The 'Chance' of a Lifetime !!!

11th. May, 2015. What can I say ???

It was a few short weeks ago when two Gentlemen, who had taken the courageous decision to move into creating bespoke rods built on a true 'artisan' philosophy, asked me if I would like the opportunity to design my own rod !!!

No limits were set ... it could be anything from a gudgeon rod to a carp rod ... but anyone knowing my preference for style of angling could have no doubt ... I simply COULD NOT refuse such a unique opportunity ... and the rod that immediately sprang into my head would be 'mine, and mine alone' ... therefore a light, sensitive still-water rod aimed at roach and crucians !!!

I was in no doubt about the configuration ... an 11ft., 2 piece, all split cane rod with a fine tip action and a 24 inch handle, but enough 'punch' in the butt to take a surprise fish should it come along.

Given my familial roots, and my angling preferences, it will come as no surprise to anyone that I chose as the name 'Roisteach Snas' for this project ... this being the Scots Gaelic for "Roach Perfection."

Sleepless nights ... and more than a couple of small ports ... followed as I tried to give imaginative form to the rod I would like.

Tapers and dimensions were sent winging their way to the Gentlemen (isn't the Internet wonderful ???) ... and were accepted.

A flood of questions came back ... confirmation of handle length ? ... guide spacings ? ... whipping colours and spacings ? ... intermediate whippings or not ? ... to name but a few !!! ... all, I hope, answered to satisfaction.

It was agreed that the guides would be based on a butt and tip guide which I had in my 'bits box' of a ceramic lining, and newly constructed bent wire for the intermediates ... and the whippings would be in my choice of Pipers Silks twisted silk "Grass" green with their "Red" as a highlight. I then thought that the 'red' was too brash ... so changed it for Pipers Silk 'Peony,' ... much more to my taste I think



Knowing the timetable to which the Gentlemen were working to bring their own rods to fruition I expected a period of inactivity ... BUT ... a flurry of emails over the past few days has changed my perceptions.

I was aghast, therefore, to receive an email yesterday with the first of a series of photographs detailing every stage of the build ... and it is my pleasure to share these here ... as I will share every stage of the build.

The notes and drawings I had sent to the Workshop have been placed in prime position above the work bench ...



Attention to detail has been an obvious 'watchword' with these Gentlemen from the outset ... so it came to no surprise that they took immense trouble over the choice of culm ...



Their unique 'baking' process came next ... giving a lovely 'caramel' colour to the cane ...



... which was then split and split again into the individual pieces to make up the sections ...



Initial attention was then given to the nodes in the cane ... inside and out ...



... and the attention to detail was exemplified when I was given the choice of wood stains to be applied to the ferrule stoppers !!!!!



I naturally opted for the 'teak' effect on the right.

13th.May, 2013. The latest reports from the workshop arrived last evening, with up to date photographs of progress.

The individual strips of cane received an initial hand-planing ... YES ... hand-planing ... true to the 'artisan' philosophy which I am so attracted to ...



... before being assembled into unglued sections, and placed into the oven for the unique 'Chance' tempering ... timed with great accuracy ...



Here are the sections fresh from the oven ... and I love the dark caramel colour of the cane ...



When cooled ... the delicate final hand-planing of each section started ... and my excitement grows ...



14th. May, 2015. The hand-planed section are taped together for final checking ... and please notice how the areas which the nodes were on the cane has been stepped to spread the stress over the length of the sections.



The next photos will highlight something which I haven't mentioned yet !!!

When I was asked to provide the brief for 'my' rod ... I was cheeky, and asked for it to be 'hollow built' !!! ... a request which was readily accepted by those at Chance Rods. The whole of the butt and the first 20 inches of the tip section have been hand-filed to create a rod which will be both strong but light and well balanced !!! ...





... and the delicacy of the tip I requested for a fast -striking rod can be seen when the cane strips are compared to an ordinary pencil !!!



Once the Gentlemen of Chance Rods were satisfied ... the sections were glued and bound ... and left hanging to cure. My excitement is building !!!



See Page 2 !!!