December 12, 2013 at 7:45 am #2184
Dry Fly GuyKeymaster
One of our members here recently announced the first of his new line of fiberglass fly rods. I’ve been waiting to see if he’d jump in here and post on them, but he’s obviously too modest, bashful, or busy to do so. So I guess I’ll do the honors.
I’ve “known” Chris for awhile now, and certainly have respect for him and the work he does. I can’t say that I’ve cast his new rod, but it certainly seems to be getting “good press” and Chris is nothing but a pleasure to deal with.
So if you are in the market for a new stick, might I suggest you look into Chris’ offerings. You can find out more about them, see photos, and contact him through his website: C.Barclay Fly Rods
~ DFGDecember 12, 2013 at 4:30 pm #2193
I saw the initial announcement on Cameron’s TFM blog, replete with very nice photos of a 3wt. I mentioned in the comments that I’d personally be more interested in a 4wt, and Chris jumped in to say he was working on 4 and 5 wts already. I think his work is impeccable, and I love the ‘brown ale’ blanks! I think we need to come up with a beer-related name for the rod lineup.
How about “The Full Glass” line?
BrettDecember 14, 2013 at 6:59 am #2199
I own a rod Chris built on a special design James Green 3wt glass blank. It is one of the nicest glass rods I have ever owned. Chris’ builds are clean and aesthetically pleasing and for me his signature grip shape is perfect. If I didn’t already have two fine 3wts, I’d be all over this offering.
richDecember 14, 2013 at 1:03 pm #2209
Chris has finished out several blanks for me.
3 Orvis, and I must say the 8′ 2wt Touch is about the best lightweight creek rod I have ever used and cast.
1 TMR and 8’3″ which I truly am impressed with. I think I might be able to do all my fishing with this one rod if things completely collapsed. I sure would keep decision making to the minimum. It is still tied with my Unity with the Universe rod though.
Chris’s builds are beyond reproach with none of the fufu although I am sure he would be good at that too. I wish him luck on his new venture.December 14, 2013 at 1:12 pm #2212
I would love to get a chance to cast a Unity with the Universe! I’ve considered commissioning a build of one, but I am so used to fishing 4wts that I can’t get around the idea of using a 7wt for trout. Most likely I’ll order a 4wt 8′ stick, tho. What are your thoughts, rsagebrush?January 2, 2014 at 9:09 am #2353
I recently purchased the 3wt. for Chris. Awesome stick! I liked it so much that I have ordered both the 4wt & the 5wt. Can’t wait for spring.
MarkJanuary 14, 2014 at 2:30 pm #2495
Do we have any updated info about the release of the 4 & 5wt rods? I really like what I see about the 3wt, but I’d be more likely to buy a 5wt at this point.
BrettJanuary 14, 2014 at 7:20 pm #2498
Actually Joe the Unity fishes like a 6wt and trout 12 inches and up are fine.
Of course it is not a creek rod but for medium and large water it is about as fine a rod as one could hope for.January 15, 2014 at 2:30 pm #2502
First of all, I’m SO SORRY that I completely missed this thread! Thanks so much for all the kind words and encouragement!
The response to the 3wts has been overwhelming. So I decided to go through with the production of the 4 & 5wts. I have the final prototypes in hand and have spent countless hours casting them (I can attest that they cast fine in -10deg weather, although I don’t!). I have to say that I’m extremely pleased with them and can’t wait to get them out there.
I expect the blanks to come in very soon and will have completed rods in February.
The details will be the same as with the 3wts. The 4wt is 7’8″ and the 5wt is 7’10”.
I’m in the midst of dialing in my descriptions and line preferences. I will give an update as soon as they are in and ready to go. If anyone has questions, feel free to post them here or contact me directly and I’ll do my best to get back with you directly.
Again, sorry for being MIA and thanks for the support!!!
ChrisJanuary 15, 2014 at 4:17 pm #2504
Glad to see you back, Chris!
The 3wt looks like an awesome stick, and has been getting rave reviews. I really like the wraps and brass hardware, too.
I was debating about ordering up a 4wt, but I think I’ve got those about covered with the 4 rods I already have and another on order.
