Black Jack Carbon Silica Fiberglass Hybrid 8 foot 6 inch 5/6 weight 5 piece built fly rod
The Black Jack has been retired from our line. I am leaving this info up here for people that may have bought one or have found one on the used rod market.
Sincerely: JP Ross
The Black Jack has a new look for 2021. It has our snub nose cork grip with Oregon made downlock reel seat with California Buckeye as our insert, but other options are available, just call or email for ideas. The rod is wrapped in timeless Black Thread and comes with a beautiful Colorado Made cotton rod bag and Aluminum Rod Case.
Rod Weight 4.5-5oz
The Black Jack Carbon Silica Technology explained.
When we designed the Black Jack Carbon Silica Hybrid fly rod, there were a few design attributes and factors we wanted to include in the design. One in particular was the butt section diameter. We wanted that diameter to not be too big, so that custom builders could use this blank with wood reel seats. In conclusion of design and manufacturing the butt section diameter turned out to be 0.40inches or 10 millimeters, a diameter very easily worked around as a builder.
Aesthetically, we wanted the rod to be unique, not flashy, and somewhat nostalgic. So we went with the clear matte finish and left the blank un-sanded, except for the ferrules which are sanded to insure proper fit.
The action however was something that needed technology in order to achieve what we wanted to achieve. The rod had to be 5 pieces, very durable, not clunky, and seem effortless to cast like a high end bamboo rod might feel, but with a little more tip flex to keep the rod from the typical glass wobble that you get as the line exits the tip section.
The reason that nice bamboo rods are fun to cast is because all you have to do is move the rod in its casting arc and the rod casts itself. This is true because of a few physics principals.
Momentum is actually a combination or product of mass and velocity. A fly rod that is light and thin does not have the natural momentum of a slightly heavier rod like glass or bamboo. You have to push a stiff light rod to flex and cast because it has less mass. We didn’t want this push or fast acceleration need. We wanted the caster to just move their arm and have the rod cast itself, so we knew we needed a little weight in the rod like a bamboo rod, but not much.
Inertia is the principal of an object in motion. A larger mass in motion has more inertia than a lighter mass. So our rod is balanced properly, and has the perfect combination of glass and carbon so that when that rod is in motion it stays in motion until you stop the tip at the end of the stroke. Little effort is needed to cast this rod, yet the tip does not wobble.
If we made this rod completely out of graphite, the rod would have to be very thick in order to gain mass, and when you go thick in graphite, you get stiff. We did not want stiff. We wanted a medium to medium fast action. Medium fast with a 5 weight, and medium with a 6.
If we made the rod out of just glass, the rod would be too slow, too heavy and too big in diameter to be a 5 piece. It also would have a terrible tip wobble. We know this because we made prototypes of this same Black Jack in glass, and it did not work.
So the Black Jack is a Carbon Silica Hybrid. A mixture of glass and graphite. 2.2 ounces of it to be specific. Just enough to give the right weight and feel so that the rod feels like it casts itself when in its zone or sweet spot. This rod is made for floating line, weight forward, and non-weighted flies. Dry flies, small streamers, and light nymph rigs is where this rod works best. And when you do catch a fish on it, the feel is amazing. Better than glass or graphite, and because the rod is a tad bit heavier than normal, more like conventional glass but a tad lighter; when a fish bends the rod and changes the balance point, the angler must counter act to fight the fish and the feel is remarkable even on small fish.
JP Ross Black Jack. The supple Medium/slow-action taper coupled with a strong butt section makes the Black Jack a purpose built dry fly machine capable of casting long distance with the kind of accuracy that you get when you feel the flex all the way down into the grip. It has a definite sweet spot in the action that when maintained sends the line out in beautiful tight loops over long casts. Charlie Warfield.
Some tips for understanding Levered Weight.
