I hope you all have a safe & happy Thanksgiving this year. I want to take the time to thank you all who read these pages & contact me. I'm thankful for you each & every one of you!
I thought maybe this year I could get an earlier start on the Holiday Season (for a change), so I've just published this year's Holiday Gift Guide. In addition to being a great resource for unique fly angling gifts, I've put a bunch of stuff on sale, too!!
Some of things you'll see are my leather fly wallets. These are one of my most popular Accessories, made right in my shop, & now available at a discount for the Holidays!!
In addition to that, I've placed all the hand stitched leather fishing bags on sale. These are great bags made to last a lifetime of heavy fishing. At these great sale prices, normally leather bags of this quality would cost you three times as much from other places - if you could even find them!! But be sure to contact me to reserve yours soon, as there's only one of each available.
There's a variety of different bags to choose from in different leathers.
The well-received leather leader wallets are also on sale for the Holidays!! Many anglers love these well made, classic looking wallets. They're designed for a superior way to keep all your leaders organized & with less memory coils in them!! At these prices you'll want to stock up for next year's fishing season.
Don't forget, all the other accessories I make will also serve as fantastic angling gifts, too. From soft reel cases, canvas fishing bags in multiple colors & two sizes, rod tubes, rod bags & more there's a gift for every angler & budget!! Please know that while I try to keep a good supply of these accessories in stock, if I have to make you an item (such as a custom fit rod bag or tube), it may take up to a couple of weeks - so be sure to contact me early!!
What could be better than a new fly rod for that special angler?!!? Well be sure to look at the Available Rods page to see what I currently have listed. You could also get them a gift certificate for a custom fly rod, made just for them!! Let the anticipation of next year's fishing season build while they wait for their new custom fly rod to be made to their specifications!!
Check out the Holiday Gifts & Sales page of this website for these & more great gift ideas at these rare sale prices.
I know that if you're not a fly angler yourself, it can be very difficult to come up with a good fishing-related gift for someone. No need to worry, I'm here to help! If you're not sure about what to get someone - even if it's something I don't offer - feel free to contact me & ask about it. I'm here to help as much as I can. I want all of you to enjoy the Holidays & the joy of giving wonderful gifts.
If you have any questions about anything listed here, or anything on this website at all, please contact me anytime.
Happy Holidays to you all!!
Busy, busy in the shop making another fishing bag for you.....
This new fishing bag that I've just completed is a really special one. It's made completely by hand in my shop from an oil-stoned leather, giving it not only an aged & weathered appearance, but also makes it one tough leather. As it is treated with oils & waxes, giving it a deep, rich appearance, it's ideal for any gear that will be used in the outdoors. Plus the smell of this leather is truly a joy to the olfactory system, as it gives that classic leather smell every time you open it!! This is a very durable leather that is also water resistant. For those of you who want a leather fishing bag to stand up to the toughest elements along a stream, while having that aged, rugged look to it, this is the bag for you.
Some of the features of this bag include:
-Accessory pocket on the bag face, large enough for tippet spools, leaders, small tools, etc.
-A unique flap closure that employs a D-ring & swivel hook for easy access inside the bag while insuring that the flap will never come open when you don't want it to. This also allows for expansion inside the bag when you pack it full.
-Adjustable shoulder strap that is removable from the bag body. Secured with swivel hooks & D-rings on both sides, you can take this bag off without ever lifting it over your head - a great feature for when you need to take it off quickly or for those with limited mobility in the arms.
-Small D-ring attached to the shoulder strap to hang your landing net, or other items you want close at hand outside the bag.
-The edges of the bag have been hand dyed, waxed, & polished for a nice finish.
This bag measures 9 1/2" wide x 9" tall x 3" thick.
Every year, sometime in October (but as late as November some years), the great leaf hatch occurs on most trout streams in North America. Not much has ever been written about the leaf hatch, but every season most anglers on the water will have fantastic action from this hatch. I don't mean to brag, but some days during the leaf hatch I'm pulling them in on every cast.
In order to have success on the leaf hatch, you're going to need a larger size hook, anything size 12 & up should work, which will really help you in not losing your leaf during the fight. Fortunately for me, this rarely happens & I usually bring each leaf I've hooked to hand.
