Saturday, October 17, 2009

Future Projects

In the next couple of weeks I will be starting on at least two (2) float rod builds.
These builds will be on CTS blanks from New Zealand:

CTS blanks are not very popular in the United States yet, but that could be due to the fact that there is only one (1) US distributor, so exposure is at a minimum.

My take on the CTS blanks:
I have only fished with one of their float rods; the FF-1104-2. This blank is is designed for float fishing (Steelhead in the winter). It is an 11' 0" 6-10# 2 piece and it retails for $168.00 in the US.
It is by far the nicest float rod I have ever touched... period!
The blank has characteristics unlike any rod I have ever touched/seen/fished. They have a feeling all there own. Anyone who has fished with one, including myself says that the rod morphesizes while fishing. It sounds stupid to think that an inanimate object could change the way it does... but I am of sound mind and body, and I'm tellin' ya it does!

When the rod is static, or at rest it feels very stiff and has little movement at all if the tip of the rod is shaken. When casting a small float the tip remains "stiff" and doesn't show any change, but once you hook in to a fish the rod does it's magic and changes. With the pressure of the fish on the line the rod softens up and becomes more limber. It's the craziest thing I've ever seen in a fishing rod, and I have fished with hundreds of rods in my 30+ years of angling.

In the future I will be building myself an FF1104-2 and an FF1363-3. The 1363 is a 13' 6" three piece blank. I plan to build one of each for myself so that I can better educate myself with the offerings that are available to my customers. I plan to use natural cork and Flexilite guides to keep weight to a minimum; a 13' 6" rod can become over weighted rather quickly when you start adding up all the weight from materials).

That's what's going on in the shop... updates to follow.

Project - Ditch Stick

I built project Ditch Stick for myself because most of my float rods are between 11 feet and 13 feet long. The longer length makes these rods less desirable to fish with on smaller creeks and area's with overhanging trees and other obstacles are abundant.

The Ditch Stick was built on a 9ft 8wt. 4 piece blank. I decided to go with a beefier (8wt.) blank so that I could control the fish better in area's that have submerged timber and other obstructions. Normally a fly fisherman would opt for a 6 or 7 weight rod for Steelhead fishing. This rods has more nuts than I'll ever need on my smaller creeks. I have the power!
  • The guides that were used for this build were Fuji Alconites in standard "float rod" sizes.
  • The handle is custom made from individual cork rings (Natural burl and Burnt cork).
  • The reel seat is also made from cork - warmer in the winter months!
  • The reel seat hardware is an RA8L2 from Batson Enterprises.
I fished with this rod for the first time this past Wednesday, and I am extrememly pleased with the power of the blank and the rest of the build. It will serve me well on my smaller waters.

Here are a few pictures of my lil stick:
Project Ditch Stick 1
Project Ditch Stick 2
(The reel in these pictures is a Torrent from