A fly rod is a lever, and the fulcrum of the lever is in the grip. Specifically we feel that the exact position of this fulcrum is near the edge of the grip where your thumb goes. So by definition that is the balance point. So when you want to try and find the right size reel to put on your rod to counter balance the tip weight, balance it at this point on the rod.
plan on a total weight needed to balance this rod as 6-7oz. Most fly lines weight 2oz. Plus you have some weight from the backing. So a reel that is 4.5-5oz will work great.
Recent Rod review.
Pure luxury. That is the first thing that came to mind when drawing back a d-loop for a roll cast with this rod. Feeling the rod load first through the tip, then through the midsection, right to the substantial yet comfortable custom double wells grip. My fears that the rod would be mushy or that it would be difficult to roll cast were vanquished in an effortless motion. Like holding a magic wand, it seemed that all I had to do was point and the fly landed where I wanted with the surface of the water undisturbed.
This is saying a lot for someone who has struggled to find the perfect rod. I've spent too much money on graphite rods with the latest technology, from companies that boast that every rod, every year is the most technologically advanced rod ever. I've also tried a few glass rods, but found them to be just a bit underpowered or mushy for my liking.
Fishing this rod, I couldn't help but compare it to a Mercedes Benz (which I have no business doing on account of not owning one and having been in one exactly once, but it left an impression). Sure, if you want power and speed, you could go with a fast-action graphite cannon with a name that suggests it might actually be weaponized, and if you have the money you could get a Nissan GT-R too. But eventually smashing through gears, hard racing seats, and super tuned suspensions beat the hell out of you. They're only good for one thing - going fast. If you want luxury, comfort, sophistication, something that you could drive for hours and hours on end, and the assurance that there is plenty of power when you need it, you want a Benz.
This rod is the Benz. Immediately comfortable. Smooth as silk. The only thing you want to take with you and, in a 5/6 weight 5-piece package, a rod that can go anywhere. Its not just good at roll casting either. I was laying out forty foot casts with nearly no effort. The rod does all the work. Even the presentation takes care of itself. I fished dry flies, wet flies, weighted nymphs, and even a size 6 long shank beadhead woolly bugger that I tied with 14 lead wraps, and the rod shined through it all. I imagine if I used a 3x leader rather than a 6x, the woolly bugger would have turned over even better, but I was having too much fun fishing with this thing to think about changing out the leader.
Also, like a Benz, this rod is elegant. It doesn't boast about what is under the hood with bright wraps or carbon fiber reel seats, but rest assured this is cutting edge technology. The whole time I was fishing it I just couldn't understand how it was doing what it was doing while feeling so comfortable and enjoyable doing it. While other rods boast about incremental advancements year to year, it feels like JP's 20+ years in building fly rods and working with materials has culminated into the perfect rod. It is a technological marvel.
But that's not why you want to fish it. You want to fish it because it is immediately familiar, comfortable... almost nostalgic. It was the most fun I've had casting a fly since I first learned to fish. I think I'll keep it for awhile.
Sincerely: D. Francisco
The Blackjack is a great 5/6 wt rod that gives the user a really unique casting experience, with outstanding craftsmanship and look. The blackjack has one of the most beautiful looks, with a black blank that is stunning. The blackjack symbol of the white knight gives the rod a classic look, and makes me imagine I am fishing in some medieval kingdom where wild trout roam. The wood reel seat and nice cork grip give this rod a great fit and finish. The first cast or two allows one to see the slow loading and action that the rod has. Once you have adjusted to how the rod loads and fires, it is one of the most enjoyable casting experiences one can have. The rod has an ability to put you directly in the moment, feeling the line and the rod working together to cast to the target. The blackjack has a truly wide range and versatility. The rod can handle any type of fly and allow for soft presentation of a dry fly, or slapping the banks with heavy streamers and a sink tip. The 5/6 wt makes it capable of fishing big rivers, stillwater, or streams with ease. The blackjack is a perfect addition to any fly fishers collection, and will be a star of the collection without a doubt.