TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


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By Ron Mc
#2296457
Of course the general topic is half the content of fiberglassflyrodders forum, but since I snagged a great ebay unopposed bid and took the photos, thought I'd show these very desirable glass fly rods.
Both of these are 6'6", rated for 6-wt, will fish a 5-wt line or 100-grain shooting head wonderfully, and fit in the tightest spaces.
The darker rod is a Phillipson Royal Wand RWF66C, the yellow-color a Phillipson Fly Fox FF66C.
Image The unopposed ebay bid was $120 on the Fly Fox.
Both rods date to about '69-70, and represent Bill Phillipson's first hands-on fiberglass sleeve ferrules, and just before his failing health caused him to sell his business to 3M.
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Because of its inherent low modulus, these short, mid-line-weight glass rods out-perform any other MOC, S-glass, bamboo, and graphite just doesn't work here.

Short Phillipson rods, in particular, roll-cast amazingly for their short length.
In its day, this was the highest-tech, and a niche that got left behind when 9' graphite became the industry buzzword.
They're also great teaching rods, because they're extremely light weight, and you feel everything about the rod loading.
Fishing these will make you better with your graphite rod.
Quite honestly, even in new glass, none compare to the performance of these.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2296459
If you notice the resemblance to Orvis Fullflex ferrules, it's because Orvis bought Phillipson blanks for a half-a-decade before they copied them.
These are super hill country rods.
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Also keep your eyes peeled for 7' Phillipson rods, which are equally wonderful - they were also sold by Orvis and LL Bean.
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By bones72
#2296460
Ron you need to write history book on this kind of stuff, seriously. That's some really cool stuff and had not considered Orvis and Bean getting in on the action. Should have suspected as in that era many folks were swapping stuff back and forth and buying stuff up; kinda like Hardy's collusion with Scientific Angler in that period.
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By Ron Mc
#2296462
Joe Kennedy Fisher supplied rod blanks to Hardy, Winston, Scott, Thomas & Thomas, even early glass to Sage,
and those wonderful Scientific Anglers System rods - if you find a SA System 5, DO NOT PASS GO
And if you find a System 4, buy it to re-sell.
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Fisher rods are considered the epitome of glass and to many of us, his graphite rods are the peak, as well.
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ps - in the late 60s, Joe Fisher built a rod factory in California and shipped it to Hardy, to replace all the blanks he was shipping from Mound House, NV to Alnwick, UK.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2296468
bones72 wrote:Ron you need to write history book on this kind of stuff, seriously. That's some really cool stuff and had not considered Orvis and Bean getting in on the action. Should have suspected as in that era many folks were swapping stuff back and forth and buying stuff up; kinda like Hardy's collusion with Scientific Angler in that period.

thanks, bro, but the book is already written
https://www.abebooks.com/book-search/ti ... r/johnson/
Father and son, Victor Johnson and Jr.
Worth looking into if it interests you.

Glass fly rods from 6' to 8' have a real niche for hill country warmwater fishing and kayak fishing.
Also, most of the 8' venerable glass rods were 7-wts, and fish quite well in the salt, like this 1960 Harnell.
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User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2296494
:D but it's all useful, assuming you're not talking about the museum just outside my soul
(also have my photo archives organized to find stuff...)
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But if you think what I'm posting is about collecting, being retro, or nostalgia, you didn't get it.
Form follows function, and it's about making enlightened choices.

They don't make fly rods that function this way any more - they left them behind when they couldn't sell any rod that wasn't made from graphite - 9' fly rods took over, because that's where graphite works best.
There are rod configurations where e-glass works better than any other MOC, and you can build glass rod configurations that absolutely don't work in graphite, or even in cane.
Only 50 years later are new glass rods finding this niche again, they're being made by equally dedicated rod designers, but to get modern glass rods that compare in performance to the venerable rods I posted above, you have to spend $700 (or patiently snipe the venerable rod on ebay).
People have also tried to get this feel by going to ultra-light-line rods for all fishing situations.
And the grain weights on new fly lines got all screwed up from the AFTMA standards to match screwed up rod designations (especially in saltwater lines).

