Make plans to attend next year's Maryland Fly Fishing Show. It promises to be a really great event loaded with a lot of vendors from every aspect of fly fishing, rod makers, collectibles dealers, fly shops, & more. Guest speakers at the show will include nationally recognized fly fishing writers speaking on a variety of fly fishing & fly tying topics, & even fellow rod maker Per Brandin. It will no doubt be a very fun & educational time!
Be sure to save these dates & get ready to have a blast at the show!!
I can remember when I first felt an Airflo fly line. Boy, have they come a long way since then! While I'm an old-school type of angler, I appreciate & respect the thought & attention to detail that Airflo puts into their fly lines. Their use of modern technologies is very cool because, in my opinion, they integrate modern methods not because they can (like some other line companies do) but because it allows them to make the type of fly line they want.
I don't endorse any brand or type of fly line. For Bamboo & glass fly rods I typically recommend other brands of line to folks who ask me, but for graphite fly rods I say you can't go wrong casting an Airflo fly line.
Below is a short video about the company - a little of their history, accomplishments, & a very interesting look into their factory.
I don't think there's any aspect or item associated with the sport of fly fishing that someone doesn't have a collection of. Leather fly reel cases, in the traditional style, are no exception. Sometimes folks have an old reel & they want a case that would have come with the reel originally, when it was new, to make a nice outfit. Having a matching case will increase the value of your vintage, collectible fly reel.
However, some folks have modern made reels that they cherish & want to protect better than a soft-sided case can. Maybe they have a modern reel that's made with classic aesthetics & they want a vintage-style leather case to house it in? A perfect fit for those folks would be the clamshell or D-block reel cases I make & offer on the Leather Accessories page. Considering what some of the vintage leather cases can sell for, my cases can be a very affordable & appropriately styled alternative.
The video below discusses these vintage cases, what's collectible, & the prices that they can fetch. If you've got one or more gathering dust on the shelf, or if you enjoy collecting these cases, you might find this information very interesting. You'll also note that it's mentioned in the video that while Hardy, Farlow's, & other reel makers were often assumed to have also made the cases for their reels, they did not. The vast majority of the English made vintage reel cases were made by Wheatley - the same folks who were famous for making those luxurious metal fly boxes!
A lot of time & work go into making the clamshell & D-block reel cases that I offer on the Leather Accessories page. I'd like to talk a bit about some construction details of these cases. Hopefully this info will help you to better judge the quality of fly reel cases & leather cases overall.
Whenever you make a case, box, briefcase, piece of luggage, etc that's made from leather & requires stitching, we use a particular type of stitch called (you guessed it) a "box" stitch. Whenever two pieces of leather meet to form a corner in a case, there are a couple of ways to do this.
The first way to join two pieces of leather in a case together is called a butted joint. This is where the leather of one piece simply butts up against another. Almost every reel case you'll ever see uses this method:
This butted joint will leave one of the two pieces with it's end grain showing, as you can see from the photo above. The advantage of this type of construction is that it's much faster to make cases this way. In fact, they can be sewn & mass-produced on a machine when the leather is joined butt to butt.
This is NOT the way my reel cases are made.
The way I join the leather pieces together in my reel cases is to use a miter joint. The leather is cut down on the edges to a 45 degree bevel by hand with a specially shaped knife that is kept very sharp. When the two pieces of leather are stitched together there is no raw edge, end grain, or seam showing.
It takes a lot more time & skill to make cases this way & once mitered, they can only be hand-stitched. Just one glance will show you how much neater & cleaner the edges & corners are in a case made with mitered edges. Compare: the photo below shows a mass-produced reel case that was machine sewn & made with butted joints or seams.
Take a closer look at those seams to examine the butted joint:
Now compare that to the seams & edges on my cases, which are made with mitered joints & stitched by hand:
To the best of my knowledge, besides myself there is only one other reel case maker who uses this method of construction (mitered joints), & he is generally considered the best in the industry. There's a reason why, out of every craftsman & company making reel cases, there's only two of us making them this way.
Maybe in the grand scheme of things these are just details - one seam versus another - but when you're looking for the best made case you can get for your fly reels, those details add up. I want these cases I make to be among the best you can get. A quality case will protect your fly reel, in style, for a lifetime.
For even more detailed photos from inside the rod shop, photos of rods, trout streams, fishing accessories & everything else fly fishing related that I get into, check out my feed on Instagram. The idea here is that I'll be able to show just little bits & pieces of rods & related items without all the detail & depth that we go into here.
I'll admit that I'm not a tech-savvy guy. Hey, I still use a rotary telephone (kids, ask an older person what that means) but I'm trying to catch up!!
Please feel free to follow me there & let me know what you think. I'd love to hear from you.
Hope you're all having a great season on the water so far!!
I'm so pleased to now offer an affordable custom fiberglass fly rod. These rods are for those of you looking to get into fiberglass fly rods to see what all the fuss is about, or if you just want a custom made glass rod without the investment.
Here's how it works: You choose your rod blank & components. Then, once you & I have all the details settled about your rod I ask for a down payment of half the total to begin. The wait time for me to make your Prudential Glass rod is only 2 to 3 months, maximum (depending on if you have any special requests) maybe less. That's only two payments of $162.50, one to start, the other only after the rod is completed!!
You choose your rod blank from the different sizes & colors available. These include:
1.) 6'-0", 2/3 wt, smoke grey color w/ tip over butt ferrules.
2.) 7'-0", 3 wt, clear glass color, spigot ferrules.
3.) 7'-6", 4 wt, yellow or light green color, spigot ferrules.
4.) 8'-0" 5/6 wt, grey smoke color, spigot ferrules.
5.) 8'-0", 7 wt, brown / orange color, spigot ferrules, faster action.
