Skip to main content


Showing posts from July, 2012

Budget rod building tools

I have wanted to build my own fiberglass fly rod since shortly after I was infected with the fiberglass fly rod bug by Cameron over at The Fiberglass Manifesto.  It just so happened when I had the idea to find a budget blank Janns netcraft did not have them in stock. So here I was with time and energy.  Knowing the build was going to happen I started doing some research on what I needed to work on a rod blank.  I found everything from high dollar wrapping machines, to people using a cardboard box as a rest, and running the wrapping thread through a book.  Then the idea hit me… almost literally. I was at work and contractors were throwing scraps of wood out of the third floor window into the dumpster and they happened to miss both the dumpster and myself.  I ended up with a bunch of plywood pieces, and some pine board.So I built a wrapping stand, or my best approximation of the ones I was seeing sold online.  The only parts I had to buy for this project were the brass eyelets, a 1/4” x…

Fish list–Green Sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus)

This was an absolute first for me on two counts.  First this was the first time I had fished this lake and second this is the first Green Sunfish I have caught in my life. That feeling of discovery when you catch a new species of fish on new water is amazing.As those following know, I usually shoot all my own photos one handed but I forgot my camera.  Fortunately my wife was along in her kayak and took this shot from quite a distance away.  As you can see her photography skills are much better than mine.

Blame it on The Fiberglass Manifesto

That is a fiberglass fly rod blank sitting on my work bench.  It is the model from Janns Netcraft which is 8 ft. and rated as a 5/6 weight.  Oh and this is all Cameron's fault over at The Fiberglass Manifesto.  Until I ran across his site I never even thought about fiberglass fly rods.  I was relatively new to the sport and had only handled graphite fly rods.  So I keep reading the blog and seeing all the different rods some brand new some vintage.  I figure well why don’t I just pick up one of these Eagle Claw featherlight rods at Wal-Mart for $20 and if I don’t like it well it’s $20, lesson learned.  Problem is I liked it, it had a slower softer action and was so easy to cast.  Now I find myself building my first rod and it is going to be learning experience.  I will just take my time and use all the information and resources over at the rod building forum at

Fish list–Pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus)

Probably the first freshwater fish that most of us caught was the Pumpkinseed. The most colorful member of the Sunfish family having tropical hues and wouldn’t look out of place on a coral reef.  Gibbosus is from Latin for “Formed like the moon” or “Hunchbacked” either way it accurately describes the nearly round shape of these beautiful fish.

Rod – Eagle Claw featherlight 5/6 wt           Fly – Brown Gartside Gurgler
If you look at the flap on its gill cover you can see small black spots, I noticed them on the fins and about the mouth also.  I had never seen these spots and they concerned me so off to the internet for an answer.  This is what I found from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
Black spots
Black spot disease is commonly observed in rock bass and other sunfish, bass, pike, perch, minnows, and other fish species. It can be identified by the presence of small black spots, usually about the size of a pin head, in the skin, the fins, the musculature, and the mouth of t…

Fish List–Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides)

One of my favorite fish on a fly rod.  I find there is a great dichotomy when it comes to the Largemouth Bass.  One the one side it is know as the a super aggressive predator that will eat everything from fish, frogs, birds and mice.  Check out some soft plastic Bass lures that are around a foot long.  This fish will eat.  On the other side I have found that Largemouth Bass in bodies of water that are clear and don’t contain abundant cover can be the spookiest, selective fish I have ever seen.  You have to make a perfect cast and do everything right and these fish will rise up and suck down your fly like they have been taking lessons from selective trout. Don’t think that Stimulators are only for Trout, I find that they are excellent for fussy Largemouths.Match a Stimulator some 5X tippet and a 4wt rod and even the small ones are a blast.

Fish List–Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

The fish that started my fly fishing journey the Rainbow Trout.  While the Rainbow Trout rates third on my list of common Trout  species with the Brown Trout taking top billing and the Brook Trout coming in second (Yes technically it’s a Char but it is commonly referred to in the Trout category).I find myself a bit biased against the Rainbow Trout and this has a lot to do with the fact that they are stocked fish in my area.  I do dream of fishing Alaska for their giant native Rainbows, but until then these will have to do.