Friday, March 27, 2009

The Purple Heart Rod, or Leo's NAF Bamboo Build

EDIT: Leo sent me an email a couple of days ago saying the rod was almost finished. Here's the latest picture, posted 4/05/09
This is going to be a very sweet rod that Leo deMonbreun is building to be auctioned at the event. Leo has been building rods a long time and you can often find him behind the counter of the fly shop at Cumberland Transit in Nashville.

A huge thanks to Leo for the build and also to Dennis of D.R. Stone Rod Company for donating the blank, to Tim at T.L. Zietak rod company for their component donations and to Alan at REC Components, makers of RECOIL Guides and more for their contribution as well.

I just got this email from Leo so I'm going to get out of the way and let him do his thing!

Leo writes: "The blank has been dipped for a little over a week now and I started wrapping it today after installing the cigar grip and the PLRN reel seat from REC. In keeping with the original PHY Perfectionist that had a cork grip and seat.

Wrapping will be simple patterns of Chestnut brown tipped in Purple, one of Paul Young's favorites, and the signature wrap will be in the colors of the Purple Heart in honor of all of our wounded vets from all conflicts.

All of the hardware has been blackened, slip rings, end cap, ferrules and all guides with the exception of the stripper guide. PHY like to use Mildrum cradled guides and most of his were in nicikel silver and were not oxidized.

After finishing the wrappings, the colors of the Purple Heart will be preserved with several coats of clear lacquer then the rod will get it's final dip which will make the guide and ferrule wraps become translucent.

In test casting it with the guides taped on to ensure good static loading, it performed really well with both a Cortland Sylk and a Triangle Taper 4 WF line. Sweet Dry Fly action.

I am hopeful that the person that wins the rod can appreciate what it is meant to symbolize. For those that have never been there words can't describe it, and for those that have, not a word needs to be said.

More to come later



  1. Beautiful rod. Wow.

    How long is it and how many pieces?

    Great work, Leo, that is true art.

  2. Hi Ed, Thank you so much for the kind words. The rod is a 7 1/2', 2/1 and a true 4 wt., and Dennis built the rod using 3x3 node spacing which adds to the great feel that this rod has.

    My special thanks to Dennis and to the great folks at REC components for helping to make this rod a reality.