Hand made by local experts

I like things that are made by hand by people I have met and worked with. I have no hesitation in talking about Andy Elliot and his super saltwater flies or Brian Healey and his own incredible range. Working with people like Andy and Brian allows you to add a sense of individual contribution and creativity to a constantly evolving and changing product, a sense of self input of experience and instinct. You think you know and understand what the fly needs to do, look like, how it needs to behave and the people working and building the flies know how to fit the material and hooks to achieve many things including limits and capabilities.

Like most things that work the combined constituents of a1-DSC_4726 saltwater fly go way beyond material, there’s time spent testing, time changing, testing again, evolving, talking, observing, more time changing and finalising, the end result is often a completely unique and special variation on an already established pattern.

Getting it right is a long, challenging and interesting process. Its not as simple as making a fly, casting and catching fish. A difficult year like 2012 sets projects like fly prototypes in development back in time, because you cant work you can’t test, you loose your momentum and stop, you cant evolve and improve or promote. Getting this development going again for the last quarter of the season and the season for 2013 is now the task at hand, if it improves of course!

I had a wonderful half days fly fishing with Rink van der Wal this week– during our many conversations he mentioned he built rods from CTS blanks. I am familiar with CTS as Casper Hansen a fly fishing customer from Denmark also used these blanks for his own rods and fished with them here during 2010. Rink showed me the rod he had hand built himself from a range of the best quality components available – Rink now has a winter project to complete for me, hand made ready for spring 2013, I just cant wait!

I guess support comes in many ways and I certainly know I get a lot of it from many people, a word of encouragement here or there, a website link, an e-mail or other acknowledgement. They keep you positive and often times sane. There are many smaller sustainable bespoke opportunities for employment, of genuine expertise, people with experience and skill which exist in local communities in this country that are connected directly or indirectly to bass fishing which need support too.

If we cant do that at least, then what can we do?


Some techie type notes for you regarding the rod build.

Material Grade  Ultra sensitive 57msi high modulus
 Taper  Fast
Action  Fast – Extra-Fast
Color P2000 or Clear Gloss (other colour’s available)


Fly Rod Terms Explained from CTS


The CTS Fly Blank range has been carefully designed to cater for all disciplines of fly fishing. Each range encompasses specific features that make it a stand out blank with in its category.

CTS fly blank terms explained

In designing, we use two different terms to describe the feel of our blanks. Action and Taper. For the most part these two components of our designs are closely related to provide a well balanced blank that is quite specific in its discipline.

Action, commonly referred to as the lock up point, is where our blank first starts to stiffen dramatically. This affects the strike action of the blank and determines to a large extent the casting style. We use actions from slow through to extra fast. Outlined are our three basic categories:

This is an extremely graceful action that has a very subtle lock up point around mid way. Our Vintage Series, based on the traditional cane style, combines this action with a slow taper, allowing the blank to flex and load very smoothly throughout its length.

Beautiful balance and ease of casting. Our medium action is often combined with our medium taper. This action allows the blank to lock up from above midway into the top third. It is a great all round action.

A more demanding action, this action locks up in the top third of the blank. This action is generally paired with faster tapers to provide a blank that has plenty of power for both casting and fish fighting.

The taper of the blank describes the power of the butt area in relation to the power of the tip area. A faster taper means a more powerful blank. Our fly series utilizes tapers from slow through to extra fast.

This very subtle taper allows the blank to flex right down to the lower third of the blank. Our slower taper allows us to build a feather light blank with an extremely smooth casting style and fly presentation.

Our medium taper blanks have a huge sweet spot. Beautifully light in the hand, these blanks load easily for excellent line delivery and have plenty of power for longer casting and fish stopping ability.

With a more powerful cast, these blanks will power up and deliver. Generally coupled with our fast or extra fast actions this style blank will generate great line speed and distance. The extra power through the butt area generates superb fish fighting ability.

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