Sunday, September 21, 2008

Customer - Max in Ft. Lauderdale, Sept. 20, 2008

Customer of mine, Max, and his buddy George took a charter out of Ft. Lauderdale on a boat called "Local Knowledge". Capt. Mike at the helm and the deck hand was Glenn. They headed out about 1pm on Saturday and were greeted to perfect weather and calm seas. Capt. Mike said the action had been a little slow but they had some luck with the Kings earlier in the day.

Hey Max, Sweet shirt !!! LOL
Here's George, ready to get into some action. Nice hat George.
Here's the spread, minus the "Maxamiliano". Max's spiral wrapped Shieldski custom paired with a Penn 6 wide. It was off to the side and would be rigged to an outrigger for action later to come.
So Max is the first one up, and the first rod starts getting line ripped off at a pretty good pace. Max grabs the rod and makes quick work of the first catch of the day. A very respectable 42" King. Looks like dinner to me !!
Then the next reel takes off and George jumps in the chair. He ends up boating the second fish of the day. Once again, another King.
This one a bit smaller at 36", but still some sweet filets for sure.
Then the action slowed for a good while, with a couple of break-off's thrown in for good measure. So they start heading back in. They are trolling the whole way back in, and as they enter in Intercoastal the 6 Wide on the Maxamiliano starts screaming. Max jumps in the chair, gives the hook a good solid set with a yank on the rod and game-on!! A bit later, they get the fish close to color and it looks like another King.
But, wait.... That's no King, that's a Cuda.
Here's Max with his Cuda that taped out to over 43" and almost 20 pounds. Great catch Max, congratulations. Glad the rod is working out for you. Let me know when you're ready for another one. LOL.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Shieldski - Latest Rod Work - "Barber Pole" bass rod - Delivered to customer 11/5

And finally, almost up to the tip of the rod with size 6 fly guides. These things are tiny. Rod actually required 9 guides in all, not including the tip-top. But with the size of these tiny guides and the small amount of thread and epoxy used on the upper section, it really is a perfectly balanced rig. Can't wait to see some pics of the rod in action and the results it is bound to produce. Congratulations Mr. Barber. I hope you like it as much as I do.
Then further up is fly guides to cut down on weight. This one is a size 8 I believe. Once again, same theme as the rest.
Here's a pic of the stripper guide (the guide closest to the reel). It's a Batson XN double footed guide, in what's called a TiChrome finish. Kind of looks like gunsmoke. Really sharp. Same red used in the barber pole design, with a single silver inlay.
Was home today, so I decided I would get most of the grip assembly done. I cut the cork grip in two halves, got them all nicely shaped, then reamed to the proper fit. I then slid on the metal winding checks and got the grips and reel seat glued in place. All coming together nicely. Next will start working on the foregrip portion then last will be guide wraps.
Well, here it is, Sunday evening, and all the threads are down, and holy cow, it actually looks like a barber pole... lol. Next thing is to get the tie-off's done and then put a coat of epoxy on it. Glad this brain teaser of a wrap is done.
Next is to begin the white color on the right of the other set. And this will continue until the white and the blue meet right in the center (I hope !!) of the silver underwrap.
Here we see the white/red set complete, now beginning with the blue on the left of this.
This pic now shows what it looks like with 36 threads of each color. My plan is to continue adding threads of these two colors until I have covered exactly 1/2 of the blank, then I will begin the white/blue colors.
Ok, so here it is, Sunday, 9 am, and I just got starte on the barber rod. Here's a pic of the first two sets of 12 threads, red and white, on top of the silver underwrap with epoxy on it.
Here is a pic of the practice wrap, held in the top of the pic. I needed about 2 hours to wrap my brain, and the thread, about how the heck to do this thing. I've got it now. In the lower portion of the pic is the actual rod blank with the silver under-wrap done and the first coat of Threadmaster applied. One more coat of epoxy and then we'll be ready for the actual wrap, I'm hoping this sunday.
Here's a pic of the fore-grip, rear grip (which will eventually be cut into a split grip), and the exposed blank Fuji ACS reel seat.
Here's the colors that I've chosen for the wrap. All Gudebrod size A threads. I've talked to friends that have wrapped rods with straight white thread and I've heard of issues with the blank below bleeding through. So, they figured out, in order to stop that issue, they did an underwrap of silver. That way the black of the blank doesn't push through and it will make the colors pop instead of looking bland.
So, now, on to the next build. Have a customer that wants me to build a rod for his buddy. His friends last name is Barber, so he got the idea of doing a wrap of a barber shop pole. Sounds simple enough, right ? Well, I can tell you, to properly figure out the spacing on a tapered rod that goes from white to blue to white to red to white, etc, was not easy, but I think I've got it now.
Also went down to PINS a couple of weeks ago and ran by the Breakaway shop. There they had my own, personalized, Shieldski "Cult" Breakaway car magnet. So now when I head down the beach, folks will know I'm a fan of Breakaway and will also know it is me. So if you see the sign, stop by and have an ice cold beverage.... (on the beach, that beverage is usually the same beverage shown in the pic, Shieldski juice... lol).
Well, me and some other builders here in Texas just started the TRB (Texas Rod Builders). And turns out we are going to be having our first rod building show in Texas City on September 20th. So, to get ready for the show, I got a new Shieldski banner made up. It turned out really awesome and should draw some attention. If anyone feels like attending the show, just shoot me an email:

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Shieldski - All Star Surf Rod

Just delivered to the rod to the customer. He was a VERY happy camper. Anyone headed to Sharkathon on PINS, keep your eyes out for this beast of a rod. It will be hard to miss. Now on to the next project....