6.) 8'-6", 5 wt, light grey color, spigot ferrules.
Here are some of the rod colors available:
You can also choose your grip shape from the Fenwick style, Reverse Half-Welles, or Full Welles shapes:
You have your choice of reel seats as well. You choose either up locking, or down locking; chrome, black, or antique gold color metal. Choose your spacer between maple, cork, walnut, or burl.
Like any custom fly rod, you have your choice of line guides, tip top, & hook keeper in either chrome or black finish. Those guides are wrapped in fine silk thread & coated with real varnish for smooth wraps - just like a bamboo rod. You can choose the color of thread wraps you want.
There's also a personal inscription of whatever you choose written above the grip on the butt section. One side of the rod will have my name, length, line wt, etc & the other side will have whatever you wish.
If that wasn't enough, for the price each rod comes in a custom fit canvas covered PVC rod tube & also a soft cotton flannel rod bag. Each are made specifically to your rod for a custom fit.
I am very excited to offer these rods. They are an opportunity for you to see just how fun it can be to have a custom rod made for yourself, but without a huge investment of money & time on your part. I ask for a down payment of half the total to begin the rod ($162.50). Once I know what you want & have received your first payment, I'll begin work on your rod. You'll receive hard copy receipts for your payments & I'll keep you updated, with photos, as your rod progresses. Most rods will only take 2 to 3 months to complete at most, unless you have a unique request for your rod. Once the rod is completed & your second payment made, I'll ship the rod out & provide you with a tracking number so you can follow it in transit. Payments can be made by check, money order, or via Paypal.
To read more about these rods & to see detailed photos of all your options, please visit the Fiberglass Fly Rod page of this site. If you have any questions about anything, please feel free to contact me anytime & I'll be more than happy to help. It really can be this fun & affordable to own a custom fiberglass fly rod!
Work continues in the making of a film about the famous angler & writer Joe Brooks. In the video below we see the impact he had on fly fishing in Argentina & Patagonia. These locations are now destinations for fly anglers, but 60 + years ago when Joe first went there, they were unknown to all but the locals. Joe fished there, wrote about it, & as a result helped to create a whole new haven for anglers & economy for the locals.
If you're unfamiliar with who Joe Brooks was you need to do yourself a favor & pick up any of the books he wrote. In the last half of the twentieth century Joe was a legend among fly anglers. He changed the way many folks fish. The techniques that many of us use today were his. If you've not read any of his works, you seriously owe it to yourself to check out his writings. I promise you it will make you a better fly angler.
Enjoy this short film about how Joe Brooks put fly fishing in Patagonia on the map & learn a little about what an incredible angler he was.
I've just added another case to my list of accessories - a leather clam shell-style fly reel case!
These cases are made from heavy 9 oz vegetable tanned leather in a traditional chestnut color. The leather has been treated for a smooth, flawless appearance & feel. Each case features a Sherpa lining inside to both wick moisture away & protect your fly reel.
A brass stud closure makes it easy to open & close the case. These cases are constructed with mitered corners of the leather for seamless edges & stitched in a traditional box stitch to last for a lifetime of use.
These cases will hold any reel up to 3 1/2" high x 2 3/4" wide (from back plate to top of handle), accommodating both regular & wide spool fly reels.
*more sizes coming soon!
For more information & to see more photos, please visit the Accessories page.
If you have any questions about these cases, please contact me.
Over the many years of making leather fly wallets, I've often considered different ways of improving them. Now I have. These improvements take these wallets to a whole new level of quality & elegance. These new fly wallets have the same basic design & size of the ones I used to make. However the quality of the materials they're made from is now much better than in the past.
The leather of these wallets is a natural vegetable tanned leather in a rich mahogany color. It has a very rich grain marks throughout. It's been waxed & buffed so it's smooth to the touch - a pleasure to hold in hand. As it's tanned with all natural vegetable materials, it has that rich leather smell, too. It's a pleasure for all the senses.
But the higher grade leather isn't the only improvement I made. Now, the inside of every wallet is lined entirely with a soft black suede leather. This gives the inside of the wallet a distinct look & helps to protect items you keep inside. These new wallets are a pleasure to the touch both inside & out.
Still not satisfied with just these better features, perhaps the biggest improvement I've made to these wallets are the pages. They are now made from 100% wool felt in a natural oatmeal white color. Thick & durable, each page features a scalloped, or pinking, cut edge to facilitate easier turning of the pages & to keep the edges from fraying over time. Hooks with, or without, a barb will store well in the wool felt.
Every detail has been attended to in these new fly wallets. The stitching is done in a heavy duty black thread that ensures these wallets are made to last for a lifetime of use. Every edge of these wallets are dyed black & polished for beautiful finished edges.
These new leather fly wallets are among the best you'll find. It would be a treasured possession of any angler to add to their tackle collection & they make fantastic gifts for any special occasion.
For more information & to see more detailed photos, please visit the Accessories page of this site. You should also feel free to contact me with any questions you might have.
REMAINING STOCK OF OLD STYLE FLY WALLETS ON SALE:
I used to make these wallets from a variety of different lesser grade leathers & with a fleece-like material for the pages that would not hold barbed hooks. They also had no inside lining of suede as the above wallets do, so raw leather showed on the inside. They are the same size & basic design as those described above, just without these marked improvements of the new wallets. In order to eliminate my old stock, I'm reducing the price of these older style fly wallets.
To see the current list of available old style wallets, please visit the Leather Fly Wallets page of this site.
For you fly tiers who own or have used a Regal vise, you know that they are a fine piece of equipment. They're very well made & easy to use. As you can imagine, a lot of labor goes into making them at the Regal factory. In the short videos below, we see just how they're made & the work involved. It's a fascinating look into how these tools come to life.
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: