…my fly rod cases & “reel bunks”are all individually  handmade…every piece of wood is picked out for maximum beauty & contrast…I think about the finishing to be done way ahead of time…all the straps are buffalo, elk or deer leather hand stitched with sinew …the antler clasps are all hand carved to make each case uniquely different…

…each one is truly a “one of a kind” just like my custom made Bamboo Fly rods…

an “Amber Osage” finish double rod unit & a “DreamCatcher” series dry fly rod during a recent stream trial…

…this is a double size 32″ long made for my 3 pc. 7 &1/2 foot 4/5 weight and my 3 piece 8′ 5/6 rods…

…my bamboo “hike in” rig…

…my cases & bunks come in five different finishes that I make with my own special process…

…left to right they are some cases in…

…”Ponderosa”, “Burnt Aspen”, “Amber Osage”, “Golden Pine Cone” & “Natural”…

 … Here is my selection of  custom made  fly rod presentation cases, hex tubes  for both bamboo and graphite rods…

…every case is  a “one of a kind”…no two are identical!

         The Hex & Presentation cases like Fly boxes come with one of my  “Patina” or” Natural” finishes as a base, then  the  cases are  topped w/ a clear acrylic coating two coats, then a final top coating of hand rubbed oil, for the maintenance coating … I use Douglas Fir, Pitch, White & Ponderosa Pine’s…all are constructed using a very strong waterproof glue and all are handmade & finished by myself to order…

 

…”flaming” adds can a whole different variation on the finishes I came up with for these cases…

 

                 Flaming is like “hot sauce”…some folks love it, and some folks don’t…I  offer this added finish for those that like it just like with my custom made bamboo fly rods…I think it really adds to the effect my patina finishes have…I can finish cases with any variation of this …its part of making a case that is personally suited for an individual angler.

These are special cases I originally made for my custom made bamboo fly rods, but now I also offer them for folks that just want a solid and beautiful case for their own bamboo or graphite fly rods…

 

…here is a single rod case in “Natural” finish…

…the use of leather & antler in lieu of standard metal hardware gives my cases a special look and feel…

…a 48″ single case weighs about 2   pounds in White Pine or Doug Fir &  more than strong enough for its task..

             …a double+ size model in my “Burnt Aspen” finish…I made this case up for myself to hold the graphite rods I use for lessons…or just for the” hike in” spots I like to fish…I can fit my three piece bamboo rods in it since its 31″ , but also accomadates the 4 pc. graphites just as well…on “hike ins” I usually carry two bamboo’s and a graphite with me…a dry fly 3/4 weight, an 8 foot 5/6 and a 4 pc. 5 weight graphite…especiallyduring fall in the colorado high country when snow or wet weather can move in on a moments notice I will switch out the bamboos for the composite model, and keep on fishing…

 

~each case has its own unique personality~

                I give special attention to every piece of wood selected to match and contrast for the most effect possible…with my kits of rod & case I match up the stains and degree of flaming with the rod as closely as possible…I use a leather color that also goes with the coloration…

 …wandering monks handmade “reel bunks”…

             Here is one of my “Reel Bunk’s”, made in a similar way to my rod cases…this one is in the “Golden Pine Cone” finish, a”Hex” shape w/ two leather closures …two chrome plated brass hinges…you can store up to 6 loaded reels in them…I line them with a 10″ X 8″ piece of buffalo leather with fur “on”, to provide extra padding …these “Bunks” can also be used  for keeping your tying gear or related angling items…they measure 12″ in length and have an inside diameter of 6″…I can store 6 reels from my largest spey to smallest dry fly easily.

…these are all custom made to order…about 2-3 weeks for delivery…

…These are all available in any of my finishes I offer my cases in…

 

 …I use the same style closures as I do with my cases…all made by hand…

dryer_1

            Here is a line “dryer/wrapper”  I made to dry out silk lines initially…but found out it really helps me rig reels in general…when  line is new its preferable to stretch it out good before spooling onto the reel . I tie on a leader to the line then the  tie that onto my fence post(in the sun is also preferable, so the line is warmer)…then I stretch out the new line to where it meets the backing and hand wind the new line onto my wrapper…this allows the line to “stretch” out a bit and loose the form from being packed up for extended periods. This helps “lay the line” more evenly in my opinion…when your are done you release the tension on the “X” bracket and the line is stretched and lost the coiled up shape…then when I wind it back on the reel spool I put enough tension on the “X” to help the winder work OK…not something we had time to do in a shop setting, but one I like to do for my own gear.

          Other than the need of silk lines to dry after use, and occasionally re-apply dressing, PVC lines can also benefit from occasional maintenance and cleaning as does silk…when cleaning a line you will be amazed at how even “gin clear” waters can soil up and shorten the life of a fly line…

             The center axel fits inside a tube of bamboo, so it glides easily…with one hand I hold the bamboo tube, and the other wind in the line. Its the same procedure as when drying out a silk line. When winding the line back onto the reel I clamp the tube on my bench or table and wind in the line with equal tension… if a friend is around then just let them hold the tube.

