Monthly Archives: November 2007

OMG! It’s beautiful!

Well, the rod is finished and will be shipped this week. Here’s a few photos that Bob posted on the Rod Building Forum – just to make the waiting even harder 🙂

Everything I dreamed of – and more!

It’s coming together

With the news that the rod will probably be shipped next week, the great silk & cane project is nearing completion. I’ve had a Hardy Featherweight sitting, un-spooled on the bench for weeks but today it will be getting dressed as I’m now the proud owner of a Thebault DT4 silk line supplied by Jocá over at Alva Fly Fishing in Portugal. Rod from the states, reel from Alnwick and a French line from a Portuguese supplier; this really is turning out to be an international effort.

Silk & Featherweight

Opening the box I immediately spotted a problem – all of the documentation is in French; however, with a little schoolboy French and a little help from the internet – here’s my translation:

A) Unroll the line completely to extend it
B) With your fingers, grab a bit of grease and rub it on the line in order to make it penetrate the ‘apprêt’
C) This necessary operation needs to be repeated 4 or 5 times at least with one day between each operation
D) The new line, although saturated with grease is still stiff, flexibility is obtained progressively after several tenth of hours of fishing. During this period, the line is sensible to high mechanical constraints and the quality of the teething period will enhance the duration of your line.
E) If the line is sinking after several hours of fishing, dry the used part with a cloth and grease it back.
F) After fishing, take the line out of the reel for it to dry (average one night) and grease it before rolling it back
G) Use exclusively the grease provided with the line. During the ‘interseason’, it is recommended to store the line in the JP Thebault box
H) For any other questions, consult the website

Not brilliant but enough to get by.

They aren’t kidding when they say the line is stiff. It feels more like raw spaghetti than silk! Anyway, I’ll work on the suppleness thing over the next week or so.

Great Expectations – Update

I just had a mail from Bob; the rod is almost complete and should be shipped next week – well over a month ahead of schedule. As soon as it arrives I’ll post a few pictures ~ can’t wait!!

The past revisited – part 2

Well, I’m pleased to say the the little box of horrors was not required. 4 fish were taken on small Copper John, GHRE and PTNs. Fishing was far from easy with a blustery Nor’ Wester making casting extremely difficult but an early success gave me the confidence that fish could be had.

What really surprised me was the quality of the fish. Fit, fully finned with large undamaged tails, each one fought like a Trojan before being brought to the net.

All in all, a fun day out.

Drake Magazine Videos

Thanks to davidms from for pointing me to some excellent footage on Drake Magazine


The past revisited

Tomorrow I’m off to fish a small stocked still-water with a very old and dear friend.  Now, I know what your thinking but you’re wrong – I’m not about to abandon the rivers and revert to chasing stockies around a pond.  This is an all too rare opportunity to have a day out with a friend and the venue is immaterial.

It’s been a while since I last did anything like this and in preparation I have rummaged around in the darker corners of my fishing room and found a couple of old fly boxes – the ones I used when I used to do this sort of thing regularly.  Oh my god!  What a sight?  I had almost forgotten the monstrosities I used to tie on without shame.  Huge, garish creations that should never be viewed in daylight without the benefit of good dark Polaroid glasses – still, I seem to remember catching a fair few fish with them so perhaps I’m becoming a snob in my old age.  I’ve put together a when all else fails box which I’ll keep securely hidden.  I’ll stick to my traditional imitative patterns in a dogged display of fly-box bigotry until conditions or [more likely] lack of aptitude force me to open Pandora’s box & try with a dog nobbler or cat’s whisker – whatever.

The interesting thing here is how my attitude has changed over the years.  I can’t remember it happening and, in all honesty I can see no justification for it.  I’ve been kidding myself that I have been fishing imitations of aquatic fauna, but thinking about it, almost all flies are embellished in some way, be it silver tinsel ribbing or a gold head which I’m sure is meant to provoke an aggressive rather than hunger driven response from trout.

Perhaps we’re all lure fishermen in denial.  Now there’s a can of worms!

Direct Approach

I’ve had an email from David Rogers over at Headwaters Bamboo Rods

Hello. My name is David Rogers, owner of Headwaters Bamboo Rod Company. We are makers of fine and affordable bamboo fly rods. That may sound like an oxymoron, but we have successfully outfitted fly anglers with excellent quality bamboo rods at a modest price for nearly five years.
We have recently developed an affiliate marketing program that expands the awareness of our products to fly anglers as well as puts money in the pocket of our partners. As the owner of a fly-fishing related website, we’d like to extend an invitation to you to partner with us in our affiliate marketing program.
With affiliate marketing you refer your site visitors to our site via a banner or text link, and when they purchase our products, you earn a 15 percent commission. Affiliate marketing is a great way for non-profits, blogs, and other websites to capitalize on their web traffic and provide income.
To get started, sign up with (follow the link in the last paragraph of this email), the company that we use to ensure the program runs smoothly (your payment checks will come directly from them). Then you can chose from a number of text or banner links to place on your website. It’s that simple. You may add more text around the link (such as a description or review of the product) or just include the link on your site. If you’d like for us to develop other text or tools to help you, please let me know. Your success is our success.
Thank you and I look forward to working with you. To get started or find more information email at or click here to access affiliate information on our website.


David Rogers

I was initially surprised that my little blog had been identified as a vehicle for driving sales and not a little tempted to take up the offer; however, I’ve never seen or handled any of these products. For all I know they may be perfectly sound, but without first hand experience of the company and their output I don’t really feel happy giving my tacit endorsement.

To that end I replied and asked for some samples to be sent so that I can evaluate their quality and performance.  I’ll let you know what happens.

%d bloggers like this: