We've all seen them. There's just something not right about it. A rod tube without a cap is like a baseball player without a hat, or a bottle without a cork. Minus the cap, the rod tube is not completely useless, but darn close to it.
When I was designing my leather covered rod tubes, I had this terror in mind when I was figuring out the cap. I wanted to have a removable cap, but I wanted to make sure that there was a way to never loose it. I've seen more than one angler chase a cap down the road or into the tall grass of a stream side field, & I wanted to be sure my tubes would never cause such a calamity.
I always advise everyone who uses one of my leather rod tubes to snap one of the cap's straps back on when you have the lid off. That way it can never roll away, fall down, or get lost. In fact, this is half the reason these straps are on the cap. You see, the cap will never really fall off, as it's fit with a vacuum & gives an audible 'pop' when you take the cap off, just lie the ferrules on a bamboo fly rod. However, I added the straps there to be doubly safe that the cap would stay in place & also so you could secure it to the rod tube when removing your rod or putting it away, just as in the photo below:
Of course, this entire debacle of a lost tube cap is never an issue with the canvas covered rod tubes that are also made in my shop. If you loose the cap to one of those you've got bigger problems than just a lost cap - you see, the cap is permanently attached to the tube. It can never get lost or roll away (as long as your rod tube doesn't). With these tubes, you know you'll always have a cap to close it up with.
To me, it's these little details that you might not think about that add up & contribute to the overall quality of any fishing accessory. Ease of use & functionality, paired with quality materials, & put together with an eye for detail make for superior fly fishing accessories.
For more info on these rod tubes & a host of other items, please visit the Accessories page of this website. If you have any questions or requests, please feel free to contact me anytime. It's my pleasure to make these items available to you.
The other day someone asked me if it's possible to tie a fly using common yarns sold at craft & hobby stores. The answer is most certainly yes!! Not only can you use all those yarns, but there are many different ways to use them in fly tying.
First off, yarn can be used as a substitute for chenille in any fly calling for that. All those woolly buggers can be tied with yarn bodies. It can also be used in wet flies & nymphs, too. Simply separate the stands of the yarn (it's usually three stands twisted together) & use one strand of it as you would chenille to wrap about the hook. It's good practice when using yarn in place of chenille, to secure it down with wire or tinsel, wrapped in the opposite direction. Otherwise, it's fine. If you're making a body that's palmered with a hackle feather throughout its length, such as the woolly bugger, then that would work as well.
In addition, you can make your own dubbing out of yarn. Yep, that's right - all that yarn you see in the stores can be turned into bags & bags of dubbing at a fraction of the cost for normal dubbing. Plus you can mix different colors together to get the exact color you need. This is perfect for matching a specific local hatch, or for those rare fly patterns where dubbing from a catalog just won't do. Now you can make your own colors.
To do this, you basically cut the yarn into small pieces & put them in a coffee grinder. You use the coffee grinder to shred the yarn into dubbing. Again, you're not spending much money here, as you can get a coffee grinder fairly cheaply. Just be sure to dedicate one only for dubbing blending - you don't want coffee oils & smells on your flies!!
Here is a short, direct video that's straight to the point showing you how simple it is to turn yarn into dubbing with a coffee grinder:
This dubbing works great on everything from nymphs to dry flies & everything in between. Just realize that it will absorb water a bit differently than fur dubbing. For nymphs & wets, this means that it might take a bit longer to absorb the water, making it longer for your fly to sink. For dry flies, it can hold onto water a little longer than fur, so it might take a little longer to dry. You should always test the yarn ahead of time to see how the color will be effected when the yarn gets wet.
Acrylic, wool, synthetic wool, or any other type of yarn you see at the store can be used these ways. So the next time you're in a big chain store that sells yarn, stand back & look at the wall of yarn & know that you can turn all of that into dubbing for your flies!!!
As I mentioned in my "State of The Rod Shop Address" at the end of last year, there were some ideas I wanted to explore with the different accessories I offer. I'm very happy to announce I've added another feature to the soft reel case we make right here in my shop. Now, you can get these cases with a loop & short strap for attaching them to any rod tube.
I think this is a great feature, as it will allow you to keep both your rod & reel together when in their respective cases. The strap on the back of the case is removable, making this a pretty versatile feature for attaching the case anywhere you want.
Also, the loop on the back of the reel case will allow you to carry it on a wading belt, or through any strap on your luggage, making this a very nice add-on feature for your case.
Furnace hackle - brown with a distinct black stripe in the middle - is, to me, much under used in flies. The black middle section, when turned around a hook, looks like a small body with brown legs protruding. The barbs of the feathers have a fine quality to them & the contrast of black center to fine, brown legs gives the fly an appearance of life just sitting in the vise. You can imagine how much more life these feathers will imitate when pulsating in the moving water. Often, the trout will agree, too.