When we talk about cane rods (7' to 8-1/2' is where both cane and S-glass shine) or e-glass rods (6' to 8'), right off we talk about rod taper, with progressive taper at one end of rod design and parabolic taper at the other. You quickly recognize those taper differences in cane and glass, and what advantages they give you (fishing dry flies, throwing big streamers, forgiveness for sloppy casting, roll-casting, improved accuracy, improved distance).
9' graphite rods still have tapers, but harder to detect in stiffer graphite, and they don't talk about them, or maybe they don't want you to know about them - e.g., Sage RPLX and TCR are as parabolic as any Charles Ritz, Garrison or PHY.

Fisher was on the progressive taper soapbox when he was selling graphite rods, and it's that taper that makes his long rods magic wands for accuracy and forgiveness (in the same vein as Phillipson glass).
He also made wonderful combo rods 4-pc, 9' spigot ferrule. These rods included a 2nd handle section that with the top two pieces, made a 3-pc 6'9" para rod - a really fast, unforgiving pocket rocket, that rewards good timing and haul with incredible distance for its length. With my Fisher Sterling combo, I call the long combo my magic wand because it repeats the ability to literally cast on a dime at 60' over and over - better than you thought you could do, while the short para combo will cast every bit of the distance the long rod can reach. (T&T and Scott both sold the 6'9" 3-pc as stand alone rods.)

The rod makers went through graphite modulus wars beginning in the mid-80s, driven by Ted Leeson rod reviews of faster is better, and Loomis cheating by under-rating the line weights on their rods to make them appear faster. It all ended abruptly right about 2000, and they went in a smarter direction - backwards, but their marketing won't tell you that.
Graphite II (IM6) Powell Light Line series rods, Sage Light Line Series rods (all Fisher graphite) are as pleasant functional fishing tools as any ever made, and have a following larger and equally committed as any bamboo and glass devotees.

Graphite III (IM7) included Sage RPLX. The abruptness c. 2000 was the abruptness of Graphite IV itself. People complained these rods were so incredibly harsh, they took the fun out of fishing, Beginning in 2005, Graphite V and subsequent generations backed off on modulus and concentrated on damping to ease back from the harsh edge.

My fly rod hierarchy is simple. I prefer cane for all trout fishing situations, I prefer those shorter venerable glass rods for warmwater fishing. Any place I need a 9' rod, or a line weight above 7, graphite is my go-to because of the weight advantage.
Though I do have a wonderful Japanese S-glass 6/7 para taper inshore rod, 8-1/2' that will do anything my Sage RPLX7 will do, except shock your joints when you shoot line.
Here's that Fisher Sterling, which makes a great travel rod, and a big Alaska dolly.
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Last edited by Ron Mc on Sat Dec 21, 2019 8:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
By bones72
#2296515
Again I love glass and 'boo. My best casting rod is an old Horrick's and Ibbetson's 5/6 wt. It flat out does anything, close,short and it is accurate to an inch. My favorite glass I own now is a Hardy Glass in a 6' 3wt, one of the newer ones they came out with around 2006 or so. The ones they are making currently don't have the same feel. Don't no what the change was but its something. I do have one modern made custom 'boo from a local maker up in Colorado and its pretty sweet but does not feel as "alive" as my old 5/6. That vintage stuff was where it was at I think mainly because even though a fair amount was mass produced there was a whole lot more attention to detail because of human interaction.
User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2296516
You should show some rod porn for us.

It seems many of the newer glass series rods, particularly economy niche, alter the tapers with each batch produced, probably related to offshore manufacturing.
This is certainly true of Cabelas. I would never say the CGR 7/8 is a great rod, though it fishes in close very well, especially sitting in a kayak. It's persnickety about shooting line, but matched with the right line (Cortland Salt Guide 7-wt), I can lay out 60-70' on the 3rd stroke from leader.
But it took a lot of different line tests, which I had a lot of lines to use, to work this out.
Where the rod shines is a short front taper with a narrow range in belly weight, 180 to 210 grains. Lower grain weight won't shoot, higher overloads the rod mid. But the rod fishes great in close with any line or leader alone.
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By bones72
#2296544
Here you go a few pics of the arrows in my quiver.

