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Playing with grip design

I've been approached by Ed Herbst, one of the leaders in Ultralight Tackle and smallstream fly fishing to do a #2 smallstream rod for him. One of his requirements is a grip which bears it's roots in the Haneda handle, but also has huge influences from master builder and innovator Stephen Boshoff. Ed sent me a Sage SPL which Steve did for him a number of years ago, to have a look at dimensions and so on.

Here is a rough concept I did yesterday ...

I used a preformed grip and some other bits of low grade cork. I did not want to use good cork to experiment with - can get rather pricey :-D

The entire grip section was done off the blank (in this case a thinnish piece of Fiberglass I use for making spigot ferrules). The seat section was done half off, half on the blank. I just used an old sliding ring band from a Vision rod I had lying around for the hood section. Will look better in black, or hidden as per Steve's design. I sorta like the exposed look - but black would be the way to go.

I also did not slant the exposed butt as in Derek and Steve_D's grips, as Steve_B told me the slant they did was actually the wrong way around. The shaping of the swell in the butt would have to be different to still make it look balanced if it slanted. Btw Ed, the slant concept according to Steve_B is supposed to be the other way, since it is intended to act as a "slide" when line becomes trapped behind the butt - very cool thought there.

Anyway, I think it came out OK for a 1st try - please excuse the filler used (low grade cork as mentioned), the globs of epoxy and glue sticking out all over, and YES, I know there is no sliding band to keep the reel on ;-)

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