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Team Ozark Chronicles Fly Rod & Reel 2004 Trout Bum Tournament Raffle Combo
9' 4/5wt. - Rod Specs -    
Retail Cost
Blank - Hook & Hackle IM6 Imported Hook & Hackle $45.00
Weight - 4/5 wt.    
Length - 9'    
Pieces - 7!    
Action - Fast    
Finish - Matte Charcoal    
Modulus - 43 million    
Tip top - Pac Bay
Hook & Hackle $1.15
Guides - Pacific Bay Traditional Double Foot Snake Guides, Black Hook & Hackle $5.75
Stripper - Pac Bay Hiloy Black Hook & Hackle  
Hookkeeper - Fuji Flip Up, Sm., Black Hook & Hackle $4.00
Grip - 8" Rev Wells, Custom Turned by MP    
Burl Cork - Grade A Blue 1/2" rings   13 @ $0.75 each
Cork - AAA Natural 1/2" rings   2 @ $1.50 each
Winding Check - Black Vinyl Hook & Hackle $0.50
Reel Seat - Pac Bay A-8, Black Winslow Rods $50.00
Reel Seat Insert &
- Fighting Butt
Teal Dyed Stabilized Maple Burl    
    Component Cost - $123.15
Other Details      
Thread - Gudebrod Nylon, Size A, in Blue Dun (0272), Spring Green (0105), and Black (0001)
Color Preserver - U40 Color Lock
Finish - Flexcoat High Build    

Again, I owe a great deal of thanks to the guys listed below for donating many of the pieces that make up one heck of a combo for a lucky raffle winner.

The story goes like this. Matt Tucker and I have been planning on fishing together for a while, but it never pans out. Well, earlier in 2004 Matt emails me and asks if I'd like to join him on the Spring River, July 18th. I say yes, and that I'll have to bring FAT as he's been after me to fish Arkansas. Then Matt tells me WHY they'll be there.

Turns out that Matt Tucker and Brent McClane ( were selected as one of the teams for the 2004 Fly Rod & Reel Trout Bum Tournament. Well, part of the competition is to see who can raise the most money for a fly-fishing related charity.

Matt & Brent had selected Hooked on a Cure ( as their charity, and among other things had a raffle going to raise money. Ron Ciami of Trout Camp Rods had donated the grand prize, an $825 bamboo rod! Knowing how I'm always looking for a REASON to build a rod, I decided that I should make that raffle's pot a bit larger...and this whole combo was born.

First I contacted Bob @ Hook and Hackle....I had decided that the 7 pc. 9' IM6 blank he was selling would be ideal for the Ozark Streams so that would be the rod I was building. While gathering up my order, I asked him if he'd be interested in donating their special cases...figured it was worth a shot. 10 minutes later not only had he donated the case but also the blank!

The next morning I was out fishin with Frank Nardomarino and Richard Brown (FAT) - Frank had been watching the emails and by this point I was thinking a "combo" would be better than just a rod and case. Frank offered up to take care of the reel without hesitation. Meanwhile, FAT was donating guided trips to the raffle.

When I started building, the reel seat I had planned to use didn't biggie I asked Dave @ Winslow Rods to send me some pics of his A8 size seats so I could pick another one....I also casually mentioned that "donations were cool too". LOL, Dave instantly offered up this stunning custom reel seat that now adorns the rod.

And that left me with LINE...Frank had offered, my buddy Ken (rod #13) had offered too, but I wanted to see who else we could get on board. In came Rick from Rods By Rick, who not only offered line (he sent 4wt. and 5wt....the 4wt. will go on another charity rod) but also sent all the goodies needed to round out a COMPLETE combo.

That left me filling out the rod materials and spending arguably too much time getting this rod perfect. No matter how slow you go, it's not going to be perfect as it's made by a human being, but I didn't want to disappoint all my friends who had so generously contributed to this effort. I can only hope I did them proud. You might be interested to know, that when it's all tallied up this combo's retail value (without my construction TIME & consumeables figured in) is $424.07!

My best wishes to Team Ozark Chronicles, Hooked on a Cure, and the lucky guy or gal who wins this combo...may the fish be feisty and abundant!


P.S. - Guess who won this rod? Unbelievably, one of the guys who offered to help contribute to it but had already purchased tons of raffle tickets (so I declined his generous offer)....

Well, Ken Follensbee won it (who also ownes his Lucky #13). Guess this is just Ken's year or something!

Things I learned while building this rod

First, I spent a LOT of time doing "test" wraps...that is several different guide wraps as it was tough to find something that truly complimented the reel seat. I ended up with two I really liked...put them to a vote and it was a landslide...over 80% of respondents voted for the wrap you now see on this rod.

Also, the lower wraps that go opposite the ferrule should prevent the alignment dot and epoxy from coming loose (as has happened in another rod that I did not build). Keep those fingers crossed.

Donated by Bob Ellsworth - Hook & Hackle
I was itchin' to see the carrying case for Bob's 7 piece blanks - a $33.50 value! Love it - the handle is VERY comfortable. Each segment has it's own little sleeve. BTW, Bob also donated the 7 piece blank, a $45.00 value!
Donated by Frank Nardomarino - Nardo's Guide Service
Frank offered to fill my need for a reel - exactly what I needed to balance this rod Orvis Battenkill Bar Stock IV in Black - $149.00 value! The reel comes in this great padded case! Man I have never felt a more solid AFFORDABLE machined reel and to top it off, the disc-drag rocks!
Donated by Dave Winslow - Winslow Custom Rods
When I started to build, I found that the reel seat I had planned to use was too small - Dave kicked in this sweet one-of-a-kind custom turned reel seat - a $50.00 value! Man it really goes well with the custom blue burl cork grip I turned. And it looks even more stunning when you bring it together with the reel!
Donated by Rick Koontz - Rods By Rick
Rick answered my desperate plea on TSS and sent me a huge care package with everything we could ever need to round out the combo! Sweet backing - a $19.99 value! Wow, top of the line Cortland 555 WF 5 Floating Fly Line in Sage - a $59.00 value.
Airflo 5' Polyleader in Indicator Floating (great built in strike indicator), a $5.95 value. Siglon Knotless 9' Tapered Leaders in 3X and 5X, a $7.50 value! Seaguar Grand Max Flourocarbon Tippet Material in 3X and 5X, a $25.98 value!
Donated by Matt Pedersen - MP's Rambling Reports
Here it is, a tiresome labor of love all for a good cause! I donated all remaining hardware and components, and like 25 hours of my time. This guide wrap was TOUGH 'cause I only have two tensioners. I turned 6 grips and this one matched the rod the best.
The winding check and hook keeper. No room for fancy butt wraps on this rod..the butt section is too short! The underside inscription. I think my hands may have been a bit greasy when taking the shots...sorry! The first line of the topside inscription.
The second line of the top side inscription. The ferrule wrap with alignment dot. A stripper guide.
Both stripper guides with the alignment wraps that go opposite the ferrule wraps. The black snake guides look great! Another look at the snake guides.
Some guides went right on the ferrule; this particular one sits far enough away that I could shorten the ferrule wrap and maintain distinction between guide and ferrule wraps. It looks better than when they are merged in one continuous wrap. Ferrule Wrap and alignment wrap, both with alignment dots, for easy assembly of this 7 piece blank! The tip top and wrap.
This is roughly how it will all look when the lucky winner is casting it!    



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