So I am not sure what has got into me lately but over the past year I seem to be obsessed with building rather than buying. Perhaps I am getting in touch with my inner frontiersman? Whether it is my home renovations or my fly fishing I cannot get this vintage, repurposing, build it yourself mentality out of my mind.
If you have been following me at all, you know I am building a skiff which will launch in March. (yes, that is a hard launch date!) I think that was my leaping off point. Yes, go big or go home! A few weeks ago I decided to build my first fly rod and I am totally pumped about it. My wraps are not quite perfect and I definitely made a few mistakes for my first build but overall it came out pretty darn sweet! The blank is a Blue Halo glass blank, 8′ 5 wt 3 piece. I outfitted it with a half wells grip and Ti plated guides and aluminum reel seat. It looks like CW and I are heading out on Jan 2nd to do some damage so I will let you all know how she fishes next week. Big thanks needs to go out to Cameron Mortenson at TFM since almost every resource I pulled for the build came from his blog. And before anyone bothers to point it out, yes I know I overlapped a few wraps and yes I know I have a bubble or two in my epoxy….
For any of you that were wondering about dipping your toe into rod building, the basics are not all that complex. It does take a fair amount of patience and a willingness to do a bit of learning but if you can tie flies you can build rods. No disrespect to Zeb Tonkavich, Shane Gray, or any of the other folks that are true artists when it comes to building rods intended. That is a whole other level of build and finish. I was just thrilled that nothing has fallen off (yet) and it doesn’t look like a 3rd grader put it together! Hopefully I will take a few more risks with my second build and we can see how we do.
My other holiday endeavor was to start building my own dubbing brushes. I thought about building my own station but when I added up the cost and the time, the good folks at Twister System already had this thing wired… get it? wired! So I picked up one for me and sent one over to CW for his Birthday. I quickly spun up a few squirrel tail brushes and pumped out my favorite sculpin pattern. Yes, I know I need to tie up a bunch of midges for Friday but I couldn’t help myself. Something inside just had meat on the brain.
Yes, this is madness! Where does it stop? Do I start sewing my own clothes? Forging my own tools? Brewing my own beer? Wait a moment. OK, sanity is creeping back in. Definitely not brewing my own beer. There are some things that I just can’t compete with.
So what have we learned today? Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and build something! It is part of our primal nature. For the stuff you aren’t going to build, Ditch the big box stores and support your local shops! Otherwise you will be asking some clueless dude at Bass Pro the next time you need help. I had someone reply to me the other day that they didn’t live near a local shop so that is why they shopped big box! Sorry, I’m calling bullshit. Almost every local shop that will survive the next 5 years has a pretty darn good web presence and good customer service over the phone to support it. Many will even ship for free. So buy local or at the very least, stop calling for free advice and then buying somewhere else. That just makes you a douche. Just sayin….
Anyhow enough preaching. I hope you all had a fantastic 2014 and are looking forward to a very fishy 2015.
Tight Lines and Loose Pants,