            I carve the rods by hand so I can use the same wood for the frames and side rods(usually ponderosa pine)…sure there are dowels available , just not in wood species I like to use….I just like to put a personal touch in everything I make…for me it elevates the whole experience of usage…flaming actually hardens the surface along with making for a very special looking device.

             After having way too many fly lines come unraveled and get totally knotted up working in a fly shop off from those neatly packaged spools, this is something I came up with…usually they would feed onto a reel OK…but for me 1 out of 4 went beserk… plus I hate the machines anyway, too easy to put too much tension on a line causing irregular performance until its all worked out. This method works great for me, and lets the new line also seat real well.

…I make these on special order for folks …

 

            ~contact me for pricing~     

                 I have black 3 & 4 tip rod  sleeves available for $15.00 each from 30-48″ lengths depending on rod type…since most 4 pc. 9 footers come in tubes that can have sleeves sewn in, these are perfect for use with my wooden cases…these sleeves have two ties and a standard “fold over” flap on the top closure…

 

 

    I also have a much more custom made “Khaki” sleeve made for me especially for bamboo rods that cost 30.00 each…these are made to “hang” when not in use during storage…

 

    the “Khaki” sleeves are custom made for me…these are beautifully made and  designed especially for bamboo fly rods…they have grommets attached so the rod when stored can be hung from a hook or similar…a practice preferred by many “old timers”

 

          

    The“Golden Pine Cone” finish & Buffalo Leather strap material…fastened to an elk antler tip..the buffalo leather comes from a hide I tanned  myself from the herd I used to manage in Colorado. This finish has the colors of Buffalo & Elk blended in…it was initially created  to “match up” to my “RainMaker” series rods…

          …The multiple layers of stain and flaming give the finish a depth that pics on the internet really don’t do justice…my goal was to try and get the darker hues and tones of bark and cones from a pine and still keep the brilliant golden color that bamboo retains to under a finish…I think I accomplished my goal!

 

                  Here is some more detail of the “Golden Pine Cone” finish…contrasting streaks of golden brown hues…

…I try to stick to “Natures Color Chart” in everything I make or craft…

…in September there is a desirable type of fire in the Rockies…

…”September Aspens in Colorado”…

…ponderosa cones…

…here is a three rod model in natural finish…

          

    All cases have a protective finish that topped with a hand rubbed oil for the top finish… I use my “special patina finishes” on them to compliment my custom rod models…these are layered finishes of several stain colors, along with flaming to add   coloration’s that are extremely unique…all reflect natural hues found in nature…wall thickness of the segments is 3/8-1/2″, depending on the size model (4 rod model is  1/2″)…  leather carrying  straps with attachments can be special made and are priced per the rod case size…email me for more details…

 

I wouldn’t fill these up with water for a canteen…but they can for sure handle a downpour…

…the “Ponderosa” finish reminds me of some finds leftover from wild fires…

 

                   I make my line of cases  up for shops  in small quantities like I do with my nets & fly boxes(5-10 units) at wholesale…they can be branded with your own logo or artwork on them too…if you don’t have a logo I can help you design one if you like at no charge with the order…and get your own brand…text or writing can also be included…ie “High Country Fly Shop, since 1968” etc…brands start at $125 one time fee…

 

               As I do with the rest of my gear, I try to blend some of the Rocky Mountains flavor along with them…I use two strips of three braid sinew for each stitch that attaches the leather to wood…each individual strand has about a 70 lb test…basically “organic wire”…there is also a tether connecting the cap and case so it won’t get misplaced when opened up…

 

…”Amber Osage” finish on 2 rod model…I used Deer leather on this to match the colors…

                    A little about my custom finishes I offer on my cases…these are all created by myself using multiple layers of special stains and various levels of flaming…something I learned over the years restoring antiques & building cabinets and furniture…they are my attempt to copy the colors and hues I love from nature…the  gold’s, yellow’s, amber’s and brown’s that occur throughout my favorite angling haunts.

                 Anyone spending time in the Rockies will notice sooner or later remnents of the wildfires that occur on a regular basis…Our ranch’s  location is directly between Mt. Evans and Pikes Peak…both what are called 14er’s…because they top 14,000 feet…I found in several locations logs and parts of trees that were charred severely…and discovered after research that this was the result of a big fire over 100 years ago…yet the pieces looked as if they were on fire last week…The flaming I use on my finishes is imitating the beautiful leftovers from those fire’s…an occurance that has been going on for ten’s of thousands of years…a part of the environment that can cause havoc on its current residents…but is still a part of the RockyMountain way of life…

                The “Amber Osage” finish is patterned after the colors and hues found in my favorite American Hardwood…”Malcura pomifera”, or Osage Orange…in real time Osage weighs 45-50 pounds per cubic foot(a 12′ 1X12 to make that more meaningful)…the heaviest North American wood for sure…if I made a  40″ case of this species for a rod it would weigh over 30 pounds…so I have tried applying my cabinet finishing skills to make one that is not only beautiful, but also functional…by layering various alcohol stains in all my finishes between coatings of tung oil I got some of the iridescence and depth found in nature…This finish is a great match with my “DreamCatcher” and “Indian Summer” series rods…

