I build fly rods - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-21-2013, 07:46 PM   #1
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Name: Ray
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I build fly rods

At this point I pretty much just build rods for myself. I have sold a few but at this point its not worth the hassle to me to build them for other people.

I have developed my own internal thread reel seats so there aren't any threads showing on the outside of the rod. The first few rods I built I used a traditional design reel seat and it always looked awkward to me to have all that turning and engraving with machine threads stuck in the middle of it all. So I got rid of the threads. Well got rid of them isn't correct. I actually just put them inside the reel seat.

I tend to be one of those guys who says, " oh yeah, hold my beer and watch this." when someone tells me I can't do something or says something I made can't be both pretty and functional. I participated on a few rod building forums for a while and the common comment by the "Experts" was that my rods had to be too heavy to actually use because of all the "pretty". I took that as a challenge to build a rod lighter in weight, higher in performance, and definitely prettier than what they were making. The rod in the last picture is a 7 1/2 ft 3 wt flyrod that weighs right at 2 1/2 oz.

I started doing things like using high grade titanium for parts and since I machine my own I can design them to be both strong and super light weight. I have started finding attractive ways to reduce the weight in the reel seat. Have used techniques like ultra light plastic cores, skeleton reel seats from stabilized woods, and fluting the reel seat to add decoration and remove un-needed material. This also allows me to get a very good balance. I have also developed a way to make my handles with a balsa wood core. What you see is a skin that is only 3/32 to 1/8 inch thick. The interior of the handle is high grade RC plane balsa. This handle weighs about half what a natural cork handle does even with the stabilized wood trim. I have found that these features make the rod extremely sensitive and great casting by reducing the weight in a balanced way.

If interested I have more rod pictures I can post.
Attached Thumbnails
burkrod3.jpg   Burkrodaroundview.jpg  

burkrod12.jpg   Sagerod2.jpg  

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Old 06-21-2013, 07:51 PM   #2
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Here is a rod I built on a 6 ft 2 wt blank. This is rod fishes great to be built on a $36 Batson blank. I did a skeleton seat on this one to keep the weight down to 1.8 oz. all titanium fittings.
Attached Thumbnails
batsonrod2.jpg   Batsonrod3.jpg  

Batsonrod4.jpg   Batsonrod1.jpg  

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Old 06-21-2013, 07:55 PM   #3
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Wow.. look great.
I'd be over equiped with one of them.
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:17 PM   #4
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Beautiful rods. True craftsmanship.
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:35 PM   #5
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Welcome to the Forum.

Love the details, color, and craftsmanship.
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:58 PM   #6
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Me using an el' cheapo fly rod
Wife got a hold of my camera while I wasn't looking.
This was at Snowdale State Park in Salina, OK.





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Old 06-22-2013, 11:44 AM   #7
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Absolutely beautiful work Ray. That's not a hobby, that's a passion!
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Old 06-22-2013, 12:07 PM   #8
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Very Nice!
Makes me want to brush the dust off of mine and try seeing if I can fool fish with feathers. Was never very successful at it though. Always had better luck with worms. But it was fun trying.
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Old 06-22-2013, 08:12 PM   #9
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Beautiful rods! Great workmanship! You have a great talent.

Sandy C.
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Old 06-22-2013, 09:59 PM   #10
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I presume you are building on fiberglass blanks, since we don't talk graphite on this forum.
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:59 PM   #11
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No, they are carbon fiber blanks, Graphite is what you find in pencils
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:01 PM   #12
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Those are truly beautiful!!!

Absolute works of art!!

I, also, would be very "over-equipped" with one of those "sticks"

I use an old-school casting technique.

Some of you may know it. "chuck and duck"
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:28 PM   #13
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Ray, do you every get up into the waters to fly fish below Navajo dam?...and have you taught those beautiful rods of yours to catch fish?? BTW, my profile picture was taken in the Bitterroot river near Missoula Montana last spring...got two nice ones throwing a dry fly that afternoon..

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Old 07-10-2013, 11:51 AM   #14
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Of course I fish them. I don't get that whole "its too pretty to use" business. To me that is like these guys who spend hundreds of thou on a custom bike and haul it around on a trailer. WHY? If you got man ride that puppy.

I got into rod building because I love fly fishing and these rods spend time on the water. Most of my fly fishing happens in the Midwest because that is were I live.

As this new business venture of guest teaching across the country will have me traveling to new places you can bet I will have a few tubes full of rods and bags full of reels in tow.
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