I received the rod today and was really tickled at how well it turned out. You are a true craftsman. The rod is beautiful and exceeds all my expectations. I already have a trip planned to Beaver’s Bend to christen it. When I catch the first good fish with it, I will send you a picture of it with the rod. Thank you for sharing your talent with me.
I finally got a chance to give the 5-weight a real workout. Don McMurry and I just spent a week in South Fork, Colorado, with some of the Fort Worth club, and I fished the rod just about every day. It was everything I wanted and more, particularly on the larger streams. It was perfect for the hopper/dropper combo I fished most of the time.
I just wanted you to know the 2 weight rod you made for me is my favorite rod. That’s a high compliment as I’ve cane rods in a 3 weight, two 4 weights and a 5 weight. When I first got it I thought I wouldn’t be able to cast it because it was so soft. However, the rod casts incredibly well. When I’m on my game it lays out line so beautifully and accurately. It even seems to overcome my casting mistakes on those occasional days when I’m rushing my delivery.
Just wanted to drop you a note about the rod you sent me. I own five bamboo rods from five different makers and none match the beauty, craftsmanship and attention to detail that your rod exhibits. Many years ago before Hexagraph developed their line of light line rods, I worked with Jim Clarkson from Raptor Rod Works to create a 2 wt. rod using a Hexagraph blank. After sending the rod back and forth several times and tweaking it, I inadvertently wound up with a 3wt. that was the finest casting rod I had ever used. I have used this rod as the standard to compare all others. You will be pleased to know that your rod has replaced that one as the “gold standard”! Rather than cast with your rod, it’s almost as if you can will the fly to land where you want it. I really like the action and the accuracy that you built into this rod. I also valued how you kept in touch throughout this project. You truly are a master craftsman. I guess you can figure out that I’m a very satisfied customer!
The rod arrived today. It is beautiful. The rod feels very light, much lighter than any 8ft 5 wt. I have previously tried. I hope to fish it next Mon, Tues, and Wed.
My first rod was completed a couple weeks ago. I purchased, guides, ferrule, reel seat and built the rest of the rod myself (hopefully the
linked photos open properly). I realize it is not a work of art but I can’t put into words how much that I enjoyed the process. My fly fishing partner and long time friend Tom lives on a small creek and we spent a warm summer afternoon casting an Adams (with hook point removed) to the little trout in his creek. It cast well with just the leader and chucked line out a surprising distance. All and all I am very happy, and can’t wait to start my next rod.
I had never considered building a rod until I read your series on cane rod building, and after reading several other books I continued referenced your series during the building process. It is well written and very helpful.
A few rod wiggles and false casts to work out some line left me with a warm feeling. Actual fishing casts felt even better. I did not need to adjust to the rod whatsoever. In fact, what I noticed quickly was that I hardly noticed the rod at all. I was fishing the rod as if it were an old friend. Very comfortable, almost intuitive. Stand casts, roll casts, puddle casts (in advertent sometimes), steeple casts all felt smooth and comfortable.
I then hiked up to beat 7 to fish my quarter mile of stream. It’s pretty much a typical NC stream with pocket water, riffles, glides, logjam pools and the ever present rhododendrons. The rod fished it all comfortably. It felt natural in hand and I never had to think about what it was doing. The moderately oversized grip felt perfect and that “hinge” you built in to accomodate frequent rollcasting works quite well. All in all a wonderful rod tailored to my needs, performing beautifully….
Unfortunately, no matter how well he cast “Number 95” couldn’t get me to catch a fish that day. Perhaps next time.
Thanks for making me a work of art.
Thanks again for a great looking rod with outstanding performance!
Anyway, I line the rod & walk the last mile, dead man walking kinda thing, to the field and cast the dang thing. Holky Smokies; I am a Fly Caster! What a easy rod to cast & a 2wt to boot. Make a Long Story Short, I fished the rod on several tributaries of the Wood & Big Lost Rivers and it fishes better than it lawncasts. Almost loads with the leader. Don’t picture some wimpy little noodle rod either; this rod has plenty of starch with a seductive medium fast action. Largest fish I caught with it was 13″, maybe 1 1/2lb, using Harry’s secret line & an Orvis 6x Braided Leader & tippet. Lots of fun & yet the rod has enough backbone to not exhaust the fish. Lastly, for this rod, Harry laboriously hand rubbed application after application of tung oil(I believe) until the cane is satiningly elegant. So if you’re looking for a rod:
“Where’s Harry Boyd?” I hope to be fortunate enough to be able to order one of his tweaked Payne 101 tapered, 7′ 6″, 5wts.
Thank You Harry ~ You Are One Heaven of a Guy!!!
