When I reviewed Eric’s Epic 480, I knew that thing was different. Different enough to get me into the stupid idea to build a glass rod actually, but that’s a story for another time. But when I read the substantial essay Oliver wrote on his blog about Epic, I’ve just been baffled by the amount of cleverness that went into the whole Swift business model. I mean, look at the name. You can’t even mention the stuff without praising it…
Can’t find what you look for in graphite? Use fiberglass.
Can’t have the rods built well enough at reasonable costs? Use custom builders’ expertise, and build some network.
What if that’s too expensive or the guys want to do that themselves? Yeah that’s fine, it’s the Swift philosophy. Build your rods, like your tie your flies. Offer them a selection of the very best components there is.
What if the guy never did this? He’ll have to factor in all the extra building stuff in the rod’s cost?
Now this is where Carl McNeil left me flabbergasted (cool word). Watch this thing:
Kickass fiberglass rod tube? Check
The goddam box the building kits comes in transforms into a wrapping station. How cool is that? F.ing cool, that’s how.
I urge you to read Oliver’s whole interview of McNeil. He’s right on so many things, it’s quite an enlightening experience. For my rodbuilding friends, whom I love dearly even though I think they sometimes go way overboard on some issues, let me quote him:
The subject of spining rods has & continues to cause huge debate. The truth is that under the tension of the cast the rod will always bend according to the tension of the fly line against the guides and tiptop, the effect of the spine on a fully loaded rod is negligible. – So truly, it matters little (all respect to the great Don Green)
Do what you feel is best for your build, it’s you rod – follow your bliss.
Sadly, I’m not in the league for an Epic. These blanks cost a lot more than I can afford right now.* But man, I’m really glad you’re in this business.
* Not complaining though. They aren’t super expensive, and we know why they cost this much (small NZ production).