Monday, September 10, 2007


Let me begin by telling you that I have been visited by Satan himself. The few images here represent only a fraction of the many I had produced, both for this, my latest effort as well as a complete series featuring the Dan Craft blanks Signature V 7 weight and Fast Taper 2 weight that I built earlier this year. Regretfully Lucifer had his mischievous way with my computer's hard drive and all my work went straight to hell...

Therefore I shall call this stick the Hell Rod.

Dan if you see this post please know that although I can not reproduce and blog the construction of the 2 and 7 weight blanks I hope to supplement later post with images of these fine rods in action.

The Hell Rod began as a Loomis HS9000 7' 6" two piece which I modified. I reckon it now possess a certain 'Lightness of Bearing'. Thank you Spencer Phipps for recommending this brilliant blank.

My desire was to craft a fishing pole that would be the ultimate switch rod and so I began studying the efforts of other builders, among them Stan Grace, Steve Kartalia and Bill Boettcher to name just a few who have utilized the Phillipson reel seat.

This post might also be called the Philipson Reel Seat revisited...

And here is one now, very kindly supplied by Mr. Grace.

Flimsy little bugger...

Others have mentioned this fault and opined that the seat, though a handsome patent, could be milled out of a stouter material than aluminum.

With a bit of rod blank stock I've elected to lengthen this 7' 6" blank by 6"

Where the sliding reel seat will come to rest I shall use the heavier duty rubberized cork rings. Just enough to accommodate the seat and no more.

Eventually the extra blank will be lobbed off here.

An illustration of the handle before sanding. The lighter cork is my preferred choice bamboo burl.

And here my trusty Mikita drill lathe with the work in progress.

Hard, Dusty, Thirsty work it is...

Completed the rod measures 8' with a 17" handle. It sports 9 guides not counting the tiptop and they are Fuji titanium SIC single foot in sizes 10,8,7 and five 6's as running guides. The stripper is a #12 double foot. If I had it to do over again I'd go down to 5.5mm for the running guides thereby matching the tiptop.

So far in all its reel mounting configurations I've had no problems.

Here is the rod with a level wind ambassador.

I've got to say I'm very impressed with the Hell Rod's ability to handle fly tackle. Initially I tried a heavy floating WF line in size 8 but soon settled on a 5wt Wulff triangle taper. Lately I've been mounting a smaller reel with Mastery GPX in 4wt. Very nice for light flies if the wind isn't about.

This rod was built for spin fishin'.

No lie, she's a BEAUT Mate!

A Shimano Symetre in this instance.

All my rods are bestowed with a Worried Shrimp and thus they are magic.

Everything my magic rods cast come to life...

Jerry Roberts with a tough winter steelhead on the hell rod.

Somewhere in the top end of Australia the ancient who bewitched the worried shrimp slumbers, dreaming of the magical crustaceans that possess an ability to come to life when touched by water and imagining the many worried shrimp hidden in sea level caves all over the world.

Great job with this project. The rod, the photos, the text, everything - you do great work. Do you happen to know the power and action of this blank as measured using the Common Cents System (ERN and AA). If you do, I'd be really interested to know. I think I might have to order one of these blanks. Thanks, Steve Kartalia
I'm sorry Steve, i do not know... i was in such haste to complete this rod that i neglected to record ERN and AA details... however, i will look for Common Cents data for this blank... it is a very popular rod (with good reason) and i'm sure someone has specked it out. in fact Spence might have, since i'm sure he's built several loomis hotshot 9000 rods... however the data might be different on my rod due to adding 6" to the blank.

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