Saturday, June 3, 2023

SKWALA - Brown Water Party Kit Sweepstakes

The folks at SKWALA (and friends) have put together a fun giveaway to get you through runoff that is worth taking a few seconds to enter over the weekend.  Poke around the website to check out there gear while you're there...

Along with some stellar SKWALA gear, the prize package includes a fly rod (sadly, not glass...) from Thomas & Thomas, a fly reel from Nautilus, a fly line and leaders from Scientific Anglers, fly boxes from Fulling Mill, sunglasses from Bajio, a TURTLEBOX speaker, a cocktail kit from Whiskey Leatherworks, and finally, a gift certificate and swag from Bozeman Spirits

 Learn more on the SKWALA Instagram post and get your entry in HERE.

The winner will be announced the week of June 12th.  Good luck.

TIGHTLOOP FLY RODS - Thomas & Thomas Lotic 744-3

I know that it was just the other day that I shared George Minculete's work from Tightloops Fly Rods but this Thomas & Thomas Lotic build is just so stunning that it deserves a T.F.M. post as well. 

The Thomas & Thomas Lotic fly rods certainly aren't talked about enough among "Glass Geeks" and certainly should be.  They are just wonderful tapers.  Short, crisp, and smooth are all words that I think of from fishing this series and offered in a 3, 4, and 5-weight. 

George wrote...  "A special project I've recently finished.  Simply put, the Thomas&Thomas Lotic represents the state-of-the-art in fiberglass rods made today. As soon as I picked up this blank I knew it will be something special.  Looks like a modern take on a classic taper with a crisp feel and a snappy action. 

The blank was purchased by a good friend who had the factory rod at some point, saying that this Lotic 744-3 was the best four weight he has ever cast.  That intrigued me the most to build this rod. 

We decided to go with a six inch "snub-nose" modified wells grip and a classic uplocking Lemke reel seat in bright hardware and dark, almost black wood to complement the royal blue colored blank as good as possible. The blueish-grey Yli silk tipped white in key spots was a good match and the Struble Mfg. blue agate was a must.

More recently I started to source out locally made aluminum rod tubes, trying to make them as minimalist and exquisite as possible. My friend had some ideas of laser printing on the tube caps and the result was stunning.

The rod was ready just in time for the Romanian Fly Fishing Expo event this month and was able to cast it. This Lotic is indeed a very stable rod for glass to cast at almost any fishing distances. I've put my trusty Airflo line that I use at casting demos and the rod threw stable, effortless tight loops like butter."

Visit the Tightloop Fly Rods website to see more images of this build and be sure to follow along on Facebook and Instagram for the latest shop news.

PATAGONIA - No Fly Zones

Welp, this is sobering.  What if there weren't any more bugs...

Deep dive into the full article on Patagonia Stories.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

MAIL STACK - Glass I'm Playing With This Spring

Over the years of writing The Fiberglass Manifesto, one of exciting (but sometimes overwhelming) aspects of the "job" is getting to demo and test fly rods from all sorts of makers and manufacturers.  Sometimes it's a big secret, sometimes it's prototypes, and sometimes it's the final version fly rods.  It often means that I have way more fly rods than anyone should ever need.  I don't hate it though.

Long cardboard boxes have been showing up on our doorstep with regularity lately and I shot a photograph of everything on my bench.  A few more have arrived since then.  Some of these rods went on trips already and others are lined up to go in the coming weeks.  
Here's a few first look notes and I'll circle back with full T.F.M. write-ups on most over time...

My first fly rod outfit cost me $60 and even though that was going on 30 years ago, I'm still a pushover for fly rods that exceed expectations of a price tag that doesn't shock the senses.  I've had a few T.F.M. readers who's reached out lately talking up the Aventik S-Glass fly rods that are found on Amazon.  I ordered several to review and been impressed. Who says that fly rods have to be $500?  More on these soon...


First, Shane is hard to keep up with.  His shop is constantly abuzz and when he sent a package full of new ideas to get my feedback, I couldn't play with them fast enough before they were already on his website.  Patience isn't Shane's forte...

