This permit was caught in Ascension Bay Mexico on my Wayne Martin 3 wt. Raphel, the guide, and I were fishing an area called Rocky Point for bonefish one afternoon. He saw the permit and with no time to return to the boat to get my permit rod, he cut off my shrimp fly and tied on a crab while he and I were running to intercept the expected path of the fish. A forty foot cast or less got the permit to turn on the fly and we hooked up. I thought I would break the rod when I started applying pressure but I continued to gain line on the fish and we landed it in less than 15 minutes. The key to the strength of these rods is the spiral wrapping of the graphite in both directions up the rod. At FlyMasters, we now have our own Signature Rods made by Wayne Martin that are built in this way. Come by and cast one of these rods. We have more pictures of what they have done! Just one more picture. Jon, owner of FlyMasters with an 8 lb skipjack tuna. Everyone was using 12 wt rods so Jon brought out the FlyMasters 7 wt.

















































The first rod I ever built was a cane blank that I bought at a hardware store. It was nine feet long which was massive compared to my six year old frame. A neighbor was a Herter's salesman (Herter's use to be the name in flyfishing equipment) and took an interest in teaching me how to fish and build rods. I endeavor to pass on what he taught me plus add additional insights from others I have known throughout the years.

The materials that rods are made from and the designs are much improved over the past 30 years. Lower weight rods are capable of much more than they use to be. People are also using more fly rods for large saltwater fish and pushing the limits in that direction. I work at Flymasters in Indianapolis, IN and have been fishing and building many of the different rod lines that we carry. We have Winston, Sage, Loomis, and St Croix rods.I am very impressed with the quality that is coming from some of the mass produced rods.

My rod building class consists of:

  • Discussing how rods are made and talking about the different generations of graphite.
  • Showing you how to find the hard spot on the rod (sometimes called the spline),
  • proper positioning of the guides (which is not a list of measurements, it is a technique),
  • teaching you how to change the action of the rod by changing the sides you put the guides on,
  • wrapping the guides and using accent thread,
  • gluing the different parts on to the rod,
  • finishing the wraps and inscribing the rod with your name etc.

If you are interested in taking a rod building class call me at FlyMasters 317-570-9811. You can also send me an email at Come by the store and cast some of the rods that you are considering building. We have all the new Winston Boron IIX and the Sage Xi2's in stock!

Derrick Filkins