Header image
Enter a name
Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Pteronarcys californica

The giant Salmonflies of the Western mountains are legendary for their proclivity to elicit consistent dry-fly action and ferocious strikes.

27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Detroit, MI

Posts: 46
Summer_doug on Feb 27, 2018February 27th, 2018, 10:31 pm EST
Hello all!

The thaw appears to be on in Michigan and I am getting antsy; however, trout season is still a few months away on some of my favorite streams so I have undertaken my first build.

I am building a fiberglass rod rated between a 1 and 2 weight with a very slow action. It'll probably be used for bluegill (gasp) and small bass on some local ponds, but maybe the occasional brookie as well. It's persimmon with garnet wraps and yellow for the hook keeper and tip-top. The reel seat is birdseye maple. When I finish, I'll post pictures (I'm half a guide in right now). Wbranch (Matt) has been really gracious in providing additional help throughout the process (and answering other questions that I have).

How much value do you guys place on the aesthetics of a fly rod? If it's something you value, what colors, reel seats, inserts, etc. are your favorite?


PS - Wrapping the first guide from the top is a real pain in the rear!
From Michigan
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Feb 28, 2018February 28th, 2018, 4:49 am EST
Hi Doug,

How much value do you guys place on the aesthetics of a fly rod?

If the blank was initially expensive, $200 - $300, then the aesthetics are very important to me. It makes sense to use attractive and high quality hardware when you are starting with a high end blank. On rods #3 - #5 I would always use nickel silver reel seats with fancy wood barrels. On #3 rods I almost always use just a cap and sliding ring. On #4 - #5 I would 80% of the time use a nickel silver up lock or down lock reel seat with nice wood. If the #4 weight rod was less than 9' long I might still go with the cap and sliding band hardware. On #6 and heavier rods I usually go with a good quality anodized aluminum reel seat. Either all aluminum or aluminum hardware and a wooden insert. On salt water rods of any length I always use anodized aluminum.

If I am building for a client I typically won't make any suggestions unless they ask me for recommendations. If I am building a personal rod the sky was the limit. I used to use Fuji SIC ceramic strippers and Hopkins & Hopkins DLC (Diamond Like Carbide) snakes or TiN (titanium nitrite) strippers and snakes. I hate the traditional loop style hook keeper and for personal rods didn't use a hook keeper. For client rods I would recommend a Fuji folding hook keeper.

I used silk thread to wind some rods but the thread breaks so easily that I stopped using it. I have no issues with size A nylon thread and it is available in dozens of colors.

Note: I had a business license and therefore got all my blanks and building materials with at least a 40% discount. I never paid $200 for a blank. That would be the manufacturers pricing.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Partsman's profile picture
bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on Mar 2, 2018March 2nd, 2018, 12:52 pm EST
summer doug , I have built a couple of fiberglass rods as of late and have purchased a custom fiberglass 4 wt. from Chris Barclay. I built a tl Johnson 6 ft. 3 wt. fiberglass rod and Steffen brothers 8 ft. 3/4 weight. I love both blanks, but really like the Steffens. There is a gentleman on the internet ray lee who turns all kinds of custom woods and makes great slide band reel hardware. I used agate strippers from golden witch which are really cool. I have used persall silk which makes beautiful wraps but what a work out. This is something that can be very addictive, so have fun and go to the fiberglass flyrodders web site.

West Virginia

Posts: 3
Flamey on Dec 8, 2018December 8th, 2018, 8:36 am EST
Hey summer Doug, I have built rods for many years and I totally agree with the advice of the gentlemen on building. I have also found great pleasure in making bamboo rods. I love the natural tones of bamboo and how the bright colors of thread pop!! One suggestion I can add, especially with silk, is double wraps. You have to pay attention a little more to color schemes (light colors over dark) but it can look beautiful. The idea is to wrap all the guides with a stronger nylon (light color) and then put a different color wrap on top (darker silk) leaving some of the under wrap exposed on each side. I have done this with several rods and the appearance in wonderful. The beauty is being able to lessen some of the tension of the silk wraps to prevent fraying or breaking. Last year I received a much wanted 6'6" glass 3/4wt rod and components to build for Christmas. The rod was flat black but I wanted to do something to memorialize the great gift. I settled on red nylon under wrap with evergreen silk on top and what a great match!! I love that rod and every time I look at it I think of a wonderful woman and great gift!! It matters not if the trout is 3" or 30" to catch one on a rod you built and a fly you tied, you will sing (maybe quietly) with tremendous pride!!!

fly fisherman Lamey

Quick Reply

Related Discussions

Last Reply
Jun 8, 2007
by Martinlf
Aug 4, 2011
by Roguerat
May 16, 2019
by Iasgair
Jan 28, 2019
by Iasgair
Oct 22, 2016
by Roguerat
Troutnut.com is copyright © 2004-2024 (email Jason). privacy policy