The 'Chance' of a lifetime.

19th. May, 2015. Things have moved on apace since I last reported !

After consultations with the Gentlemen at 'Chance Rods,' what started out in my head as a sort of 'Precision Rods' meets 'Perfection Roach' meets 'Aero 894' has now developed into not only that, but will come with a second butt section to make it also a sort of 'Precision Rods' meets 'Ogden Smith' !!! Confused yet ??? All will become clear, I promise.

The rod will finally be presented with the tip as I originally designed it ... and the butt as I originally designed it ... BUT also and additional, interchangeable butt section in true 'classic' style with a section of hollow-built split cane spliced into a whole cane section !

The furnishings are going to be recycled brass, and I've specified wooden buttons and ferrule stoppers in a Teak finish, which seems to match the rod's lovely colour to perfection.

20th. May, 2015. Hot off the press is the news that the cork for the handle is in place, and shaping and fitting the brass furniture has begun. The aim is to have the rod with the part whole cane butt ready for a very special fishing day on 8th. June ... I may not sleep until then !!!

Even hotter off the press ... the reel bands are in place, and it looks fine with an aerial C815 mounted :-

The handle has to be shaped at the foot yet, but the whole cane spliced to split cane butt is looking splendid !

21st. May, 2015. The rod continues to take shape apace !

When initial discussions were taking place I'd told the 'Chance' team that my favourite design style was "Arts and Crafts," very Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and this is part of what made me want my rod built by these Gentlemen with their 'artisan' approach.

In my 'bits box' I had the ceramic guide inserts from an old Edgar Sealey rod, and these are being used to create the new hand-made tip and butt guides, enhancing the 'period' feel being aimed for. The intermediates will be bespoke too. I believe Mr. Mackintosh would heartily approve !!!

The butt cap and wooden button are in place on the handle, which is now completely shaped.

The whole thing is really beginning to take on a 'life' of it's own !!!

The complete set of guides have now been hand-made ...

... and they have been temporarily whipped in place on the rod at the spacings I'd thought about right ... but this will be verified by running line through them under a degree of pressure to check, before they are whipped into their final positions.

The Gentlemen at 'Chance Rods' are doing a remarkable job in bringing my dream into reality ... and I'm already in love with what they have achieved !!!

I was amazed to discover late this evening that the rod, with the spacings which I'd specified, had been put to the test and passed !!! The curve of the rod under pressure makes me think that my dream may have been close to reality ... BUT it's the Gentlemen at Chance Rods who are making it become a reality !!!

The final whippings have begun ... and I think my choice of colour scheme is going to compliment the rod to a tee !!!

22nd. May, 2015. The final stages !!! The main whippings are complete, with only the Dark Peony highlights to be added before sealing and varnishing.

I think I'm in love ... No ... I know I am !!!

I've just received photos of the final whippings, and the first coat of varnish now drying on the rod ... and to say that my excitement is building is something of an understatement ! I believe that my choice of silks is fully justified now that can see it 'in action,' the shades of green and delicate highlights of dark peony complimenting the colour of the cane to perfection.

This is the spliced joint between the whole cane and the hollow build split cane on the butt ...

... and the guide nearest to the butt ferrule ...

Watch this space !!!

... and the logo of "Chance Rods" has been attached, along with the name I gave the rod ...

One thing I must point out. There had been some discussion about whether or not to include intermediate whippings ... and I believe that the fact that there are none highlights the attention to detail which typifies the Gentleman at "Chance Rods."

Very early on in the discussions about this rod I had mentioned that one of my reasons for ordering from them was their commitment to an 'artisan' approach to the way they work. I also mentioned that one of my favourite design styles was "Arts and Crafts" (short for 'Artisans and Craftsmen'), and especially the work of John Rennie Mackintosh.

When I told them that I would supply silk for intermediates, but would allow them to make the decision about if there would or wouldn't be any ... they took the trouble to research ... and found this quotation on the net :-

Referring to his attraction to the "Arts and Crafts" movement it said "This style was admired by Mackintosh because of its restraint and economy of means rather than ostentatious accumulation; its simple forms and natural materials rather than elaboration and artifice; the use of texture and light and shadow rather than pattern and ornament."

It was because of this that they decided that the rod didn't need the embellishment of intermediate whippings ... and I have to say that I couldn't agree with them more. "Chance Rods" have captured this perfectly, in my opinion.

23rd. May, 2015. The ferrule stopper has been completed, as has the rod bag. The ferrules have been blued, and the second coat of varnish applied. Everything is on target for a very special angling trip on June 8th., when I will take delivery and christen it.