Fly rod BM initials
I bought this custom fly rod for 25 dollars. I don't know who the maker is. I was wondering if you may know? The initials on there are BM in gold paint. I am including a picture. The rod is 7 to 8 foot rod. Any help would be appreciated.
Hello John! Thanks for the question.
Well, from the pics that you were kind enough to include, I can see a few details to help you out a bit.
As for the manufacturer of the blank, it is very hard to tell without original markings that are often included when the blank is originally shipped. It does appear to be graphite and that alone makes the rod worth far more than you paid. The ferrules or connecting area where the tip and butt join is what is known as a build-up. This was done by a number of manufacturers of graphite blanks to ensure strength but may have given it a "flat spot" as the rod is flexed under load...not inherently bad but may be a sign of lesser engineering. To check the flex, just run some line through the guides, tie the line off on a stationary object or have someone hold it and then gently lift the rod to see the flex from butt to tip. Be careful not to flex the rod in an unnatural way, allow it to arc gently. An even or "parabolic" arc from tip to butt would be a slow action, two thirds curvature from the tip to the butt section, the butt remaining somewhat straight would be considered moderate, curvature in the upper half of the rod, moderate/fast, the upper 1/4 being the main curvature would be considered fast and the upper 1/5 or more would be extra-fast (very unusual in flyrods).
The guides appear to be either stainless or chromed brass snake guides. These are still very common and work well...stainless will last longer. The guides appear to be wrapped with standard nylon winding thread and by the transparent look over the guide feet, it is unlikely that any decent amount of color preservative was used...this would have mad the windings over the feet just a bit less transparent...again, not a bad thing and often done for a look the wrapper was looking for. I cannot tell if the gold hi-lights on the ends of the wraps are thread or gold leaf-like paint...this appears to be what the wrapper used to place the initials on the butt with. The hook holder is the type I would have used.
As for the grip, she is a nice piece of cork in what is know as a half-wells. That refers to the way one end flares out. if both ends flared, it would be a full-wells and if it tapered in both directions, it would simply be known as a cigar-shaped handle.
The reel seat appears to be an up-locking, anodized aluminum seat with what appears to be a rosewood insert...classic and functional in all respects.
The only features I would like to see would be the stripper or first guide...hopefully aluminum oxide on the lower end of quality to silicon carbide or gold cermet on the upper end. Another guide I would hope would be ceramic would be the tip of the same ceramic as the stripper...but either way, ceramic or stainless, you seem to have found a nice little fly-rod at a bargain price no doubt!
If she doesn't have any other markings on her...namely the line weight it was designed to handle, take it down to a reputable fly shop and ask their techs what line weight they feel would be best for it. If it is a 5 or 6 weight, you will have a great general purpose flyrod and one you should get plenty of enjoyment out of.
I hope this helps a bit.
Get out and fish it! Fall is trout and bass time! Have fun!