lew parks bamboo rods

Discussion in 'Bamboo, Fiberglass & Classic Reels' started by Mark Walker, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Active Member

    Seeking input. Anyone own/fish his rods? I'm considering a 7' 3/2 4wt from this maker.
  2. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

    Sorry no firsthand experience.

    I read his name every once in a while, always in reference to Dickerson tapers which he builds both solid and hollow. A properly tweaked Dickerson is a very capable rod but they do have a particular action. Some people cast them, shrug their shoulders and say "its just a fast Garrison", others go nearly catatonic with bliss. You should certainly try before you buy if possible or have a liberal return policy in place just to insure that you like the way it casts.
    I have read only good things about Lew's work and prices of both new and especially used are reasonable. The few photos I've seen show a handsome looking rod.

  3. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Active Member

    Sorry. I should have given more info. The rod has a Wanye Cattanach taper.
  4. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

    Which one?
  5. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Active Member

    Unfortunately, all I am sure of is its hand planed and the butt and mid section are hollow to smooth out the mid/fast dry fly action.
  6. hedburner

    hedburner Member

    I just bought one of his rods a couple of weeks ago. He does good work, and the rod is great. Look up his name here http://clarksclassicflyrodforum.yuku.com/
    And he does have a 3 day inspection policy.
  7. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Active Member

    Thanks for the link hedburner. Will do that.
  8. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Active Member

  9. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

    Looks like a fairly smooth but fast progression until you get to the butt section which stiffens considerably but then has a bit of a hinge in it for some kick.
    If you normally fish graphite this rod should feel familiar. After spending some time with it you will learn how to use the extra kick in the butt.

    This curve is based on a #4 at 40' so it should handle a good amount of line. This rod is not a noodle. Far from it.

  10. rockymountain_brown

    rockymountain_brown Senore Member

    Tim's right on. lew's on the bamboo fly rod forum quite a bit. Seems like a good maker.
  11. Tom Bowden

    Tom Bowden Active Member

    I don't know Lew, but I do know the rod taper. It's a 3-piece version of Wayne Cattanach's famous "Sir-D" taper, a really nice fast action dry fly rod. It's a great rod for small streams like the South Fork Snoqualmie or the Deschutes south of Olympia, where you rarely need to cast over 40' or so. The taper has a deliberate "hinge" that supposedly helps with roll casting. I really like mine, and have made a few for friends and charity events.

  12. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Active Member

    Thanks for the input. Rod arrived Thursday. Quite impressive. I'm ready to chew this cast off my arm!
  13. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

    A nearly identical taper in a #3 is in Cattanach's book. I did not realise that this was the original Sir D.

    Sir D is a variation on Cattanach's taper by the late Darryl "Sir D" Hayashida.

    In any event, it is a very popular taper and the 'fish dont care' who did what as long they see a tasty looking fly in front of them.

  14. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Active Member

    Thanks Tim. You seem to be quite learned in this field. Would you care to venture an opinion on suitable reel matches?
  15. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

    "Quite learned". Hardly. As a builder, Tom has far more to offer than I do about bamboo.

    Regarding reels. I am not all that particular about matching reels to rods. On a tip action 7ft #4, pretty much any light weight reel of a suitable size would do it for me. In terms of function all it has to do is hold the line.

    The reels I have for that weight are

    J A Forbes 3" Avon & 3" Sandstone
    J W Young 3" Valdex constricted (narrow)
    3 1/4" Hardy Marquis #6 or its counterpart S.A. System #6

    There is a lot of weight difference among those reels. If I had my druthers I would just stuff the line into my pocket and not use a reel at all.

    In summary, any light weight 3" or 3 1/4" reel that catches your interest.

  16. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Active Member

    Thanks again TC. I'll research those.
  17. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Fellow WFFer flyman216 built a blonde 7' 2/1 last winter based on the Sir D taper. While I had admired its clean build and cosmetics then, it wasn't until last week that I had a chance to fish it for a half hour at a tree farm lake. The rod casts like a rocket compared with my other cane rods. It's maker is exploring a similar Cattanach taper, but in a 3-piece 7-1/2' configuration. I can't wait to fish it.

    BTW, flyman's rod balanced right behind the winding check with an Orvis BBSII reel, so I don't think you need a particularly heavy reel as with some other, longer cane rods.

  18. Tom Bowden

    Tom Bowden Active Member

    I recall reading that the Sir-D taper was actually named twice: once by Wayne Cattanach for a gentleman he met on the river who inspired him to create the taper, and then by some guys on the Rodmakers e-mail List after Daryl Hayashida. Daryl Hayashida was a very creative and innovative California rodmaker, who unfortunately passed away last year.

    Daryl's version adds .002" to the tip, 5" and 10" stations. I always make one tip using Wayne's taper and one tip using Daryl's. I'll admit that I can't tell the difference

    A lot of rodmakers recommend this as a good first bamboo rod for folks who learned to cast with fast action graphite rods. At 7', it's a great rod for small streams - very accurate and easy to cast close in, but enough backbone to reach out 40-50'. It's also a fun rod to cast on the front lawn in the summer.

    Just to be safe, I recommend you try reels to make sure they fit the reel seat. Some of the classier looking reel seats are specifically designed for the thinner feet on machined reels. Reels like Pfleuger Medalists or the older Hardy Viscounts won't fit.

  19. flybill

    flybill Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!

    Dang, you guys are really making me want to get my first boo rod! I've cast a few of the high end ones over the past few years from Bob Clay(SH and DH), the Sweetgrass guys, Winston's and I believe an Orvis rod that Kent owns. All are different and incredibly fun to cast!

    Visiting the Sweetgrass guys in Twin was awesome and I almost put an order in, before the reality of the prices set in... I got to see the build process and how much time and care goes into a work of art like they produce!

    So if you were looking for a first boo rod, say in the $400 - $500 range and mostly likely a 7 1/2" 4wt or 5wt what would you look for? This would be a rod mainly for fishing dries - "Dry fly or die"!

    I looked around on Ebay recently and there were some Zhus rods, very cheap, between $100 - $150, but they are made and shipped from China and I'm not sure about sending a payment over there directly. Cabelas has Highland Mills rods that look interesting, but I don't know how they cast.

    I have a few sites that I have checked out, but there are so many different options.

  20. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Active Member

    Currently planning to pair this rod with a Nautilus FW 3+. (4oz.) I could use an Albright GPX 3/4 but it's heavier (6.1oz.). Opinions on using either reels loaded with 444 Sylk or Sharkskin? (Floating DT). I know the cost ratio is approx. double. Does the difference merit the expense? I haven't used either lines to date.
    Many thanks to all for your informative posts. The bamboo aspect is new to me and I appreciate everyones input.