I finally got a break yesterday evening around 7:00 P.M. Got the PVC shipping tube and for the next 10 – 15 minutes removed about 40 yards of strapping tape from the tube. Have you ever watched the Red Green show on PBS? Red would be proud of your taping proficeincy 😉 After a couple of taps with my plastic headed mallet, the top was off the shipping tube. I knew what was inside had to be nice just based on the effort expended on taping the PVC tube. Removed the fly line and cringed at it’s minute diameter. I’m supposed to cast this I said to myself? No way, the wind will make Linguini of it if I don’t. Looked at the rod tube with your company logo, very nice indeed. Opened the tube and immediately fell in Love with the Sock! Told my Misses that even if I didn’t like the rod, I’d buy the Sock 😉 I gently took out the Butt and one tip of the rod and just admired them. How on Earth do you plane cane for the tips?! Amazing – you must be very patient indeed. I have toothpicks larger in diameter then those tips. Grabbed the line, a Bill Ballan Heirloom Classic(don’t buy one) reel and the rod and went outside. Put the rod together and wiggled it a tad. Boy is it thin. Felt rather tippy like a fast Dickerson action. Carefully wound the line on the reel, without a knot I might add; didn’t want to crimp the line, and pulled the line thru the guides. I did not attach a leader or tippet with a hookless fly as it’s not my line. Normally I always test cast with a complete outfit. I walked out into the meadow and was concerned because the offshore wind was blowing fairly steady at 10 mph, gusty to 15 – 20. Sure, I’m going to cast a 2wt in this! Good Luck! Laid out about 15 feet of line in front of me and took my first backcast and rushed the forward cast believing the rod was fast action tippy. Forward cast a little supersonic on the backwash – pulled more line off the reel and took a nice deliberate backcast and waited for the rod, as I do on my Leonard’s, Thomas’s, Edwards. Wow, the rod isn’t tippy at all: feel it load and a smooth dliberate short forward motion and the rod just sent out the nicest tight loop you ever saw — and in the wind! I only casted it three more times and it truly is a 2wt rod! It feels like a mini Leonard with that smooth as warm butter medium full flexing action. Took everything apart and got back inside; read your email about letting the rod do the work. How True! What a Wonderfull Rod Sir! Oh, while I made no attempt to balance rod/reel/line, the rod definitely looses it’s tippy feel once a reel is mounted. I am not a fan of short rods. I am old school. At 8′ this rod is more than anything I conceived of for the alpine beaver ponds and tributaries. It’ long length by today’s standards makes it a perfect short rod for me. I am a little concerned about hooking into anything over 12″ with it though. Sometimes those beaver ponds have an older brookie lurking that has seen a couple of winters. Finally, it is very rare to find a rod that casts as eloquently as it is elegant to look at! Beautifull rod.
You should be Proud!
I didn’t take any pics on the trip, I rarely do. All my pics are between my ears. It’s interesting how things turn out. I took over a dozen rods with me, most I have had for years but never been streamside, just lawncast. After fishing them, the rods that had magic for me, were surprising. I thought the “Famous Named” maker rods would rule but with one exception, that was not the case. I am keeping 4 rods & I am selling all the rest, including reels & lines ~ silk included. Rods are:
- 20’s Leonard 50 1/2, 8 1/2′, 5wt. Finesse, sublety & distance, all built into one!
- Cross/SB #1500, 7′ 6″, 5wt. Doesn’t have Leonard distance or line mending but Perfect for mtn. willowed rivers.
- Cross #1500, 7′, 3/4wt. Just like it’s longer brother, only lighter & crisper.
- Harry Boyd, 7′ 6″, 2wt. Harry, that rod is such a Hoot!! Terrific creek & stream rod with enough backbone to handle the mtn rivers as well!
FYI, I was at one of my “No Tellum” fishing sections of Wood River, just above & below Prairie Creek. I was raised in the summers here & have known this place all my life. My whole family’s ashes are scattered within this area with my Uncle the most recent and was scattered in this stretch of water. Anyway, a thunderstorm developed about 3:00 P.M., which is early to fish at 7800′, and I took your/my 2wt & a Goddard Caddis & Dave’s Hopper fly, hopper on the tippet, caddis in my hat. Lightning began to strike right down the meadow below Easley Mtn, where I was fishing & it began ro rain & the wind picked up. The Air was filled with Electricity, Ozone & Urgency! As I waded down the rapids just above a overhanging willowed elbow turn in the river & let the Hopper fly. That 2wt would precisely place that fly right under the willows, just as though the hopper had fallen off a twig into the water.
Now you may begin to understand why You, Your/My Rod is so special to Me! It Too has Pics & Hopefully has found a Good Home.