I like to use furnace hackle on a 'general' soft hackle wet fly ("spiders" to the British) that I fish when I don't know which bug to imitate. Basically, it's just a body of spun dubbing, a rib of wire turned on in the opposite direction, no more than 3 (preferably 2) turns of furnace hackle. Simple. The only trick is to get the body not too thick - a nice, skinny body will do with just a few guard hairs sticking out randomly.
Here's an old trick for these wet flies: fish them during a hatch, when you'd normally be using a dry fly. This is especially good if you're not sure which bug the trout are taking. A good 'general' wet fly w/ a gold-ribbed hare's ear body & this furnace hackle can do wonders during a hatch of either caddis or mayflies. Sometimes the trout take these as emerging insects, other times I think they look like a crippled, or stillborn, bug. There are several ways to fish a soft hackle wet to a hatch........
You can grease everything - line, leader, fly - & float them up high (as high as a wet fly can be); or you can grease the line & leader & fish the fly just below the surface. This requires you drying the fly occasionally, like a dry fly w/ false casts, as it will become water logged & sink your line. You can also choose to grease the leader & the hackle only, so the body sits in, or just under, the surface film, imitating an emerging insect. There's a lot of ways to fish these flies.
One other trick: if you'll be fishing these flies up top, in or near the surface, tie them on a dry fly hook. (I can hear the intake of breath from the audience now). Seriously, if you know these flies will be used up higher than a wet fly is usually fished, then give yourself every advantage you can & use lighter, finer diameter dry fly hook.
Furnace is a great hackle, which I almost always prefer to regular brown hackle when a fly's recipe calls for brown. To me it just looks a bit more life-like & that is the entire point of our flies.
Now that March is here we can start to celebrate spring - even if it isn't here just yet. To that end, I've reduced the price of the available rods I have listed. Why not start this fishing season off with a brand new fly rod?
The first rod is a Custom Series Bamboo. This one is based on the famous Paul Young Midge rod, my take on it. A 6'-0", 3 piece / 2 tips, made for a 3 or 4 wt line, 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
The next rod is a fiberglass a 7'-6", 3 piece, 3 wt fly rod. It has a very smooth & progressive medium-slow action that can flex down to the butt section. It is light in the hand & very responsive with a sensitive tip. You can easily feel this rod load & unload during casting.
This rod features:
-Gorgeous cappuccino colored fiberglass rod shafts with a smooth moderate-slow action
-Uplocking, screw lock reel seat with aluminum metal for reduced weight & a Walnut wood spacer
-Reverse half Welles cork grip
-Nickle-Silver winding check (above the grip)
-Beautiful brown, real stone agate stripping guide in a Nickle-Silver bezel
-Chromed, stainless steel line guides, tip top, & hook keeper
-Light brown silk thread guide wraps with black tipping throughout
-Tan colored flannel rod bag with black embellishment stitches, custom made to the rod
-Brown canvas covered PVC rod tube with padded end, zippered closure, & leather name tag describing the rod inside made specifically to fit this rod
You'll also note that the color of the rod shafts, silk thread wraps, agate stone in the stripping guide - even the rod bag & tube all match & are color coordinated, making this a very handsome outfit.
To see more photos & to read more about both of these rods, please visit the Available Rods page of this site. These two fine rods would make a great addition to your collection, & now at these reduced prices, are a fantastic buy.
In addition to the rods, all fishing bags are now on sale!! Both the large & small traditional fishing bags are listed at a discount for the beginning of the spring season.
These fishing bags are a great alternative to wearing a heavy, bulky fishing vest. Made in the USA in my shop, these are quality bags made to last for a lifetime of heavy fishing use. Every bag is made from top quality duck-canvas material for strength & reduced weight. A traditional look, quality materials, & construction make these fishing bags a pleasure to use.
Each bag features all of the following:
- Wide, adjustable shoulder strap making them very comfortable to use all day long.
- 2 D-rings on each side for hanging accessories like nippers, landing nets, etc.
- 2 lamb's wool drying patches for your flies.
- Inside center loop perfect for hanging your hemostats or other hook removers.
- 2 large front pockets with velcro closure big enough to hold your fly boxes, fly wallets, or most anything else.
- 4 smaller side pockets with velcro closure made to fit tippet spools, flotant tubes, split-shot containers, & any smaller accessories.
- 6 small grometted ventilation holes on the bottom to allow water & moisture out & air to circulate inside the bag.
- Full cover top flap with snap closure.
- Fully lined inside with a stain & water-resistant lining, making these bags very easy to clean inside.
For more information & to see even more photos of these fishing bags, please see the Accessories page.
If you have any questions, or if I can help you to gear up for the new fishing season ahead, please feel free to contact me. I'm sure you're anticipating the warmer weather & coming hatches just like me!!
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.
These rods are available right now. please Go to the "Available rods" page for more details: