We’ve been patiently waiting for a package from New Zealand to show up, and it finally did last week. Dave texted me a picture of Karl opening his Epic Wrap-Your-Own kit, and shortly afterwards I was at the shop unzipping mine as well. These rods are really, really cool. The blanks are translucent, and you can see completely through them in the sunlight. They’re incredibly pretty rods! One neat thing the guys at Swift – the manufacturer of Epic Fiberglass fly rods – have done is to have many of their rods available in six colors. So lets say you want an 8’6″ 6 weight. You can get the reel seat in two colors, the handle in four different styles, and the blank in six different colors. That’s a lot of different combinations to customize your rod with, and that’s not counting different color wraps or other cosmetic things you can do to the rod itself!
Fiberglass has been criticized for being slow, floppy, inaccurate, noodley, ‘like casting a piece of spaghetti’, among other things. Graphite has stolen the fly rod show for the last 2-3 decades as the premier material for building fly rods, and for good reason – it’s light, strong, and you can make incredibly great casting fly rods out of it. That being said, the Epic rods aren’t your typical noodle poles that fiberglass has been labeled as. These things are light, fast, and very responsive in the hand! When casting the 8′ 4 weight I was genuinely surprised how accurate it was. It didn’t get the dreaded fiberglass ‘flop’ either – when the rod unloaded, it unloaded cleanly and crisp. Epic fly rods are simply the best fiberglass fly rods I’ve had the chance to cast, hands down.
Many people are intimidated by the thought of building a rod and everything that goes into it, and rightfully so. If you go in with no helping hand, there’s a lot of variables and honestly quite a bit that can go wrong. Enter the Epic Wrap-Your-Own kits. This is quite honestly the most genius idea for the beginning rod builder that I’ve seen. After you select the size, color, handle, etc. of your kit, a rectangular box will show up with everything you need to build your rod, minus the denatured alcohol. Guides in the correct sizes. Spacing chart so you know where to put them. Pre-fit handle and reel seat. Thread. All the different glues and epoxies you need. Everything you need is in this kit! The handiest part of the whole shebang? The box turns into a rod wrapping station for you to wrap your rod on. There’s also a book that comes with the kit that takes you step-by-step through the entire rod building process in detail. You honestly don’t need to know a single thing about rod building before you dive in to come out with a great looking fiberglass fly rod that you built yourself!
I got my kit on Wednesday morning, and had the rod wrapped completely by Thursday evening. I hadn’t built a rod for at least five or six years, so I was going into it pretty rusty. I used the box provided to wrap the rod, and it worked great! A few of the wraps weren’t up to par so I ended up redoing about half of them because I wasn’t happy with them, but I’m picky. The thread used to attach the guides is a silk thread that turns clear when you apply the finish provided in the kit, making perfectly clear ‘ghost wraps’. I’m no great rod builder by any means, and I’m very happy with how my rod has turned out. The kit and instructions provided make the whole rod building process less intimidating, and they give you clear, step by step directions on how to make a fantastic looking fly rod!
I’m excited to give my Epic 686 a workout on the North Platte early next week. We have both the completed Epic Fly Rods and the Wrap Your Own kits in stock here at the shop – Stop by and check them out!