You’ve done some reading and you’re intrigued by graphite’s predecessor; as you should be. Glass is a viable option with some anglers who are devoted solely to fiberglass. More and more companies are offering factory glass options as demand increases. With graphite being so prevalent the main reason we chose to custom make fiberglass fly rods is because they offer a feel and aesthetics that graphite can’t. Our rods look great indoors but where they shine is out on the river. Being outdoors, the rods morph into a translucent light saber-like tool and they come alive. The reality is, ugly rods can fish just as well as flashy rods but it is our job to create a one-of-a-kind rod that you won’t want to put down.
The J. Nicholl Fly Fishing Co. wouldn’t build a rod that we wouldn’t fish, ourselves. Countless hours and days have been spent fishing a variety of blanks and components and we are pleased to offer you only the best. That’s why we came up with a spectrum for our fiberglass rods. We have super fast S Glass blanks all the way down to slow E Glass.
Once you’re confident in what size rod you need for a given situation, then you’ll have to decide what action you need. And that’s where we come in! We’re happy to help you. If you’re transitioning from graphite rods, a faster fiberglass rod is an easy choice because it’s faster, yet offers the same benefits of a glass rod. You will, of course, need to get used to the feel of the fiberglass rod but spending some time practicing is never a bad thing.
We are proud to offer, at this time, Swift Performance Fly rods on the faster side of things and Blue Halo glass blanks will give you the slower, much more relaxed feel.
Reel Seat and Handle
Once the blank is picked out, the next important thing to consider is what style of handle are you most comfortable with. There are a number of choices that aren’t always offered by factory rods. The handle has to be comfortable to you or you won’t want to fish the rod. Regardless of the style, the cork we use is directly from Portugal with minimum fillers used. We get asked quite a bit about which “grade” we use. This is a subjective scale and the distributors don’t have uniform criteria. How can we ensure the grip will last? We look at the middle of the cork rings. The more gaps apparent means the more filler we have to use. Conversely, less gaps in the cork means the it will withstand years of use.
Just about any reel seats out there do a great job. They range from simple cork inserts with two bands holding the reel by friction to the most intricate inlaid hardwood inserts possible. Our great selection of seats means they will achieve the desired look of the customer while adding minimal weight to the butt end of the rod.
Snake guides, tip tops, hook keepers, thread, winding checks, and epoxies all come together to either make or break a rod. We only use quality Snake Brand components that have proved to set the industry standard. The vast majority of major fly rod manufacturers use Snake Brand guides and hook keepers on their mid-priced rods and up. There’s a reason, they are pleasing to the eye, line flows through them effortlessly, and they are tough as nails.
Depending on the desired look, FishHawk and YLI Japanese silk threads are used to create a translucent look on the guide wraps. Where nylon thread is preferred, we use Fuji Ultra Poly. To hold everything in place, we chose ThreadMaster color preservers and epoxy.
The best materials mean nothing if they aren’t properly assembled. Joe has been building rods for less than a year. However, he has been commercially repairing rods for the last three years. Tournament anglers and walleye charter captains are hard on their equipment. It is not uncommon for a dozen rods to be in need of repair at a time. Repair work is more time consuming than building and it is more complex, too. Rest assured when you get a new rod, it is assembled with the utmost care using the best practices that experience has proven. You’ll be enjoying your custom rod for many years to come as will your children and children’s children.