The story...

 

Fraternal twin rods, "Almost Heaven and Almost Heaven II", destined for the pure and cold waters of a state created with trout favoritism by the Grand Architect.  One visit to West Virginia will have you yearning to never leave and, without question, a quick return.  As a trout fisherman, one trip spread over several days exploring a national park will have you rationalizing a means to never leave.  Yes, the state's natural treasures are that powerful! 

 

 

Build Specifications:

 

  Almost Heaven I Fly Rod Almost Heaven II Float Rod
Blank Tiger Eye 7' 4pc. 3/4Wt. Private Label 10' 4pc. 3/4Wt.
Reelseat Tich Finished A7 Graphite Sliding Ring Reelseat
Stripper Guides Tich Ceramic Insert Fuji BYAG Spinning
Running Guides Tich Snake Foot Fly Fuji BYAG Spinning
Guide Wraps Classic Twist Orange/Black Green NCP w/Classic Twist Trimband
Ferrule Wraps Classic Twist Orange/Black Green NCP w/Classic Twist Trimband
Winding Check Rubber Rubber
Hook Keeper Chrome Bent Wire Black Bent Wire
Decals Decal Coonection
Cork 7" Reverse Half Wells 18" Sliding Ring / Tennessee Grip
Fighting Butt / Butt Cap Mini Wood Chop/Cut/Merged Rubberized Burl
Special Inclusions Brook Trout Decal

 

The Photos:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Build Review:

 

     I was happy to finally be able to utilize the wood fly insert and mini fighting butt that was given as gift by one of my favorite clients, SC Lam.  I build so many switch, conversion and float rods...I was thinking that an order for a lightweight fly rod was never going to happen.  I'd like to say thanks SC and I'm sure the client will offer his gratitude to you as well!  The OEM 1/2 wells cork fly grip had a odd shape and was built with inferior cork nearest edge that mates against the reel seat hardware so I used my lathe and trimmed off a few of the rings and replaced them with some natural stock that I found more acceptable.  Choosing not to use color preservative on the Sevier Tiger Eye blank was a good choice.  Combind with the wood insert and brown hues of the cork, it looks organic and natural.  A perfect fit for its final destination and target species.

 

     The Tennessee grip on the float rod from fly conversion needed a little sprucing up so I put in a few thin rings of checkerboard burnt exotic and green burl cork to tie things together and follow the overall color scheme.  I included this near the top of the grip and in the rubberized burl that I swapped out near the buttcap.  It looks sharp, but isn't overpowering!  I tried something different with the gray/black classic twist as a trimband thread on this rod as well. 

 

Overall, both of these rods were a joy to build and as I wrapped and finished...my mind couldn't help but wander off and imagine the water that they are destined to fish.  West Virginia is something special.  If you haven't had an opportunity to fish her native treasures...you need to make a point to give the state a try! 

 

 

 

With this rod, the adventure ends, but another awaits my attention....

 

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