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9' 4/5wt. - Rod Specs
Cost (approx.)
Blank - Hook & Hackle IM6 Imported Hook & Hackle $40 (sale)
Weight - 4/5 wt.    
Length - 9'    
Pieces - 7!    
Action - Fast    
Finish - Matte Charcoal    
Modulus - 43 million    
Tip top - Pac Bay
Titanium Coated
Hook & Hackle $3 (sale)
Guides - Pacific Bay Single Foot Snake Guides, TiChrome Hook & Hackle $24 (sale)
Stripper - Pac Bay TiChrome / SIC Hook & Hackle  
Hookkeeper - Pac Bay Titanium Hook & Hackle $2
Grip - 8" Rev Fine Wells, Custom Turned by MP    
Burl Cork - Grade B 1/2" rings 4 @ $0.25 each
Cork - AAA Natural 1/2" rings 12 @ $0.95 each
Reel Seat - Damon Uplocking
Titanium Carbide Coated
Damon Rods (via eBay) $31 w/ship
Reel Seat Insert - Mortised Cherry Burl    
    Rough Component Cost - $113
Other Details      
Thread - Gudebrod Nylon, Size A, in Gray (0245) and Garnet (0206)
Color Preserver - U40 Color Lock
Finish - Flexcoat High Build    
This rod packs down to NOTHING; the blank is outstanding and it can actually accomodate a fairly heavy (aka. inexpensive reel) while balancing and casting very well. Due to time constraints, I ended up with 5wt. SA Mastery Trout DT and an Orvis BBS IV on the balances great! Only thing this rod doesn't do too well is roll cast...I might need some more practice with it before I draw my final conclusions. I will say I was doing 60 feet overhead casts with DT line NO PROBLEM, 50 feet into a 20 mph wind! I can only guess what this would do with a weight forward (WF) line!
Things I learned while building this rod

Did my first alignment dots...easy enough! More importantly though, I tried poping the bubbles in my finish with a lighter held VERY close but to the SIDE, not underneath. Of course, once you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Let me tell you, this rod had ONE bubble in the entire finish! WOW. Holding the lighter to the side of the finish while rotating leaves now ash/soot and provides concise control over the heat application. I would literally watch the bubbles JUMP right out of the finish!

I also tried a wrap that was simply done by placing down 2 threads of black and wrapping with the garnet...when the wrap was sufficient I simply unwound the black, leaving an almost perfectly-spaced spiral of garnet thread traveling up the blank. Not too shabby...

On the downside, I don't like how the garnet thread ended up going with the hardware on this rod. To make matters worse, I tried gray thread SANS color preserver for the ferrule wraps that needed them (some guides pulled double-duty as the ferrule wraps). Anyway, dispite being nice clean wraps the just don't work on the rod (gray turned to black, garnet just nees something else to it). Solid color wraps just don't look good...they just need "something". Or perhaps it's the fact that the color from the blank, and the two different threads are all so close together....I don't know! Just my personal taste, but I'll probably cut the wraps off the rod next year and redo it! Or maybe I'll sell this one to someone who likes it and build another...

As far as inletting this custom turned grip, I just used a wood-boring bit on a hand drill...easy. A bit of sanding got it to be the perfect snug fit! Just take your time in drilling and sanding and you shouldn't have ANY problems.

A 7-Piece Rod!!! Another look at this 7 piece rod...a bit heavy for a 4/5 wt...had to balanace it with an Orvis Battenkill Bar Stock IV! Single Foot Titanium Guides...
The SIC ring Titanium Stripper guides are really nice looking! Tried this open spiral wrap...kinda neat but not sure I'll use it again. The custom turned grip compliments the reel seat...
I LOVE this Cherry Burl Insert with the titanium coated reel seat skeleton...arguably my favorite reel seat and totally one-of-a-kind. Originally I had a black reel on this, but knowing I could get silver I simply had looks GREAT with the titanium hardware!  



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