"The Six-Eight", six-strip bamboo fly rod is my signature, limited edition, design meant for smaller streams and pond fishing where a shorter fishing rod gives you the advantage. These two-piece 80" long rods weigh a mere 3-1/4 ounces including the reel seat. I've designated a four or five-weight line although previous customers have had success using other line weights depending on the fishing situation, and their casting skill.
Standard features include Tonkin cane; stabilized wood spacer reel seat with brushed nickel hardware, chrome line guides and a very comfortable 7-1/4" reversed half Wells grip of select cork rings. Of course, "The Six-Eight" can be reasonably customized to your liking. Options include wood spacer material, guide wrap colors, guide finish, and ferrule material. One option not normally offered is intermediate windings - a throwback to earlier days when these additional tiny windings provided physical support. Intermediates on "The Six-Eight" are not required for physical support, but they do provide distinctive eye appeal. The stripper guide option is a genuine agate insert stripper guide (standard on the 'Elite" and 'A-S' versions). Agate may provide long term durability improvements but certainly classic beauty.
"The Six-Eight" ferrules are rolled welt, nickel finish ferrules that provide the right amount of strength and flexibility to insure that the rod's semi-parabolic action transfers through to the handle area. This feature helps when playing that unexpected larger fish from a small stream or pond. Triple plated oversized chrome snake guides and a 'Perfection' tip-top are standard and help feed the line out over the water with improved accuracy and ease. Wraps are an item where you can express your individuality through color selection. My personal choice is Chestnut Brown thread with Black tipping, similar to the Payne color scheme. Wraps of Chinese red, tipped Black, follow the Leonard color scheme. The standard hook keeper is an oversized wire loop for ease of use, while both a loose ring and strap hook keeper, or no hook keeper at all are available choices.
"The Six-Eight" comes in a custom made duck canvas bag with my label, and a labeled aluminum tube with brass screw cap and O-ring seal. The tube is labeled with the rod data - typically model name, length, line weight and wrap colors. The label can be customized to contain more information should you choose for your custom built version. Both bamboo rod joints are equal lengths and the rod is finished with UV resistant spar varnish.
I have sold dozens of this model, some of which regrettably have never been fished because the owners felt that the rod was too beautiful to endanger on the stream. Each rod, whether standard or custom, is wrapped by hand and built from NEW-OLD-STOCK split-bamboo, and an occasional joint of re-purposed bamboo.
All versions of "The Six-Eight" have model and line data shaft markings, custom-labeled duck canvas sleeves, and aluminum screw-cap cases. The 'Elite' version of "The Six-Eight" adds a second, book matched, tip joint and hand lapped machined nickel silver ferrules. Any one of "The Six-Eight" rods is a delight simply to hold and admire, yet a greater delight on which to land a voracious six-inch "Bluegill" or a native "Brook Trout".
When considering the overall value of "The Six-Eight", donít overlook the custom canvas sleeve, the top-of-the-line storage case, and the fact that "The Six-Eight" is professionally hand-crafted. These amenities are all included in the asking price.
I hope to get you out on the water fishing your personal copy of "The Six-Eight".
Tight lines -
Ray Niedbalski Jr, Rodsmith.
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