Q. Why are your graphite fly rod prices so much lower than other custom builders?
A. Being a full-time rod builder affords me some advantages over the hobby builders of the world. First, I buy my blanks and components at wholesale prices and then can pass those savings on to you. Second, all my custom rods are priced based on a history of how many hours it takes me to build it, and then you are given a quoted price based on material cost and labor. I try to stay competitive price wise with a factory built rod of comparable qualities.
Q. How do you get such brilliant colors in your guide wraps.
A. Most manufacturers use a thread color which blends in to the color of the fly rod blank so that when they wrap it on a power wrapper, any gaps left behind will not be as apparent to the casual eye. One of the steps we take, after hand wrapping the guides, is to treat the thread and make it opaque so that the colors stay true. For the most vivid colors and thinnest wraps you have ever seen, I use fine Japanese silk thread, just like on our bamboo fly rods…I’ve never even heard of another builder who will use silk on a graphite fly rod due to the complexities in getting the perfect finish.
Q. Why can't I easily find a 6' or 6'6" 2 weight fly rod for that little creek on the way home from work?
A. There is not enough demand for most manufacturers and fly shops to make or stock these specialty fly rods. You must understand, a fly shop must turn their inventory over multiple times per year in order to pay for having employees and a commercial retail outlet. Having capital tied up waiting to sell one or two a year does not make good business sense to most fly shops. For these reasons, 2 and 3 weight fly rods are one of our most popular selling types of fly rods.
Q. Why do most fly rods have Reverse Half-Wells grips? What if I prefer an Ahern, or Western, or Cigar, or Full Wells?
A. It's all about mass production, one or two grip offerings make fly rod manufacturing move along faster. Turning all of our grips in house allows me to offer any grip style and custom inlay work as well. I remember back in the 1980's when most fly rod models were listed in the catalogs with 2-4 grip profile options...each.
Q. Why do all the factory fly rods look so plain now, the thread wraps all match the blank color?
A. Imperfections, gaps in the thread and un-prepped guide feet don't show as badly through a matching thread color, which are all side effects of wrapping rods on power equipment. As a society, we have given up the aesthetics of beautiful fly rods in order to have them made faster and cheaper.
Q. Why can't I get a slightly smaller grip on a fly rod to accommodate my small hands, or larger for that matter?
A. Again, mass production makes this impractical. I can vary the diameter of any grip style for a larger or smaller hand when it is custom turned in our shop.