That doesn’t mean a 5wt is out of the question, tho. But I’m wondering what sort of reelseats and grips you’ll be putting them. I’d personally like to see a full wells on the 5wt and a downlocking reel seat with a nice burl insert.
BrettJanuary 17, 2014 at 10:42 am #2550
Thanks for the questions. I will be putting the same seat hardware and grip on the 4 & 5wts with the grip being proportionally larger.
ChrisJanuary 17, 2014 at 3:03 pm #2569
A few thoughts here if I may…
Chris and I went fishing yesterday. I guess one would call it “field research” or just the need to go fishing. We were on my favorite Ozark spring creek at around 0900. Chris was testing out his new 7’10” 5wt. and I was fishing my Orvis “Far & Fine 7’9″ 5 wt. Weather predictions said that it would top out in the low 40’s with gusty winds around 20 mph.
After a couple of hours of fishing the Orvis Chris handed me his stick. First impressions for me are always related to the aesthetics. The next few comments are related to his skill as a builder. Many here probably know Chris’ work. If however you do not you should know that his work is top notch and I mean this. His wraps do not look like wraps but more like solid overlay’s. The thread is packed together so tightly and all the wraps are straight without the slightest variance. The varnish work is smooth and even and with the 5-6 coats I believe he uses there is no “Factory” effect of being heavy handed or “globbed” on. As far as the design with respect to aesthetics this is where Chris’ personality comes through on his rods. The grip design is all his, comfortable and just the right length. In this day in age of everyone wanting retro looks it is nice to know that Chris draws a line and is uncompromising. This is reflected in his choice of reel seat hardware. I suggested a down locking reel seat for the 5wt before handling the rod and was summarily dismissed. A flick of the wrist and that subject was closed. A man of principle, I like it.
On to the performance of his latest creation… The wind was gusty and blowing hard. At times seemed to be coming from all directions. The rod was mated to Kineya 301 loaded with I believe SA supra. The rod had a noticeably heavier swing weight than the Orvis F&F, which had an Orvis Battenkill II click pawl reel on it. No big deal, just my impression. I would say that with my casting stroke the road loads evenly and consistently right to the grip. I believe one would call this “progressive.” I did not feel the rod loading in the grip but perhaps that is just my casting stroke. The release of the energy on the forward stroke is the same. Smooth and crisp would be my words. No tip jumping after the fly hit the water. I am no competitive caster by any means. I rarely need to throw 40′ of line on the waters I fish. My concerns are accuracy and presentation. I was however able to push the rod when needed and I never felt the rod collapse or waver when throwing about 60’ of line. The rod roll casts like a dream and made my full flex Orvis Far& Fine feel like a Sage One by comparison. What I appreciate the most is the rods ability to load with the tip only. This rod will make delicate presentations at the shortest distances. Again, just my $.02 but in my opinion this is a special rod that is really going to be a dry fly fisherman’s dream, able to handle size 30 trico’s and the largest hopper/dropper rigs one needs to throw. I also sincerely believe that the rod will handle all but the largest nymph rigs easily as well as many streamer applications.
Time to sell some gear…January 17, 2014 at 7:36 pm #2579
Dry Fly GuyKeymaster
Great write up jgentile, and I’m envious on… One… Two… Three counts!
First you got to go fishing. Second, you got to go fishing with Chris. And third, you got to play with one of Chris’ new rods.
Sometimes life just isn’t fair.
~ DFGJanuary 17, 2014 at 8:02 pm #2585
Brett and gentile,
I agree with you both about the downlocking seat, I wouldn’t buy a 5wt or above with a slide band seat. In fact I rather have an uplocking seat but due to the mass of many glass rods they need to have down seats in order to balance them, especially with light weight modern reels. Slide bands are adequate for 3wts and brook trout fishing but threads are important to me for rods that I am going to be using in water with the potential of big fish.
richJanuary 17, 2014 at 9:38 pm #2590
That’s exactly how I feel too, Rich. Plus, I often need to do some bushwhacking on my way to honey holes, and I don’t want to worry about my reel falling off when I’m hopping over a fallen tree or in shoulder high brush. A locking reel seat is mandatory for all my rods. For that reason, I would hope that Chris entertains the option of custom builds or selling the blanks.
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