My Epic 'Glass Rods

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Hirdy
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My Epic 'Glass Rods

Post by Hirdy » Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:00 pm

I've posted this on the Fibreglass FlyRodders forum but (with a few edits) here it is for the Perth audience.

I needed some custom rods to help overcome some physiological constraints I have, so while I was investigating my options, 'glass rods popped up. Once I got interested in 'glass Epic blanks (made in NZ by Carl McNeil) became the obvious choice for me.

I now own three Epic rods and I have a 990 on the way too (when they start producing them again …). The first one I built was a nude 686, followed by a salsa 476, and last week, an amber 580. All rods are saltwater builds and I've settled on a particular build style that is now my own standard build. I'm guessing most guys will not find these rods to their liking. They are a very long way from "traditional" builds.

I use ergonomic "Maniform"cork grips because standard grips give me carpal tunnel syndrome after only a couple of hours of fishing (because they are normally too narrow). I also find these very, very comfortable now that I've built rods with them. They look a bit weird, but they feel great when casting and fishing.

I use single foot SiC with Ti frames (and matching stripping guides and tip tops) because I thoroughly dislike snake-style wire guides. Wire guides tend to lock up the line on my back-casts, preventing my shooting of line into the back-cast. This is especially apparent if I'm casting left-handed.

I'm using silk thread with very simple wraps (no accents or highlight wraps), mainly because I like the simplicity, but also because I'm not very good at building rods. :)

My reel seats are the Alps 12mm triangular seats and all rods I build have fighting butts.

You'll also notice I've settled on using Solitude reels made by Edco. These are the best quality reels I've ever had the pleasure of holding in my hands (I haven't held a Mako yet … :) ) and they are definitely the best reels I can afford. (I prefer silent reels with strong, smooth drags and tough Type III anodising. These reels meet those criteria.) The Solitudes I've got balance these finished rods perfectly, with the centre of gravity of the whole system being on either my index or middle fingers when about 10m of line is out of the rod.

Here are some pictures. Feel free to comment in positive or negative ways: There aren't many things you could say that would offend me about these rods because I have built them for my own use and they meet my needs to perfection. I'm sharing them to give people ideas about builds they may do for themselves.

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The whole group

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The one that started it: My 686

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… with my SR4 reel

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Close up of the first stripping guide

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One of the single foot guides

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The most recent build: the 580 ...

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… with a matching SR3 and artificial DT silk line

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The reel seat and Maniform grip

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The first stripping guide.

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Green and Gold ….

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… so I call this rod my "Little Aussie Battler".

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The rod glows in the right light. I don't think I captured it here, though

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The 476 in Salsa flavour

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.. and with the matching SR2 reel

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I've chosen burgundy wraps for this build

Well, there's my quiver of Epics as it currently stands. As I said before, I hope you like them, but I don't mind if you don't.

I'll update in a few weeks with the Epic 990 build when the blank arrives.

Cheers,
Graeme
IFFF Certified Casting Instructor

Tony Ong
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Re: My Epic 'Glass Rods

Post by Tony Ong » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:21 am

Nice builds Graeme. Your lawn needs a manicure. :P

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Hirdy
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Re: My Epic 'Glass Rods

Post by Hirdy » Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:24 am

Thanks Tony.

If my lawn was as green as this, I'd be a happy man. My lawn is a horizontal hay stack. :)

Cheers,
Graeme
IFFF Certified Casting Instructor

Sam de Beer
Posts: 54
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:09 pm

Re: My Epic 'Glass Rods

Post by Sam de Beer » Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:23 pm

Epic looking customs you have there Greame, I like them a lot. What are the "physiological constraints" you refer to in your second paragraph, or are they too physiological or too constraintsy? Am I right if I guess that these blanks are in the vicinity of $300 each? If so, why would they be so expensive?

I have real old (1970's) glass rods and they were dirt cheap and also very soft, but not as soft as a bamboo rod. I also have a steel Reddington from that time, and it is surprisingly soft and light. But they are somewhere in a garage on a shelf and I will have to re-disvover them to use them again one day.

Well done on your rods.

Sam

Sam de Beer
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:09 pm

Re: My Epic 'Glass Rods

Post by Sam de Beer » Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:23 pm

Epic looking customs you have there Greame, I like them a lot. What are the "physiological constraints" you refer to in your second paragraph, or are they too physiological or too constraintsy? Am I right if I guess that these blanks are in the vicinity of $300 each? If so, why would they be so expensive?

I have real old (1970's) glass rods and they were dirt cheap and also very soft, but not as soft as a bamboo rod. I also have a steel Reddington from that time, and it is surprisingly soft and light. But they are somewhere in a garage on a shelf and I will have to re-disvover them to use them again one day.

Well done on your rods.

Sam

peter birch
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Re: My Epic 'Glass Rods

Post by peter birch » Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:01 pm

#glassisnotdead
#glassisnotdead
Double posts like Sam

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Hirdy
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Re: My Epic 'Glass Rods

Post by Hirdy » Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:38 pm

G'day Sam,

Yeah, the blanks are $300 to $400 or so. Why are they so expensive? Because people are prepared to pay that much! :)

I think Swift justifies the price of the blanks with a couple of facts:
  • * They are small production runs, so to get a return on investment on mandrels and the like, you need to put a high price on each unit.
    * They've used S2 glass and a special lay-up on the scrims. Nobody else is doing that yet.
In the end, it comes down to a great marketing strategy they are employing.
  • *They are designed by a great caster,
    *The blanks were initially sent out to great custom builders (who did their own marketing)
    *The blanks look very different to other blanks, with vibrant colours prevalent
    *The blanks are faster than many glass blanks, so they are not so foreign for people who are accustomed to casting graphite.
    *They cast REALLY well and are an absolute ball to fight fish with! (That means they cast smoothly, rather than huge distances - stick with graphite if you're going to cast a full line each time. I don't because I sneak up to fish on my yak).
Once again though, the reason they are expensive is because that is what the market is prepared to pay. The same can be said for all high-end (high-cost?) fly tackle. You'd be mad to sell your product for less than you can get for it.

My particular rods are more expensive again, due to the components I've chosen. Wire guides are SO much cheaper than these things!!!

Cheers,
Graeme
IFFF Certified Casting Instructor

Sam de Beer
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:09 pm

Re: My Epic 'Glass Rods

Post by Sam de Beer » Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:03 pm

Reading your post makes me think that the name "epic" is rather appropriate!

;)

Adam
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:54 pm

Re: My Epic 'Glass Rods

Post by Adam » Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:32 pm

Sam they the contemporary glass is nothing like your 1970s one. At $300ish they fit that mid range price and I recon the glass in this category is on par or better than the graphite particularly in their niche weights and lengths - 4-6wgt 7-8ish feet. I certainly prefer them in the 5 and under, although I would love to try an epic 9 or 11...

Adam

Sam de Beer
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:09 pm

Re: My Epic 'Glass Rods

Post by Sam de Beer » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:28 pm

"the contemporary glass is nothing like your 1970s one."

I don't doubt this for a moment, just looking at the rods and the ferrules tells me that they are two totally different things altogether. I rather like the contemporary ones - they look much better than the old painted rods. If they were not painted, they came in a dirty opaque whitish colour.

Sam

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