Revive - A Quarterly Fly Fishing Journal (volume 2 edition 1) - Page 76

When did your passion for fly fishing start?

I guess I have been fly fishing for over twenty years now and it all started when I walked into a sport shop in northern Michigan and walked out with an Eagle Claw Featherlight fly rod outfit ,which included a Martin tuna can clicker reel and a very inexpensive fly line. I spent the rest of that summer learning to fly cast and catching bluegills on foam spiders every free moment I had.

What sparked your interest in fiberglass?

My first fly rod was glass but within a year I had put it in the back of the closet in favor of various graphite fly rods that I had purchased. A dozen years later I picked that same fly rod back up again, and after fishing with a it, I bit realized how enjoyable it was to cast and play fish on. It didn't take to long to find the Fiberglass Flyrodders forum, which has a ton of knowledge on glass rods past and present, where I started reading everything that I could on fiberglass fly rods. This was an entirely new side of fly fishing that I hadn't read about in any magazine or online. Honestly, it really revitalized my interest in fly fishing all over again.

You and your website, The Fiberglass Manifesto have really helped expand the reach of the fiberglass and custom rod movement from your loaner program, to working with manufacturers on their new product launches. What's your take on where things were 5 years to ago compared to today? How have the rods themselves and the manufacturers changed over the years?

Five years ago is really when things started moving at a much faster pace regarding the industry and fiberglass fly rods. For years this had been very much a small shop artisan rod builder movement but when the Scott Fly Rod Company released the F2 series, I think that is when the larger fly rod companies took note that there were quite a few anglers who were pushing back a bit on the "faster is better" mantra that had been the rule for quite a few years with the graphite fly rods that were being made.

Over the last five years quite a few established fly rod companies have released new glass line-ups, refreshed a series, while others find themselves at the rolling tables working on future offerings. Small shop artisan builders have also taken the lead in all of this as well and instead of everyone building on the same blanks, they have designed their own unique tapers and are offering their own signature line up of fiberglass fly rods.

As far as the fly rods today compared to yesteryear, I would say that great fiberglass fly rods that were made fifty years ago are still great today. A good rod is a good rod. What's interesting in the fly rods made today is that there is some very interesting things going on with taper design, materials used, and some in depth creative thinking which is creating fiberglass fly rods that are lighter in weight, available in a all sorts of tapers from slow full flexing to parabolic to more progressive or even what is considered "fast" for a fiberglass fly rod. Not everyone is building the same fly rod and it's great for anglers to have so many choices.