Another key to success for angling the leaf hatch is to make sure you're fishing the proper section of water. You're going to want to inspect the trees & bushes along the bank for signs of a hatch. It helps to know what to look for. For example, in the photo below you can see that there's a group of leaves about to fall into the water. Down stream from here would be a good place to wet a line:
When you find yourself in a location with a lot of surface activity of the leaf hatch, keep in mind that there's a proper way to proceed. Let your line drift downstream, with a drag free drift. Then, at some point in the drift, allow drag to set in & let your fly to swing across the current in a completely unnatural way.
Here's the really important part: when you feel the tug from a hungry leaf grabbing your fly, yank your line as hard as you can - as if you were trying to set a hook into concrete. This way you can hook the leaf properly & it's certain not to get off the hook before you can bring your leaf to hand, ensuring your success.
I've found the best place to hook a leaf is at it's base, near the stem, like I did to this monster:
Like I said before, I don't mean to brag - but when you're good, you're good!!
Good luck on the water out there. I hope you're all still enjoying some great autumn fly fishing!!
Finally, after a lot of hard work & designing, I'm so pleased to now be offering leather covered rod tubes!!
Made from top-quality leather hides & aluminum tube, these leather rod tubes are hand stitched in my shop. They feature a lid that is fit snugly to the tube, which will ‘pop’ like a ferrule when opened. It also has snap closures & an adjustable shoulder strap. A very fine way to house you most precious fly rods.
Just like the canvas covered PVC rod tubes, these leather tubes can be made to fit most size of fly rods, to an exact fit for your rod. We do this because if the rod tube is longer than the rod inside, it will slide back & forth, jostling the rod inside. That's not good & you don't want that. Sliding back & forth inside the tube is absolutely no good for your fly rod, especially those delicate tips!! To get the best fit for your rod, please measure the total length of your fly rod -in it's bag - & give me that measurement. Both ends of these rod tubes have thick, dense foam padding to protect the rod inside
The top edge of the pipe is slightly beveled. This is done to make sliding the rod in & out of the tube easier - there's no hard edge to catch any line guides on, just a nice & smooth surface. The heavy canvas shoulder strap is not only adjustable, but easily removed for convenience when traveling, or packing the rod tube. The leather itself is tightly stitched to the aluminum tube, by hand, for a perfect fit.
These rod tubes will be available in different leathers from time to time, so please inquire about the currently available leathers. Customization is possible & priced accordingly, depending on your requests.
For more information about these rod tubes, please visit the Accessories page of this site & scroll down the page to the rod tubes section.
If you have any questions about these tubes, please contact me & I'll be happy to help you.
I've just listed a fly rod over on the Available Rods page of this site - it's a 6'-0", 3 pc / 2 tip bamboo fly rod made for a 3 or 4 weight line. This rod is a new, never fished Custom Series bamboo fly rod. This is the highest grade of rod I offer. Based on a classic bamboo rod taper, this is my version of the Paul Young midge rod - a legendary taper loved by anglers for generations.
This rod has a nice medium action that will suit many different fishing situations. It will cast your smaller dry flies, wets, & nymphs all very well. While the original Paul Young taper was a true 4 wt rod, I believe that some anglers will enjoy this rod with a 3 weight line as well.
This rod is housed in a very fine, hand-made leather covered rod tube which has been custom made to fit this rod. Made from a rich brown leather & aluminum tube, these leather rod tubes are hand stitched in my rod shop. They feature a lid that is fit snugly to the tube, which will ‘pop’ like a ferrule when opened. It also has snap closures & an adjustable shoulder strap. A very fine way to house this fine fly rod.
This rod features:
- A nice, medium action
- Nickel-Silver cap & ring style reel seat with curly walnut wood spacer
- Cigar shaped cork grip
- Nickel-Silver winding check (in front of the cork grip)
- Nickel-Silver strap & ring style hook keeper
- Beautiful, natural stone agate stripping guide in a Nickel-Silver bezel
- Chromed, stainless steel line guides & tip tops
- Nickel-Silver ferrules
- Rich, dark brown silk thread guide wraps tipped with orange silk
- Custom fit brown cotton flannel rod bag with orange embellishment stitches
- All housed in a handcrafted brown leather rod tube
You might note that the dark brown silk thread wraps, the rich brown leather of the rod tube, the walnut wood in the reel seat, & the brown custom rod bag all harmonize cosmetically together to make this outfit a true matching set of high-grade fly tackle.
add a complete set of matching leather accessories to the rod!!
