Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The "Old School" fiberglass rod by A-Mac Custom Rods

When everything on Earth seems to be going retro, why not expect fly fishing gear to follow suit shortly thereafter, right? I mean, it seems all things come full circle in due time (my Aunt Marsha's hairdo, Dodge Challengers, beards...) Is fly rod technology so different? I think not. 

Once upon a time fiberglass was king. The glass of our fathers' fishing era was flexible, inexpensive, easy to work with, and almost indestructible. (I still fish with my dad's old Shakespeare from the late 60's - fishing with it feels sorta like driving an old VW bus, good that it was built well enough the first time that it's still here.) Fiberglass' only true Achilles' heel was its weight. But that was the past

Some vintage glass-junkies like Cameron Mortenson and Tom Chandler have never stopped using the stuff. And some really smart enthusiasts out there (probably donning Grateful Dead T's and listening to Phish [on vinyl]) seemed to have figured out ways to make vintage glass perform remarkably similar to bamboo - soft like butta on a hot summa night.

Austin McWhorter of A-Mac Custom Built Rods has taken the Lamiglas blank out of the stone age and into your present-day kung-fu grip. He calls it the OLD SCHOOL, a nod to the heritage of our fly-fishing past, but he puts his own modern spins on it to bring it into the 21st century. He's created a true small stream, go-to piece of art that will make fishing for small trout, bream or bluegill a delight. 

Pictured is the honey yellow, 3-wt, 6'6" two-piece rod Austin built for his new line. It retails for $220, it's light as a fly, and the thing has the flex index roughly equal to that of an al dente linguini noodle -- utter perfection for the small brookie streams I'm about to conquer and destroy like Genghis Khan in a few weeks with Wes and Guy. The Cruces Basin Wilderness will be my first outing putting the OLD SCHOOL to the modern test, and I plan to sacrifice many brookies in the process. I also plan to write a feature piece for Southwest Fly Fishing Magazine that may rival a few of the parables in the Good Book.(Jokes, people, jokes. I'll be here all night.)

I'll be sure to post a lot of pictures here, and give my honest review of how the Old School performs, once we return. But something tells me it will be a rave, glowing review and I'll be pushing you all to order one from Austin in the near future.  

Till then,

Fish, or be fished~!


About Mac

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I am W. Chad McPhail. I'm an outdoor/travel writer, book author, former English teacher, and Amarillo native. 

I spend my spare time traipsing around the mountains and streams of the southwest in search of wild trout with my family, friends, various freeloaders, and other flotsam and jetsan. I used to teach English & Creative Writing. These days I am a Right of Way field agent with Coates Field Service, representing Sharyland Utilities during the construction of a 345 megawatt transmission line from Hereford to Panhandle, Texas. I love exploring the outdoors, fly fishing, backpacking, camping, hiking, kayaking, and yes, writing outdoor and travel books and pieces. I am a field writer of flyfishing, backpacking, camping, and kayaking articles for I have written many articles for magazines such as Southwest Fly Fishing, Texas Fish & Game, Rocky Mountain Game & Fish,, and more. I have co-penned three books with fishing buddy Mark D. Williams; Colorado Flyfishing: Where to Eat Sleep Fish, 49 Trout Streams of Southern Colorado, and An Introduction to Fly Fishing for Trout.