Bandit for the Fiberglass Manifesto pt1
There are 15 unique and separate processes involved in building an Epic fly rod, from selecting and cleaning the blank right through to the final QC inspection, polish and dispatch.
It's real honor and a privilege to build a rod for Cameron, so we thought we'd pull out all the stops and come up with something really special - here are a few of the steps along the way to delivering Cameron's Bandit.
The first step in the process involves getting a clear understanding of the customer's needs.
Utilizing tuned mass damping and finite element analysis, combined with advanced nano particles, Canadian goose shit and fairy dust to deliver superior tracking and develop faster line speeds - this is what we came up with...
Proof of Concept:
Once the initial design process is complete we go ahead and build a prototype to see how it will perform against the rest of our range. We've gone all out with this one and included a fish already on the line.
Not looking too shabby.
After product testing is complete, a new design is then committed to production and sent to the workshop where our Rod Meister "Big Trev" and his team set about handcrafting a beautiful new Epic fly rod.
As is often the case, some of my more 'organic' designs don't get past this stage. Here you can see Trev politely suggesting we stick with our existing and extremely successful Bandit profile, and that I might like to leave the workshop and come back another day.
After the reel seat, fighting butt and cork are glued to the blank, guide positions are marked out using a jig. Then the fun begins...
As you can see, Trevor really gets a kick out of his work.
Trev wraps using a bobbin - why, we don't know. But the results are pretty spectacular.
This is natural Japanese YLI silk, after all the wraps are complete it will be treated with a slightly thinned mixture of epoxy rod finish. This initial flood coat will turn the silk wraps absolutely transparent and drive out any air trapped around the guide feet.
It's important to note that this first flood coat is entirely for aesthetics - the integrity of the epoxy on this first coat is compromised by the thinning process - subsequent coats of undiluted finish will provide strength and a rock hard, scratch resistant finish.
Each rod is fitted with a unique laser engraved winding check which identifies this fly rod as a genuine Studio Built Epic and references it in our owners database for warranties, repairs and resales.
With the reel seat, fighting butt , grip and winding check fitted and dry it's all starting to come together.
I must admit, this is starting to look as good as my special design...
The next step is to take that gorgeous high gloss blank, sand the shit out of it, and scribble on it with a pen. This step is not for the faint hearted.. Or the Hungover
Then the inscription and rod logo are sealed with a final protective coat of finish. More soon...
- Carl McNeil