Largemouth Bass Lineup

Largemouth Bass Lineup

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Foam Divers

Recently, we have been working on some foam divers for a special order.  The foam heads are manufactured by Rainy's, come in three different sizes and seven different colors.  I decided to use the small ones for this order.  These divers are tied on a size 2 Gamakatsu B10S stinger hook.  We tied them in black/purple, black/orange, chartreuse/white, yellow/black, orange/black, olive/yellow and white/red color combos.  I believe we will be adding some black/blue and cinnamon/tan to the mix as well.  For me, I like to stick with the tail matching the body, marabou to match as well, followed up with Palmer chenille to match the body and tail color.  Last, I like to add a contrasting color to the mix right behind the foam head.  I think these will hunt just fine and I am pleased with how they turned out.  We did go through a few heads until we got them where we wanted them.  A few of the earlier models had some rubber legs tied in just before the foam head.  My concern though is that they may get tangled up in the hook.  We are not fans of running the legs through the body so we just decided to eliminate them from the fly.  I'm not sure it makes a difference in this one anyways.

Hook: Gamakatsu B10S size 2
Thread: Flat waxed nylon
Tail: Hareline micro rabbit
Flash: Flashabou to match the tail and/or body color
Body: marabou, Palmer chenille and marabou
Eyes: Hareline 3/16" Oval pupil 3D eyes

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Cortland Pro Crest, A Rod No One Wanted?

From 1965 to around 1970, Cortland released a line of fiberglass fly rods called Pro Crest.  These rods ranged in size from 6'6" to 8'6" and covered line weights from 5 to 8.  They didn't make large numbers of them, but they were good rods that sold for around thirty dollars.  After the Pro Crest line came the Crown line which was followed by the FR-2000 line in the early to mid 70's.

I have been a fan of Cortland rods ever since I bought my first one twenty years ago.  Since being introduced into the magical world of fiberglass fly rods a few years ago, I have been looking for and collecting these older Cortland rods.  Last year I managed to grab a Pro Crest 7'6" 6 weight for around $40.00 on eBay.  It was in great condition with very little use.  I figured the price was right so I went ahead and got it.  Fast forward to earlier this month when another Pro Crest appears on eBay. This one was a 8'6" version recommended for 6/7 weight line with minimal wear and tear.  It was listed at $19.99 with $5.95 shipping.  I watched, waited and plotted until the bidding ended.  I ended up winning the auction as the one and only bidder.  I could not believe my luck.  No one bid on it?!? I am shocked.  I can't believe it still.  When you think about it, I paid less than this rod originally sold for however, to be fair, it did not have the rod tube or bag with it.  Regardless, what a great score.  As stated, it has minimal wear and tear.  All the guides have tight wraps and none are dried out.  The cork has some soiling and there are some mild blemish marks but nothing that detracts from the overall beauty or integrity of the rod.  Another fantastic rod added to my ever growing vintage glass collection.  Glass is not dead.  It is alive and well in this house.

Friday, February 20, 2015


It's no secret that I love panfish.  Depending on my mood they tie (with smallies, of course) for the #1 spot of my favorite fish to catch on the fly.  I really think that they are an underrated fish to catch on the fly.  This has always bothered me given that pound for pound panfish fight just as hard as other bigger gamefish like smallmouth or largemouth.  It was great to see the Year of the Bluegill last year. Hopefully we will see the Year of the Panfish in the near future.  Anyways....I digress.

Based on my love of all things panfish, I tend to seek out and buy those rods that were specifically designed to pursue these marvelous gamefish.  I recently shared some photos and knowledge about my newly acquired Wright and McGill quad solid panfish vintage fiberglass rod.  About two weeks ago, I discovered that there was a particular Shakespeare fiberglass rod on eBay that I had been looking to buy for quite some time.  Between 1956 and 1963, Shakespeare made two different fiberglass fly rods called the Panfish Special.  Both models came in two different lengths which were 6'6" and 7'0.  Both were two pieces and designed to cast a DT4F or L5F.  Truthfully there really aren't a lot of vintage fiberglass rods that are rated for a four weight line.  Upon examination of the listing, I knew I had to have this rod.  HAD TO HAVE IT!  Sadly, I had only recently sworn off eBay for a while.  I had been encouraged to slow down my rod acquiring, eBay searching habit by Melissa... apparently there's a premium on space in my house.  I'm unclear on why we can't just buy a bugger house!  When this guy popped up, I was worried I might not be able to bid on it, due to the aforementioned hiatus.  Thankfully, Melissa knew that I had been searching for quite some time for one of the two Shakespeare panfish models.  She graciously gave me approval to ensure my successful purchase of the rod.  If I am being honest here, some spouses do not understand a fisherman's need or desire to purchase fishing tackle.  To them it all looks the same and functions the same which is funny because shoes seem to be collected on a regular basis.  Maybe we should demand to have a rod for every pair of shoes our spouses own?  Last count of Melissa's collection of shoes put it around 55.  Given that I only have 52 rods, I SHOULD be able to grab three more give or take.  No way in hell that ever happens though right?

Well, the rod arrived today and I am thrilled with it.  This one is the 922 model and it was manufactured in Sept of 1962.  Everything appears to be in fantastic shape aside from a small scratch through the decal.  I can live with that though.  I can not wait to cast it.  A DT4F....for real?  Like I said, not many of them out there from the 50s and 60s.  I'm glad to say though, that this one is now mine and I can't wait to put a bend in it with some panfish.

I big thank you to my wife for almost encouraging a purchase of a fly rod!  Now she'll probably want some more shoes.  HA!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Quad Solid Glass

Recently, I was able to acquire a Wright and McGill Panfish PF 7 fly rod rated for 6 or 7 weight line. Why is this rod special or different?  Well not only is it for panfish but it is quad solid Kyla fiberglass rod.  That's right, a solid square fiberglass fly rod.  How often do you see that?  This was the first one I'd ever seen!  Sadly, I have not been able to locate a date for this rod.  I have had people tell me it was made anywhere from the mid 50s to the mid 60s.  I'm just not sure.  Regardless, I really think it's a very neat rod.  The rod is very unique not only in its square design but that it has what one might call mismatching parts.....on purpose.  The reel seat is green yet it has a silver hood and locking nut.  It has multicolored wraps which I've heard called clown wraps.  They include the colors orange, red, green, yellow and black.  One wrap might start with say yellow while the next series might start with green.  Every single wrap is different in the order of the colors used.  Craziness.  The cork looks beat up and this rod is missing a chunk but from what I have seen, the cork actually might have come like this.  It does appear as though the wraps for the hook keeper have been replaced.  Overall this rod is in pretty good condition for its age and I look forward to using it when I can finally fish again.  I am happy to have added this gem to the arsenal.