The story...

    

      A note to the ultra-purist cane fly fisherman... you may wish to hit your browser's "back" button and forget this page every existed!

     I contacted Pete at Renaissance Rods, Ca. several months ago with a desire to create a cane float rod blank. I told him a little about float fishing, the style, the methods, the action, etc... and asked if he'd be willing to build something unlike he has ever done before. What he delivered is a one of kind flamed cane in a 10'8" length and a 4 pc. design.  The finished rod's maiden voyage will be during Pennsylvania's trout opener.  Over the course of five days of combat style trout fishing, I should be able to become quite familiar with the rod's fishing characteristics.  Thereafter, It is likely to see some action on the local rivers here in NE Ohio in the way of steelhead, small mouth, catfish and carp.
 

     I have found that a well built cane has very "organic" properties and the feel of casting is something almost describable.  I suppose it has much to do with the fact that at one time it was a living.  Making the decision to purchase my first cane blank, a 7'6" 3wt 3pc, two season ago was a good one.  As I do very little dry fly fishing (compared to subsurface float presentations with a long rod) this cane  rod is extra special to me.  The "Big Boo" (Pete calls her the beast and for good reason!) will see action drifting nymphs, caddis and other larvae imitations in PA and at home...I float sucker spawn, blood dots, woolly buggers, caddis and nymphs. I'm not shy about live bait, for smallies, cats and carp, they're the ticket, but I prefer to try to use artificals whenever I can.

     The "Big Boo"  features silk thread for the ferrule wraps and Gudebrod classic twist without cp for the guide wraps. I'm a little disappointed by how "black" the guidewraps came out, but I can live with it.  I made a decision  to incorporate more black into the grip and fighting butt selection to bring this color discrepancy (between what I thought and what is apparent) part into the theme of the build. The guides are Tich hardcoat SS wire spinning guides, the hookkeeper is a small loop style, winding check is a knurled aluminum model, and the sliding ring reelseat is half OEM and half my creation. What I've learned while constructing long checkerboard patterns is it is  near impossible to keep them symmetrical at the extended lengths.  A couple rows is easy, but at 25 rows, it is extremely difficult if not improbable.  I compromised and chose to keep the best looking and most symmetrical portion right side up.  My goal of virtual perfection was not met here, although the part that can't be seen isn't all that bad and acceptable by some standards.  Please take notice of the transition from natural cork to natural and green burled cork, green burl and burnt cork to straight burnt cork and finally finished off with a heavy duty aluminum fighting butt in black anodized in the lower portion of the handle. The burnt exotic and HD aluminum butt was also utilitarian as it serves as a means of counterbalance. Overall the rod is typical of bamboo and in this length weighs in at 10.3 ounces for the blank and just about a pound overall when equipped with a 4" centre-pin reel.
 

     To create the blank for me to build upon, Pete at Renaissance Rods modified a spey blank taper.  I should feel completely comfortable fishing for bigger and stronger specimens without fear of being underpowered. The tip and mid are very flexible and should be exactly the action I'm after for the 12-20" trout I usually hook into in Pa., but the lower mid and butt sections are all about power. I intend on discovering how much this spring with a few steelhead excursions with it.

 

     Overall, I'm very happy with how this rod turned out.  I have made a few comparisons and found that this model equipped with a lightweight 4" centre-pin is just about the same overall weight of my steelhead float rod equipped with a 5" reel.  As weight is always an area for consideration when it comes to bamboo versus graphite, it was comforting to know these facts.

 

 

Build Specifications:

Blank:  Renaissance Rod's Custom Taper 10'8" 4wt. 4pc. Bamboo Blank

Reelseat:  Graphite Sliding Rings

Stripper Guides:  Flexi-lites

Running Guides:  Flexi-lites

Guide Wraps:  Gudebrod Classic Twist Black/Yellow

Ferrule Wraps: Sulky Classic Evergreen Silk

Winding Check:  Aluminum Winding Check

Hookkeeper:  Loop Wire

Cork: Custom W/Checkerboard Fade Pattern

F.Butt: PacBay HD Black Aluminum

The Photos:

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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