Sandy's Custom Fly Rods
My name is Sandy Nelson, I've been building Fly rods for over 25 years and for 10 of those I worked closely with Mike Barrio to produce the Barrio range of fly rods.
That opportunity furnished me with a wide experience of many materials and a variety of styles of fly fishing rods, from this I have established the ones that I like to work and fish with.
Mike's decision to no longer produce a range of fly rods presented me with the chance to take my hobby and use my favorite blanks to provide a bespoke service in small and exclusive numbers.
I am very fond of the Epic range of S2 Glass-fibre blanks produced by Carl McNeil in New Zealand.
They best represent the features that I like and look for in a fishing rod. They provide extremely smooth casting and powerful blanks, that can easily cope with New Zealand's and Scotland's large selective trout and often breezy conditions.
They are robust in a way that carbon can't match, yet are still light enough for you to never notice the difference. They excel at presentation casts and when coupled with the correct fly line, are exceptionally accurate.
To me, they represent the best aspects of a high quality split cane rod but are affordable and workmanlike enough to bring 'that' feeling to your everyday fishing.
They provide immense fun with fish of all sizes allowing you to enjoy the fight of a smaller trout yet still have the backbone to subdue a larger fish without tiring it unnecessarily.
These really are rods for the Trout Bum, they are almost unbreakable yet still remarkably sensitive, I aim to build them in an unpretentious way with functional yet smart hardware that reflects the practicality and simplicity of the concept.
I don't carry much stock as the rods are built to order, but I do have access to the full range of rods. That way I can order the most up to date blanks in any colour /size the customer wants from the range.
For more details see swiftflyfishing.com/collections/epic-fly-rod-blanks or contact me to see if I have any available, or to discuss the options on size and colour.
For 2016 I will have a limited edition Carbon fibre rod 9ft 5wt 4pc. This blank is the culmination of years of experimentation and represents what I expect from a river dry-fly rod. The blanks have been custom rolled for me in Scotland by David Norwich and I have hand finished them myself in a natural satin finish. There will be no more than 5 of these super smooth casting rods available per year.
I use natural wooden inserts by Ray Lee with custom Lemke Up-locking reel seats to provide unique and classy hardware, a choice of inserts and finish of reel seat is available at time of ordering (a down-sliding Ray Lee Nickel silver reel seat is no cost option.). The Flor grade cork that I source direct from Portugal is hand turned to form my preferred reversed half wells grips or any variation that you prefer.
I use only the best Pearsall's and Langley silks for whipping the guides and like to match the silk to the insert or the look the customer is going for. This is finished with 3 thin coats of epoxy for a glasslike transparent finish.
I use H&H and Snake-brand lite guides in Chrome and dark nickel, with the option of Fuji SIC, Minima and Struble agate strippers with a variety of inserts.
I only build 10 rods during the winter when I cannot get out fishing, receipt of deposit confirms your place on the list, and from there I aim to build not just a unique rod that reflects the owner's personality and preferences, but one that remains an everyday workhorse and will become your go-to rod. Along with the very high quality finish, I would like to build you a 'fishing' rod not a museum piece.
I build from the end of October to March and the slots are strictly limited and on a first come, first served basis. I will take orders from July/August onwards with an aim to have the blank order in by the end of September.
All 2016/2017 slots are full.
All rods come supplied with handmade Harris Tweed rod bag by my good lady wife and an alloy protective tube.
These individual rods start from £425 including UK delivery.
Upgrade to the Sexy Epic Fiberglass tube (not available for the carbon rods) with alloy end caps for an extra £20.
Having been asked many times to describe what each rod is best for, I have put together this short selection of rod descriptions.
Epic 476: The perfect dry-fly rod with a crisp punchy action that is ideal on freestone and rocky streams where presentation is the priority. The smooth action helps with wiggles and mends whilst maintaining control at all distances. It excels with flies in the 12-20 size range.
Epic 480: This is the buttery smooth, softer, more languid member of the range. At home on a classic chalk-stream where laying out a straight cast with feather-light presentation is the name of the game. Fly sizes of 16-24 can be gently presented with unequalled grace.
Epic 580: The all-rounder, equally at home punching out a small streamer into a squalling stream, as it is producing a left hand curve cast with a size 14 dry to that fish rising in front of the boulder on your favourite freestone river. It handles flies from 8 -18 without quibble. The smooth action can be wound up to send a dry 100ft to that awkward lie under a tree on the far bank, as well as making all those tricky presentation casts much easier.
Epic 686: This is the daddy of the freshwater Epics, which also makes a great light saltwater rod and has the gumption to deal with whatever the wind may throw at you. Power is the name of the game and launching large, bulky and /or heavy flies is easy, what surprises you is the way it will present a size 14 dry. All that lovely Epic smoothness is not lost in the power, the rod just gives you extra umph when you need it.
SCF 905 (carbon): A very low swing weight coupled with a smooth medium action blank, a super quick recovery and a satin finish make this a Dry-fly rod to take everywhere. It excels on freestone streams where presentation and delicacy is the key. The recovery speed makes the rod feel crisp and alive in your hand and you can have complete confidence in putting a size 10-18 fly exactly where you want it, every time.
I look forward to hearing from you and discussing your own requirements for that unique and personal rod you have always promised yourself.