In addition to the leather rod tube that comes with the rod listed above, I’m offering a complete set of leather fishing accessories for an additional price. Each accessory, including the rod tube, have been made from the same leather hide, making this a truly complete set & matching outfit. Each accessory has been hand-made in my shop, just as the fly rod offered above.
This additional set includes:
-Full leather fishing bag - perfect for a day along the stream.
-Leather Fly Wallet
-Leather Leader Wallet
-Leather Mini Fly Wallet
I’m proud to offer you this complete set of a high-end bamboo fly rod & matching leather accessories. Each item has been made in my shop with care & attention to every detail. To the best of my knowledge I am the only craftsmen working today who can make & offer a complete matching set of fly rod, rod tube, & accessories having all been made under the same roof. I’m sure that any angler will be proud to own this collection of fine fishing equipment.
This set is available at a special price, when you combine it with the 6’-0”, 3/2 Midge rod listed above.
One of the coolest things about being a rod maker is all the interesting people I meet & get to know. My friend, artist Lew Wilson, is no exception. To say that Lew is a dedicated artist would be a huge understatement. You see, for the last 36 years, Lew has been on a mission that has taken him all over the country - & that mission has been to raise people's awareness of our rivers & waterways, to encourage them to protect them & keep them as Nature intended. That's a cause I think all fly fishers can get behind, don't you?
From a recent press release:
"Lew's epic journey has recently documented America's
foremost endangered river--the Colorado--throughout
2016 and 2017. This group of photographs is part of his
series depicting rivers of the Great American Migration,
as told through his masterful amalgamation of hand-
painted black and white photographs. After surviving a
near-fatal accident in the Colorado Rockies in the wake
of 9/11, the Vietnam Era veteran and career artist of
Christian faith found that his recovery from this event
only strengthened his belief that the "power" of art can
"still" make a difference to young and old alike in
nurturing "A Good Earth." A conscious belief that Lew
walks with through his love, as an artist, is inspired
by God's wonders of nature. Just as in the time of the
early colony of artists who ushered in America's first
major art movement--the Hudson River School--the
scenic Hudson River Valley and Kaaterskill Clove
area of New York that continues to inspire artists."
Now, after more than three decades of documenting & living with our nation's rivers, Lew is attempting to establish a physical gallery for his artwork. That would be quite a gallery!! Over 30 years of work (& still going), Lew has created quite a large body of work.
You can help Lew establish this gallery, so that his message of the importance of clean rivers can carry on for generations to come, by purchasing prints of some of his work. These would make excellent gifts for not only anglers who would enjoy a gorgeous view of a favorite fishing river, but anyone who wants to see nature's beauty everyday.
Through the website imagekind, you can purchase a Lew Wilson print. There are different sizes available at all different price levels, making this a great opportunity for folks on every kind of budget to purchase Lew's work & help his message carry on well into the future.
Please take a look at Lew's prints by clicking HERE.
You can learn more about Lew & his art, by clicking HERE.
I can honestly say that Lew is one of the most dedicated people I've met in the mission to keep America's rivers & waterways clean & pure. As a fly angler, dependent on clean, cold water for my passion, I can't thank him enough for all his efforts. Please help Lew carry his message on to the generations that will follow us. As Lew says, "rivers have a message". That message is one worth listening to.
The water was low & clear in the stream, which is why I was using a 4x tippet that day. I knew with the size of fly I was fishing, I should have gone up to a heavier tippet, but I was worried that the fish would see it. That's why I was using 4x that day - or so I told myself. It seemed like a good idea at the time, anyway.
The fishing was slow that day & maybe my mind wondered a little bit. I think that happens to all of us when the fishing's slow & the weather is nice. I had been at it for some time, trying different drifts & approaches with nothing to show for it except a couple of chubs & one nice Fallfish. I was drifting my line through some medium sized rocks when it happened.
A large bass shot out from nowhere & thrashed my fly! I set the hook & readied myself for a good fight, but the bass had other ideas. It simply turned it's head & - snap(!) - broke off my fly, leaving my limp line & leader to float slowly down stream. The situation called for profanity, so I let go with an expletive.