After looking all over my shop and gear bags I could not find a WF4-F line So I loaded a Okuma 45 reel with 200 ft of #30 spun gel and a new Orvis WF-5F line. Stepped out to the pasture casting range.
Made a couple of loop trials and found it very responsive. So I set about doing the FFF Master’s Task list. About 30 minutes of casting my Great Grand Kids showed up. Smiling like a kid at Christmas. I placed the new rod in the shop. I can hardly wait until I get the line wet with a fish on the other end. I am sure I will read the fish’s mind through this rod.
Harry I could pass the Masters with this little 4wt 7′ 6″ rod. It seems to know what I want it to do. I have just started training it. After a few more hours, Days, Months, Years, I am sure it will just keep improving.I want to thank you for making such a fine fishing tool. You have put the enjoyment and love in this fine cane wand.
I have not given it a name yet. It will earn one I am sure.
Thank You Brother,
Your rod not only looks great but boy does it cast. I have a special display case for trade rods and yours is the first one in the case. I would much rather trade rods with friends than sell them. There's something special about having something a friend made by hand. I know how much love and care goes into your rods and I'm honored to own one------It's a real beauty. See you at the next SRG.
I took the rod to PA this weekend and a few of us spent the morning test casting it amongst others… Very nice… As expected, no complaints… It will do quite nicely… In fact, maybe I was a bit hasty in thinking it was too much for PA creeks… When the wind kicked up on the Penns, I wish I hadn’t left it in my room at the Inn… a good twenty miles away… I never learn…
I could not resist to cast your rod this morning, although it was cold and difficult because of the snow.It was very difficult to look fort he snow was glittering. I did not force the rod but had no difficulties to cast about 20m of line ( that is with leader about 23 m ).that is excellent for a # 3.I cast with a DT 3 444 Cortland and a WF 3 Sage Quiet Taper. The rod casts much better with the Quiet Taper. Nearly all who fish bamboo here in Germany say the Quiet Taper is the best line for bamboo rods at the moment. Maybe the new for 2005 Quiet Taper line with a special DT-taper is even better. I shall try it when my WF is done. Over here my me and my friends are a bit astonished that many US fishermen think DT lines-especially Cortland or Ultra 2 –are best for fishing bamboo rods. With the plugs I did as you said and it works good. I am certain your rod is the most powerful bamboo rod for an honest # 3 I ever cast.
I am very curious what the rod will do when fished. You made an excellent taper and a very good looking rod. What you did with the nodes is the best of all US rods I got or I have seen, even better than Bradford who comes second. I did not count Moran, because he is British . Tight lines
Yesterday I fished your rod fort he first time on one of my home waters, just 20 minutes to ride by car from my home. I fished that water for the first time this year, because it was either too cold or too high. It was raining a lot since I came back from Italy. I fished your rod about 6 hours on a stream 6-10m wide. There are not many trees on the borders that you can cast. I fished your rod with a Sage WF 3 Quiet Taper and a 6X leader. I wanted to try a 7X first but did not do it because the water was still higher than normal and not entirely clear. I caught about 30 brown trout and for the first time in 20 years (since I fish the stream) 1 grayling. The biggest trout I caught was 1 pound. So I cannot say yet how your rod will do on bigger fish, but I can tell a lot about your rod now. It is definitely the best true 3-line rod I ever fished. I shall prefer it even to my shorter 4-line rods because it can do everything the 4-line rods are able to do. I fished the rod with dry fly emergers cast upstream and could easily!! reach all distance I needed even against a little bit of wind. I would have been able to cast further but that would not have make sense because I cast as far as I could see my the hot red CDC wings of my emerger. For all trout I caught the rod had more than enough power to fight the fishes fast. About half the time I fished your rod with a bead-head nymph with 3.5 mm bead. Before I did so I asked myself whether the rod could do it. I do upstream nymph fishing mostly using roll casts. Your rod could do it -just- what short 6 ‘ for a # 5 could not: lift the nymph any time even with longer line, roll cast the nymph without going straight in the air (it came out a little bit higher than on a stronger rod though) and on over head casting you just had to slow down your cast and I could cast all distance needed with that nymph fished on the ground. After 6 hours fishing your rod did not tire me at all. I am curious what your rod will do with bigger fishes over 2 pounds. I am pretty certain it will handle them easily because I could fell there is backbone in the rod.
I did not make any pictures yet. I still hope to catch bigger fishes with your rod. I think I shall do the pictures when I fish In Austria and Slovenia with my so at the end of June ,because he can make photos then. If you need photos earlier please tell me.
Harry, I just cooked my first set of cane in the oven you made for me and it worked great. Once you get the temperature where you want it is so stable. I thought I would be working it the whole time but it made it easy. Too easy almost. I feel a little nervous. Nothing goes this easy the first time. Again thank you it is a very good product.