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Re-Purposing a Montague Flash fly rod

Dusty Miller

World's comin' to an end, might as well fish.
I was wondering if it would be possible to make this relatively heavy 9-ft, 3-piece rod into a usable 6-ft. small stream rod. Does anyone have any suggestions as to where I would start investigating how to do this and if the effort would be worthwhile?

Best thing to start with is: Does the tip and mid, when assembled, feel like something you'd like to cast if it had a cork handle & reel seat attached to it? If so, then you could keep it inexpensive by simply gluing a reel seat and cork on, then go have FUN WITH IT! If it doesn't work out as you'd like, take the hardware back off, provided you used wood glue and not epoxy........ Usually, heavy 9' rods are butt heavy so you'd be eliminating most of the dead weight you feel...... No need to remove the male mid ferrule when installing the reel seat, in case you want to return it to it's original state.... That's as simple as I can answer your question.

well caneflyfish has a good suggestion. But I would not take off the reel seat or handle. they are reamed to fit the butt section so the diameter for both (assuming you can get them off) is over .500 and if you measure the diameter 3 feet up you will find it to be .300 -.390 or so. You would have to us too much filler to take up the slack. I would buy a new seat and handle. To properly do it you would have to remove the guides and install it from the thin diameter to the butt. Before I would do any of that i would wrap some masking tape around were you want the grip and flex and cast in the yard. you might not like the action.

---------- Post added at 11:55 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:49 AM ----------

FYI I do have a rod that had that done to it. I believe it was a Montague. The action is not that of a typical bamboo rod but more like a faster action graphite. Just thought you might like to know
Good point and one I failed to insert when I was posting a reply. I (mistakenly) assumed Dusty knew to remove the stripping guide and install the cork and seat from the ferrule side.

I've made 6' brookie rods out of 9'ers in the past, but the 9'er should be a trout model, such as a South Bend #359. If you attempt a SB #59 or a #47, it may feel too heavy & much too stiff in the hand. I like the 6' rod, as it's fast enough to load a small amount of line to present the fly w/o much effort but with sensitivity to feel the line being cast......

Thank you, Canefly and WBDluver!

You have given me the impetus to proceed with this project. I've checked the action of the upper sections, and think it will make a nice small-stream rod. (Wouldn't want to fight the winds on the West Branch of the Delaware, but think it could work on Fir Brook.)

This will be my first rod project. The rod was a present that I found it too heavy to really use (I've been spoiled by graphite), so modifying it makes sense -- even if I screw it up, I won't have lost anything useful and will gain experience.

Thanks again to both of you, and I post my experiences once I get underway,
One old technique to get a shorter rod is to make a detachable handle. Get a matching ferrule and mount it to a dowel, or sacrifice the lower section you have, and place the grip and reel seat so that the ferrule is flush with the top of the grip. By finding a matching ferrule you can save the original rod, but a Flash rod isn't all that valuable so it isn't the worst thing in the world to play around.

Back in the old times most people could old afford a rod or two and the detachable handle was a way to get a 6' and a 9' rod for the price of a 9' rod and a handle.
It's tempting, JeffK, but I think I'll want to reposition the guides to get the best result. If I do that, I don't think I'll be able to go back to a three-piece again.

Hey WBDluver! Thanks for the sites. I originally thought of using the Flash on the WBD, but a little experimenting told me I didn't want to spend a day casting it in a strong wind...or even a few hours. Hence the desire to re-purpose 2/3's of it for small streams.
Hey dusty,
I have made a few banty rods in my time.
Jeff had some good advice and is on target.
This is how I evaluate a rod to become a banty.
A trout taper is a necesaty and don't worry to much on the guides.
I get a 3/4 dowel and drill the end to accept the male ferrule of the mid.
These are usualy all measured in 64 ths.
The dowel should be long enough for a cork and reel seet about 10 inches
Don't worry about the guides skip the first 1 or two next to the handle.
go down 1 line size and see how it casts. if the rod loads to quickly try going down two.
Most banty's will only go down i line size but 2 will make the rod a little faster.
Good luck and let us know how you make out.

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Ronbo, Do I ream out the cork to fit the 3/4-in. dowel, and then taper the dowel to fit the reel seat? Is that the correct procedure?
This is only an evaluation of the rod.
No cork is required and you don't need to mount a reel all you need is the line.
If you want to check the balance then tape the reel to the dowel and give it a whorl.
If you think it feels good then go ahead with the full restoration.
Send me a pm or a post after the evaluation and and I would be happy to walk you through the rest of the process which is fairly easy.
Hi Dusty,
I haven't been on here for quite awhile... Just wondering if you have gotten the rod shortened and finished up... Pics if have them too!