Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Picked up the framing of 3 pics Mark Lance took of the rod and reel I made for dad.  Turned out great.
Huge thanks to Mark Shamburg, David Riccardo and Paul Drake for everything they put into this outfit.


Ok, this one struck a cord today.

Now, I'm not taking sides.  The post and comments raise a point.  Who gives a shit?  I mean really, when you look back on a lifetime it won't be about what brand rod or reel, it's about who you spent time with.  I'm lucky to look back on 20 years of fishing and I don't recall much to what gear is used, but damn those memories of who I fished with and how we shaped eachothers lives is so much more important.  I see this cock fighting all the time with younger anglers and don't really say anything.  It's gear, it gets the job done. Cool if they help support our causes, but it's about time on the water and who you are with.

A guy once asked me what cane rod to buy so he had something cool to pass to his son when gone.  He had a few grand so we talked about Young's, Garrison and the usual suspects.  I asked him what the goal was in this purchase.  He said to give his son something he would cherish for a lifetime.  I explained to him how I fish with my dad and grandfather.  How my dad gave me the cane rod he learned to fish on.  I relayed a story of how I was ready to save it from my burning apartment when my damn hippy roommate nearly burnt the building to the ground.  I explained how cool I thought it would be if he took a class and built a good rod that he could pass to his son.  No Paul Young would ever match the personal value of that rod.  It's the relationship and bond.  Some gear is super cool and unique that we get to carry it forward, but we keep this little piece of hardware around to remind of these people and our time with them.  Not who's name on it.  It's good that we have companies that enable our sport, but it's way more important to have friends and peers that enable our passion.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Leather block cases

Picked up 2 more cases from Paul Drake.
One for a Mark Shamburg 3 3/4" and the other for a Henshaw 3 3/4" brass faced perfect.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cane switch and reel cases

Got a chance to get out with Jenny a while back.  I let her get some time without my constant instruction.  I used this opportunity to practice spey casting with a 9'6" switch rod I built a couple years ago.  It's short for switch but a start to a taper I hope to develop.  It originated from a Vagan (Norwegian) 9' 6wt.  After building the sections it just felt like a short switch rod.  The next rev on the taper will be around 10'6" and see if I can keep it around a 5wt switch with substantial hollowing.  It was fun to toss, but you have to jump it for it's size.  Instead of swinging flies, I just stripped and twitched the streamers back with ok success.  Just good to practice with it before I take it to the Ronde tomorrow for a few days to hopefully put a steelhead on it.

I also just received a reel case from Paul Drake.  He does awesome work.  Nice leather home for a 3", might have to get one for the 3 1/2" brass perfect that should be coming in a month or so.

Monday, October 1, 2012

more science to come

So, started soaking strips before planning.  It does reduce wear on the blade.  You still need to be mindful of tearouts.  I'm looking to buy a scale to be able to gauge if the cane gains any moisture in the process of soaking.  I'd like to define how many days after planning will render the strips as dry as they were when they went into the tube.
I'll get some pics up off the new gluing setup, I use 3" masking tape in long strips to keep from trashing the bench top.  Did 4 sections tonight and then just pulled up the tape.  I use Gorilla glue on my non-hallowed trout size rods.  After about 3 hours from binding, pull the strings, and then sand.  This will make your life way easier.
I also received some Daily's for impregnating.  I'll do some force deflection curves on the sections before and after along with weight to see how it changes the strips.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Rules of Rod building

Been trying to get a lot of rod work moving around re-building a bathroom due to a rotted floor from a failed wax flange.

 #1. Take your time.
Managed to over sand a tip section at the ferrule station, now I need to work the wedding gift 2/1 into a 3/1 with building a new mid. This wouldn't have happened had I taken the time to double check my strips so they came in closer to the desired numbers when glued. Nothing wrong with measuring frequently in the process. 

#2. Never put a grip on before the ferrule.
It's easy to be gluing cork on a couple rods and then go ahead and get others that need it, despite having the ferrule yet. Just don't do it.

On a material side. Ordered some grip shrink wrap from Uline. 2". Get a couple builders together and you'll have more than a lifetime's worth.

Working with David Riccardo on some engraving for a cool project. Super excited. Just a hint of what's coming.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I stopped in my local fly shop the other day to see a friend. He had customers to deal with and I was waiting around. A customer made some comments about our local creeks. I interjected into the conversation some history to when things happened. Another statement disparaging a stream and another interjection from me on what has gone on with the creek. Ok, so number one I should just shut up and leave people be. The other side of the conversation got me thinking. It's total crap that local anglers and often shop staff know nothing of the plight of our local streams. Hell, one river with a damn goes through FERC re-licensing, and locals lobby for stream improvement money, the money gets tied up for a few years and finally gets used and nobody even knows about it. Local anglers go to great lengths on in-stream flow standards and water swaps yet most anglers are totally unaware of the work they benefit from. So how do you change this? I do think shop employees have to be up on this stuff. This is where they eat, learn it. I also think our TU chapter has to do a better job marketing it's successes. You could save 10 rivers but if nobody knew they were saved they probably wouldn't help or appreciate the effort. I think I have a small task of seeing where to take this.

On the flip side, you are not an angler or sportsmen if you are not involved in conserving your local opportunities.

On the work bench I've finally glued up Tom's rod, Jeff's and 2 more Big Creeks. Looking to plane out a 8' 3pc FE Thomas and 2 variations on the Big Creek taper. Should have some real cool fly reel work coming from Shamburg soon. I've got 2 cool projects with him on a S-handle for a presentation rod and trout version of his St Mark.

Cheers, Shawn