Flycatcher takes great rod blanks and turns them into superb fly rods. Our unique Zero Balancetm builds in the handcrafted difference every discerning fly fisherman can feel. We take the time to do what the rod manufacturers can't do; one rod at a time.
Manufacturers make rods in a factory, in high volume. Consistency and repeatability are key elements of the manufacturing process. Their goal is to build quality in by removing variability in components and building every rod the same way to exacting standards. To allow this to happen they work to make rod blanks that are identical one to another. They do a good job of this, just not a great job. The distance from good to great is where Flycatcher lives.
No matter how good you build a rod (blank), every rod section is going to have a "spine"; that is, a direction in which the rod section flexes more easily than other directions. [Try it yourself. Put the tip end of your top section on the ground with your finger pressing down on the ferrule end. You will see the rod section wants to flex the same direction every time.]
Each rod section also has variances in the way and the amount the section bends when flexed. It gives each rod a unique flex profile. For maximum power transfer (to the fly line) the guides need to be placed along the rod in a way so as to minimize the total gap formed between the fly line and the bent rod.
Zero Balancing adjusts each rod to fill the gap from good to perfect.
... Maximum power, maximum distance. Linear Torque Tuning compensates for variations in rod flex variations. Rods taper from butt to tip. The rate of taper impacts the behavior of the rod from slow to fast. Each rod has a natural curvature to it that varies from one blank to the next. Maximum energy transfer to the fly line and fly occurs when placement of rod guides reinforces the natural curvature. Linear Torque Tuning allows us to place the rod guides at precise locations to reinforce the natural curvature.
Zero Balance Linear Torque Tuning uses computer analysis to tune individual rod blanks. The rod blank is put under stress and is photographed. A proprietary computer algorithm analyzes the rod curvature and determines accurate guide placement. The result is guide placement designed to optimize casting distance.
... Accurate casts every time. Casting a fly rod is like rolling a bowling ball, seriously. Its all in the follow through. Follow through on a fly rod means not just releasing the cast at the right time in the right direction but also that the rod itself follows the line smoothly and accurately. A rod that is not orbitally aligned will not follow through truly. Zero Balance Orbital Alignment assures that all sections of the rod blank are orbitally aligned for accurate castling.
Rotational variations occur in manufacturing when the thickness of the carbon fibre layers vary around the circumference of the rod. When bent, the rod will seek to orient itself along the axis of least stress causing orbital rotation and impacting accuracy as well as the energy transfer from the rod to the line.
Correcting rotational variation in the rod blank is known as "finding the spine". Most rod builders find the spine by feel. Large rod manufacturers don"t bother with aligning the spine. Flycatcher Zero Balance Orbital Alignment uses computer diagnostics to accurately isolate the spine. Each rod section is mounted on a spine table and put under stress. A computer driven load cell measures the stress on the rod through a 360o rotation, finding the orientation with greatest flex: the spine.
... Unmatched performance. Face it, most rod manufacturers don"t use the best rod components even on high end rods. The vast majority of consumers just don"t want to pay the price! Not so for a hand crafted rod made and sold one at a time. And nothing makes a bigger difference in rod performance, not just when you first cast your rod, but for years to come than the rod guides. Flycatcher uses only the hardest and lightest rod guides available to provide maximum energy transfer and least amount of resistance to the fly line. All of that adds up to superior distance now and ten years from now.
All 4 wt and below rods are built with REC Recoiltm single foot guides. Recoil guides are made of Nickel Titanium (Nitinol) spring wire. They are extremely light, lighter than chrome plated steel guides, having a tensile strength of almost 2x chrome/steel allowing for thinner wire in addition to being 15% lighter by volume. They have a hardness rating that is comparable to chrome, are impervious to corrosion, and have a smoothness rating that is more than double or triple hardened chrome. For guides that will last a lifetime (on a lightweight rod) without degrading performance over time, these are at the top of the list.
All 5wt and above rods are built with Fuji titanium guides with silicon carbide inserts. The silicon carbide ceramic provides the extra wear protection needed for more demanding fish. The titanium frames provides the lightness needed to reduce power loss. Silicon carbide rings are the hardest material for guides with a hardness factor 3x or more that of chromed snake guides, helping to eliminate pitting and friction build up. Moreover, the friction coefficient for silicon carbide betters chrome by 50% making for smooth long casts.
... A lifetime of fishing pleasure. The ultimate rod deserves the ultimate accessories. That is what we aspire to: organic filament silk thread, the highest grade Portuguese grip cork available, and Bellinger solid box elder wood / nickel silver reel seats.
Pure Filament Silk manufactured by YLI is the finest of all silk thread. All our rods are wrapped with Size A filament silk thread. Unlike spun thread, filament thread is made of single strands of twisted silk for maximum strength. Get the durability and luxurious finish that only pure silk thread can provide.
All our fresh water rods are finished with Bellinger nickel silver reel seats with solid box elder inserts. Each reel seat is double locking and up threading with a fine thread pitch for positive locking. Get the unique craftsmanship only hand tooling by Bellinger offers.
All of our salt water reel seats are REC Classic Series. They feature a round barrel of anodized aluminum with milled slide and hood, Twin knurled nuts with recessed O-rings and cork trim ring complete the package.
Each rod is outfitted with flor grade Portugese cork. Only 5% of cork makes the flor grade for low porosity along with lack of blemishes and fissures. Flor grade cork is used on only the finest wines and now the finest fly rods.