Harrison's definitely make and sell fly rod blanks. They have a 'Classic' range of medium, medium fast two piece, a medium fast 4 piece range and the faster 'Lohric' model. They'll varnish your blank to a specific colour on request, too.Harrison rods are UK rolled and built but they only seem to make course fishing rods.
Great insight and advice..Harrison's definitely make and sell fly rod blanks. They have a 'Classic' range of medium, medium fast two piece, a medium fast 4 piece range and the faster 'Lohric' model. They'll varnish your blank to a specific colour on request, too.
I've owned/built a few Harrison Classic and 4-pc in trout sizes and they're perfectly nice but, to my personal taste, not special. I'm a fan of medium fast rods but find these a shade too soft. That might well suit you, though?
The only Lohric I've cast was a double hander. Nice enough and beloved by its owner. That was a Chaz Burns build, iIrc.
Bloke's older carbon model is the XL50. It was held in high regard when it first came on the market 15 years+ ago - and it's still a good rod today. Probably just a wee bit heavier and 'thicker' than contemporary equivalents. A bit faster than the 'Classic' and more accurate in my hands.
Depending on how strong you are, weight may be a deciding factor with a 10 ft #5/6 if you fish several times a week. In that respect, you might want to consider a more modern blank which will likely be thinner, lighter and probably faster. Taniwha sell a well-priced range of good blanks - if imported.
As others have said, building a totally British fly rod just isn't feasible - e.g. British-grown cork is rather rare! You can buy imported guides, threads and reel seats from UK retailers but I think that kinda defeats your original intentions. If you know some talented friends you could get a reel seat and guides made in this country. You could buy Portuguese cork shives and have them formed into a handle here. UK thread and epoxy, though?
Essentially, it's making more work than necessary and may ultimately demand so many slight concessions that you end up with something rather disappointing and mediocre.
Instead, I'd recommend discussing your requirements with any of the UK builders already mentioned and then commission something you will treasure and enjoy made from the most appropriate components, where ever they're from. At the very least you'll have a British built rod if that's what you want.
Better still, build your rod yourself. It's really not that difficult and requires little investment in tools to get started. There's a great rod building forum here on the UKFFF and the guys are really helpful if you fancy trying your arm. It's the ideal hobby for lockdown and it can be as 'local' as you choose to make it.
Thanks for that information Lewis, much appreciated, as you may have gathered after I wrote "they only seem to make course rods", I had no idea they supplied Fly rod blanks. In fact in the interim I managed to try a Lohric 9'6" 7wt which an acquaintance owns, I happened to say that I had just found out Harrison made fly rods and he said, try mine, so I did. It was very light and crisp with a very similar feel to my Swift and some Sage rods I have tried, but also similar to my Bloke XGNP Graphene Oxide 8wt, which takes a 7wt very well especially the Barrio GT90. I use it mainly for saltwater fishing though, and if I was to put on my Barrio Predator 25g line for big flies, it doesn't feel like it at all.Harrison's definitely make and sell fly rod blanks. They have a 'Classic' range of medium, medium fast two piece, a medium fast 4 piece range and the faster 'Lohric' model. They'll varnish your blank to a specific colour on request, too.
That's a very good service.I will look closely at the AtomSix range again, and knowing that Steve Parkes is willing to post a trial rod(s) before ordering is sound practise. Buying without trial is too risky.
Better still, build your rod yourself. It's really not that difficult and requires little investment in tools to get started.
If looking to purchase a truly British made rod, there appears to be limited scope. I have used a 10 foot, 7weight as an example.
Hardy HBX £899. Advertised as handbuilt in Alnwick.
Greys ? I suspect made abroad
Bruce & Walker Powerlite £536, made to order
Mackenzie FX1 £699
AtomSix Elemental £550
Daiwa: used to manufacture some rods in Scotland... maybe not any more.
I ended up purchasing an AtomSix Tachyon rod which so far, I am pleased with, but considering a lighter UK rod, hence this post
Century make very good blanks. They have the world casting records in most weights, shared with Zziplex.
They make some double handed game rods,
but have also recently started making fly rods.Century Game Stealth is our new range of British designed and manufactured four piece, two-handed fly rods. Stealth encompasses the very latest in carbon composite technology and manufactured to an unprecedented standard.www.centurygame.co.uk
Possibly only currently available to the US market, but you could ask.
Harrison make very good blanks, which I believe are used by Burns to make many of their custom rods.
Quality custom built fishing rods and hand made fishing rods with all types including carbon fishing rods, graphite fishing rods and bamboo fishing rodswww.burnsbuiltrods.co.uk
I have two Harrison self builds - 10ft 7wt Ballista, which has a fairly medium action, which I tend to use for salmon work and a few specialist areas of loch work. I also have a harrison traditional 10 ft 6" (actually 10 ft 3") which is an absolute joy when you know the fish in front of you are a 1lb or less, rod has soft lightweight feel. Tried dealing with harrison direct and felt that it was almost too much trouble for them to sell me a single item? Ended up buying the rods through other sources.
Century do turn their own blanks. I have a 13ft century stealth salmon rod which I built reasonably priced but to be honest is not my favourite go to rod. The fact I reach for the shakey oracle 13fter more often says it all. Although others find it a great rod. There service was pretty good though, and far cheaper for a replacement section than some of the general tackle manufacturers.
To analyse the way we do boxing - best pound for pound fighter at all the weights for trout rods I believe are the CTS blanks from New Zealand that take some beating IMO. It can be very individual though related to your size and strength and the aesthetics of how you want to fish.
Interested in your Century Salmon rod.
Don't suppose you know, did you get the fast or the medium fast action?
With my river fishing for trout, and Spey casting, I definitely prefer medium-fast, so if you say the latter I will probably cross them off my wish list.
I have a fair few Century rods, and feel a loyalty to them. As you say, they are wonderful with their service. They have looked after me extremely well many times.
Thank you for your detailed reply.
A lot of good and useful information has been posted here by all on this subject.
I fish the AWA reservoirs, and I generally use two rods, one being an AtomSix Tachyon 10ft, 7wt which is quite powerful and able to handle fast sinking lines up to 8#. The other rod is a Greys GR50 10ft, 7wt which is a lot less powerful and I can use a 6 weight for nymph/dry fly. But this does leave room for improvement and I will be looking for a 5/6 weight and will look closely at AtomSix and Bloke rods