Wednesday, August 20, 2014

How To Build A Landing Net - Part 3

The landing net build continues with J Wood Fly Fishing and a lot gets done in this series of photos and narrative.  It's my hope that readers get as much out of these posts as I do.  It is really neat to see a craftsman at work.

Thanks again to John Wood for taking the time to photograph his process and providing the narrative that is included as well.  Tomorrow we'll show off the finished net and on Friday, and through the weekend, there will be a contest to give this net away.

With the bag lace holes drilled and the measure marks dowels installed it is time for the final shaping of the net frame before applying the finish.

The inner face of the lace holes is lightly countersunk and a sharp knife is used to taper the throat of the hoop.

A knife is used as a scraper to chamfer all the edges along the hoop and handle.  Soft rounded edges are essential for a catch and release net.  Rounded edges will do far less damage to the slime coat and scales of a fish than sharp crisp edges which can easily grab and removes scales from a fish during landing.

After all the edges are chamfered they are all well rounded and smoothed.  Four grades of sand paper ranging from 120 to 320 grit are used in this process.

My logo is burned into the handle using a wood burning tool fitted with a calligraphy tip.  The final surface preparation is done with steel wool and finally tack cloth just before the first coat of oil is applied.  The application of the finish oil really brings the wood grain to life.

Altogether eight coats of finish are applied to the net frame. Each coat is allowed to cure for 24 hours or up to four days.  Every coat of finish is buffed before the next coat is applied.  After the last coat is cured it is buffed using rotten stone to give the finish a deep, even luster.

Once the finish is complete and fully cured the net bag is laced in place using heavy Dacron cord.  The net is ready to go fishing!

Check out the J Wood Fly Fishing website for more information.  Follow the Facebook page for the latest shop news and the occasional giveaway as well.

BOTE Boards - Rackham

The latest board to soon to be released from the crew at BOTE Boards is dubbed the Rackham and it looks to be twelve feet of awesomeness.  The Rackham weighs in at 41 pounds, has a max weight capacity of 400 pounds, and features the Paddle Sheath which is a genius upgrade which I hope to see in other BOTE models.

The BOTE Rackham is available for pre-order with delivery in mid October 2014 with a price tag that starts at $2,200.

I have a thing for fly fishing capable paddleboards and a BOTE of some sort is still high up on my list.

For more information check out the BOTE Boards website.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

How To Build A Landing Net - Part 2

The landing net build continues with the second installment from John Wood of J Wood Fly Fishing.  The wooden net literally takes shape in this post and you also get a sense for the precision work that it takes to get this right.

As I did yesterday, I would like to thank John Wood for taking the time to photograph his process and providing the narrative that is included as well.

After the adhesives have cured all the clamps and the clamping caul are carefully removed. The removal of the caul is done very carefully to make sure there is no damage to the surface of the outer lamination strip. A good mold release ensures that this step goes well.

With the net still on the gluing jig excess adhesive squeeze out is removed then a small hand plane is used to even the surfaces. The plane must be super sharp and set to the finest depth to avoid tearing the opposing grains. Both sides of the net frame are evened by turning the net over and placing it back onto the jig.

Once the frame edges are evened the thickness is adjusted slowly using the same hand plane. Dial calipers are used to check and recheck the thickness as the frame is shaved to a predetermined thickness for the particular model. This is a very slow and relaxing process.

Using a cloth tailor’s tape measure the location of the bag lace holes are marked onto the hoop. Then a special jig is used to cut the lace groove along the surface of the hoop.

The locations are then marked for the measure marks that will be installed into the handle. Using a drill press the holes that will accept the dowel are drilled into the handle. The lace holes are drilled into the hoop at this time also.

Specially made dowels are turned of a contrasting colored wood species for each net frame. They are scored to length and inserted into the holes using waterproof wood glue. The dowel is snapped at the score then driven fully into the handle.

Check out the J Wood Fly Fishing website for more information.  Follow the Facebook page for the latest shop news and the occasional giveaway as well.

Vagabond Fly Mag

Vagabond Fly Mag is a relatively new fly fishing website to check out as they have added quite a bit of content since first launching a few months ago with a wide array of articles and gear reviews.  The Vagabond Fly Mag crew is based out of South Africa and it's interesting to get their spin on fly fishing and the gear that they use on the water.   

The term "mag" might be a little misleading as you won't (so far) get a new issue emailed to you every now and then but instead new content is posted regularly on the Vagabond Fly Mag website.

There are a few social media pages to follow as well if you choose with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


Monday, August 18, 2014

How To Build A Landing Net - Part 1

We are going to start off the week with a series of posts in collaboration with J Wood Fly Fishing which will follow John Wood as he builds one of his fine wooden landing nets from start to finish.  I am always interested in how something is made and it's neat to see inside the craftsman's process.  This will be the first of four posts on this net build.  At the end of the week we'll have a weekend giveaway and the net that you see built will end up in the hands of someone among the T.F.M. readership.

I would like to thank John Wood for taking the time to photograph his process and providing the narrative that is included as well.

For me the appearance of a wooden net revolves around the wood selection of the handle. For this net I selected curly maple for its visual appeal, strength and weight. Rough cut right off the bandsaw it doesn’t look like much.

Once the handle is shaped and sanded a bit it begins to look like something of use. Along with rough cut lamination strips, right off the bandsaw, these are the components that will make up this net and a pair of others.

Shaving the lamination strips to final thickness and finish is done with a hand plane. Hand planing the lamination strips that make the frame hoop is time consuming and tedious. But the time spent doing this by hand allows me to inspect every inch of the lamination strips. This is where the craftsman makes or breaks the strength of the net hoop. Good solid laminations make for a strong, durable hoop.

After the lamination strips are prepared they are steamed and bent over a shaping jig. The bent lamination strips are clamped in place and left to set overnight.

After setting overnight on the shaping jig the strips are removed for one final inspection. The strips are snuggly clamped to the handle insert that will be used in the frame. They are checked for a tight fit before the gluing takes place.

The inner lamination strip is glued and firmly clamped in place then left to cure. This step gives a firm foundation for the two outer hoop strips to be applied to later. If there is any issue with the fit between the handle and inner hoop strip the net will be scrapped. The marrying of the handle and hoop is crucial to the durability and longevity of the finished net.

Once the inner strip is secured to the handle and inspected for fit the outer strips are glued in place. The strips are clamped in place using C-clamps. A caul is placed between the clamps and the outer surface of the net. This is done to protect the net and to ensure even clamping pressure along the length of the lamination strips. The clamps will be left in place until the adhesive has cured completely.

Check out the J Wood Fly Fishing website for more information.  Follow the Facebook page for the latest shop news and the occasional giveaway as well.


Here's your dose of redfish tails in the grass and oyster beds from Doug Roland of the Flood Tide Co. crew. 

Wouldn't you rather be there than at the office today?

Yep, me too. 

Check out the Flood Tide Co. website and Vimeo page for more goodness.  They're also holding it down on Facebook and Instagram too.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

FlyLife Magzine - Epic 580 Kit Build

While going through my inbox this morning I came across an email that Brad Harris of FlyLife Magazine sent sometime back about the Swift Fly Fishing Epic 580 build that he did and highlighted in their magazine.  Brad also passed along a couple images included in this post that are just stunning.

Check out this seven page PDF which chronicles the Epic 580 build from kit to on the water.  There is more information on the FlyLife Magazine website on this build as well.

Put together your own kit on the Swift Fly Fishing website.

FlyLife Magazine is a quarterly Australian fly fishing magazine that is published in both print and digital formats.