Friday, January 15, 2010

The touch of the masters hand

I have a really good buddy that has more talent on one hand then most people will ever have in a lifetime.

Jory and I live a couple hundred yards from each other, and spend quite a bit of time together. I think that probably at least 75% of the time that we spend together we are reminiscing about fishing trips or planning the next one. We are fishing buddies!

For several years he has been building custom bamboo fly rods, and with each one he builds he gets better and better. I am mesmerized at how much work and attention go into the construction of these detailed rods. One of the things that I respect the most about Jory is that he is a purist. He ties all of his own flies, builds all of his own rods, and would do more if he could.

Knowing the amount of time and detail that go in to crating one of these masterpieces, I could never be selfish enough to ask him to make me one, so when he offered to make me one, I was beside myself. I couldn't say yes, but I knew that it would be something that I would keep for a long time and possibly hand it down to one of my kids one day.

After many painful decisions of trying to figure out colors, styles, functional features, and lengths he has created what I think to be the perfect rod for me.

These photos are of a few days of the building process. The whole process takes as many as 100 hours to create, depending on details.

Each rod originates from a round piece of bamboo, which is stripped down into 1/4 inch strips.

This particular rod is a 2 piece, hex rod, which consists of 6 pieces of bamboo per side.
This kid wants to name his new baby boy trout....probably won't fly
each piece after it is stripped and measured to size is cut.

extremely rough at this point, it just goes to show that it was made from a plant.
Bamboo has natural joints called nodes, they are filed down to be flush
Bamboo is also fairly pliable, if it is not straight, you heat it and bend it to shape.

The process of burning the bamboo actually strengthens it and gives it character. I opted to have mine "blond".

This is a something common that you see in the process....a lot of hand tools.

once it is rough shaped, it goes into forms that he made out of wood to be hand planed down one tiny sliver at a time. You can't do to much at one time because if your splinter is too big it could extend through the piece of bamboo.
There ends up being thousands of these little doilies all over the place.

This will end up being a grip. Cork cut to shape then glued to the desired shape and color.
a tool that Jory built that assists him to plane down each little strip, when it gets close to the desired shape, he finishes it off by hand.

Every aspect and square inch of everything is measured to exact sizes so when it is put together in the end it all matches up.
After all of the nodes have been staggered, and everything has been cut to size they are glued and bound for a time.

Depending on the weight of the rod, and the "action" (how flexible it is) it is all carefully balanced with the forms that he built.
These are the dimensions that we thought would be best for my rod. Ya I don't really understand it either.
By adjusting the bolts which are staggered every 6 inches it allows the form to open and close to allow it to be bigger or smaller.

a lot of this
This is his fly tying station
He has like a 200 gallon fish tank that houses brook trout, browns, rainbows and even a bluegill. Ya he is obsessed.
Well I don't really have any pics of my rod yet, but you can see on his blog that with the very first cast (for real) I caught a fish, then about 2 casts later I caught another. How perfect is that?

I will put on some pics of my rod as soon as I can take some more detailed ones. You can also see some other pics of rods he has done on his blog, or on mine.

I want to thank Jory for creating this timeless piece of art that I will treasure forever.

Let's go fishing!