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
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.
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
Winding Check: Aluminum Winding
Hookkeeper: Loop Wire
Cork: Custom W/Checkerboard Fade Pattern
F.Butt: PacBay HD Black Aluminum
With this rod, the adventure ends, but another awaits
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