L. Kenney 888-3 Prototype build

Greetings from the world’s laziest blogger. In fact, I’m not a blogger. I merely record things here for posterity. As I sit here 15 minutes into the new day watching some Chuck Norris movie from 1978 I felt compelled to share some pics of a rod I’ve recently completed.


I was fortunate enough to pick up the blank in question off of Larry Kenney awhile ago and I’ve been sitting on it ever since. My feverish “one rod a year” build schedule didn’t afford me the time to get started on this one until a couple of weeks ago. Being that it is a new year I decided to make a conscious effort to get some more builds finished. I don’t care for resolutions, of the New Years variety or otherwise but you know…modest yet achievable goals and all that. Plus I’d kind of like to fish some of them.


So the blank is an 8′ 8″ for 8wt spread out over three pieces with Mr. Kenney’s black spigot ferrules and latte paint job. He sold the blank to me as a prototype; I believe that he was working on the taper and wasn’t quite happy with this one. I got a chance to cast it today for about 20 minutes between ice floes on the Allegheny and it feels pretty damn nice to me.


As far as the gory details are concerned, the tip top and guides are Snake Brand as always but this time I opted for the Universal guides with Mike McCoy’s proprietary ECOating. The reel seat is the LC10 in a nickel finish from Lemke Concepts. The thread wraps are Fish Hawk rust #257 nylon and YLI #223 for the tipping. Lastly, the Portuguese cork was glued up and turned down on a makeshift mandrel chucked up in my cordless drill.


I finished the wraps out with Thread Master Lite but I think I’m going to switch over to spar varnish for awhile and see where that takes me.


I’m terrible at describing rod actions so I’ll just say that the 888-3 has a good amount of power with a softer tip. I only had a Rio 7wt Smallmouth line with me so I didn’t try different lines but I could keep a lot of line in the air while false casting. Where I ran into trouble a few times was trying to over power the cast resulting in a pretty evident tailing loop. I’ve had this problem on most softer rods I’ve cast and I really have to slow down and let the rod unload itself. It looks better and feels better. All in all I’m very happy with the rod and think it’ll prove itself a true 8wt in my hands.


Gotta go. Chuck Norris just drop kicked somebody through their car windshield. Take care.