About King Flyrods
I love the process of crafting fine split-cane rods. I use the finest bamboo and components available. I hand plane every rod myself. I make my own reel seat inserts and shape the cork hand grips. In addition to making rods of well-known designs I have developed my own tapers. I discovered wrapping was open to design innovation and so have developed my own distinctive but understated wraps.
I have a complete woodworking and machine shop and so can produce a variety specialty items. But, my number one priority is the crafting of high-quality handmade bamboo fly rods you see in the rod gallery.
A Short Personal History
I am so blessed to live with my partner Elizabeth on a twenty-six-acre farm in beautiful rural Virginia. We are fortunate our family is close by. My son River, a recent JMU graduate in Web based marketing lives with us and my son Skye, a recent graduate of Virginia Tech lives ten miles up the road. We have plenty of venison, a productive garden, and lord knows jars and jars of preserved foods. And you know, my fly rod shop is a short commute – 25 feet – from the house.
When I was a child my sister, my parents, and I, made a yearly pilgrimage to Southern Michigan to visit family. From there we ventured throughout the mitten, to Grayling, to the U.P. to hunt rocks, and into Canada for a change of scenery and to fish with Grandpa. We canoed the remote, cold, black, lakes, shot beaver dams, and fished for the huge aggressive pike.
I earned a Bachelor of Science from Northeastern University where I began designing and making experimental apparatus for the Psychology Department.
School is a great place to experiment and I found myself drawn to working in the MIT Hobby shop where I made furniture, jewel boxes, and items for the school. While at MIT I was fortunate to learn from and work with the master craftsman in residence, Ignacio Garabieta.
After graduating I started my first company, Modelworks, where I designed and produced industrial and medical, prototypes. In 1978 I branched out into museum and trade show production. In 1986 I became Breakaway Presentations Inc. producers of trade show exhibits for fortune 500 energy, commercial, and technology, companies.
A Connection to Craftsmanship
Throughout my various careers I maintained a connection to craftsmanship and a bit of fly fishing. One day I woke to the realization that I was happiest when a maker. It only took one exposure to a bamboo fly rod to convince me I needed to learn to make these functional works of beauty.
Finally, I had discovered a profession in which striving for perfection was integral to the craft itself and whose clientele was both knowledgeable and demanding. That day I enrolled in a rod making class. On returning home, I converted my studio to a rod shop and began making rods and the tools I needed to make the work enjoyable and efficient.