Saturday, May 7, 2016

Sage ESN

While I'm not totally a fan of all the new Sage offerings in the new tech they have currently, this one along with a few other blank models (Circa 389, 589) are seriously changing the game in the light trout category. The ESN 2100-4 is an amazing rod not only for short line nymphing or small water, but also for big river dry fly fishing or even light streamer fishing. While the tip section might seem very soft or Winston-ish like, the rod's action is quite sweet and well balanced overall for river fishing conditions. I would not call it a medium action rod in any case. The ESN has a ton of power down low with a very light, lively tip, all in a very slim diameter construction. For casting, the rod works really well overlined with a Rio Gold wf3-4 and you can really feel the power on those longer casts. For those who like to have the advantages and versatility of a longer, lighter rod for river fishing conditions, this might be the one.

And because I really like to build exquisite rods from only the finest blanks out there, this rod deserved the best of everything.

The rod was elegantly appointed with a slightly longer, thinner snub-nose style handle that is very comfortable. The nickel silver contrasts of the exceptional Bellinger reel seat with beautiful knurling, the gorgeous and timeless amboyna stabilized wood insert (turned in house) make for a perfect match for the dark olive-green color of this blank. Snake Brand Universal guides with Struble light amber agate wrapped in fine silk were complemented with a well polished and reduced in size nickel silver Goldenwitch winding check and a strap-and-ring hook keeper. To really complete the setup, a finely handcrafted leather rod case was added (heirloom grade).

This is my finest example of how a big name blank can be built to perfection, to withstand the test of time and hard fishing days, yet still be an elegant fishing tool. Thanks for looking!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Lamiglas 8' 5wt.

Here is an "old school" Lamiglas build I just finished for a friend in the States. The blank was sourced out from Matt Leiderman, who is known for building many rods on these beautiful honey yellow blanks. It has stiffer tip, softer mid with power down below for smooth casts with streamers and poppers. The rod is appointed very simply and understated with one of my Lemke signature anodised reel seats and  a nice brownish spalted wood, black snake guides and stripping guide wrapped in gold-orange silk tipped chestnut. Thanks for looking!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

A river report from Dan

Spring season starts early on the Provo River in Utah. Dan was kind to send me some impressions fishing his Orvis rod in the first day of the season.

"Hi George,

This is the Provo River, which I fish most often in the spring when the olive baetis hatch is heavy and the trout are hungry and not cautious. It's a tail water and levels are lowest in winter and spring. In summer this stretch would not be wade able. Today, with temps near 19 C, the snow is melting fast and there were many anglers out. My favorite stretch was occupied so I had to fish in less desirable water. Since it was bright and sunny, this hatch seemed poor. I had 4 Browns rise to my dry but I missed them all (still rusty). The Orvis felt great. I sure enjoy a slow to moderate taper rod. Looks great with the CFO reel. Would look better with a trout. Cheers, Dan."

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Epic Limited Edition

Here are some photos of five limited edition Epic 580 Slate builds that have been planned probably a year ago. Finally found the time to build these special blanks this winter.

When Carl came up with the ideea of me building five unique Epic rods I was pretty stoked about it. I wanted them to be super special. And I really like to do some new cool stuff every time. These five builds had to be "identical". This would be my first attempt to build five rods the same way.

With all the colors in the Epic blank line, I still wanted something different. Slate came to mind and this is one of my favorites. However, it was only a limited run.

A special wood to match this color was utmost important. This was a tough call. I remembered about some graphite rods I did in the past that contained buckeye burl wood. A unique marble like wood specimen that some thought is a good match on greyish blanks, graphite at the time. I was able to find a gorgeous piece of buckeye that was stabilized and died gray. I thought this was the my best bet.

The exceptional Bellinger uplocking hardware in matte dark plated aluminum was also a limited production. These are "state-of-the-art" reel seats with more modern design, beautiful knurling and light as a feather.

Like I said, this color combination reminds me of some older, very classy graphite rods. I think the Epic 580 has the best of both worlds. The smoothness of glass and the power of graphite.

First glance, it looks more like a graphite rod due to the color and fittings. Once you start casting this "graphite like" fitted glass rod on a bright sunny day, the color of the blank will come alive. The translucency and feel will tell you it's glass you are casting.

The Epic 580 is quicker than any other glass rods and the workhorse of the Epic fiberglass line, and makes for a versatile rod. Some folks can lay out very long casts with it. The agate stripping guide sure was intended to give some life to this "unusual" blank color without being too striking. It is a trout rod after all.

The handle is a very comfortable snub-nose half wells. Most folks like this shape, it's super comfy and provides great control. The simple translucent silk wraps tipped a subtle yellow at the ferrules and stripping guide make for an understated rod, built to perfection and will last a lifetime or more. These Epic limited builds are surely "one-of-their-kind".