Largemouth Bass Lineup

Largemouth Bass Lineup

Sunday, March 29, 2015

I Love Glass This Much

Just a quick post today about my awesome mail day.  I'm sure it won't come as a shock to anyone that I love fiberglass rods.  I made the switch to glass about three years ago.  Love it.  For me its a perfect fit because I enjoy the vintage glass as much if not more than the newer glass rods.  I really do love hunting for these older rods and finding a bargain.  Anyways, I got another box of swag from Cameron over at TFM.  I'm happy to be rocking some of the new click and pawl stickers.  I do love a good click and pawl reel.  It's even better when it's paired with a vintage rod.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cleaned Up My Mess

I finally got around, again, to cleaning up the tying area.  I probably do this every six months or so. Really it should be done after each session but who can do that?  I always make a good effort to keep on top of it for about a week afterwards and then it falls apart.  So here it is all nice and shiny for the time being.  We moved into my son's old room a few months back hence the large size Batman.  I figured I would leave it up because who doesn't like Batman?  For those that tie, how do you organize?  I thought about peg boards but I couldn't pull the trigger on them.  Does anyone use them? We did manage to grab Melissa a desk.  Frankly I was getting tired of sharing with her.

I also decided to finally go through my materials.  I pulled out two totes for some of my materials. One is for getting rid of, the smaller of the two, and the other is to keep but I dont use them right now so they can be stored.  I know a lot of people asked me to give them the box of get rid of materials when I posted it on the social media sites.  I feel a better use might be for us to give it to Casting For Recovery or Project Healing Waters.  I did think that a materials swap might be fun.  Basically we could pass a box around with materials we don't want.  Once you get it, you add to it from your stash and you can take out anything you want.  Would there be any interest in something like that?  Let me know.  First up the give away tote then the keep tote:

So let me know who would be interested in a materials swap.  I would like to get at least 6 people involved including myself.  I can start it off and mail it to someone who would then in turn mail it to someone etc until it comes back to me.  

Saturday, March 14, 2015

From One Extreme To Another... I will Buy Anything

Yep, that's right, from one extreme to another, I will buy anything.  Anything vintage fiberglass fly rod related that is.  Currently, I am working on acquiring a Shakespeare Howald Wonderod from each year of the 1950s.  I also have a problem saying no to vintage fiberglass fly rods regardless of their condition. Frankly, I want them all.  Anyway, not everyone treats their rods the same.  You can have rods that are beaters to rods that are still mint and pristine after half a century.  It really depends on the owner.  I tend to be hard on my equipment.  Of course, after spending all this money on vintage glass, I will be attempting to do a better job of caring for them.  Speaking of money, there is something for every price range out there.  Vintage glass is easily attainable and affordable to everyone.

A few months back I bought two rods that range from one end of the spectrum to the other. One appears to have been abused and the other appears to have been well cared for.  Both are from the early 1950's.  Does this mean one was "loved" and one wasn't?  Absolutely not.  Maybe it just means that someone didn't care as much about the way one looked as opposed to the other one that might have been handled with kid gloves.  There's not a way to determine whether someone really enjoyed a rod based solely on the condition of it.

First up....the beater.  This is a 1951 Model 1270 two piece 7'9" 6 weight rod.  It is a yellowish colored blank with green wraps.  The decal has long since been rubbed off, the wraps look horrible and the cork is well used.  It still goes together well and has a pop when pulled apart.  The fish this rod must have caught and the stories it could tell.  For $17.50 I couldn't pass it up.

Next we have a 1955 model 1250 two piece 8'6" rod.  It is a brown colored blank with green and yellow wraps and an all green real seat.  The decal has apparently been sliced through but overall it is in very fine condition.  It came with the original cardboard rod tube and plastic sleeve.  While fished, it was apparently very well cared for.  

