Monday, April 25, 2011

New L. Kenney Models And Update

Larry Kenney is one of several custom fiberglass fly rod builders that more or less stay busy enough on customer builds to be happy with the work flow but he's not one to let rod building to get in the way of his own fly fishing or hunting depending on the season or what he's feeling like doing that particular day.  He'll also be the first to tell you that he's taking each build one at a time and there might be a wait.  Fair enough.

I did want to pass along to the T.F.M. readership that Larry Kenney is offering three added models for 2011 in six and seven line weights as well as an update that he wrote on the other fly rods in his fiberglass series. 

The three new models for 2011 are the following:

Model 836 8’3” Three Piece #6 line 3.4 ounces
Model 866 8’6” Three Piece #6 line 3.6 ounces
Model 887 8’8” Three Piece #7 line 4.0 ounces

Long fiberglass rods and those for heavier line weights present something of a puzzle. As glass gets much past eight feet in length, it moves into an area where lighter graphite becomes a pretty sensible choice.  But I love the way glass feels and fishes, and being sensible doesn’t stop me from fishing older glass rods for lines as beefy as a 9’3” ten weight.  The good ones (Winstons, Fishers, Claudios, a few Fenwicks and Scotts) heavy though they are, cast a truly sweet line.  Moreover, glass seems to give me more “touch” than graphite when connected to a large fish.  I don’t envision building any ten weight, or even eight or nine weight glass models, but six and seven weights, at eight and a half feet or so, are another story.  That’s still glass country so far as I’m concerned, and after a year or so of testing new tapers and glass patterns, I have to say I’m extremely happy with the three rods listed above.  So have been the picky casters who’ve handled the prototypes.

At 3.4 to 4.0 ounces in weight, my new 836, 866, and 887 models weigh more than most graphite rods but are quite a bit lighter than comparable bamboo rods.  They’re supple yet substantial in feel, and all three possess that hard-to-describe feeling of controlled flex that’s a particular virtue of good glass.  Their progressive actions have responsive enough tips to handle short line presentations, and let you put more of the rod into play as you extend liner.  Eighty feet is no barrier to the competent caster.

The 836 and 866 are both fine choices for large dries, nymphs and streamers.  The 836 is somewhat faster than the more deliberate, very slightly more supple 866.  Choosing between them is just splitting hairs. They’re both sweet, and I’m listing both because I couldn’t decide which one NOT to offer were I to build just one six weight.

Model 887 is a stable, smooth, powerful rod for seven weight lines or #8 shooting heads.  It’s got the beef to bull bass out of structure, will handle long casts with large flies, isn’t too light or too short for many steelhead streams, and flat asks to be tested on fish that pull back.  I love this rod and plan to fish it in a few places that are probably completely inappropriate.

As with my lighter line models, models 836, 866, and 887 have unsanded latte colored blanks, Carbaloy stripping guides, black nickel snakes and top, and chestnut wraps with modest tan spirals at grip, ferrules and tip . Grips are my rather flat Wells and the reel seat is an uplocking model with walnut spacer.  They can be built with either a one-half inch cork butt extension or with a flush fitting Delrin butt plug.

Wood Uplock Reel Seats
In response to a number of requests, I’m now offering a walnut uplock reel seat option on models 794 and 835.  The spacers on these seats are nicely figured black walnut with a satin finish.

Prices for Rods Delivered in 2011
Model 733 7’3” #3 Line. Three Piece.  2.0 ounces. 
Built only with cork slide band reel seat - $550

Model 794 7’9” #4 Line Three Piece. 2.4 to 2.8 ounces. 
Cork slide band reel seat - $560
Walnut spacer uplock reel seat - $570
Cork spacer uplock reel seat - $580

Model 813 8’1” #3 Line Three Piece.  2. 6 ounces. 
Built only with cork slide band reel seat - $580

Model 835 8’3” DT4/WF5 Three Piece.  3.0 to 3.4 ounces. 
Cork slide band reel seat - $590
Walnut spacer uplock reel seat - $600
Cork spacer uplock reel seat - $610

Model 836 8’3” #6 Line Three Piece.  3.4 ounces.
Walnut spacer uplock reel seat - $620

Model 866 8’6” #6 Line Three Piece.  3.6 ounces. 
Walnut spacer uplock reel seat - $620

Model 887 8’8” #7 Line Three Piece.  4.0 ounces. 
Walnut spacer uplock reel seat - $620

• Prices quoted are for rods delivered in 2011. Modest increases are possible if my own costs increase.

• All rods come with partitioned cloth liner and aluminum rod case.

• Add $20 for shipping in the Continental USA via USPS Priority Mail, insured, with delivery confirmation. Shipments to Alaska and Hawaii may be higher. Shipments outside the USA will be by USPS Priority International, with rates quoted on request.

Note: Back order times are currently about six months from date of order, which irritates me as much as it does you. I could build more rods, or build them faster, but that would leave me too little time to fish.  Not going to happen.


Shane said...

I love the look! The wood inserts are killer.

Cameron Mortenson said...

Shane...I like cork but Kenney's wood looks excellent on those builds.