Getting Ready to Roll.

Lewis Chessman

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Mar 16, 2008
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1,912
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Isle of Lewis
Thanks, Simon. I've had my ups and downs, particularly with the epoxy, but hope I'm learning from my mistakes. I've said it before but without your kind advice and the encouragement of the members I doubt I would ever have embarked on this road trip.
I've already had an invitation to build another switch for a friend and an offer on the Taniwha 11 ft #6/7. I will pass that one on as it doesn't have the softer action I'm seeking and if I recoup my costs alone I can afford to try another blank in my search for my ideal loch grilse rod. My friend took it for a test cast on Friday and ended up fishing it all day, which says something. :)

Meanwhile, I'll keep my eyes open for a hair drier or heat gun for little money in Lidl so I can try Liphook's approach before I return home in October.
I may take a couple of untried rods to a trout loch today but right now it's brassy-bright and a S.E. wind and, in the sunlight, I can see that the dust bunnies are running riot in the sitting room and the Hoover beckons!
 

petevicar

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Jun 6, 2006
Messages
1,303
Location
Right bank of the river Rhine.
Hi James
It looks very nice. Well done.

I am currently building another rod on a white blank. I'll post a few pics when it is finished.

I have been using the CTS Crystal Coat Epoxy. I now am well used to using it. It is very liquid and great for very thin coats. It dries quite slowly. After 24 hours it is still a little tacky but after 48 is dry.


Pete
 

Lewis Chessman

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Joined
Mar 16, 2008
Messages
1,912
Location
Isle of Lewis
Thanks, Pete! Codyarrow is going to give me some Sensei epoxy to try next so I'll consider the CTS CCE after that. Best of luck with the White One. I look forward to seeing your work soon.
 

liphook

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Mar 23, 2011
Messages
326
Good to hear that your blue blank has turned out well LC but disappointing to hear of your continued resin issues! I'm struggling to understand what can be going on apart from dubious materials? I've never used anything but 1:1 resins. I'll happily send you some Bullards Diamond 2 that I know is absolutely 100%
 

Lewis Chessman

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Mar 16, 2008
Messages
1,912
Location
Isle of Lewis
Thank you, liphook. I think I just got unlucky with that second bottle of co-poly resin as I was fastidious the second time I tried it and yet got the same result as on the first application so not 'user error'.
The result after cleaning the mess up was slightly tacky threads over which I put the FCL. In all honesty, the final result is perfectly serviceable and no one I've shown the rod to has criticised it - just me! So, I think I'm aiming my sights high and looking for a very high standard, seeing flaws which wouldn't bother most.

Thanks for your kind offer of the Diamond 2 but I won't impose - yet! ;) As I mentioned codyarrow has offered me some Sensei he doesn't need and I'll try that on my next - either a re-worked old Sage or a Bloke 11 ft #6 XL50, but whichever is first it'll be a few weeks before I embark on either - I must start tying a few flies to beef up my boxes now we're allowed to fish again!

All the best,
James.
 

liphook

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Mar 23, 2011
Messages
326
Yes get those rods bent! Absolutely no imposition to send you a few hundred mil. To misquote - perfection is something we should all strive to attain, but is actually rarely if ever achieved. I have an exhibition rod made by Winston for an iCAST trade show. Even it has a 'flaw' or two! Fish long and prosper James
 

Lewis Chessman

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Mar 16, 2008
Messages
1,912
Location
Isle of Lewis
You've persuaded me, liphook, no harm in having a sample to try in my search for excellence! :)
I'll pm you my current address shortly but no rush on my part, cheers!
 

Lewis Chessman

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Mar 16, 2008
Messages
1,912
Location
Isle of Lewis
I thought I'd report back on my mystery dark blue 12 ft #8/9 as I've had a few outings with it now.
Whatever this blank is, it's a sweetie! I'd like to try a #9 switch line on it as I find my Barrio 7/8 Switch a little light in the Spey cast but, having said that, I've seen others getting a better result with it than I can! Still, I'm happy that I can cover most of the pools at my disposal well enough and I'm very impressed with its overhead abilities. To my surprise I can throw a longer line than I can when Spey casting.
As I haven't identified the blank there's little point in relating its character to you, but I do feel that I got very lucky with this one.

