I have one of those brains that likes to wander at times and with that wandering there is a "wondering" that pops up. I am also the kind of person who makes time to explore and bring to life curious ideas. This is what is going on right now with me these days. A project idea has invaded my mind and there is but one way to exercise the demon. I have to experiment and tinker.
As I start out on this project, I am reminded of the movie "My Fair Lady". In that classic musical "Henry Higgins" (Rex Harrison) a well to do speech expert, takes on a project to convert a Cockney, working class wonan, Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn), and transform her into a "refined lady of society." You may be familiar with the story or even seen the movie or one of the many remakes of the play.
Meet my "Eliza Doolittle" for this project. Here she is, a Goture Red Fox 360. Let's call her "Eliza" going forward shall we? I found her wallowing around on the corner of a discount goods website, based out of China. You probably know the one I am talking about. She is a fishing rod but not a tenkara rod. To look at her you would say "looks like a carp rod" and you wouldn't be wrong.
While Eliza's initial features aren't actually unattractive, the closer we look the more we see her unrefined elements. When we ask her to cast, she reveals a stiffness in backbone that hides any element of grace or delicateness required for trout.
As the Henry Higgins of this tale, I have examined her and wondered... How much separates this somewhat vile creature from becoming a refined and elegant enough rod to use for trout species? To understand that of course we have to look to the core of her. See what she is made of. See what her strengths and weaknesses are and help her transform herself. The hope of course is that in the end, we can we find enough deep down under the surface to make her a passing and worthy rod. Can we move her from the clunky world of carp fishing into the more delicate and precise presentation that will allow us to consider her tenkara trout rod? Join me in this experiment.
Identifying some issues
This rod casts very heavy from the handle. The fulcrum point is really not well balanced like a tenkara rod would be. It wasn't designed for delicate presentations that kiss the fly to the water, it was designed to throw a heavier payload than a fly, dare I suggest even.. gulp... (the horror) ...bait.
In driveway casting, I found it to be a very, very stiff. Like a broom handle. I could feel my forearms taking in a lot of tension on each cast. My muscles tightening with each projection and once again in any retrieval or back cast I did with the rod. The rigidity seems to be ingrained in design at the lower segments. I am not sure yet if I will be able to spare the first segment and cut it shorter or if I will just create a shorter rod using the 2nd segment as the new "outer segment. Yes, I am going to be ruthless in my surgery process if I have to.
And there she is... the "before" shot.
So for all purposes I hope I was clear to you about the state of Eliza in her Cockney Carp Rod personality. Now I have to start slowly and meticulously make decisions on how to refine her.
My Plan for the month of April.
The curious side of me wants to know "can I make a crappy rod better if not at least decent? So I am going to be transforming this rod, cutting it up if I need to, turning out a new handle, adjusting it's center of gravity and seeing if this rough and unrefined rod can make a transformation. I am pretty sure I can make better but you will have to check in next month to see if actually turn Eliza into a passable tenkara fair lady for trout fishing .
Each month check in and learn something new.
Have something you want to share? A cool hack? A recipe or trick you use when out in the field?