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: http://www.ctsfishing.com/
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.