We've all been there. In my excitement over what had just happened I told myself that the bass had broken me off by snapping my tippet. My goodness, it must have been even bigger than it looked!! Imagine the power that fish had. It had to be the biggest bass in this stream, for sure. Right? Well.....
When I got my tippet back in my hand & calmed my mind a bit, I began to think things over & soon realized what had really happened.
That bass didn't snap my tippet just by turning it's head, it had help. The more I looked at the situation, the more I realized what had gone down here. The bass struck my fly, for sure, but in my haste to set the hook - & the way the fish turned it's head - my tippet rubbed hard against the rocks. The fish hadn't broken my tippet, the rocks did. Actually, I broke my tippet off against the rocks when I set the hook! It was me (slaps forehead). When the fish rushed my fly, I was so focused on the fish that I ignored everything else. If I had only waited a split-second longer to set the hook.......
So there in a matter of seconds I went from a hero in my mind, who could draw the biggest bass in the world out from hiding to hit my fly, to just a fool who got over-excited & broke his tippet on the rocks. Now that I think about it, maybe that bass wasn't as big as I first thought.........But at least I had some action!!
I've always said that fish are great equalizers: they don't care how rich you are, or how old, or how smart you are, or even how much you know about fishing. Fish long enough & they will make a fool out of you sooner or later. Plus, if I've learned anything, it's that when the fishing is slow & your mind wonders & you think nothing is going to happen, that's probably exactly when it will happen!!
Some of you may have heard the term 'mirror matched tips' in regards to a bamboo fly rod & wondered what that meant, exactly. Well, it has to do with the nodes on a rod that has two tip sections. Let me explain....
When we make a bamboo fly rod, we have to deal with the nodes. These are like knots in a piece of wood. The grain of the bamboo often changes direction a bit here & so the nodes must be straightened out & flattened by the rod maker. It's also because of this irregularity in the bamboo grain at the nodes that we don't want two nodes next to each other on adjoining strips in the finished rod. As a result, the rod maker must stagger the nodes in the layout of the bamboo strips, so no two nodes are next to each other.
There are several different methods of staggering nodes in a bamboo fly rod & each has it's place & uses, depending on how the nodes are spaced on the raw bamboo. This is where mirror-matched tips sections come into play.
The term mirror matched tips basically means that where you see a node in one tip section, you will see a node in the other tip section in exactly the same place:
This is the mark of a very fine bamboo fly rod & shows the attention to detail the rod maker gave to the rod. The idea being that, as no two pieces of bamboo are ever exactly the same, we can give each tip section the closest we can to the same 'feel' when the tips are mirror matched like this. It also proves beyond any doubt that the tip sections were made from the same larger piece of raw bamboo, which can also help to give some consistency between the two tip sections.
Of course there are many rods made with two tip sections where the tips are not mirrored in their node placement. Most of the time this is no big deal & it doesn't mean that the rod is inferior in any way. Often times the raw bamboo a rod maker has to work with will not allow for mirrored tips. In fact, some of the sweetest feeling bamboo rods I've ever cast did not have mirrored tip sections. As bamboo is a natural, growing plant, Mother Nature often has as much to say about exactly where the nodes go as does the rod maker.
Now the next time you hear a rod collector, vintage rod dealer, or any bamboo fly rod aficionado mention a rod with mirrored tip sections, you'll know exactly what they're talking about.
The Pliant Rod
News from the shop of Chris Lantzy, Custom Rod Maker along with industry news, profiles of interesting characters, reviews, history, & whatever else strikes our fancy. Your comments & feedback are welcome. Please email me your thoughts.
Be sure to check out the Holiday Gifts & Sales page where you'll find a variety of unique gifts any angler would love to get this Holiday Season!!
These rods are available right now. please Go to the "Available rods" page for more details:
6'-0", 3/2, 3/4 wt Custom Series bamboo
plus a matching set of leather accessories!!
hand stitched leather accessories
Cases, bags, & other fine heirloom quality leather angling accessories.
NEW!! SEE MORE ROD PHOTOS!!!
Please visit my Flickr pages to see even more rod photos including those available for sale, different rod features, & more. I'll be continuing to add photos there, so check it often.
Watch Some Videos!!
Take a look into the rod shop & see some rods in living color motion pictures!! Check out my youtube videos.