             “Burnt Aspen” has the same hue as “Amber Osage” but it is lighter more reminiscent of the brilliant golden/yellow color Aspen trees turn in September…plus some flaming I also use in my custom bamboo rods.This finish is a great match with my “DreamCatcher” and “Indian Summer” series rods…or any green, black or brown graphite rods too…

           “Ponderosa” is copied after its namesake tree, a resident of the Rockies…its a natural base finish with flaming that I am reminded  throughout nature  remnants of wildfires that are common…This finish will also take on its own rugged  flavor with time too…

          “Golden Pine Cone”  is a color I made to match up with my “RainMaker” series rods, trying to imitate the colors of bamboo and the flaming process I use on the “Rainmaker”  series rods…it has streaks of gold and yellow running throughout… the three layers of stain and flaming I use with this make for a very special contrast…this case color will go with any style or color rod…

           “Natural” is exactly that…just clear acrylic coatings over tung oil finish…this finish will for sure age with time too…

 …”butt” cap details on a double & single case…Natural & Osage finishes.

                If someone definitely prefers a special  hard wood, I have plenty available for me in my shop…I use them in my net production, and can quote on a case with those…Ash, Red Oak, White Oak, Teak ,Walnut, Cherry and even some Zebrawood on occasion, are all available…or if you have some special species in mind I can probably find it…some folks have even supplied me with some special wood they wanted used…from a tree, barn or similar that had special meaning to them…a customer in Hawaii sent me some KOA…not a very easy wood to work with…especially when it comes to finishing…but did make for a pretty cool looking  unit…

 

…White & Ponderosa Pine, and Douglas Fir hex cases in the “raw”…

…I can personalize your case …

       Just like with my custom bamboo rods…I can place names, either personal or places , ie ..”Wind River Special”, or even Bible verses, special occasions or similar…on the cases I write them in with a wood burner, to simulate the method of my logo brand…

Years ago when I still made long bows and recurves, I had a customer ask me to place a pretty lengthy inscription on his bow…a friend saw it and remarked…glad he had you build him a longbow…LOL…

        On the rods I sell that are special editions or series, “RainMaker”, “Indian Summer”, “Good Medicine”  etc I place the name of the rod & serial number when applicable …

…here is a tube in the raw after glue up and some sanding…

                    The “Magic of Hex” is something really special…its the basis of most bamboo rods made now…6 pieces of bamboo tapered to a point and glued together providing a flexing and strong base for an angling tool…360 degrees makes a circle…divide it into 6 parts and you have 6 equal parts…60 degrees combined…cut that in half and you have two sided 30 degree shapes…its so simple, so beautiful…and something that can be done by human hands…a perfect pattern for a case design  to store that prized angling tool…

 

…here is some deer leather all hand sewn with braided sinew for the closure…

…I use “natural” materials whenever possible, a Mule Deer “tine” tip is used here for the “catch”…

 

…a few sizes of wedges I make for the various size cases…

 

  Wood maintains humidity very well, and is light enough to haul around with you too, yet also provides a safe  environment for prolonged storage or transporting…and in my case something I can make with my hands in my  shop…Of course Aluminum, PVC & cordura and similar will always rule the market in general for the material rod tubes will be made of, and they for sure do a great job…however not for me… I am a woodworker/cabinet /rod maker …the beauty of natural wood, blends in a very special way with my rods for me…and is something I enjoy as much making as my rods , nets , or for that fact anything I make in my shop…

 

…one of my favorite “spinner” patterns…a #14 hook & some elk fur and “tented”  bronze mallard feathers…

raw materials into a finished product…that’s my rule!…and in the case of the hex cases, something that flows in the same style and philosophy as my rods…the smell of that wooden case on the sleeve & rod is something from a time gone by…but can be still had today!

 

the “corks” are attached with braided sinew to help keep them from being misplaced…

…I have always really enjoyed using gear that I can make from “organic”materials..

 

 

             Here is one of the caps or”corks” in process I carve from Ponderosa, Pitch Pine or Doug fir…I hollow out the ends to lighten them  up & make a little extra room at the ends when closed…when I finished one, I noticed how much they looked like the old plugs we used to make on the farm and use for shooting off our carbide cannons…old milk cans that we put an magneto in,  load with a little carbide used in mining lanterns, mix with little water , then stick in the plug… with a crank of the magneto…”BOOM”…we would have contests to see who could hit a stump or rock pile out in a pasture 80-90 yards away!…that was what farm boys in the days before video games and text messaging when they weren’t doing chores or fishing  …LOL…

 

 

                           WM does not , and will not copy proprietary tapers or rod models of other or companies, current or past…or will I will not  make “knock off’s” of classic or existing rods…

 

all photos and text are property of Wandering Monk Fly Rod Co.tm
and can be only used with permission
DreamCatcher series,Talisman series
 Shaman , Native Angler & Indian Summer series
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are all trademarks of wmflyrodco.com