Yesterday evening I was working two flies through a very productive pool, an orange muddler and a size 10 single I'd knocked up on a whim (black thread body, silver rib, red fur wing). I'd passed the main in flow and was gently figure-of-eighting when the line tightened and a fish launched itself towards the far bank, dived into some reeds and, generally, went a bit crazy.
My first thought was that I'd foul-hooked it as there was no take, just an explosion. We danced the magical dance awhile, it leading, me staying in step and keeping as much contact as I could. Up and down the pool it ran, stirring up a few dormant fish I didn't know were there. At one point I could see the muddler a foot above the water so knew then it was attached to the point.
I was using my STH Saltwater Turbine and this was the first decent fish I've connected with while fishing it. It does have an 'auxiliary' disc drag but I didn't need it, the turbine did the job nicely enough, as smooth as smooth can be with no start up inertia and an easily palmable rim to add extra pressure when required.

No head shaking seemed further cause to suggest a foul-hooking, as did the sheer power of the fish. Still, the rod performed excellently, soft in the tip but with beef in the butt when I came to drawing the fish towards the net - sideways! The fly was lightly embedded below the lateral line a few inches behind a pectoral fin and just about fell out in my hand. I'd noticed two worrying jolts during the fight which felt like a slipping hook hold but I don't think a fly was ever in its mouth. The dropper had been broken just below the knot, most likely when it crashed through the reeds. The second jolt may have been due to line unwrapping from around the body when the fish twisted and turned as I didn't notice another possible entry point when in the net. An unliced but silver cock of about 11 lbs. It took a good 15 minutes to revive in the warm water but I sat in the river patiently waiting for it to kick away with vigour and in time it did.

So, while not a 'legal catch' and not one for the books it certainly tested the rod and reel valiantly and both came away with honours. My suspicion is that it inspected the muddler only to be pricked by the trailing tail fly as it turned away. Not something I've seen before when fishing a wake fly but the most rational explanation I can think of. That or the poor thing was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time!
Not quite the Christening I'd hoped for but it sure tested the tackle and instilled confidence in both rod and reel. And I'll say this, if I knew who made that blank I'd be happy to build a few more of them in various lengths and weights, If I ever discover the make I'll let you guys know.
J.

Edit:
Oh, the Taniwha 11 footer was so much admired by a fellow gillie that he asked to buy it! I passed it on at cost as he's a good friend and the rod action was a little stiffer than that which I'm looking for. It was a tad heavy for my intentions too, but he's delighted with it and fishes it all day with no problems. A stronger man than me!
I heard that he caught a salmon himself yesterday, well, a wee grilse, but I don't know if it was on 'my' rod or his Perigrine. I rather hope it was mine and we had a double baptism.
I'll sink those funds into another 11 ft #6/7 in my search for my ideal loch rod.
 
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Lewis Chessman

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Joined
Mar 16, 2008
Messages
1,912
Location
Isle of Lewis
Just a catch up on a few of my builds .....
I took the 'mystery blue' 12' #8/9 to a lochan on my current river last week and landed a 2 1/2 lb grilse with it. Hardly an epic struggle but my first 'legal' fish (hooked in the mouth, that is) with this rod. The fish was in good nick despite a stab wound to the back - probably a heron having a go.

I then took to the tube with my first build, the FLO 9 ft #8, and caught a 2 lb grilse on about the third cast. Lovely to get a fish in the tube. It really is my favourite method, especially when tired after a day's work. Armchair fishing, truly, and I'm convinced its stealth aspects makes it superior to a boat, as does the degree of control when fishing solo and afloat - you're your own gillie, in effect. And with the tube I can sneak through the weed beds, drawing the flies right to the edge of the growth before lifting off. With a boat I'm sure the oars would either get caught up or spook the fish.

The big challenge now is to hook a double figure salmon, play it, then get to the bank where I can get a large net out - 'cos it ain't gonna fit in my wee trout scoop net! Should be fun whilst still wearing the flippers! ;)

And on Saturday the friend who bought my 11 ft #6/7 Taniwha caught his first grilse with it!
Only the 9 ft #4 build to get off the mark now. I'm taking a few days holiday this weekend so must give that a go on a nearby trout loch. Fingers crossed, but hey, that's arthritis for you! ;)
 
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