Wednesday, February 21, 2018

LIMNOLOGY FLY RODS - My First Epic Fly Rod Build

Proving that building your first fly rod can and will lead to wanting to build many more fly rods, Jason Beard of Tasmania, Australia recently posted a few images on his Instagram page of his Swift Fly Fishing Epic 476 Ready To Wrap Fly Rod Kit build which came out stunningly.

Jason is a good sport and was kind enough to share a few images along with some narrative of how this fly rod build came together for this T.F.M. post.  I don't think he could have gotten that color match any better with the fly reel and thread wraps.

Jason wrote...  "My first fly rod build was an Epic 764 three piece kit that I purchased a couple of years ago, just before they decommissioned that model and started making them in four and five piece configurations. The kit sat in storage for about a year before I started building my rod.  During this time I started planning out the color scheme.  I wanted a rod and reel combination that matched or at least, complemented one another.  Oddly, the development of the chosen color scheme on the fly rod started with my old black Bauer M2 fly reel with a silver spool. It was really beat up with rock rash but it's such a cool retro looking reel that I thought would go really well with a fibreglass blank.  Even though the reel was still functionally perfect, I decided to have the reel re-anodized to a blue color as it wasn't as pretty as it used to be and it hid the rock rash.  I had the reel foot anodized to a natural silver color to match the spool.  I then trialed a few different color backing options but it really was a no brainer, orange backing on a blue reel with a silver spool was the perfect combination.  I used the blue and black YLI thread that I ordered with the kit and purchased orange YLI silk and an orange agate stripping guide.  These were the only additions I made to the kit.  I then sat down with some colored pencils and a sketch book and came up with the color combination of blue, orange and black that I thought would work.  In the end I stuck with the snake guide color combination but changed the number of thread wraps for the color scheme on the stripping guide, ferrule wraps, winding check and hook keeper as my original plan didn't look as good in real life as it did on paper.

I practiced wrapping my threads and applying epoxy on a piece of dowel first before wrapping the guides on my rod.  I used a fair amount of thread during the process but it was worth it, as I my thread work came out fairly neat. For rod building references I used the Epic manual extensively and a number of different you tube videos.  I practiced all the techniques but in the end, through trial and error I found what works best for me.

I had many challenges along the way, if a mistake could be made, I made it. Some of them are hilarious and just plain embarrassing! The two biggest challenges I had was color preserving the silk thread and applying the epoxy.  For those about to embark on their first rod build, color preserving silk threads (if you are using silk) is challenging. You need way more color preserver than what is recommended on the bottle, triple the amount in fact! My first attempt at applying epoxy was a disaster.  The room temperature was too low and the epoxy didn't cure.  I had to strip off the epoxy and threads, clean the blank and start over again.  I learned from my mistake and got it right the second time around, well almost, near enough!  Applying epoxy is still difficult but I know it become second nature with practice. I found that applying several thin coats (with a little sanding between coats if needed) gave me the best results.  I ended up with what you see here in the pictures. I guess the moral to the story is with a bit of patience, perseverance and a willingness to learn from your mistakes you can build a rod that looks okay.  I'm already looking forward to my next rod build."

Follow along with Jason's future fly rod builds on the Limnology Fly Rods Instagram page.

Want to build your own fly rod?  Check out the Ready To Wrap Fly Rod Kits from Swift Fly Fishing.

Blackfoot Fall

Here's your 42 seconds of Zen in black and white from Mr. Mark Portman...

Follow Mark on Instagram and hopefully he'll be adding more magic to his Vimeo page as well.

Saturday, February 17, 2018


Scribble it down on your day planner that the Orvis Down the Hatch Fly Fishing Festival is coming to Asheville, North Carolina on April 14, 2018.  This will be an afternoon of music, "Guide Olympics", good food and drinks at Highland Brewing and of course films.  There will also be a truck load of raffles and giveaways to get yourself in on as well.

I've attended Down the Hatch events in both Missoula and Asheville and the friends at Orvis know how to throw a party.