My older H&I Rod even have the original bag and vinyl covered cardboard rod tube.
H&I I.jpg
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H&I II.jpg
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Hardy/Scientfic Angler reel I paired it with.
Hardyreel.jpg
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Modern Rods
Hardyrod I.jpg
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By bones72
#2296545
Hardy rod II.jpg
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Good glass on that Hardy. Think it was one of the last to come out of Alnwick before they made their jump to Korean production as the Hardy Angel IIE that shipped with it is stamped made in Alnwick.
User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2296546
The long H-I would be a good tailwater trout rod.
I love the reel seat on the Hardy - the style would look really nice with a Perfect or even classic-looking Dutchess.

Diverting to cane, here's a nice thick-section alloy seat on a Farlow Armourcane imported by Norm Thompson.
These rods were a steal - the same impregnated blank used on Leonard Duracane for a fraction of the price.
I bought it 2nd or 3rd hand dressed up by my buddy rodmaker Rob Sherill, and have since sent it to a new home.
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The story of the 5-lb bass is too fun not to tell.
I was sight-fishing her on an oxbow on the Pedernales headwater. She was creeping around my cats whisker in a yawn.
Just before she got there, this massive 14" redbreast sunfish shot out and grabbed the fly.
The whole time I was fighting the yellow belly, so was the bass hen. She settled at my feet while I was handling the sunny to photograph and release it. I daubed the fly in front of my feet and the bass shot up and snagged it.
There aren't too many times you get a 5-lb bass waiting in line to eat your fly.
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By bones72
#2296548
No there isn't to many times big bass que up for a meal like that, but good gravy that is a monster red breast. Texas has some of the biggest red breasts I have ever seen though I do miss some the monster pumpkinseeds back in Va. not mention the redeye; redeye were some of my favorite eaters because of their thick fillets.

Have that Hardy paired with an Angle IIe. I'd like to eventually acquire an old featherlight for it. My modern boo was paired with a vintage Bougle until someone re-appropriated it from my truck while I fished in the 11 Mile Canyon section of the South Platte. I use a Wulff TT floating line with that one.

I used that old H&I for many tailwaters from east to west. In the east I used it full length on the Cumberland and Watauga and many others. The tailwaters in the west were a little smaller and shallower, definitely not the 100 yard plus expanses of the Cumberland, so I used the switch handle that allows me to use just the top two sections of rod. It was a dream with Cortland peach double tapered floating line.
By bones72
#2296550
Here's my modern boo made by Ross Guillam of Greenback Alley Rods up near Denver. Its a 7ft two tip 4wt. One tip is for nymphing though I cant really tell that much of a difference.

GB boo.jpg
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By Ron Mc
#2296552
7' is on the fast end for cane, and they're usually para tapers with an extra-fast tip and more flexible mid and butt.
That translates into distance casting with short smooth arm movements and haul - makes them load like a bow.
I would guess he's made the nymphing tip heavier and more para to cast more weight, with the other tip a bit softer toward progressive to protect tippet when striking dries.

The equivalent modulus of cane matches S-glass.
The e-glass rod that copies that action is Berkley/Gowdy Parametric 6'3", here sight-fishing 5-lb pod bass (and big thumbs) at 60' in the Frio just up from the Sabinal confluence.
ImageThe real reason to take this rod here, is there's more sight-fishing 5-lb bass up the Sabinal, but the narrow channel is more than half covered by cypress overhang, with the s. Texas scrub at your back. The way to present to these fish that have never been presented to before is an underhand change-direction cast, and the Para/metric is the single best rod in this spot.

