Fish & Rod Stories | The Making of Riffle Tamer III

Project begins with this Vintage South Bend 58-9 so rare that it does not appear in most valuation catalogues. Valued about $225 by renowned former expert ‘fishinbanjo’ Dick Spurr.

Single Built construction Tonkin Cane Steelhead rod, with a pretty good backbone semi-burned finish, 59-8 marking above the cork grip.

Problems needed to be addressed on the rod; slip-cracked ferrule, missing ferrule, missing and worn wrapping threads, all sections badly warped, Guides bent-tarnished and varnish needed replacement.

Hand planing technique was used to remove old varnish and change the rod taper from 8 weight slow action. Butt section after hand planning shows how much bamboo was removed.

Delaminated section under damaged ferrule re-glued and rewrapped before drying.

Same section in my homemade ‘lathe - rodwrapper’ resizing the tip to accept the replacement ferrule.

Antique (new stock) final fitting on to re-tapered butt section.

Heat gun at 580⁰ applied makes bamboo pliable for hand straightening. Note considerable force applied in opposite direction of warp.

Eye sighting from end to locate warpage and confirm straightness.

After straightening, two sections aligned together during glue-up and ferrules drying (turning in drying machine for 6-12 hours).

Old cork grip and bake-lite reel seat removed. Masking tape built up forming three arbors center and support the reel seat. Top center of rod marked for proper alignment.

Antique new stock green anodized reel seat on the left just prior to epoxy application (6-12 hours in the drying machine).

Eight aromatic cedar disks cut and numbered prior to glue-up and clamping (2-4 hours drying).

Lathe turning, then hand carving to form exclusive designed Matt Lubaway Thumb Wells cedar hand grip. Moderate cedar stain applied to even colors.

After four coats of urethane and sanding, the first three Peacock hurl feathers are applied forming, the eye, the hook and the barb.

Eleven additional Rhea Ringneck Pheasant and Dyed Chicken hurl feathers and 1st classic Steelhead Streamer is complete, then repeated on the opposite side. 12 coats of spar urethane varnish applied, sanding between each coat.

Rod then wrapped with 13 guides, a tip top and hook keeper, decorative wraps and four coats of Spar Urethane varnish is ready for testing.

Custom Rod test results CSS rating ERN 6.35 | AA 62◦. Final determination confirms transformation from a 8 weight slow rod to a 6 weight Moderate (Mod-Fast) Trout / Bass / Steelhead rod.

Completed rod shown with the old cork, reel seat, bamboo shavings, damaged guides & ferrule.

Completed rod also showing carved Michigan buck antler butt cap, finished wood thumb wells grip and all four sections.

Rod next to Matt's handmade Michigan Wild Cherry octagonal fly rod case, with MUCC inlaid badge. (Thank you Jennifer).

Finished Matt Lubaway Custom Rod.

Close up Inlaid MUCC Logo.

Close up carved Michigan buck antler butt cap.

This rod is available to a lucky winner for just $5.00 a ticket through the 2015 MUCC Outdoor Raffle. Click here for details. If you win, be sure to let us know how the rod performs on the open water. Gallery of Matt's other bamboo projects.