My 50th birthday is approaching fast and SWMBO asked if there was anything I wanted for a special present. That was her first mistake 🙂
I’ve had a hankering to fish cane & silk for a while now. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s because I have too much hi-tech paraphernalia cluttering up my life that a move towards more traditional tackle appeals. Anyway, I never thought I’d get the opportunity to pander to this little desire until I started working out whether a bamboo rod would be feasible on my budget.
I looked at several ‘off the shelf’ offerings within my budget and, to be honest, I wasn’t really inspired. Subsequently I found out that most of these are made in Chinese factories from sub standard cane and are unlikely last a lifetime, as a good cane rod should. Of course, there are the usual eBay lots, many of these are rebuilds using parts from older rods or vintage rods who’s provenance is unknown. The only other option to investigate was a custom made rod.
Here’s where things start to get scary. Internet research showed me that four figure sums are often the starting point for custom cane rods. Add higher quality reel seats, inserts, ferrules etc. and the figure climbs into the realms of the ridiculous. I was starting to lose hope. My original aim was to get rod, line and a suitable reel but this was clearly out of the question and there is no point in getting one without the other two.
At this point I was given the details of a guy in Michigan who might be able to build something for me at a reasonable cost. Enter Bob Farrand.
Having looked at pictures of his work I contacted him to enquire about his availability, lead time, costs etc. and I was delighted to find out that not only would he undertake the work but, at the end I would have enough funds for the reel and line too.
After a flurry of emails, here’s the specification for the build:
- Hand built honey flamed Wayne Cattenach 6332 taper blank [6′ 3″ 2 piece] with 2 tip sections
- Anodized Silver down-locking reel seat
- Amboyna burl reel seat insert
- Agate stripping ring
- Mid brown wraps with dark brown trim
- Super fine cork handle
Bob will start flaming & splitting the cane very soon and has promised to send updates of progress.