Proceeds from ticket sales and .50 cents from each pint will be donated to the conservation efforts of Trout Unlimited Land O' Sky Chapter.

Need more information?  Visit the Orvis Down the Hatch webpage

Get your tickets HERE before they are all gone.


The trailer to this cut from what will be a 90 minute film was shared the other week on T.F.M. and these nine minutes go deeper into what the Finding Joe Brooks film project will cover in depth.  I can't wait to see the whole story which should be released around Father's Day.

Visit The Joe Brooks Story website for more information and follow the latest updates on this film project on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Friday, February 16, 2018

BONAFIDE KAYAKS - The SS127 Overview

For almost a year now I've been following along with Bonafide Kayaks and watched as their innovative ideas in kayak design have become a reality with the feature rich SS127 which will soon be followed by the smaller SS107

In this video Bonafide Kayaks Founder/CEO Luther Cifers breaks the SS127 down feature by feature with follow up videos in the works which will be posted on their YouTube page.

Visit the Bonafide Kayaks website for more information and follow along with the latest announcements on the Facebook page.

Want to see a Bonafide kayak in person?  Visit your local dealer.


For the entire month of February, Hook + Gaff, Flood Tide Co., Cheeky and Wingo Belts working together on a giveaway with the goods coming in at over $1,000.  It's easy to play and the winner will be announced March 1st, 2018.

Up for grabs in this giveaway...

  • Cheeky Limitless 425 Fly Reel
  • Hook & Gaff Sportfisher II Classic With Blue Dial and Ocean Camo Strap
  • 6 Wingo Custom Belts
  • 2 Pairs of Wingo Fish Skin Socks
  • Flood Tide Apparel Tailer Logo Pocket Tee, Vintage Skiff Trucker, New Spring Belt Buckle, New Foam Coozie and Stickers

Enter HERE.  Good luck.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

THE PALOMETA CLUB - Ascension Bay Bonefish Day

I woke to clear skies on our first morning at the Palometa Club and though it was still dark out, anticipation and humidity were heavy in the air.  Even though we had readied gear the night before, putting fly rods put together, tying fresh leaders and fingered through each others fly boxes to point out favorite crab and shrimp patterns, everyone was up before breakfast to double (and triple) check things.  We were all ready to get out on Ascension Bay to look for permit, bonefish and whatever else might eat a fly.    

My roomie Matt and I were paired with guides Carlos and Sami on the first day and since Matt hadn't ever caught a bonefish, and I really hadn't caught all that many either, we decided to ease into what would become a typically tough week of permit angling with a full day of bonefish.

We motored to a couple mangrove flats picking off a bonefish here and there and then moved to another area where Matt and Sami got out on a huge shallow white sand flat while Carlos and I went across to the other side of the flat.  The boat was anchored and we began slowly and methodically walking through the skinny water.  We found several large groups of bonefish which numbered in the hundreds.  They created tiny ripples on the water as they moved as a group from right to left and then suddenly, for seemingly no reason at all, they would abruptly turn and swim away from where we stood still waiting on them.

The morning turned to afternoon and after a quick lunch at the boat, we again went in different directions on a long walk around the flats.  None of the bonefish caught (or even seen) were all that large but it was still a great day to work on shallow water presentations and intercepting singles, doubles and feeding groups.  Having a kind of leisure day full of light and little wind was a stellar welcome to Ascension Bay.      

A quick gear note to mention that the Swift Fly Fishing Epic 686, which was paired with a Hatch Outdoors 5 Plus and a Scientific Anglers Amplitude Bonefish fly line, were perfect for this day of bonefish.  These fish in skinny water required a long light delivery which was ideal for this six weight fly rod outfit.  The Epic 686 is my new favorite bonefish fly rod for these kind of situations.

Want to visit The Palometa Club?  They are running several different travel specials right now for both spring and summer trips.  Follow along the latest lodge news (with a heavy dose of permit photos) on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.