Back in a cabin in the woods there is an almost clear 8 foot 5 weight fiberglass fly rod. It currently lays on my rod wrapping table sitting before two bottles of Johnny Walker Blue and a coffee machine. The rod is being built for a friend of mine John Wallace. It is a Kabuto 8 foot 5 weight 3 piece and it is a pleasure making this rod for John. As I write this, the cork handle is still drying and I expect to put that on the lathe tomorrow, do some finishing touches and finally epoxy the rod.
John wanted some special apple green wraps on this rod, and after buying 2 different spools of silk thread, it turns out the thread I had all the time is probably the best color based on what her wants. The rod will have titanium carbide single foot guides no trim wraps and a reel seat that John had made for the rod. I asked John why he chose me as a custom rod builder and especially why he had chose me to make his fiberglas Kabuto fly rod, this is what he said.
John here, I just want to write a little something about why I picked JP Ross. I know we have talked and e-mail many times but I don't know if I ever have told you why I have you do most of my rods. I like to look and find different makers of fly rods. I just don’t like to do, or have, what everyone else has. There are a lot of great builders out there but I try to find ones I haven't heard of or read about. I was looking on the web under custom fly rods and I found your site. I did see you don't use the same blanks that most use. So I keep coming back to your site and looking all most every day. I like to see pictures of the rods, how they were wrapped and the inlay. I can't see enough about the inlay. So I called and talked to you about what I want. I like the question you ask. And got the feeling you really cared about what I was looking for and how I wanted it done. That is when I got a my 10' 6wt rod. Again it was better then what I could hope for. After that I found one of your 6' 2wt's for sale and bought that. Again the wraps, inlay and reel seat was perfect. After that I saw the Reuben Wood in fiberglass and the color of the wrap on the blank and the reel seat and hardware was something I haven't seen before. The hardware had a rope look on the edges, and the wood insert was some of the best I've seen. When I got that rod it made me remember when I first started fishing and all there was, was fiberglass and bamboo. I started having problems with my wrists, so I stop using the 10'. I decide to try a hexigragh graphite rod. But it was a little more then I could afford. They did have a black blank that they were selling. So I contact JP Ross again to do the build and again there is words on how it turn out.
After that I had been reading about the Kabuto blanks and contacted him and got one of his blanks. While this was all happening I decide to sell the 10' 6wt because I wasn't using it and the 6' 2wt graphite as well to pay for the build of the Kabuto. I got a call from JP Ross rods and he said he would be glad to buy it back and give me credit. I sent it back to him and he gave me more than a fair price. So I used the credit for JP Ross to build the Kabuto. He didn't like the way the wraps were working with the blank and called me to let me know. He has done this on a couple of the builds to be sure I would be happy. I can't say enough about his built and customer service.
I don't have anything to do with JP Ross rods. I have never meet him personal, only talk to him over the phone. I have known him, I think for 3 years. I'm writing this to you so you know why I pick JP Ross and so if anyone else is interested in you building a rod. Please let them read this and if they want to call me please give them my number. Hope all is well with you and your family. Thanks for all you have done. John
I am looking forward to finishing this rod this week and shipping it to the west cost for my friend to see. Although I have done more elaborate rods, I feel this one is done tastefully elegant. I have spent many weeks in Japan for my day job as a product specialist and product manager for an electronics materials company. It is for this reason that I feel I understand the Japanese culture very well. Being that this Kabuto is from Japan, I was careful in the way I wrapped and even chose colors. No red, no accent colors, simple lines, and clean workmanship. My goal would be to have even Kabuto look at this rod and agree that it is worthy of the build.