The shortest cane I fish is a 7'2" modified Driggs River, John Pickard 725 - the mod is 2" longer progressive tip, which really just helps protect tippet on the 5-wt para. There's a very good chance your rod traces back to Driggs River or Wayne Cattanach tapers, which still started with PHY Driggs.
Don West, Rob Sherill, and Floyd Burkett all derived a bit longer 5- and 6-wt para rockets for Texas water.
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Here's Rob fishing his 7'9" 6-wt at Mueller Falls
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Last edited by Ron Mc on Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
By Ken S
#2296577
I have a question for you Ron.
How can you tell if a split bamboo rod is in shape to use?
I have two that my Dad left me, and don't fly fish,, yet.
They haven't been kept in the best of places(Dad had them in a hot garage) and I'm afraid to start using them.
User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2296583
Ken S wrote:I have a question for you Ron.
How can you tell if a split bamboo rod is in shape to use?
I have two that my Dad left me, and don't fly fish,, yet.
They haven't been kept in the best of places(Dad had them in a hot garage) and I'm afraid to start using them.

good question.
I would start with the top two pieces, assemble the ferrule.
Gently make a casting motion (not necessarily a wiggle, a stroke is a better idea) - make it gentle, and feel for a click.
If it clicks, ferrules need re-setting.
Do the same with the lower ferrule.

Now this is very gently. Gently twist each section while holding each end - you're looking for glue disbonding in the 6 strips.

Hot garage storage is a bad idea, because this could dry-rot the cane, and it may not show a visible sign.
It's also bad for drying out the varnish - cane likes to live where we live.
The second deadly possibility with outdoor storage is mildew - this shows up as dark spots in the rod, and you can pretty much see the biological attack going on there.
Though note that hot garage is not as bad as hot attic for dry rot.

If you get the rod through my first two tests, I'd recommend at least lawn casting it, but could take it fishing.
If it's dry-rotted, may break without warning, so you have to decide whether you want to risk that vs. having a wall display piece. If it's dry-rotted, there's no remedy.
If you plan to have the rod restored (re-wrapped, re-varnished) I can recommend great cost-effective people for a restoration.
There's a very good book by Michael Sinclair if you want to take on a restoration.
https://www.amazon.com/Bamboo-Restorati ... 1882418115

If it's a really valuable rod, it's worth the trouble to restore even if cane pieces are broken (and not dry rotted) - broken cane can be scarfed by a good builder (Dennis Stone does incredible work here, making a glued joint that fits together like two rook towers).
The 1915 Leonard Fairy Catskill that I showed above (and again below) was mess from a leather box of other destroyed rods - it was the only one that had anything of value, and I paid salvage value for the hardware.
It had one short tip, missing the other, a bad mid scarf, missing mating ferrules from each joint, and half the guides gone.
Dennis scarfed the mid, machined the needed ferrule halves, scarfed one tip and made a second tip.
(Small diameter cane tips are his forte.)
He of course made the needed snake guides, saved every original wrap and made the new wraps look like the old.
I ended up with $750 total in the rod, which is also its value,
but a chance to fish a legend that would cost $1600 if bought in this original shape.
A 3-wt from 1915 that's not afraid of big trout.
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User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2296861
Received a surprise Christmas gift from my friend Tom who owns fiberglassflyrodders forum.
I've shown my 1960 Harnell 652 8' 7-wt many times before.
I knew Tom had a 7-1/2' 645 from 1956 and approached him about buying it.
On Christmas Eve, met my contract mail carrier Cheryl at the front door - she was holding a suspect 4' pvc tube.
Tom not only gave me the 645 for a Christmas gift,
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he threw in an earlier 8' 1652, bronze-painted blank and Aetna stripping guide
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Last edited by Ron Mc on Tue Dec 31, 2019 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Dandydon
#2296874
This is the kind of TKF energy and information that used to be featured DAILY on TKF! Super thread on flyrods...

Now we're lucky to receive a great TKF post or fishing report ONCE A WEEK!

