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Pet Fly Smackdown "Champion's Rod" Combo - 7'6" 2pc. 4wt. - Fly Rod Specs
Cost (approx.)
Blank - H&H (Rainsahdow) Hook & Hackle $31 (sale price)
Weight - 4 wt.    
Length - 7' 6"    
Pieces - 2    
Action - Mod-Fast    
Finish - Matte Black    
Modulus - 43 million    
Tip top - Pac Bay Gold Hook & Hackle $4
Guides - Pacific Bay Traditional Snake Guides, Gold Hook & Hackle $27
Hookkeeper - Gold Pacific Bay U Shaped Hook & Hackle $1.50
Winding Check - Vinyl Hook & Hackle $0.50
Grips - Custom Turned Reverse Fine Half Wells by MP    
Grip Materials - Grade A Natural Cork Bingham Enterprises $9.79
(11 @ $0.89)
  Natural (Brown) Burl Cork Bingham Enterprises $0.42
(1 @ $0.42)
  Blue Burl Cork Bingham Enterprises $1.26
(3 @ $0.42)
Reel Seat - Pac Bay A5 Gold Bingham Enterprises $5
Reel Seat Insert - Custom Turned by MP - Buckeye Burl Buckey Burl Wood Blank via eBay $2
    Rough Component Cost - $82
Reel - Pflueger Supreme 1834 Fly Reel Hook & Hackle $44 (sale)
Line - Hook and Hackle Hi-Floater DT4 Hook & Hackle $28 (sale)
Backing - Gudebrod 20 lb. Hook & Hackle $6.50 (sale)
Case - White River 60" Combo Case Bass Pro Shops $32
    Rough Total Combo Cost - $193
Other Details      
Thread -

Gudebrod Nylon , Size A, Royal Blue (0245) and HT Metallic size A in Gold

Color Preserver - U40 Color Lock
Finish - Flex Coat    

This rod is the equivelent of the Pet Fly Smackdown's "Stanely Cup" - the winning team or individual retains this rod for the year, to return it at the next Smackdown. The concept of this rod was simple; it's a "trophy", so everything, right down to the Pfeulger Reel, had to be as gold as possible.

One other note, I goofed on the inscription, marking it as a 7', not a 7' 6"! Can't take it back once it's under the rod finish - it's mislabeled for life! ;)

Things I learned while building this rod

This is the first reel seat I've used that I turned myself. At the suggestion of Dave Winslow (Winslow Rods) I finished it with Man-O-War Marine Spar Varnish; I opted for a gloss finish. The results are STUNNING. Of special note, turning the Buckeye Burl was easy; this light wood turns well despite the high number of voids and inclusions. What really surprised me was how much darker the wood became after varnishing; what was originally a blue-dun coloration (the "blue splat" in Buckeye Burl) turned almost BLACK.

For months, this was the only picture of the Rod that currently exists; G-Man admires it moments before the 2004 PFS winners are announced. Randy got the rod back to me and here's the pictures, starting with an overview of the Champion's Rod! My first custom turned buckeye burl reel seat insert!
Another view of the reel seat, grip, and reel. A closeup of the grip. The hook keeper in gold!
The upper inscription reads "Pet Fly Smackdown Champion Rod". The bottom inscription. Gold stripper guide by Pacific Bay.
The gold snake guides look great on this blank! Another look at the gold snake guides by Pac Bay. The gold tip top.

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