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Breaking in my restored bamboo fly rod


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A friend recently gave me a bamboo fly rod he didn't have use for that he bought as part of a larger fishing tackle collection that he purchased at an estate sale.  It needed at least one new guide, but I decided to have the rod stripped and restored and to have a 2nd tip made for it as it would have had originally.  The rod is a Montague "Rapidan" model and was considered a "light trout" rod meaning in the 5 or 6 weight area.  This is not a high-end bamboo rod like a Leonard or a Payne but rather more like the K Car of the 80s, cheap and serviceable :)


My buddy also recently underwent open heart surgery, so I figured he and I both got restored recently, so why not the rod?  I paired it with an equally aged Martin "multiplier reel", model MG 10 and a weight forward 5 weight Rio fly line.


I regret not taking more pictures of the rod pre restoration, but you get the idea from my lousy cell phone picture here:



The reel seat was Bakelight which is an early form of plastic.  Rod is circa the 1950s.  The ugly (IMO) yellow rod wraps were standard, so I changed them as this was not an historical restoration (as in keeping it exactly like it was).


And here's the rod restored:


Note that the original emblem was partly missing and the restoration keeps that intact, it is not replaced or removed.




I got a text while sitting in church yesterday morning that it was ready and delivered to the fly shop by rod builder, Dennis Menscer of Little River Rods in Hancock, NY.  I headed down to the shop in the afternoon and picked it up and immediately hit the South Branch to see how it cast and to see if I could find some willing trout to play.  And I did! 

Me with bow and new boo.jpg

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Nice looking rod as well as fish, congrats on both.

I gotta ask, although I know the answer, how cold was the water…BRRRRRRR!


That day it was around 37 or so.  I don't wade deep for very long, but I do have plenty of warm layers underneath that keeps me warm in spite of the weather.  

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