Friday, November 22, 2013

Blue Halo Fiberglass 5/6wt Blueberry


My second fiberglass rod build was a Christmas gift for my dad.  I picked up the blank and reel seat (Joel Lemke) from Shane Gray and the "blueberry" colored blank is really distinctive.  It really looks like a light saber in the sun.  The blank and wraps were finished with LumiSeal Urethane Rod Finish for crystal clear translucence.  I prefer this finish to the spar varnish I've used on other rods as it has a tendency to yellow, which would have given the rod a strange green-ish yellow color.

Rod Specifications:
- 8ft 5/6wt 3pc Blue Halo E-glass blank in "blueberry" with white spigot ferrules
- Custom fighting butt - Shane Gray
- Lemke Concepts black aluminum uplocking reel seat
- Flor grade western style grip
- Black mildrum style stripping guide
- Black nickel genuine Snake guides and tip-top
- Black tipping throughout
- Custom made rod-sock
- Antique South Bend rod tube with nickel silver caps

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Blue Halo 5-6wt Fiberglass Custom Fly Rod

I started a second Blue Halo fiberglass build this week, so decided to post a little teaser.  These blanks come in 3 sections with spigot ferrules in a versatile 5/6wt with a powerful butt section.  As a result, these blanks are a bit faster than you might expect.  I am really excited about the unusual color of this "blueberry" E-glass blank as it should really stand out from the crowd. 

I'll be using all black hardware including a custom Lemke aluminum uplocking seat, blued nickel Struble winding check, black Mildrum style stripping guide, and black Snake guides and tip-top.  The wraps are light blue silk tipped in black, so the blue will go transparent against the blank.  I am using a very durable, gin clear, non-yellowing, low build one-part urethane product on the wraps for this rod.  So far, I am very pleased with the look and the silk seems to agree.

More pictures soon.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Blue Halo Fiberglass Fly Rod Build - Complete

Well, my first fiberglass rod build turned out even better than I expected.  I picked up the blank and reel seat (Joel Lemke) from Shane Gray about a month ago and just loved the color of this Blue Halo blank when it arrived.  I decided to give this rod some eye popping color so I went with scarlet/red silk tipped in light java for a slight contrast and bright chrome hardware to match the all nickel uplocking seat. The blank and wraps finished with the varnish have an amazing translucence in the light that is difficult to capture in the photos.  I'll be picking up a Landmark aluminum rod tube and sock this week to protect this rod.  More importantly, I hope to hit the water very soon!

Rod Specifications:
- 8ft 5/6wt 3pc Blue Halo E-glass blank in "mango" with white spigot ferrules
- Custom ball fighting butt - Shane Gray
- Lemke Concepts All Nickel Silver uplocking reel seat
- Flor grade full wells cork grip - Custom Fly Rod Crafters
- Solid chrome mildrum style stripping guide
- Bright chrome genuine Snake universal guides and tip-top
- Scarlet/ red silk guide wraps with java tipping throughout
- REC rod sock
- Landmark rod tube

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sneak Preview - 5/6wt 8ft Fiberglass Fly Rod


Varnishing the wraps is nearly complete, so I wanted to post a sneak preview with a before and after shot.  Pretty cool, huh?  The silk wraps are transparent after a few coats of varnish.  The red (scarlet) thread now looks like the color of a candied apple and the brown adds just a bit of contrast.  Can't wait to fish this rod!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Wraps Complete - 5/6wt 8ft Fiberglass Fly Rod

I finished wrapping the 5/6wt rod today and, as you can see, it's going to be a looker.  The translucency of this fiberglass looks so stinkin' awesome!  You really have to see it in the light to appreciate it.  Not only that, but the color of this blank is really sweet and reminds me of a bamboo rod.  It's the retro look I was going for and I can't wait to fish this rod. 

I've already applied the first coat of varnish and all I can say is I'm really glad I went with this color combination.  I'm not going to have a lot of time to work on the rod this week, but I plan to have it completed by mid-week next week.  I'll have more pics up then.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Super Cool 5/6wt 8ft Fiberglass Fly Rod Build

I started a very cool new build today.  I purchased this interesting amber colored fiberglass blank from Shane Gray of Graywolf Rods, which I think he originally got from Jory Ward of Westslope Rods.  If you were watching closely, a number of these blanks were listed on eBay several months back in some very interesting colors (red, blue, orange, yellow, raw, etc).  I was little skeptical at the time and as a result, probably missed out on the opportunity to pick up a few.  It's my understanding that more of these blanks will be released at some point in the future, which is great to hear if you know how difficult it can be to find quality fiberglass blanks at an affordable price.

This blank has a larger O.D. at the butt, which gives this rod plenty of power in the lower section of the rod.  This three piece blank is visibly reinforced at the male and female connections and comes with spigot ferrules, which I prefer in this weight class.  Based on the "wiggle test," it definitely feels faster than most of the 5/6wt glass rods I've fished. 

As for components, Shane was good enough to hook me up with an unobtrusive and unique looking 1/2" cork ball for the fighting butt along with a beautiful all nickel uplocking seat by Joel Lemke.  The grip is a full wells flor grade cork.  I'm using a chrome size 12 stripping guide (to match the larger diameter) along with bright chrome Universal Snake Brand guides and tip top.  I'm using red silk tipped in light brown, which will look awesome when varnished.

More pictures to come soon, but this will be one to watch over the coming weeks as I finish it up.  I'm probably going to put a retro reel on it with a 5wt line to wrap up the combo.  I'm still green, but I really enjoying rod building.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pony Pasture Fly Fishing in Richmond VA

I took the rare opportunity to hit the water to take advantage of the phenominal weather we're having in Virginia.  Temps have been dipping into the upper 50's at night with highs in the 70's.  My new fly fishing buddy, Andrew Campbell, and I hit the waters of the mighty James River at Pony Pasture to get in a little late afternoon Smallmouth action. 

The water is only around 4ft at the Westham gauge, so the levels and temperatures are perfect right now for wading.  I took along the 9ft 6wt rod I recently built and had a great time using unweighted streamers and crayfish patterns.  We were hoping to get a few stripers in the mix as well, but it didn't happen today.  Andrew has been hooking up with quite a few stripers this past week.  We did manage to land a few Smallies, most of which were 10" or less range, but a lot of fun and a little bend in the rod in the current.  Fun times!