Both of these rods can be fished and, to me, both are collectible.  The first one might not be a wall hanger by any stretch of the imagination but that doesn't make it any less desirable.  Both are fine examples of what I am willing to spend my money on... much to the dismay of Melissa.  They also give you an idea of what is out there in the vintage glass market.  Even if you can only afford the first one, that is OK.  I would still highly encourage you to do it.  Glass is not dead!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Shakespeare Bass Rod

During the 1950s, Shakespeare developed a Wonderod deluxe fly rod that was specifically for bass. This rod was the model 1280B.  It was a two piece, 7'9" rod that weighed in at a little over 5 ounces.  The line weight is a little unclear as some say 7 and others say 9. Clearly a lawn casting would be in order to nail down the correct line weight.  Interestingly enough, they also produced a trout model during the same time frame that weighed an ounce and a half lighter.

As always, while trolling that infamous auction site that might lead to my divorce, I stumbled across one of the bass models.  It did not have the tube or rod bag but it appeared as though it had minimal use.  The date code on the reel seat indicated a 1952 date of manufacture.  The wraps appeared tight and the decal was not only intact but correct for the year of manufacture.  Given the age of the rod and the condition, I hit the Buy It Now button.  Upon receiving the rod, I was even more impressed with it.  I still haven't had a chance to cast it but it is a real beauty.  It is a white rod with spiral markings, red and green wraps, green reel seat with silver hoods.  The cork hasn't been overly soiled or destroyed.  A fascinating little tidbit about this rod is that the reel seat is spring loaded at the end cap.  Pulling it away from the rod allows you to place the reel on the seat.  Took a while to figure that one out.  When I finally did, I felt like a tool. Overall this rod is a fine example of an early 50's Shakespeare Howald Wonderod fiberglass fly rod. I am certainly looking forward to putting a bend in it.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Rainy's DINKS Panfish Diver Bodies

Quite a while ago, we picked up a few packages of the Rainy's DINKS foam diver bodies.  These come in four different colors and, according to the Rainy's site, should be tied on a size 10 Mustad 3366 hook.  For around six dollars you get six bodies to a package.  Working on another special order, we put a few of these together in color combos that are similar to the poppers we sell.

A few pros and cons about these divers.  First up, the cons.  I do not believe they will work on a size 10 Mustad 3366 hook without modification to the underside of the body.  By modification I mean excessive sanding.  I simply do not see how, if you use the recommended hook, you would ensure a proper hook set given the size of the gap between the body itself and the point of the hook.  The below photo should illustrate what I mean.  This diver was tied on a size 8 Mustad 3366 hook.

If you use the size 10 Mustad 3366 hook, the body itself takes up the entire shank of the hook and sits directly over the point of the hook.  The problem remains... making sure a proper hook set can be achieved. You could sand down the underside of the foam body but I don't see why you would want to.  We found that by turning the body around and making it a popper rather than a diver, you open up the gap between the hook point and the body of the hook.  We also switched the hook from a Mustad 3366 to a Gamakatsu B10S stinger hook in sizes 6 and 8.  This hook has a wider gap which will aid in a proper hook set.  Using a larger hook does take away from the whole idea of these being marketed for panfish, though.  Here are two photos showing what the diver looks like on a size 10 Mustad 3366 hook.

Another con, for me and only me, is that there isn't a lot of creativity involved in using these foam diver heads.  We enjoy painting our poppers.  When painting poppers, the sky is the limit in what color combos you can create either through stippling.  These guys currently only come in four different colors which are black, white, yellow and chartreuse.  I would also love to see an olive, orange, blue, red, and cinnamon colored head.  I think that would open up the creativity a bit. 

Pro....these bodies are easy and fast to tie with.  Start to finish, one can make a popper in under five minutes.  A quick and easy fix to filling those gaps in your warm water fly box at the beginning of the season.  The only thing you need to wait for is the glue to dry.  We used marabou for the tails, hackle and round rubber legs.  If you are going to go with a size 8 hook, we would recommend not using the round rubber legs.  There really isn't enough space to add legs if you are using a tail and hackle.  This could be solved by threading the legs through the body but we do not like to do this. As for the eyes, we found that the Montana Fly Company 3mm eyes looked the best on them.  This, of course, is really up to the individual tyer.  Add bigger or smaller eyes depending on your preference.   
Overall, we enjoyed using these and I look forward to fishing them when I can.  If you are looking for a quick, down and dirty popper to make, give these little guys a try.