The do-it-yourself mentality now sweeping through the fly fishing industry is most evident in custom fibreglass rod making. And I like it.
Twigwater reader Mick Warren from Perthville NSW also likes it and has sent me his custom built Kabuto 7033 to review. Mick, a long term fly and glass tragic, has been hooked on the material since his first build, a 476 Epic, and hasn’t fished carbon since. He’s been in manufacturing for thirty-seven years and learned to build rods watching his dad and two eldest brothers build surf and black fish rods when he was a teenager and his longer term plans include making custom rods and even clicker fly reels.
Kabuto is a Japanese rod company that has been making fibreglass blanks and custom rods for several years and they’re highly regarded in the fibreglass world.
The 7033 blank is a 7’ #3 in three pieces and brilliant white is available in 2- through 5-weight and 6’6 to 8’ in length and also in brown or yellow finishes.
Mick’s build is quite unique with a triangular Tasmanian Cherry Pine sliding band reel seat, large grip and simple green wraps over the bright white blank. My Abel TR Light fits very securely on the seat and the big grip suits my big hands well.
I would describe the build as robust, though it’s just a working test for Mick and there’s more to come.
Casting this rod, like any good glass, is a pleasure. The action is a little snappier than I expected and my favourite #3 line, the WF Rio Perception, belts out effortlessly even on longer casts.
My first thought for the rod would be small water bass because it easily throws larger flies with good accuracy and the solid build would suit the larger flies and physical nature of casting them. Those same qualities would also make it a great late-season hopper rod for trout.
I also tried my now-retired Scientific Anglers WF#3 XPS and though it felt a little light for this blank, though it might be a good option for tiny dries on fussy water.
Mick is currently testing several other blanks, including stuff from Seele and Ijuin Yomogi with a view towards building more custom rods for sale. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to trying more of his builds soon.
Interested in the global custom glass rod scene?
thefiberglassmanifesto.com is the home of custom glass rod building on the internet and one of my favourite blogs ever. Cameron has had his finger on this pulse since he started it and I highly recommend a regular read.