Limited Edition Epic 580 by George Minculete
A stunning set of limited Edition 580 builds in slate grey by George Minculete of Tightloop fly rods. Each fly rod is exquisitely finished and comes complete with hand sewn rod sock and custom fiberglass rod tube.
"Here are some photos of five limited edition Epic 580 Slate builds that have been planned probably a year ago. Finally found the time to build these special blanks this winter.
When Carl came up with the ideea of me building five unique Epic rods I was pretty stoked about it. I wanted them to be super special. And I really like to do some new cool stuff every time. These five builds had to be "identical". This would be my first attempt to build five rods the same way.
With all the colors in the Epic blank line, I still wanted something different. Slate came to mind and this is one of my favorites. However, it was only a limited run.
A special wood to match this color was utmost important. This was a tough call. I remembered about some graphite rods I did in the past that contained buckeye burl wood. A unique marble like wood specimen that some thought is a good match on greyish blanks, graphite at the time. I was able to find a gorgeous piece of buckeye that was stabilized and dyed gray. I thought this was the my best bet.
The exceptional Bellinger uplocking hardware in matte dark plated aluminum was also a limited production. These are "state-of-the-art" reel seats with more modern design, beautiful knurling and light as a feather." "Like I said, this color combination reminds me of some older, very classy graphite rods. I think the Epic 580 has the best of both worlds. The smoothness of glass and the power of graphite.
First glance, it looks more like a graphite rod due to the color and fittings. Once you start casting this "graphite like" fitted glass rod on a bright sunny day, the color of the blank will come alive. The translucency and feel will tell you it's glass you are casting.
The Epic 580 is quicker than any other glass rods and the workhorse of the Epic fiberglass line, and makes for a versatile rod. Some folks can lay out very long casts with it. The agate stripping guide sure was intended to give some life to this "unusual" blank color without being too striking. It is a trout rod after all. The handle is a very comfortable snub-nose half wells. Most folks like this shape, it's super comfy and provides great control. The simple translucent silk wraps tipped a subtle yellow at the ferrules and stripping guide make for an understated rod, built to perfection and will last a lifetime or more. These Epic limited builds are surely "one-of-their-kind".
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I am the owner of #3 of 5 of these custom built rods by none other than the master himself, George Minculete. He is by far the master of his craft and definitely paid attention to detail when it came to building this rod. I am utterly impressed with the weight of this rod blank, for a fiberglass rod it's as light as a feather. Also, the wraps on this rod are perfectly applied, absolutely impeccable. And the reel seat, well it's polished to a mirror finish. I've never seen a reel seat that was so perfect. This rod was given to me by the best fly fishing partner I've had for the last 53 years, my brother Steve. It wasn't a birthday gift nor was it a wrapped gift under my Christmas tree. He bought it for the love he has for his older brother who has and will always be there for him unconditionally. I can honetly say that I had tears running down my cheeks when I opened the package, I just couldn't believe what I had in my hands, #3 of 5. I have yet to use it and I'm not sure if I ever will. This is such a beautiful rod that has tremendous meaning to me and even though this rod may be #3, my brother will always be #1.
I know George for a while now. He already built me a rod so I know his amazing workmanship (he's building me another rod soon). George told me about the 5 Epics he was finishing for Swift and although I already owned a nice Epic 480, he managed to talk me into getting a Limited Edition. The rod arrived today and wow, what an amazing looking rod! The slate color really looks very lean & mean. Almost like a graphite rod. The finish is superb (of course). The grip feels super comfortable too. The wood spacer is spectacular. Looks like marble. I cast the rod for about 15 minutes and, man this rod is completely different from the Epic 480. That is a very mellow and soft rod where you need to stay away from speeding up too abruptly. This Epic 580 feels very powerful yet without losing control. The tip has the right amount of softness to be able to cast short distances (2-4 meters) with good feed back well as well as keeping a tight loop on longer distances. I'm very happy with this special rod. Can't wait to pull out some nasty big guys from an undercut bank! Ps. The fiberglass tube is a nice touch.
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