fashion using the cleanest available cane with minimal marking. Many of my blond rods are now constructed "nodeless", that is the nodes are removed and the remaining cane is spliced together. Some makers maintain that this gives a stronger rod as the nodes are perceived as being the weakest part of the material. However my objective in using this technique is to obtain the best clean cane from the culm giving a more sustainable approach than discarding so much basically sound material due to surface marking. The nodeless construction allows short lengths of marked strips to be discarded rather than full length strips.
The picture above shows a hand made agate lined stripper guide with a polished nickel silver frame, shown fitted to a blond rod with a high gloss finish and whipped in my signature colours of antique gold and black.
Below are the same colours but on a flamed rod with black components and a satin finish. The stripper is again hand made.
Below again is an example of a blond rod with a swelled butt. In this case a 7ft FE Thomas 3 weight.
The photo above is of a very elegant 8ft 5 weight based on a Leonard taper with a wet fly action designed for northern streams.
The flamed rod pictured above represents the longest fly rod that I make. It is perfectly possible to make a longer rod but beyond 8ft 6inches the weight penalty becomes significant. The rod shown is partially hollow built and weighs under 5 1/2 ozs which is relatively easy to use. It is a powerful rod quite capable of tackling large rainbow trout from the widely available stocked stillwater fisheries.
As the name suggests the cane used in these rods is tempered by controlled exposure to a naked flame before splitting, this give a surface hardening effect and produces the distinctive dark colouring.
The rod features a polished aluminium internally threaded uplocking reel seat of my own design and manufacture, later versions of which incorporate knurling on the turnscrew that is easier to use with wet hands. The insert is olive wood with an oiled finish and it is eccentrically turned to provide the reduced diameter where the reel mounts.
Whippings are translucent silk finely tipped in Highland Green and polished to achieve the perfect poured in place look only achievable with multiple coats of fine varnish. Single coat epoxy finishes may seek to emulate this finish but always look lumpy in comparison.
On the last picture the glue lines can be seen to the right of centre. This indicates that the blank has been glued with Rescorcinol Phenol Formaldehyde glue that leaves distinctive plum coloured lines. On rods glued with Urea Formaldehyde and Epoxy resin the glue lines are invisible.
Node stagger on this rod is paired opposites "Payne style" rather than the more common 3x3.
Restoration - Fly Rods
A typical example of rod that has seen better days. In this case Hardys famous "CC de France" dating from 1940 and needing a new tip and re-finishing throughout.
As with a lot of restorations some searching was required to obtain matching silk and replacement english twist snake guides and a new male ferrule had to be made as an exact match to replace a cracked original.
In the after restoration pictures above the replacement tip is shown below the original butt to illustrate colour matching. In the perspective shot below the new cane looks lighter but the match is actually quite good. The low mounted nickel silver framed butt ring is original whilst the bronzed english twist snake guides were obtained for the project
This rod has a large number of intermediates the positions of which were all accurately recorded before stripping so that the rebuilt rod exactly matches the original.
In the picture below are the male and female ferrules. The female is original whilst the male is a one off replacement.
No apologies for using this photograph twice. A fine catch taken on the second outing with this restored rod. Photograph by the captor, Steven Keyse.
Restoration - Coarse rods
A rare Lindop Renown, Spanish Reed Roach Rod fully restored. A delicate rod weighing only 7 ozs this project required full re-colouring to match the signature strip.
Allcocks Lucky Strike after a full restoration including new handle, new purpose made male ferrules, straighten, re-ring and re-finish. The new butt ring is purpose made with genuine agate liner.
The Fred J Taylor Roach rod. Fitted with a new handle and completely re-built to the the owners specification. The male ferrule thats fits the removable butt has been nickle plated and re-fitted. In this case the blank for the new tip was provided by Chapmans, the original makers.
"The Houghton" a three piece fly rod by Hardy and dating back to the 1920's is a good example of re-finishing work. The old badly oxidised varnish has been removed and the whole re-varnished, preserving all of the whippings. Including the 278 intermediates!