Have a safe & happy Halloween everybody!
Well, fall is just flying by. I hope you're all enjoying the season & maybe taking the time to wet a line a few more times before the heavy snow starts falling.
It's been a very busy & exciting time in my shop this autumn, with rod orders & projects going on. Just the other day I sent out a Custom Series graphite rod order. This one's a beauty, if I do say so myself. It's made to the clients specifications on a Thomas & Thomas Horizon II rod blank. Here they wanted yellow silk thread wraps against the dark blue blank & a yellow agate stone stripping guide.
I'm always learning new things from my rod clients when it comes to rod aesthetics & what looks good. You folks have great vision in how you want your rod to look. I'm honored to help you realize your vision. This rod sure came out nicely!!!
I continue to be very busy in the rod shop. I'll be adding new rods to the "Available" page & have more news & exciting things to offer, so check back often. In the mean time, feel free to contact me to let me know how I can be of help to you. Stay warm & enjoy the nice fall weather!!
One of the reasons I love what I do is because of the people I meet. I'm so fortunate to come into contact with so many nice people out there, from all over the world & across the angling community. There are so many talented & kind folks involved in fly fishing that it makes this sport a truly great community to be a part of.
One such person is my friend, Joaquin, from Spain. He's a very nice guy & a talented rod maker, too. But he also makes these awesome bodkins with bone handles & inlays in them. They are truly a work of art. Earlier this year Joaquin was kind enough to give me a couple of these that he made. I must say, these are, by far, the nicest bodkins I've ever seen. There so gorgeous that I just had to show them to you here. Just look at the detail in his workmanship.
Those jungle cock feather inlays are beautiful & look great on the bone handles.
A really neat thing is the hook inside the end of the handle below. That's a very nice touch indeed!!
I'm always blown away by all the talented people out there. So many of you folks I come in contact with are creative & skilled.
The fly fishing community is filled with generous & talented individuals for sure. Thank you Joaquin!!
There's a nasty rumor floating around out there that there's a world-wide shortage of cork. This doesn't seem to be the case at all. In fact, cork seems to be readily available right now.
For those of you who don't know, cork is a natural product that grows like bark on trees. This cork is farmed & harvested in places of the world like Spain & Portugal. It is then processed for various uses in many different industries. The cork that we use in the rod business is usually cut into round rings of certain sizes & cleaned during processing.
So there doesn't seem to be a danger of us running out of cork anytime soon. However, I have noticed that the very highest grade cork is harder to find these days. I'm talking about the cork that has absolutely no flaws in it at all - no holes or cracks of any kind.
A while back it became the trend to have totally flawless cork on some high-end rods. I never went along with this trend because, to me, grips made form perfect cork never looked right. Cork is a natural product & so it should have a few lines & small voids here & there. This is what you see on every classic rod, too. Grips made from perfectly flawless cork always looked fake to me. I mean, after all, if you wanted a grip that didn't show some of the natural beauty of the cork, you could make the grip from some synthetic material that would work just as well. But that takes some of the natural "mystique" away from the rod if you ask me.
Now, I'm not advocating that you should accept a cork grip that has giant craters in it or is so rough that chunks fall off as you fish with it. No, that would be bad. I do think though, that cork that has some natural striations in it that shows you have a natural product on your fly rod. It shows that parts (or all) of your fly rod was made by human hands & not some machine. Like the grain of the wood in a reel seat spacer, the minor, natural imperfections in a cork grip can show the natural beauty in the material.
A while back one day I was kicking around on the internet when I came across a fly fishing forum discussing the price of fly rods. Many of the folks commenting there were wondering why some companies charge such high prices for their rods. A debate was occurring between those who felt there was no way to justify the high prices & those who were perfectly happy with their less expensive fly rods. While I didn't participate in the discussion, I'd thought I'd share a few thoughts with you here.
Now you're probably guessing that I'm going to defend the high cost of "high-end" fly rods, & to a degree, you're right. Without going into the details, let me just say that quality rod components cost a lot more than quickly & cheaply made ones. The degree of attention to detail in a rod is labor intensive & will also drive up the price. That said, many rod companies try to strike a balance between cost & quality.
Being a custom rod maker, I'm in a unique position where I can focus more on quality than cost - within my client's budget. I'm able to look at many different components that are available & make judgments of them as to what is the best within any price range. This gives us rod makers more freedom when designing a rod with our clients. Essentially, we have more options because unlike a large rod company, we're not locked into buying a million line guides, for example, of a particular style. We are much more nimble than the big companies. Often times we can do this for the same price (or only slightly more) than the large tackle manufacturers. The only trade off on the clients part is that you have to wait a bit longer for your rod to be made - no instant gratification.
I could complain about the low cost, foreign made rods that are flooding the market today & argue about the low wage workers who make them, but that wouldn't change a thing. Those rods aren't going away & why should they? There are many anglers out there who are on such a tight budget that it is one of the few options they have available. That's why I introduced the Prudential Series line of graphite & bamboo rods, to give those anglers some options & still have a custom rod made for them. I'm very proud of those rods & would hold them up to rods that cost twice as much. Those large tackle companies are not able to offer what a rod maker like me can: the highest level of customer service (where we interact as much as you like) & a level of quality second to none.
Some of the folks on that forum were trying to justify the cost of a fly rod based on how much & how often you fish with it. I don't think that should ever come into play when choosing a rod. To me it's not about the amount of time you spend on the water, it's about the quality of that time. A great rod is going to make that time much more enjoyable. I'm not saying that a custom made rod will take you from an average caster to a world champion - but having a great piece of equipment will certainly make the fishing more enjoyable (& yes, help your casting a little, too). It is certainly sound advice to buy the best tackle that your budget will allow. In the end it comes down to quality - both in time spent fishing & in your fly rod. It should always be about the quality.
For those of you thinking of wetting a line this autumn in Pennsylvania, the PA Fish & Boat Commission's fall trout stocking program is well under way across the state. Typically, the more famous streams & those with special regulations are the ones that receive fish in the fall. This provides a great opportunity for anglers to get some nice action in this season.
You can look up specific stocking locations & times on the Commission's website, HERE.
You can learn all about fishing in the Keystone state, including licenses & other info on their website HERE.
So get out there & enjoy some great trout fishing this fall & good luck!!
A while back I had a special order for some fishing bags that got changed after a couple of the bags were already started. No Problem, except this order specified that the bags not have any inside lining in them. Well, now I've got a couple of brown fishing bags, one large & one small, that are identical in every way to the bags I normally offer, except they don't have any inner lining. Not a big deal if you don't plan on putting anything wet &/or dirty in them.
To be honest & fair, I can't sell these bags at the same price as the regular bags so I'm offering them at a discount. If the inner lining isn't a big selling feature for you, this is a good chance for you to get a fishing back much cheaper than normal.
Everyone who's tried these bags has been really impressed & satisfied with them. I'm really proud to be offering them & I use one myself when I'm fishing. They will hold up to any abuse you want to give them & are rugged. If you like the ease of using a fishing bag rather than wearing a vest, or just enjoy the traditional looks of these bags, you really should consider them. I have no problem putting these bags up against any other more expensive bags on the market - you know, the ones with the "expensive" names. Yeah, these are better made.
For more info about these special bags on sale without the inner lining, please go to the "Available Accessories" page.
For more info about the fishing bags in general & a host of other neat fly fishing items, please visit the "Accessories" page & feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
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.
Cases, bags, wallets, & other fine leather angling accessories.
DISCOUNTED REEL CASES