My last two builds

Here's some pics (pretty bad ones) of my last two builds. One is a GLX 4piece 4 weight. the feather inlay is bronze mallard. The second is an 8134 burkheimer. The handle is mostly burnt cork and the inlay is pheasant and brown grizzly.

It was kind of spendy, but the burnt cork was actually cheaper per ring than flor grade. I really liked the darker look, especially when it rains and the handle gets wet, it turns this extreme dark and shiny color.
Beautiful work. I'm impressed. I've done one feather inlay, looking to do some more.

I'm about to start a Forecast 7'6" 5 piece 4 wt and then I'm building a spinning rod and casting rod for my parents. Should keep me busy.



Stephen Mull
Those are amazing looking rods! I really dig the cork...fits really well with the colors on the spey for a rustic sort of feel.
If your technique for doing the inlay(applique) work is not proprietary, I would like to hear a description of how you did it. I am getting ready to start a new Dan Craft 7 wt Signature Blank. I would like to give some grizzly hackle inlay a shot.


James Mello

Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"
Inlays are easy... To do them, this is what I do.... Note, I am using a water soluable color preserver....

1) Clean the feathers in some mild soap and water. I've been bit by some residual oil causing fish eyes in the finish. Rinse them thouroghly...

2) Clean the rod surface using some alcohol and a lint free rag.

3) Set the rod up in a stand and mark the center line in visible areas near the feather placement.

4) Using *only* water apply the feathers buy wetting them and floating them into place.

5) Using a very soft bristled brush with water on it, you can do further fine tuing to get it look just right.

6) With some thinned color preserver just touch a few drops onto the feathers. Try to cover it reasonably well as this will be the way the feathers are "tacked dow" to the blank. Wipe up any excess that sags to the bottom.

7) Let dry.

8) After it is dry, add one more layer of unthinned color preserver.

My technique differs from other folks, but I started doing it because of the following.

- Color preserver will dry as you are working with the feathers making it harder to do move things around if you have lots of feathers to place

- Water is cheaper

- The color preserver I use is a slightly milky color so it's hard to see through

- The thicker film of water makes it easier (IMO) to float the feathers where they need to be without any additional brushing. This makes the feathers appear more "natural" to my eye.