Wednesday, January 17, 2018

C. BARCLAY FLY ROD CO. - Introducing the Synthesis Series

I've said it before that a small but seemingly always growing group of small shop fly builders continue to drive a lot of what is new in the realm of fiberglass fly rods and it's great to see this trend continuing as the interest in fiberglass fly rods continues as well.  

One of those bright stars in this is Chris Barclay of C. Barclay Fly Rod Co. and he continues to tinker, change and design from zero great new tapers for anglers to enjoy.  His latest offerings, along with a few future offerings, are now grouped into the Synthesis Series and are a blend of two previous series of fly rods.  

Chris Barclay wrote...  "My Synthesis Series of rods is complex yet uncomplicated.  These blanks are made domestically here in the US for me, to my exact specifications.  A technologically advanced fusion of parabolic and progressive fly rod tapers, blending my two previous series of rods without watering down the effectiveness and feel.  

Making use of advanced compound tapers, seamless and functional tip over butt ferrules and traditional E-Glass.  Not necessarily progressive or parabolic, the best of all synthesized into a new classic.  Smooth and unhurried with quick recovery.  Responsive tip, mid and butt sections.  You feel the cast and the fish."

The Synthesis Series fly rods will include the following models:
  • 68:  An 6'8" 3wt 3 piece I like to call the Blue Ridge Special.  Small secluded mountain streams and brook trout. 
  • 72:  A 7’2" 4wt 3 piece I like to call the Driftless Special.  Delicate delivery and casting control.  
  • 79:  A 7'9" 4/5wt 3 piece I like to call the General Practitioner.  A general purpose trout rod.  I will make this one with an extra tip on occasion and will also make a 5 piece travel version.
  • 82:  An 8'2" 4/5wt 4 piece rod I like to call the Tailwater Special.  Long casts, tiny flies and ultimate control.  
  • 7-6:  A 7’ 6wt 3 piece (black glass).  This is my infamous Lil Stiffy, previously a limited edition rod I designed for small water, big fly big fish rod.  The unique rod taper provides an incredible ability to shoot and control line that leaves plenty of room for big and little fish feel and control.
Fly rods that are coming soon:
  • 777: A 7’7” 7wt 3 piece rod I call the Jackpot.  A bass rod I designed to pull big fish out of heavy cover.   Suitable for fishing mangroves, salt ready.  
  • 8-6:  An 8' 6wt 3 piece.  Hex hatch in Michigan or Smallmouth in Missouri.  Big brother to the Lil Stiffy.  
  • 868: The 8’6” 8/9wt 4 piece.  A saltwater flats worthy rod.  Lighter than you think possible with superior accuracy and distance control.
 Pricing for the Synthesis Series will begin at $625.00 and builds will include the following:
  • Snake Brand light wire Universal Guides in their new ECOating - Bright or Darkened
  • Classic and durable Mildrum carbide stripping guides
  • Custom designed brass and nickel silver reel seat hardware made by Masatoshi Okui of KINEYA Reels
  • Flor Grade Portuguese cork grips and seats.  Ventilated grips available on most rods.
  • The fine Pearsall's Gossamer and Kimono silk wrappings
  • Marine grade spar varnish
  • Mill finish aluminum tube with domed brass ends
  • Custom designed rod sock
  • Optional wood and micarta seat inserts, accents and downlocking seats also available. 
  • Possibilities are limitless so please contact Chris Barclay to talk over options 
To discuss this new series of fly rods more in depth with Chris Barclay or to place an order, please visit the C. Barclay Fly Rod Co. website and consider following along on Facebook and Instagram for the latest shop news.

BLUE MOUNTAIN DRIFT - Custom Cliff Outdoors Fly Boxes

What does a tattoo artist (who is also a fly fisherman) do when he sees a new Cliff Bugger Beast fly box?  If you're Mike Rennie of Blue Mountain Drift then you grab your markers and lay down custom artwork on the clean side of all your favorite fish.  And then he did it again and again and again.

I like what I see.  A lot.

Recently Mike has been working through a stack of fly boxes and has these seven available for sale.  Or, if you have your own idea for a custom fly box, reach out to have one commissioned.  $120 will get one of these or the one you're thinking of in your head.

Interested in one of the Cliff Outdoors Beast fly boxes that you see here or do want to talk to Mike Rennie of Blue Mountain Driftabout your own custom fly box?  Send him an email at and consider following along on Instagram too.

Friday, January 12, 2018


The Fly Fishing Film Tour kicks off later this month with it's Bozeman premiere and then over the next three months the show will be popping up in cities and other fishy places from coast to coast.

Check out the schedule to see when Fly Fishing Film Tour comes to your town.  It's always best to pick up tickets online or at your local fly shop as shows typically sell out.

Where will you catch the F3T this year?

PROOF FLY FISHING - Friday Fly Rod Building Tutorials - Episode 6

Friday means it's time for another Proof Fly Fishing rod building tutorial.  In this episode Matthew Draft works through using color preserver and applying varnish to thread wraps.

Visit the Proof Fly Fishing website for more information or to place an order.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

IN THE SALT - Issue #4

Ready for a break from the monotony of the job?  Jump into the latest issue of In The Salt for an escape.  This issue is the hit list of everywhere I'd like to go with a fly rod right now.


Rosenbauer on Inshore Saltwater Fly Fishing

This is a great primer with Tom Rosenbauer of The New Fly Fisher highlighting the ins and outs of fly fishing inshore saltwater.  Click the PLAY button and take notes.

Check out The New Fly Fisher YouTube page for many more excellent videos.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Tailor Made By V. Huttley - The Lucky 7 Oberon Fly Reels - Part 5

Simply put, art takes time and in this case, the fact that these were started in early 2016 and the shop work of Vince Huttley of Tailor Made By V. Huttley continues now is completely fine in my book.  I've enjoyed watching the process and looking forward to having one of these special clickers in my hands sooner or later.

If this is the first post you've seen of the "Lucky 7 Oberon Fly Reels" project, then get caught up HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

Vince wrote...  "It's been a slow few weeks but here are a few photos of my work so far.  The guys at CTS were kind enough to send over a few glass blank off cuts from their rod shop that work very well with this little project.  Machining a few brass bushes to suit the internal diameter of the blank, cutting the blank to length as a nice tip of the hat to #glassisnotdead .
I decided to change the boxes from the machined type as most of my time is spent in my workshop at night as it just so happens my daughter's bedroom is directly above the "Man Cave".  Point being, never wake a sleeping baby as the scolding ain't worth it.  
So I pre-cut materials where I can and assemble quietly at night.  The end result is a box made from Australian Red Cedar, Mahogany, Mulberry and Hairy Oak. 
Not long to go now as the next post should be the last."

 Along with checking out Vince's website, please follow Tailor Made By V. Huttley through Facebook, and Instagram too.