Tuesday, February 21, 2012

T.F.M. Fly Rod Loan Program

Lately there has been a bit of a windfall of long slender boxes and tubes showing up on my doorstep and I figured that I should explain why so many most excellent fly rods are showing up.

Even before I began writing T.F.M. (Which is going on four years ago...can you believe that?) I had started collecting examples from several of the contemporary fiberglass fly rod builders.  I consider many of them to be taper masters and artisans and wanted to own at least one fly rod from as many builders as I could.  As the number of fine fiberglass fly rod builders has grown over the past several years this focus has caused my gear allowance account to take a hit more times than I'd like to remember.  Collecting examples from a growing number of the most talented builders is an ongoing process.

Fly rods which show up on my doorstep for one of several reasons.  Think "Gear Hoarder" with a twist. 

First, there are fiberglass fly rod builders that I greatly respect and support with an order and money from my back pocket.  Each year I add a couple fly rods to my own collection this way.

Second, some rod shops have sent long term demos which I use and review, take along to presentations, or are sent to someone who is seriously interested in a certain rod maker or taper and borrowing a fly rod for a couple weeks helps make their decision since most of these fly rods can not be found at a local fly shop.

Third, as readership has grown on T.F.M. it has allowed me to add a limited number of quality advertisers to help compensate for the time spent working on this website.  From time to time payment for ad space has been paid with a fiberglass fly rod build and usually comes with the agreement that it will be used for the T.F.M. Fly Rod Loan Program.

Finally, from time to time I have been surprised by a fiberglass fly rod that has been sent as a gift from a builder as a thank you for T.F.M. and how it has exposed new customers to their work.  Honestly, it is personally gratifying to know that this website has helped the small shop builders, the blank makers, and the fly rod companies enough along the way to be noticed.  It's really a large part of the reason why I started writing T.F.M. in the first place.  

In the coming weeks I'll be posting up "The List" which will outline the library of fly rods which I have available for loan.  I believe that the number of fly rods is pushing two dozen with a couple more in the works.  Over the past couple years that I have been doing this in a more or less "underground" nature it has been very successful.  Besides a cracked ferrule, which was expertly fixed, there have been no causalities or losses.

The T.F.M. Fly Rod Loan Program is just another way that I hope is spreading the word that "Glass Is Not Dead" and that there are some seriously good fiberglass fly rods for anglers to consider.

If you have any questions please send me an email at thefiberglassmanifesto@gmail.com.


Lucas Carroll said...

Great post Cameron. Your generosity and overall purpose for TFM has always been greatly appreciated, can't wait to see the list!

Cameron Mortenson said...

Lucas...thanks for the comment. The last thing that I would want people to think is that I'm the fiberglass jerk that has all the toys. There is a method to this madness.

~doubletaper said...

as a new member of the fiberglass manifesto i want to say thanks for you giving me a little history of your blog. i didn't realize there were so many custom glass builders out there. your blog IS very helpful as you anticipated. looks like i'll be saving up for a custom build myself. ~DT

Shane said...

Cameron, for all you do, have done and will continue do in the future. I think from time to time, you receiving a rod as a gift/demo should not be an issue. I thank you, and I am sure several others thank you as well. TFM is awesome! And I think your readers will respect this post.

Pam said...

A great idea and a great way to let people see what kind of glass they're interested in before they buy. Thanks Cam!