April 2016

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Kabuto 764-3…finally

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This rod was a long time coming. It’s been “on my bench” for over a year. I’d wrap here and there and when I could and finally I got it together this May.

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The blank is a 7’6″ 4wt Kabuto from Japan and it is as advertised. I couldn’t even detect a spine on the blank when I was prepping my guide spacing.

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I got an opportunity to fish it recently and high water put my dry fly plans off so I actually swung a brace of wets with it and had no problems. I even caught a handful of colorful brook trout. I couldn’t resist tying on a size 14 Royal Wulff after awhile and the Kabuto just sings as a dry fly rod. You could say that we bonded.

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I used Snake Brand Universal guides as they’re the best. The straw colored silk wraps are of the Pearsall’s Gossamer variety as are the antique gold and black trim wraps.

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The stripping guide is a Mildrum SRMC. I love an agate stripper but I constantly worry about breaking the stone while I’m fishing.

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The reel seat is also from Mike at Snake Brand Guides and the spacer is an amazing piece of buckeye burl. I wouldn’t normally use an uplocking seat on a 7’6″ 4wt but I had to see this spacer on this blank. I think it worked well.

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Every build that I’ve finished has come with a lesson, usually not a free lesson either, and this Kabuto was no different. After applying my second coat of epoxy I was extremely happy with my wraps. They were slender and smooth and the silk just melted around the guide feet. Feeling industrious I decided to finish shaping a cigar grip for another build I’m working on. I set up my lathe…ok, it’s a hand drill…and began turning down my cork. I kept checking my timer so I could rotate the blank while the epoxy set and avoid the dreadful sag then I’d go back to my cork about 8 feet away. About 30 minutes into my sanding I went back to my Kab blank and noticed a fine layer of cork dust all over the table…and the wet wraps. I had to let the epoxy dry thoroughly and sand them down a bit before applying a third coat. I was pretty mad at myself and the wraps are a little fatter than I wanted but the fish don’t know so it’s ok.

Thanks for reading.