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  1. Lewis Chessman

    A Custom-Built Bloke XL50, 11 ft #6/7 4 pc. Switch.

    Time to show a rod that's rather special to me. :) This one started off as an exchange build, that is, a friend asked me to build a rod in exchange for two of his Vision Tanks, a reel I've always liked the look of. He'd buy the bits, I'd build the rod was the deal. But then he discovered...
  2. Lewis Chessman

    Help Requested Re: Obituary in T&S, circa April 2015.

    Dear Friends, I'm making this request for your assistance in locating an obituary written by a friend of mine, Ian, for his late fishing partner Jack Ferguson who died in early 2015. Ian no longer has a copy of the issue of Trout and Salmon in which the tribute was published. Indeed, he can't...
  3. Lewis Chessman

    A Static Curve Test for Spacing Guides.

    I'm sure there are many ways to perform this task but here, in the hope it helps others, is how I'm currently doing it using bits and bobs from around the house. Here I'm using a Bloke XL50 #6/7 4 pc. Switch blank. To begin, I put a few wraps of masking tape around the female ferrules and...
  4. Lewis Chessman

    New Bloke Rod Range - XL2

    I've just scrolled through eBayUK's 'Fly Rod' listings to find 3 pages of new/re-listed blanks and hardware from Mick Bell's 'Bloke' shop - 3 continuous pages! 🤪 One item in particular caught my eye - a new range called XL2 in a 9ft #3 4 pc. configuration. Interestingly, Mick is selling these...
  5. Lewis Chessman

    ABU Cardinal 664Gt Drag Setting Question

    Hi, folks. I've been given an Abu Cardinal 664GT open-face bait casting reel and I'm struggling to understand how the main drag works (and can't find a manual on line). I understand the anti-reverse slider, the 'free spool' slider and the 'Strike Set' knob but the main drag at the rear has two...
  6. Lewis Chessman

    Bargain, New T&T 'TNT' 9 ft #9s on eBay Now.

    Hi, Folks, I thought I'd give a headzup on a seller on eBayUK selling several brand new T&T 'TNT' 9 ft #9s with warranty at £98 incl. p&p. These rods were new in 2012 when they cost £800. They were made during a transitional period in T&T's history when ownership was changing hands and weren't...
  7. Lewis Chessman

    How Do You Revitalise Old Wooden Reel Seat Inserts?

    Hi, Folks. As per the title, really. I have several old fly rods with rather dulled wooden inserts and I'm wondering how to bring the shine and lustre back to restore their beauty. I've asked my old friend Mr. Sheen to assist but he's really not cutting the mustard despite several visits. So...
  8. Lewis Chessman

    F.A.O. Folk Buying a Bloke XL50

    Hi, all. Earlier this month I ordered an 11 ft #6 Switch from Mick Bell/Bloke Rods via eBay. This will be built as a birthday present and the recipient requested a matt black blank - just what the eBay advert shows. Mick posted it off pretty pronto but when I opened the tube I found this: Not...
  9. Lewis Chessman

    Getting a Young 'Un Hooked!

    A couple of Christmases ago I'd rebuilt an old, rather floppy rod just for the practice, then put the name of a neighbour's 10 y-o kid on it and gave it to the grandparents to give 'from Santa'. He was over the moon when I saw him next. "James! James! Guess what I got for Christmas!" "Oh, I...
  10. Lewis Chessman

    Eclipse 'Loch Maree Special' 11 ft 3", #7-9, 4pc. Any Info?

    Hi. I'm trying to find any information about a friend's rod, an Eclipse 'Loch Maree Special', 11 ft 3", #7-9. It's sanded, unvarnished slate-black carbon, four piece, tip over butt ferrule with quite a long fighting butt finishing in a brown rubberised cork pommel, described as 'soft in the...
  11. Lewis Chessman

    A Decent Rod Building Epoxy from bcrods.

    Hi. I purchased a 2 x 20ml batch of 'Rod Building Components' epoxy from bcrods on eBay last November for £13 incl. p&p. I found it rather like Sensei but perhaps with longer pot-life, easier to re-thin with heat and that it re-thinned more times. I have been using pipettes to measure out 2 x...
  12. Lewis Chessman

    Tac FireNeedle 10' 6" #6/7 Switch

    This is in fact a FireNeedle 10' 6" #6/7 Single Hander which I've built as a Switch rod, a little sister to the 11 ft #6/7 I made last month. I bought it accidentally, clicking the wrong model on the list when doing a big shop with Tackle24.de! It was the 11 footer I meant to buy, so Tackle24...
  13. Lewis Chessman

    A Twist-Lock, Adjustable Fighting Butt - Does It Exist?

    I've been considering whether an adjustable fighting butt would be a good option for an 11 ft Switch rod? I'm envisaging say three inches of lower cork grip glued to shaft with a twist-lock mechanism. This slides in and out of an outer sleeve which would be set into the blank butt, allowing it...
  14. Lewis Chessman

    VR Reels - Trutta Perfetta Aluminium 3 for a #4/5.

    A couple of years ago I began corresponding with Vlad Rachenko from VR Reels and then tested and reviewed a lovely hubless prototype of his on the forum (here). Following that, I offered to assist Vlad with the English on his manuals and the new VR Design website and recently suggested he...
  15. Lewis Chessman

    A TAC 11' #6/7 'Switch' built as a Loch Rod.

    This week's rod is a 4 piece Tac 'Switch' from Tackle24 in Germany, costing E49 and weighing in at 80g/2.8 oz. All pieces arrived straight and true and with an even, matt-green finish. First impressions were that this is a softer Switch blank than the Tac FireNeedle 11' #6/7 I made recently...
  16. Lewis Chessman

    A Red Truck Diesel 11 ft #7 4 pc. Switch

    Hi. This is a Red Truck Diesel 11 ft #7 Switch I've built from a part-kit purchased from RFT-Gear, Sweden. The kit comprised of blank, grips, reel seat, metal tube (no logo) and cloth rod bag and cost E157 + p&p, reduced from E207. I opted for a matt black triangular aluminium seat with two...
  17. Lewis Chessman

    Tac FireNeedle 11 ft #6/7 Switch Build.

    Having reamed the grips I began this build in earnest today. The first job was to spline the sections then space the guides with a static test. The only section which really 'jumped' was the top, with one point being more dominant. There was a bit of jump in the 3rd, but six of one as to which...
  18. Lewis Chessman

    T&T 12' Guide Repair

    Roll up! Roll up! I was hoping to call this thread 'Find the Lady' and ask you to spot the replacement - but it's so new and shiny it's obvious. Here are the three guides on one section of a T&T 12' d-h belonging to a guest I worked with this season. He noticed that his line was wrapped around...
  19. Lewis Chessman

    Idea for a Cheap, Homemade Rod Rack.

    I've had an idea which I thought I'd run past the Membership. For many years I've simply turfed out the cardboard and metal containers you get with malt whisky and some other alcoholic beverages. The waste has always slightly irked me - as well as whatever the added cost to the consumer is...
  20. Lewis Chessman

    A Sage 6113-B RPL Rebuild.

    This is a recent eBay acquisition I've decided to strip back and rebuild, an 11' 3" Sage Graphite III 6113-B RPL. It's a home-built 'brownie' from 1985 (at the earliest) and was pretty tired after many years of service to the previous owner - judging by the wear and tear, anyway. The guides were...
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