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