What's happened to these once-great hobby websites? Have Facebook and YouTube killed them? Is this why TKF may cease to exist?

I'd appreciate some member feedback before I commit to buying and running this website. It is troubling to me. Our Uber-guide Tobin Strickland has chimed in and agrees with these sentiments.
Anybody else?

Thanks, men!
Below, my Kinkaid High School Yearbook, ha ha...Image

Sent from my SM-G973U1 using Tapatalk
User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2296879
Don,
I started fishing glass, and I'm sure you must have, too.
Heddon light spinning, a really great Berkley TriSport inshore rod, Shakespeare WondeRod was my first fly rod (that one an example of lousy glass), Fenglas Lunkerstick bass rod, then an Orvis Fullflex A fly rod (Great glass).
My first graphite rods were in the mid-80s, Browning Hi-Power inshore casting rod, Powell Silver Creek Fly rod, Sage inshore fly, and Fisher stuck as my last-love 9' graphite.
It was about 20 years ago began tinkering with old cane, and found perfect niches for old glass rods. The thing is, the cost of a new graphite rod and disc drag reel then would buy an arsenal of the old stuff - and of course now you can find new glass rods that cost as much as the best graphite.
What goes around comes around.

That photo I showed of Rob Sherill above - just had a conversation with him about that very rod - he's putting it on the market (like most of us here, he's rod-rich, and he builds more). It's a rocket ship for casting distance.
He also just listed this beautiful cane magic wand on FFR - he does great work:
https://fiberglassflyrodders.com/forum/ ... 26&t=67908
I also just noticed he already has it sold - but it's still worth looking at...
Last edited by Ron Mc on Tue Dec 31, 2019 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Dandydon
#2296882
Ron, you're way over my fly-fishing head, but someday I'll show you my four really expensive flyrods! I used to fish all over Colorado for rainbows, brown & cut-throat trout. One of the rods is a sweet No. 2-weight custom job that handled a few big brownies, my favorite.

Sent from my SM-G973U1 using Tapatalk
User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2296884
I also have the advantage of living in the hill country, where there's as much great fly fishing water as the Rockies, and 10 more months of it each year than Alaska.
I always tell people fishing graphite and asking about cane and glass, subtract two line weights from the cane or glass to guess its feel in graphite.

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User avatar
By JW FunGuy
#2296894
Dandydon wrote:This is the kind of TKF energy and information that used to be featured DAILY on TKF! Super thread on flyrods...

Now we're lucky to receive a great TKF post or fishing report ONCE A WEEK!

What's happened to these once-great hobby websites? Have Facebook and YouTube killed them? Is this why TKF may cease to exist?

I'd appreciate some member feedback before I commit to buying and running this website. It is troubling to me. Our Uber-guide Tobin Strickland has chimed in and agrees with these sentiments.
Anybody else?

Thanks, men!
Below, my Kinkaid High School Yearbook, ha ha...Image

Sent from my SM-G973U1 using Tapatalk


Don this could be a thread all in itself, and it is a good question. And the answer I can only speculate. I don’t think Facebook has anything to offer and I still think a lot of the folks on the TKF Facebook probably don’t even know there is a Forum. And yes, YouTube probably has take away from some of the good old fashioned “reports” but I think only in the sense of entertainment, most of the time there is not much in the way of any education to be gleaned from them. And then how many just come, read, learn and leave? I know a year and a half ago when I first decided to get a sit on top kayak and try my hand in the salt I was trolling and perusing this site constantly gathering all the info I could. And I still do! I don’t (yet) do reports on my fishing exploits because they are usually more of a fail then something to show off. :? I finally got a waterproof camera so I don’t have that excuse anymore so maybe all that will change. I usually only post something when I feel my past or things that I have been educated in might have something to offer. Or sometimes just to disagree with Ron! :D But, letting this site die won’t solve any of those issues. I think with more openness and more communication and encouragement we can see TKF become the hub for all things kayak fishing. And God knows there are enough Kayak Fishers out there!

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