Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How To Beat The High Cost Of Flyfishing, Part 1, Or "This is What Happens When Your Mind Wanders, and Wonders."

Recently I've been getting much more interested in catching fish, any fish, on a fly rod. The problem is, that stuff 'aint cheap and these days I can't seem to afford much in the way of new gear. So what's a broke bloke to do? Improvise.

First, you rummage through all your junk rods and find an appropriate candidate for conversion. In this case it was an old six-foot Wright & McGill Green Hornet casting rod.

Next, you rummage through all your junk reels and find an appropriate candidate. In this case it was an old Martin 61 of indeterminate vintage spooled with an equally cheap and ancient line of indeterminate weight that at some point in the murky past was probably paired with a cheap twenty-dollar discount-store flyfishing combo. Perfect...

Next, you prepare the rod for conversion. Luckily, the blank on this old rod is attached to the handle by means of a threaded collet, so a hacksaw conversion wasn't necessary (and no, I wouldn't really have taken a hacksaw to that old rod. I've got Chinese rods for that...)

Next, you carefully attach the reel to the blank by means of bread bag twist-ties. Or baling wire, if you've got some handy.

Then, to add some additional holding power (and a touch of class) wrap the reel seat with enough electrical tape to keep it (somewhat) securely attached to the rod.

And there you go. The "finished" rod is a little over five feet in length and surprisingly, I can shoot out about thirty to thirty-five feet of line when I'm casting it on the lawn. The reel does tend to fall off the rod when I attempt a double-haul, but I fix that right up by wrapping more electrical tape around it, plus I suspect that actually learning how to double-haul correctly instead of yanking on the line while cursing will help with that as well.

In part two -  if there is a part two- I'll take it fishing and see how it holds up to the drag-burning, rod-busting brute power of various stunted sunfishes.


  1. Great conversion! As for shooting line, I've read stories of Teeny teaching casting lessons with first a rod, then a broom handle, and then nothing, just holding the line in his hand. Frankly, that's how I now often practice at home.

  2. Just imagine if you had Justin Bieber on your line.

  3. Josh, I'm considering getting a couple Teeny lines. You have any experience with them?

    Chas, that's my next post. I'm milking this Bieber thing for all it's worth...