New Agate Stripping Guides

I just received a new shipment of 9mm and 10mm Agate Stripping Guides for my bamboo fly rods from Joe Arguello. I use only premium quality Agate Stripping Guides with black nickel finishes on my rods, and Joe’s guides are some of the best around. The Green/Olive/Brown guides are for rods with Olive wraps and the Banded Dark Amber guides match a lot of other wrap colors very well.

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Molly Semenik Casting Bamboo

I built a bamboo rod for a dear friend, Molly Sememik, last year and she sent me a photo of her fishing it last week. Molly is a world-class fly casting instructor and she certainly demonstrates how to throw a nice loop with her new rod. I couldn’t help posting this photo here in my blog, as well as an older photo of her fishing her rod with me on the Metolius River last year. And thanks to Heather Hodson for the great casting photo of Molly. Enjoy.

Molly Casting her new bamboo fly rod.

Bamboo EuroNymphing on the Middle Deschutes River

I finally got back out recently on the Middle Deschutes River about 25 minutes from my house with a couple of good fishing friends. The river is fairly small in this area due to water being pulled off for irrigation…but that makes for some great fly fishing water. The salmon fly hatch from two weeks previous was over so I expected that fish would be holding close to the bottom…sounded like a good opportunity to try some Bamboo EuroNymphying. I took out my 9′ 0″ 3 wt Bamboo EuroNymphing rod for the day and wasn’t disappointed. The rainbows, browns, and whitefish were happy to take small nymphs, but the majority were less than 12″ long. But, I was lucky to pick up one very nice brown on a #20 two-bit hooker pattern. Here are a few photos of my day.

The Middle Deschutes River
Fishing with my buddies Bill, Vince, and Lynn.
A nice little rainbow
A beautiful big brown that took a #20 two bit hooker pattern.

Bronze Finish on Snake Guides

I’ve always used snake guides on my bamboo fly rods that have a bronze finish. I’m not fond of a chrome finish on guides, and the bronze finish blends very well with the color of bamboo. Unfortunately, bronzed guides are no longer available so I’ve been working for the past couple of weeks to do my own bronzing on my guides. The early results are looking very promising, but I still have a little more testing to do. So far, I’ve come up with a very slight bronze color, all the way to almost black, playing around with time and temperature in the bronzing solution. Here is an example of my test samples:

Bronzing test samples.
And the finished product wrapped on a new rod!

Kingwood for Reel Seats

I recently discovered a great new wood for reel seats on my rods. Kingwood is a member of the Rosewood family. It’s one of the hardest of the rosewoods, and as such, can be a little challenging to work with. But, with very sharp tools, it turns well on my lathe. It has a little more of a purple color than most of the rosewoods along with many black streaks in it. Once it is finished with a nice oil finish, the purple turns into a deep red color, let’s call it a “Cabernet” color! Here is what it looks like once it is finished.

A beautiful Kingwood reel seat.