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Superfine Touch 8'0" 4wt. 4pc.

Colt Johnson

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My last (I think) build for the year will be my "all around" rod which is an Orvis Superfine Touch (SFT) 804. I've read good reviews of the 804 including the Trout Underground review listed here:




I am almost finished working on the reel seat insert which I turned from Spalted Box Elder Burl to match the SFT 663 I built a few weeks ago. I still need to do a bit more sanding before the insert is complete.


The hardware is N.S. uplocking slide ring set by Joel Lemke. I traded some rod building stuff with Shane Gray of Graywolf Rods in Michigan for the hardware. The hardware is a tad on the heavy side (I typically would not use N.S. hardware for a 4wt. rod), but it looks pretty sharp.


I intended to use a classic Orvis Lightweight reel made by Young that I received as a wedding gift from my grandfather about 6 months ago. The reel weighs 4 1/4 oz. and it balances about the middle of the grip with the fully loaded reel. Ideally I think the rod would balance best with a reel that weighed between 3 and 3 1/2 oz. (unloaded). Perhaps the rod will balance a tad better after I wrap and finish the guides and etc, and especially after I have about 30 feet of line pulled off the reel and stretched through the guides. Although I may keep my eyes open for a Cortland Retro II reel as an alternative as it is about an ounce lighter than the Orvis reel and I can abuse the Cortland. But my main goal was to pair the classic Orvis reel with a nice Orvis rod.


The grip is a Struble Ultrafine Flor grade grip that I modified by adding the inlet to accept the uplocking hardware.


Here are a few preliminary photos of what I've accomplished so far:










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That's a nice looking rod you're building! Really like the box elder seat....lots of character. Good Job!


I've never built a graphite rod, but have done a few bamboo restorations. You know what would look really good with that rod? A British made Hardy LRH. I just happen to have one if your interested. Good condition, and has the much desired two-screw line guard. It's looks to be in about the same condition as your Orvis.



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Rob G: I am planning to do an epoxy ramp similar (similar to the Sage TXL 1wt. on the right in the photo below) in the spirit of the Orvis Superfine rods that do not have winding checks. I've sanded the taper of the grip down to make a smooth transition from blank to grip which should make doing an epoxy ramp even easier.








I did an epoxy ramp on this TXL 4wt. as well:



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Wow Rob! That looks pretty intricate. I've seen it done, but I have never tried it. Most all of my builds are fairly simple. I've tried tipping a few times, but have been dissatisfied with the results so I've always ended up cutting them off and just doing plain wraps. I've seen tipping that is very tasteful, but I can't seem to get the knack for it. I feel like my efforts to be "fancy" always end up looking gaudy. Do you use permagloss to set your feathers first or is that only 2 part epoxy finish?



Colt, have you ever considered a feather inlay on your epoxy ramp? Easy to do and can really doll up the rod.



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Use a few drops of color preservative, diluted with a couple drops of denatured alcohol, stir thoroughly and soak your feather in that and then position on your ramp. Continue to add, remove or re-position the feather(s) until you get it the way you want. Let dry for a while and then cover with your finish. Done. Not difficult and you surely don't have to layer like the one above. You can keep it simple and elegant using only one or two feathers. Fun to experiment.


In case you want some ideas. btw, scroll up on the page after clicking a photo to view



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