Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Custom Fly Rod Crafters - The Bandit

When Swift Fly Fishing released their 7'9" ten weight "Bandit" blank I really didn't know what to expect.  Would it be a chopped down Epic 990?  Would it be heavy?  Would it be capable?  What I did know was that I was intrigued.

Carl McNeil and I traded a few emails and he offered to send a blank for the T.F.M. Fly Rod Demo Program if I could find a builder.  This is typically not to tough as this program gets a lot of support which is greatly appreciated.

Robert Spalliero of Custom Fly Rod Crafters gladly took on the job of building the Bandit out which were chronicled with Part 1 and Part 2 posts and this post will show the completed work along with a few thoughts after casting this fly rod in the yard for a bit.

The first thing that I want to mention now that I've put hands on the Bandit, and seen many other fly rods that Robert has built, is that he does very excellent work.  This fly rod is built to last (demos take on some abuse...) and his workmanship is top notch.  Robert's penmanship is also noteworthy and he scripted "The Fiberglass Manifesto" in white down this green blank perfectly.  All in all a very excellent fly rod build in every way.  

So, what do I think now that I've cast this fly rod?  Impressed.  This is a very capable ten weight that just rockets out line.  I am still working on getting several different suitable ten weight fly lines but used a Scientific Anglers SharkWave GPX nine weight fly line on it with great results.  With just a back cast or two and I was seeing the end of fly line almost going through the guides.  In another caster's hands all the fly line would be laid out on the water, no doubt.  I'm looking forward to trying out a few different fly lines to see what works and what doesn't.  I'm thinking Outbound and Sniper type fly lines will get totally eaten up with this fly rod.

The Bandit is it's own taper and this is certainly not a chopped down Epic 990.  It is surprisingly lightweight in the hand and I can see this fly rod working perfectly for saltwater to musky to taking on anything big that swims.  Big flies and big fish will be no problem for the Bandit and this fly rod is going to Beaver Island this summer for sure.

I've never been afraid of eight foot and under heavier weight fiberglass fly rods and this is one of the best I've cast.  You won't know you're casting a ten weight unless you read it on the blank.  It's that damn good.

Thanks again to Robert for building out the Bandit and if you are looking for a very reasonably priced builder doing excellent work, look his way.

Check out the Swift Fly Fishing website and the Custom Fly Rod Crafters website for more information or to place an order.

Look for the Bandit to be added to the (soon to be re-vamped) T.F.M. Fly Rod Demo Program soon.

1 comment:

bobble said...

Bob changed his name? Hahahha

That's a great looking build! I'm really enjoying the transparent wraps look with the new wave of glass rods.