2009 ICRBE

Well, after all the anticipation and waiting, the International Custom Rod Builders Expo has come and gone. It feels kind of like waiting all Thanksgiving Day for the turkey to get to the table, and 15  minutes later, you’re done eating. But just like on turkey day, I came away stuffed with ideas and innovations from the best builders in the world.

Some of the highlights for me were the seminars on micro guides and abalone. But there was so much more. Plenty of opportunity to pick up and feel new blank designs, new grip and seat materials and configurations, and a chance to reconnect with friends made at past events.

Here’s a few photos from this year’s Expo:

Jason Brunner, St. Croix Design Engineer

Jason Brunner, St. Croix Design Engineer



Anglers Resource - Our source for Fuji Components

Anglers Resource - Our source for Fuji Components



Abalone Underwrap

Abalone Underwrap


First Day on the Expo Floor

First Day on the Expo Floor

I hope these pictures give you a little taste of this year’s Expo. As soon as I perfect some of the innovative concepts I saw last weekend, I will post pictures of the results. To stick with the thanksgiving analogy, getting busy with the new ideas I picked up at the “table” is like going back for that late afternoon turkey sandwich and pumpkin pie.

If you were there, you know what I mean. If you weren’t, I hope you get to attend next year.

Spring Is In The Air

At least in the South. I can tell by the number of rod repairs I’m getting. As soon as anglers start getting antsy to be on the water, and are crossing days off their calendar to their first outing, they begin to assess the condition of their tackle.  Usually, there’s at least one favorite rod that needs a guide, or a tip to replace the one you left in the car door.

Got any “favorites” that need attention? Now’s the time to get them to your local repair person. If you don’t know where to take those rods, here’s an online directory for custom rod builders that might help. If you live in the Charlotte area, call or email me and I can help. Don’t wait much longer, though. You’ll want to be using those rods very soon.

Build your Own Fly Rod Class Done!

Last night my students completed their fly rods, applying Threadmaster rod wrap finish to the wraps they learned to do over the past three weeks. Each one built on a St. Croix SCIV four piece blank, fast action 4 weight. One was 8′, one 9′, and one 10′ long.

These guys were excited at the thought of catching that 20 incher on a fly they tied, attached to a rod they built. All they need to do now is learn to build a trout net, and it’s all them!

We’re scheduling another class for mid to late February. If you or someone you know would like to experience fishing on a rod you built, call or email me for dates. You’ll be glad you did!

International Custom Rod Builder’s Expo

The 2009 International Rod Builder’s Expo (ICRBE) is only a few weeks away. This annual event, held in High Point, North Carolina, features all the newest and best from manufacturers, suppliers, and builders from all over the world. It truly is international, with regular attenders from Japan, Italy, and Australia, as well as from all over the USA.

If you have considered or even slightly thought about building your own rod, this show will put you over the top. Mark your calendar for February 21 & 22, and plan to spend both days there. Along with dozens of exhibitors, there are two full days of free seminars scheduled covering everything from beginning rod building to the most advanced concepts in custom rod creation.

For more info on this event, click on the link in the first paragraph of this post, and make your plans now. You won’t be sorry you did!

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New Custom Rodbuilding Opportunities!

I just received my 2009 catalog from my primary supplier of rodbuilding components, and found some exciting additions to their offering. Primary among those is the addition of three well-respected fly rod and blank manufacturers. I am happy to tell you that I can now source blanks from Orvis, R.L. Winston, and Thomas & Thomas. Add these fine components to the existing list of St. Croix, G. Loomis, Sage, and Temple Fork Outfitters, as well as American Tackle’s blanks, and more.

Also new for 2009 is the availability of some custom components to feed your artistic side, such as snake skin, marbling kits, and even colored anodized aluminum winding checks! Options for the creative builder are growing wider all the time.

If you have interest in a custom rod, or a Build Your Own Rod Class, email me and we can discuss your needs and wants.

Build Your Own Rod Class Scheduled

If you’ve been thinking about building your own fly rod, or a bass rod for that matter, January may be your next best opportunity. Madison River Outfitters in Cornelius is hosting another rod building class in January. There are already three students, and room for a few more. Email me or call me for more information. You can have a quality fly rod you built yourself in three evenings over a three week period.

Lake Norman Report

I have updated the Lake Norman Report Page with recent water level conditions, as wel as an update on fishing from Captain Gus Gustafson.

The gist of the update is that while we Duke Power continues to tag the area with Level Three Drought Conditions, the lake has been at or above the target level relative to full pond for at least the last three months. It has rained here for the last two days straight. 

I rank the drought right up there with global warming, having just endured the coldest November I can remember in North Carolina.