Grip (get one)

Playing with Eric’s rods woke up the rod building beast within (I still have to tell you about his 8’6 4wt, it’s a mass murder of a rod, I totally fell in love with it and now I have to build on this blank)… that is, after the two projects I have in standby since last fall: an all-black ninja 5wt cannon on a Quickline blank, and Red October, a spinning blank reconversion into a 10wt for pike (still in experimental alpha 1.0 stage, after an interesting failure with the MHX ST1023, I’ll get back to you with this).

Anyway, I was goofing around, asking myself what the grip of this lil’ beauty should look like. This fiberglass affair obviously put me into a traditional mood. So I was looking at what the bamboo guys are doing. And I found something quite interesting.

The master's hand

The master’s hand

Cris Carpenter is a boo maker, and I think he’s a good one (even if I know very little about bamboo). His rods are moderately priced (for cane, that is…) but really beautiful. I like his microferrules, and his keen eye for good looks.

carpenter bros ferrule IMG_0747

Blood wraps

carpenter bros rod IMG_0748

But what really caught my eye was this grip design. I’ve never seen a grip like this (and I’ve seen Gigs of rod pictures). It’s not much, not spectacular, but it’s all about a subtle correctness of proportions. I think it has this japanese sleekness that makes it an instant classic, at least assuming it feels confortable in hand. Since he keeps doing them and reading his blog I really sense he’s that kind of guy trying hard to do right, I’ll bet they do.

carpenter bros grip IMG_0747

It’s not that often you get to see something new in a fly rod handle. Thanks Cris for sharing! I’ll definitely turn one like that for the 486.

With a down locking reel seat, I’ll be like the full blown old schooler. Of sorts.

It does.

It does.

7 thoughts on “Grip (get one)

  1. the grip reminds me of a Charles Ritz’s favored. i think he was drunk and glued it on backwards…
    your interest in this makes me wonder, do you use the thumb on top grip when casting ?

  2. yeah, not the least plausible explanation ^_^
    it’s indeed a little like Ritz’ reverted, but not really, because the butt side is not tapered down to the reel seat diam.
    for my casting grip, I tend to use a grip I learned on ‘loops before getting into bad habits, and it looks more or less like that (at least I think)

    • that’s called the ‘V’ grip, a lot like holding a screw-driver. ok, there’s still hope. (some)
      i personally think that fat-at-the-front grips are limiting and very un-anatomical.
      this might be good for a dildo shape but not for fly casting. it is of course good for thumb-on-toppers but then, they should be shot.
      cheers,
      marc

      • all right. I’m here to be enlightened.
        but do you know why everybody’s uses full wells for the heavier rods (like 8wt and up). even the SL Pro 8 has them. Any good reason besides marketing? do you go thumbs up for heavier lines ?

        • not really. i’m assuming it’s mostly out of ‘tradition’ rather than anything else.
          full wells are on most rods 6wt and up. (basically all factory rods)
          here’s my take:
          – as a manner of ‘telling’ the line where to go or what to do, i point to that specific direction or line shapes.
          it’s natural.
          unless we’re hitch-hiking we don’t point anywhere with our thumbs.
          it’s awkward. (even for those who ‘have their thumb up their ass’):mrgreen:
          – the ToT grip is imo the absolute best way to make very poor BCs. it encourages the wrist to ‘snap back’.
          a very good caster can control their wrist but most casters are not very good. (or rather, don’t care to be better)
          cheers,
          marc

  3. Pingback: Hot with a rod, cool by the pool | G0ne Fishin9

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