This past year was a very busy one in the rod shop. Once again I was honored to make some fly rods for some very nice people. Fiberglass rods seemed to be a little more popular this year. I think that's because glass is still making a comeback. Also, glass blanks are being produced in a lot of different colors than before. In the future, I look to see even more blank manufacturers making glass blanks in vivid & bold colors. It's always good to see more variety.
I think the biggest thing for the past year was how many folks requested the accessories I offer. More & more anglers are taking notice of what we do in making up the bags, wallets, & cases that are made in my shop. To me that's extremely rewarding because a lot - & I mean a lot - of time, testing, thought, & work went into the design of each & every accessory. I hope to see even more of this in the coming year, especially as folks see how we can customize accessories &/or make things from scratch, helping you to see your ideas come to life. There are more accessories in the design stage now & so please keep an eye open for some new stuff next year.
It's always been a challenge for me to have enough demo rods on hand. My time is mostly spent filling custom rod orders & so there's too little time to make "extra" rods. I hope to change a few things around this next year in the rod shop - how work flows through it, etc - that will get me a little extra time to make a few more demo rods that I can also offer as available for immediate delivery for those that would want to purchase one.
Sadly, I had to say goodbye this year to a fellow angler that always had a way of lifting my spirits every time we talked. I haven't known many who were more passionate about the outdoors - or bamboo fly rods. I owe him more than he ever knew. You will be missed, Paul.
Looking ahead to 2015 I can't wait to get started!! I'm looking forward to all the new people I'll meet & the rods I'll make. I'm the luckiest guy on Earth - I get to do what I love everyday. As Paul would say, it's a labor of love.
The reason I get to do this is because of all of you. Without you folks none of what I do would be possible. Each time you employ a custom rod maker, you're keeping the craft of rod making alive. Large tackle manufacturers may develop newer & better materials, but they don't have the time or ability to use those materials in such a way as to make a unique rod designed specifically for you & how you fish. Only independent rod makers can do that. By employing those rods makers, like me, you're helping to keep the best of quality rods being made. I hope to continue to live up to that for you.
I can't thank you folks enough. All of you that I had the pleasure to work with & those of you who contacted me with questions, etc - you make it a joy to do what I do. Let's keep it going!! I wish you all a happy new year - may it be your best one yet!!! Thank you all so very much.