Man it is hard to believe that another year has gone by. It seems like the older I get the quicker they go. I'm not sure I totally understand that but I know I can't be the only one who feels like it either. I feel as though each time I post on the blog, it comes with an apology. For me, it is always hard to write a fishing and tying blog without fishing or tying. However, with this new year, I have a new attitude and I am planning to get back to my roots so to speak. Sadly, I still can't fish or tie but maybe later this year. Who knows?
This time last year, I was making an all out pain in the ass of myself to all of our friends, family, followers and customers. I know I was a huge pain. I am quite sure people were getting sick and tired of seeing me pop up on their chat screen or private message on Facebook or via my countless emails begging them to cast a vote. What were they voting for you ask? Well they were voting for me to win The Fiberglass Manifesto spotting contest.
For the past six or so years, Cameron over at The Fiberglass Manifesto had been running a monthly spotting contest coupled with an end of the year contest. For those people who won the monthly contest, they were entered into the end of the year contest. The spotting contest was about taking photos with TFM gear in various places and then having people vote on it each month. You had to hustle to get votes from family, friends, etc. So, I naturally took photos with the gear I had bought over the past year. I have stated it before, but I am almost positive I own every type of clothing item Cameron sells. I have been a follower of Cameron for quite some time. He got me started in glass rods and pretty much created a monster. I am sure there are a few of us out there who could say the same thing right? In 2013, I had the pleasure of meeting Cameron as well as a few other amazing people on a trip to Beaver Island. Some of you I am sure remember that. Anyways, I hustled my butt off not only for the win for the month but also for the end of the year contest. The prizes for the end of the year winners were a Kabuto rod of your choice built for the first place winner and the second and third place winners got a Kabuto rod blank of their choice. For those that maybe unfamiliar with the Kabuto rods, I would highly encourage you to check them out. They are in high demand. The Kabuto rods are Japanese fiberglass rods and more information can be found here for those that are interested. Needless to say, I had to have this rod. I wanted this rod. I needed this rod. Badly. I hustled and hustled and then I hustled some more and made a general all out pain of myself. In the end though it was worth it. I won second place. I certainly could not have done it without my family, friends, followers and customers who took time out of their days to cast a vote for me. You guys are awesome and I totally appreciate it.
Knowing that I won, the challenge now became what rod to get and who to built it. I checked with a few friends and the general consensus was (a) get the 6'6" 2wt and (b) have Christian build it. The reasoning behind (a) was that you really do not see a lot of the 6'6" models out there. Also, I love Brook trout and really cut my teeth fishing for them in the mountain streams. They are such stunning fish with a voracious appetite. I love stalking them. Plus they aren't pellet heads with a lot of pressure from other anglers. The reasoning behind (b).....well Christian is an amazing rod builder and this item was certainly in his wheel house. Not only is Christian an amazing rod builder but he is an amazing caster and an all around great guy who I am proud to call a friend. I had the pleasure of meeting Christian at Beaver Island in 2013. I sincerely hope we get to fish together next time we meet. Please take some time and check out Christian's work. You may find his site here. So, I reached out to Christian and he happily agreed to build the rod.
Over the course of last year, my 6'6" 2wt travelled from Japan to Sweden to be built. From Sweden it travelled to the United States upon being built. About a week before Christmas, I got a rod tube in the mail. I had totally forgotten about it, despite Christian telling me it was on its way. To say I was blown away by his work would be a gross understatement. My jaw dropped upon opening up the rod tube. He certainly is a master builder in his own right and I am so pleased with what he did with the rod. Christian asked me a few questions but really I left the build up to him as I always do with rod builders. They are the masters not me. I don't want to tell them how to do their job. That's not my style. Christian really did an amazing job on this rod. I cannot wait to take it out for a spin. Brook trout be afraid....be very afraid.
I would like to say thank you to all of my family, friends, followers and customers who voted for me. Without you all this would not have been possible. Thank you to Cameron for taking the time to put such an amazing contest together. In the final year of it, I am glad I won. A big shout out to Kabuto rods. They truly are fiberglass rods at their finest. Thank you Christian for building it. You did a fantastic job my friend. Last but not least, thanks Melissa for putting up with my addiction to fiberglass rods. Now....photos