Most of these have been lawn cast, played with, and sent back.  The Nomad fly rods were wonderful but unsure if Shane has them anymore (?), one of the Brute fly rods stayed with me to demo on the pond, and I kept one of the glass ultralight spinning rods as well.  Everyone should have one tucked away for a bluegills chomping on crickets mission.

As much as I heart fiberglass fly rods, a not so secret obsession of late has been glass spinning rods and when the folks at Maven tipped me off that they were adding a glass option to their Gulf Spinning Rod lineup, I knew I had to have one.  Those one went to the Louisiana marsh with me earlier this year and it's still unbelievable that in four days of fishing, only one bull redfish ate the lure.  SMH...

What I have figured out though is that from here on out though, this short but sturdy spinning rod will be going on every saltwater trip since it's always great to have options.


When the folks at Moonshine Rod Co. decided to redesign their Revival Glass series, they went from E-Glass to S-Glass and went from two fly rods to five fly rods to extend the offerings from 2-weight to 6-weight.  They also are 4-piece instead of 3-piece which makes them so much easier to travel with now.  I have the 7' 3-weight and I like it a lot.  I also like that their fly rods come with a second tip since if you're going to break a section, that's the one.   More on this one after I bend it on a bunch of bluegills...

What's unbelievable to me is that I've been messing around with fiberglass fly rods long enough that Redington has debuted not one, not two, but now three generations of fiberglass fly rods.  As much as I liked the looks and full lineup of the last Butter Stick series, a more classic look and "trout weight" offerings with just a 3, 4, and 5-weight in the current line up.  I have the 8' 5-weight on demo and it'll get worked out this summer on some warmwater ponds and streams nearby.

Longtime readers know that I am a huge fan of the Red Truck Glass "trout weight" fly rods and when James Park went to the drawing board with a 6-weight and 8-weight, I was in.  I've messed around with the 8-weight enough to know it's one to consider and looking forward to carrying it up to Beaver Island with me in a couple of weeks for some more in depth testing.

You might not have been able to see it in the first photograph in this post but there was a rod case underneath all that glass and it's the new Patagonia Black Hole Rod Case.  This thing is lightweight, built to last, and cavernous.  I flew with this one to Louisiana and it had six or eight fly rods, a spinning rod, multiple fly reels, sunglasses, camera gear, and more. This should be an absolute contender if you're looking for a carry-it-all rod case.  

Okay, it's time to go fishing...

DUCK CAMP - Spring 2023 & Women's Collection

I wear a lot of Duck Camp clothing and along with being stoked with their Spring 2023 lineup, they have also recently launch a Women's Collection which both are both worthy of a look.

Visit the Duck Camp website to see the Spring 2023 Collection and Women's Collection.

TOM'S TIPS - How To Pick A Streamer Fly

As a follow-up to last week's video on streamer leader setups, in this "Tom's Tips" episode, Tom Rosenbauer focuses on the things to consider when picking a streamer fly.

See more on the Orvis YouTube channel and check out the latest gear on the Orvis website.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

RON'S FLY ROD TUBES - Website Launch & T.F.M. Discount Code

I've known John Noble of Scaly Designs for years and the other day he reached out to pass along that he has just launched a new company, Ron's Fly Rod Tubes, to fill a void in sourcing and providing high quality aluminum fly rod tubes for custom builders and anyone else in need.  There are a ton of options for length, color, and end cap to choose from.

And, today through Tuesday, use code "TFM25" for 25% off your order. 

John provides some background on why he's opened up a new shop below...

John wrote...  "After Ron Cilli retired and closed down Landmark Component Company, I got together with him and his suppliers to fill the void. As a custom fly rod tube painter with Scaly Designs, it was incredibly hard to find tubes and even harder to get them in a timely manner.  After 6-7 months of frustration and turning customers away because I had no tubes to paint I became my own supplier and named the business after Ron. 

So anyone looking for superior tubes, lots of options, extremely fast shipping, and easy point and click ordering, please visit the new website, Ron's Fly Rod Tubes

I'm always around on Instagram or email with any questions.  I'll be happy to help!  International orders are no problem so just email me and I'll get you taken care of."

Visit the Ron's Fly Rod Tubes website to check it all out.  Follow along on Instagram for the latest shop news and promotions.