Friday, October 21, 2011


After last spring's successful Casting for Recovery auction for one of my fly rods, I was asked to consider donating another rod. Of course, the answer was yes.  How can you say no to such a worthy cause.
The process started last summer when I was sorting some of the special feature woods I use in my grips. I wanted this rod to be as nice or better than the one I made for the spring auction, so the wood for the grip had to be very, very special. I sorted some of my best burls and found I had quite a choice. Some of the burl pieces are are shown below. 

I choose a piece of Amboyna burl (the most beautiful and expensive burl wood in the world) which was 1/2 sapwood and 1/2 heartwood with the interface running length-wise on the grip. This piece was not only bi-colored but had very small, dense eyes in both the sap and heart wood. 

I did not have any pink wood but I did have some purple heart which I chose as the accessory wood knowing it would go well with CFR theme. I also selected horn and Ivory to go with this beautiful wood. The pieces were cut to appropriate size and prepared for assembly.

The center of the mid piece was bored to 3/4" and cork lined to reduce the weight of the wood. The fore piece of the grip was bored to 5/8" half way through and lined with cork. The butt section would later be hollowed to receive the recessed reel seat. The pieces were center drilled and assembled. 

The grip was shaped on the lathe to a 6 3/4" western style (reverse half wells) and reel seat insert to fit, nickel silver reel seat hardware.

The four views, below, show the beauty of the Amboyna burl used in this grip and reel seat. 

  Now, how am I going to decide which view goes on the top part of the rod???

To me it is the eyes which make Amboyna burl so special as well as the swirls and twirls seen in the wood. So it boiled down to sap wood or heart wood. As I turned the piece on the lathe I noticed a small drying check in the sap wood, it was stabilized but was still visible (see 3rd photo of the 4 above) so the heart wood became the top(see top photo of the 4 above).

Now to chose a blank for this rod. I decided on a Five Rivers Signature V 9'6" five weight. This is a medium fast action rod, very light and sensitive, for those delicate small fly presentations yet can develop high line speeds to punch through those afternoon winds. The extra 6" makes for easier mending to get those longer drag free drifts. Its medium fast action make for easy relaxed all day casting.

The components to complete the rod were a fuji ceramic tip top (1/2 the weight of a standard chrome tip top) followed by six #1 fine wire snake guides then two # 2 fine wire snakes, one #3 and one #4 standard snake guides and a Fuji # 12 ceramic insert stripping guide. All in chrome finish. These components maximize the rods performance.

Gudebrod maroon and metallic silver were the threads chosen for the wraps. A silver two thread band is centered on each guide foot.

 The ferrule and but wraps include a silver five wrap spiral (because it's a 5wt.) sandwiched between two 3 thread silver bands.

 A multilayered layered feather inlay featuring an amherst pheasant collar feather and red rump feather, a peacock pheasant eye feather and 5 (because it's a 5 wt.) jungle cock eyes, was placed just above the grip. (Fore more detail see post: Casting For Recovery Rod  Mar.  2011)

Just finishing he feather inlay with the top 2 sections on the dryer.

All my rods have a lot of "MOJO" built into them but for a little extra, a pink ribbon was added to the reel seat before the butt cap was attached.

Here it is finished and ready to fish.

Click HERE for auction site
Posted by Harper Fly Rods - Dennis at 10/21/2011 8:11 PM