Friday, March 11, 2011


This past Feb. while I was working the Trout Unlimited booth at the Pasadena Fly-fishing show (2010), I had a chance to meet and chat with the wonderful ladies from Casting for Recovery. I knew of their mission previously and took the opportunity to learn more. I was so impressed with their work that I offered my help with their fund raising. They have contacted me and asked if I would be willing to donate one of my custom rods for their Spring 2011 on-line auction. I was honored and of course, accepted their request. 
I want to make a rod that will generate lots of interest and raise as much money as possible. For the blank, I chose a Five Rivers Signature V nine foot, four piece, 4 weight. This is the 4 weight rod I fish and I don’t think any other 4 wts. compare to it. 
Once the blank was selected, I had to think about components. As with all my rods, performance is the primary concern. For a tip–top I decided on a Fuji CFAT size 6. The ceramic insert gives better line flow and saves almost 0.2 grams compared to a standard chrome tip-top. A size 12“N” style stripping guide with silicon carbide insert followed by a #3, #2 light, #1 light, and six #1/0 light chrome snakes make up the guide set.  The selection of these components saved about a gram and a half of weight compared to std. wt. guides and std. loop tip-top thus maximizing performance in sensitivity and ability to deliver tighter loops and greater line speed. 
After selecting these components to make this a fantastic performing rod, my task is to make this rod into a ‘one of a kind’, thing of beauty. I remembered a piece of afzelia burl with some spalted sap wood and gorgeous eyes that I had set aside to use as a featured wood in a very “special” grip. What could be more special than a rod for Casting for Recovery?   This afzelia sap wood was combined with amboyna burl, buffalo horn and ivory to make the grip and reel seat.

 The grip was glued on the blank and after several days of consideration, I have selected thread colors of medium brown and metallic gold for the wraps

More to come as the build of this beautiful rod continues.

I had all the components assembled Fri. so decided to build the rod this weekend. Fri. night the guide placement was determined and marked on the rod and the spine was found for each section. I took the time to do the guide foot prep and glue on the tip-top. Got up Sat morn. Had my coffee, read the news and was ready to wrap. I decided on a 2 wrap gold inlay in the center of each guide foot wrap 

The ferrule wrap and butt wrap design would have a 4 wrap spiral (because this is a 4 wt rod) located between two 3 thread bands of gold thread.

Watched some great basketball and got all the thread work done by late afternoon. Then it was time to think about the feather inlay.
I have to think about the design for a while. 
About 9:00 pm wandered back into my office looked at my thread work, did a little more burnishing, and had to plan the feather inlay. Got the feathers out to study again. A pattern began to develop which involved feathers from the Amherst pheasant, Peacock pheasant, and of course the Jungle Cock.

The feathers selected were Peacock Pheasant eye, Jungle cock flank feather, Amherst Pheasant neck hackle feather and rump feather and 4(because it’s a 4 wt) jungle cock eyes. It was now about 11:00 pm and decided to go to bed because the next step would take about 4 hours.  
 Got up Sun morn, had my coffee, read the news, checked my e-mail, watched Meet the Press, and started the inlay.

First the Jungle cock flank feather was applied to the blank and allowed dry.

Then the Amherst neck hackle feather was applied and allowed to dry.
Then the Amherst rump feather was applied and allowed to dry.
 Then the Peacock Pheasant eye was applied and allowed to dry.

The first set of jungle cock eyes were applied and allowed to dry

And finally the last set of jungle cock eyes were added.
I completed the inlay and got to watch Duke and Ohio St. win their conference tournaments and the NCCA tournament brackets announced. Now all have to add are couple coats of CP to the entire inlay allow it to dry over night, apply thread finish and attach the reel seat. 
2 coats of flex coat lite were applied to the guide and ferrule wraps.

And to the feather inlay.

 The reel seat was then glued on.  
All my rods have quite a bit of "MOJO" built into them but again I wanted to add a little extra to this rod so before the butt cap was glued on a mini pink ribbon was inserted into the base of the rod.

Attach the butt cap and the rod is ready to fish.

Here it is, the finished rod with rod sock and rod tube. You could be the owner of this high performance one of a kind, beautiful fly rod and at the same time help with the the fantastic work being done by Casting for Recovery. Please bid generously during the Spring 2011 on line AUCTION held May 2 thru May 13. 
For more pictures of the finished rod go to my web site, by clicking on the banner at the top of the page, then go to Gallery 6
To see how the grip was constructed, click on making the grip.
Posted by Harper Fly Rods - Dennis at 3/11/2011 2:01 PM |