Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Rapture... 

It's finally here folks...

That's right, The Hell Rod's bigger brother.


The Rapture began as a Loomis HS1021 GL2 8' 6" two piece blank, which I modified by extending the butt section by 6". I reckon it now possess a certain GRANDEUR.

Indeed I've stretched the limits of what an extraordinary hot shot magnum taper swift water salmon stick can do...

Here then is how it came to be...

You'll recall that when I designed the Hell Rod I utilized a Phillipson reel seat.

The Phillipson, though a handsome design, just didn't have the Ommpff needed for the kind of heavy lifting this rod would be subjected too, so based on a suggestion by the fine rod builder Bill Boettcher I modified an existing reel seat.

Mind you I've still got a better idea/design for mounting multiple type reels to what is essentially a Tennessee or Spey rod handle. However, I haven't the time to develop my thoughts since spring salmon season is almost upon us.

you know how I love salmon...

and you know how I procrastinate...

Once all the components were procured I wasted no time constructing The Rapture.

(note: for those of you interested I'll be posting the CCS data - ERN and AA values - for both the Hell rod and the Rapture sometime soon)

Notice How I've taken a Fuji Heavy Duty Graphite Reel Seat Model DPSH26 ID 24mm (very nearly an inch) and cut a slot where the reel foot will set. I've taken all the reels I want to mount and traced their footprint on the graphite.

Using my dremel tool I carefully cut a slot in the thin graphite reel seat taking care to extend the slot completely underneath the rear hood cap.

I've had to lower the dimensions of the cushioned hood sections with additional rubber. This rubber neoprene padding allows for a snug fit of reel foot to cork handle.

Because the HS 1021 GL2 blank has such a large diameter, thin walled, butt section I feared the slight veneer of cork (approx 3/8") over the blank material in the critical handle load bearing area might crush under the pressure of a reel foot cinched down from above.

Therefore I reinforced this critical area with sections of graphite rod blank sleeves as I could find and fit them. Without doubt this extra weight is quite obviously felt. But I'm not building a finesse rod for dry fly flicking. This is a Meat Stick, for the likes of Salmon, Tunny and Barramundi!

After a bit of measuring I set about bonding various bamboo burl sections and rubberized cork rings to the blank.

the blue tape strips represent the portion of the bamboo burl sections (short spinning reel handles) that are EXACTLY the proper diameter for my reel seat. So I'm carefully sanding the entire handle down to finish at that diameter.

Were I set up with a proper shop I would have taken a brief bit of time to stamp-to-size the rubberized rings and thereby alleviate much of the hard dusty grind on my trusty mikita drill lathe.

did I mention it was THIRSTY work?

day one...

day two...

day three and finally we're getting somewhere...

This is delicate detailed work where tolerances MATTER. I don't want to be a SPECK over or under sized along the entire length of this 22" handle. It's important that the graphite reel seat slide and rotate smoothly.

Crimminy Crocket! I'm good...


It's time to put a bit of a yarn in the butt of the blank and follow that with a Worried Shrimp.

You Know the story of the magic worried shrimp...

Fuji Guides

Tiptop 1 Cermet TFST 6 mm (I couldn't resist it was on sale @ $5.78)

1 TNSG # 16
1 TNSG# 12
1 TLSG # 10 J
1 TLSG # 8 J
1 TLSG # 7 J
4 TLSG # 6 J

guide spacing…

HSR1021C GL2 2PC 4 ½, 9 ¾, 15 ½, 22 ½, 30 ½, 39, 48, 58 ½, 70 ½

Traditionally I've used the trustworthy Abu Garica Ambassadeur however, this rod deserves a new winch so I've chosen the Shimano Curado 301DSV - a left handed model as are all my level wind reels.

Where I fish one is challenged with a variety of river features. I take a large percentage of salmon in deep holes drifting corkies and eggs and such behind 1 oz. sinkers with level wind gear. Yet I can wade to spots nearby that are swift and shallow and a fly is much preferred.

Have a gander at my #8 fly reel loaded with a teeny mini tip in size 9.

Experimenting the other day I had no trouble casting 50'. True, this isn't a fly rod. This is a Loomis Hot Shot magnum taper blank, SHORT and STIFF, which I've lengthened to 9'.

The loops aren't sexy...


With a 'hard stop' I can get a 4" loop...

If I had a movie camera I could prove it...

The Rapture is a superlative switch rod and I mean that in the broadest sense of the word. Level wind, spin or fly reels, Hell, even an Alvey will fit on this rod.

Indeed this rod is complete JOY...

My next project is far more delicate than this brutal piscatorial pole.

Be sure and visit when next I present 'A Tale of Two Six Weights'

Featured blanks are:

CTS Affinity X 2 pc 6wt


Loomis FR1086 GLX 2 pc 6wt



I keep coming back to your site for a browse. I like all of your projects. This one is IMO excellent. Keep up the good work
I worship you from afar..sigh. ;)
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