Friday, December 27, 2013

Tightloop Fly Rods - Epic 480 Complete

After a trip to town on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, I came home to find package from Romania propped up by the door from Tightloop Fly Rods.  I had been waiting for the Swift Fly Fishing Epic 480 that George Minculete had built for me to arrive for several weeks in making the trip over through the postal system from Europe.  It's timely arrival made it an unintended Christmas gift to myself.

George's workmanship on this blank was incredible and I am beyond impressed.  The action of the Epic 480 differs a bit from the Epic 476 and I believe that I'll like it quite a bit.  The translucence of the olive blank is really striking and overall I couldn't be happier with how this build came out.  It is great to have one of George's builds in my personal collection and this one came out perfect.

George wrote...  "Well the T.F.M. Swift Epic 480 olive was finally finished.

I did take my time on this after I had a bit of a discussion with Cameron regarding how he will want the wraps to look when finished.  The Epic olive, is a very translucent blank, so it was a bit of a struggle deciding on whether to preserve the wraps or not. Normally I wouldn't. But after doing some tests I felt like I didn't want to have fully darkened and transparent wraps on this rod and keep the silk wraps a little lighter colored. So I decided to slightly preserve those beautiful olive wraps tipped in bright yellow in order to retain some sparkle in them when finished, but still have some translucency. I'm glad I did it as I was very satisfied with the result.

The components on this rod are pretty special. I found a matching winding check for my "Struble D27" inspired reel seat. The radiused hardware of this reel seat is very special as I worked on the design with Joel Lemke about a year ago. I wanted to have something similar with the Struble D27, but not exactly the same hardware. Joel was very happy with my idea since he was the one to design the D27 back when he worked for Struble.  Cameron likes a cigar type handle on his lighter glass rods so I hope I did him justice. I always use a cork sealer to maintain a nice smooth feel of the handle and to seal the pores in the cork.

The reel seat insert is an olive-yellowish piece of buckeye wood. It was the only thing I had on hand that was a good match for this beautiful olive blank. I went with light amber, almost white agate to complete the set."

Check out the Tightloop Fly Rods website for more information on this build and others that George is working on.

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Jay said...

George does a hell of a job.
The (old!) Loomis blank he finished for me is amazing.

Enjoy & show us some pictures of this rod in action.

Jay said...

I just did some lawn casting of my Epic 480 outside with a 3 weight line. I was amazed how well, excellent, it cast! If anyone said the Epic 480 was a 3 weight rod I had no doubt.

Cameron Mortenson said...

Jay...interesting. I'll have to try my 480 with a three weight. I like it so much with a four weight line already.