This is a demo/loan rod that I built for the upcoming season which opens in October here. I took it to a casting day before taking the pics so sorry about the sand in the stripper. As a lot of people who will probably try this rod are obsessed with weight I tried to keep it as simple as possible. It came in at 2.74 ounces and performs best with a 5.5 or a 6 weight line. It has an action which remind me of the old loomis rods.
This will be a bit of a rant but may start some discussion.
It is Saturday evening here in Australia and I just had a call from a mate who said "some of the guys said there is a nice custom built 6 weight xp on fleabay". I couldn't help myself and wanting to admire a classic sage I said "hang on mate I jump on the computer while your still on the phone". Well what I saw will scar me forever. I straight away said stay away from it at that price as the work is disgusting and I can't be sure it is an xp.
This sought of thing is becoming a problem not just for the consumer but also for the true custom builder. These rods get on sold as custom made when really they are home made and as a result it is devaluing our services. At least half of the work I do are rebuilds or sage warranty work on custom builds. Most of these rods weren't custom built as such. I often ask who did this? and the answer often is "there was a guy in the club who built one for himself and said he would do one for me" or "my mate said he knew a bloke who could do one for half of what the tackle shops are charging". I have seen everything from flat fly tying thread as binding, 24 hour epoxy as coating, the classic large globs of epoxy but the worst is when someone else has attempted the rebuild they hack the epoxy off the blank with a razor taking the finish and graphite/glass with it (and for some unknown reason every time I have seen this it is a sage rod, go figure). Peoples jaws drop when I tell them what I am going to charge but I am lucky in being the only one in the area who knows how to strip a rod down. I don't need the work as it is a second job so I stand firm on my pricing and have never had a complaint after delivering a rod even when it has been delivered late.
I am sure most builders strike this problem and I am curious how, aside from build quality do you deal with the issue in your particular areas.
This rod came to me to have the guides redone a couple of months ago. Built by another builder, The epoxy was breaking apart, two guides were loose and I could see the others going the same way. The client ended up agreeing to redoing the whole lot. As I pulled the sf snakes off I noticed that they showed no sign of wear. I know the client does a lot of fishing and I have done rods for him in the past and he is hard on equipment. I couldn't for the life of me tell what they were. I ran into the client today and he told me they were Hopkins Holloway hardened guides. I have never heard of these. The strippers were Alps so I thought the guide could be the same. I didn't think to take a photo before re wrapping the guides but have attached a photo the client took for me.
Does anyone have an ideas on what they may be?
I bought some "stabilised" pen blanks off ebay. They told me they used cactus juice in a vacuum chamber. They cut the blanks after the process. The blanks look like straight timber on three sides, no evidence of resin. Is this normal? I would have thought it would look a little plasticky.