So just put a fresh coat of Threadmaster over the existing upper section of the butt that contains the original "Texas Long Casters" decal. Now once this dries, I will apply my custom "Shieldski" decal on the underside. Then the last thing is to mount the gimball on the butt end once it's all done on the wrapper. Rod should be ready to deliver this coming weekend.
Finally, the epoxy on the guides is all done. Took 8 coats of Lite build Threadmaster but finally got them exactly where I like them... smooth as glass. Now back to the butt section...
And here is a quick video of what one of the guide wraps looks like with the first coat of epoxy on the overwraps. Now just have to let this dry and apply another 10 coats or so and the guides will be done...

Next, you wrap the left side of the guide and burnish. Then you wrap the right side of the guide and burnish. Then you take the rod outside and align all the guides to make sure they are 100% inline prior to applying any epoxy to the overwraps.

So woke up this Sunday morning ready to get all the guides placed. First thing is to tape them all into place on the zero degree axis.
Just got all the underwraps finished. This pic shows the ferrule wrap and the first guide wrap, with the first coat of Threadmaster Lite build applied. Now just have to let this cure well and then guides will be wrapped on Sunday. Stay posted....
Just started the underwraps tonight. They are very simple, made to match exactly the guide wraps that were on the original rod. Black, then band of 12 golds, band of 12 blacks, another 12 bands of gold then finish in black. It's going to look sharp and classic.
Here's the long view. Coming together nicely. Next a couple of coats of thread epoxy over the old decal, then we'll be ready to move on to the upper section. Time for underwraps next. Keep posted. Customer opted to upgrade the reel seat to a black aluminum Batson seat. It will last a lifetime and really looks sharp.
So here's a pic of the butt wrap, with the rear grip and winding check installed. I've also put about 7 coats of thread epoxy on at this point, so the finish is like glass. Now time to move up the blank and install the reel seat and foregrip.
Here is the whole butt wrap, also showing tie-off's top and bottom. Much of the pattern will be covered with grips when it's all done. Tie-off's will be hidden underneath the grips so the pattern will just disapper under the grip. Now back to the wrapper for more epoxy. More to come...
So we decided that I would do another chevron. So I did the exact same chevron pattern, but this time going the opposite direction, called a reverse chevron. This is a pic of the pattern completed with a single coat of epoxy on it.
Working on a rebuild for a customer. This is a blank that is a predecessor/prototype of the original SU1569 Surf Rod created by All Star. It has been cut down to about 12.5 feet. This thing is really beefy, truly amazing blank. Customer wanted it completey stripped and rebuilt from the ground up. Also wanted to leave everything original looking, but he couldn't stand not putting a little bling in between the rear grips. So we decided on a two axis chevron fade using black and gold. Here is the first pic after the chevy was completed. I called the customer, sent him the pic, and he and I both agreed that there was a little too much blank still showing. So back to the wrapper it goes....

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Customer - Paul G. Fishing Weekend - South Padre Island, Texas

Hey Shieldski,

Here are some pics of the weekend. We arrived at the beach at 10:00 am to find Sharks and Jacks in the wade gut feeding on mullet. We caught a couple of jacks and only took one to use for shark bait which produced a 6.5 foot Bull brought in by my father-in-law with the spiral wrapped Shieldski Customs rod. We had a good time for half a day's fishing.

Me with "shark bait"....
Father-in-Law hooked up with the Shieldski Custom. Look at how much backbone this thing has.
Little by little.....
Me tailing the shark. A proud Father-in-Law.
The rod is working great. Can't wait to hook into something that can really put it to the test. Thanks again, Paul G.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Shieldski - Cozumel, June 2008

So headed down to Cozumel with the family and friends. Got a charter with a great outfit named Tres Hermanos (3 brothers). Good boat, great captain and crew. Here's a view of us headed out of dock and beginning to get things rigged up.
My little brother and niece getting fired up for the experience.
Shieldski himself is pretty darn excited as well. I'm also excited we left the dock when we did as it is now getting pelted with rain... lol.

Had a couple of break-off's early on but finally get a solid hook up. I jump in the chair and go to work.
First catch of the day ends up being a nice nugget sized black fin.
We keep trolling and get hit again with another solid hook up. Dad jumps in the chair this time. Look at that intensity... ;-).
He boats another solid black fin, this one bigger than the last. For their size these little buggers can put up a heck of a fight. We end up boating 5 (actually 4.5) BF for the day. One was bitten in half while I was reeling it in. Probably a wahoo or maybe a shark. Someone had a decent meal.
Weapon of Mass Distruction. The first rod I ever built. Seeker blank long range stand-up tuna rod. Those blues and silvers looked really sweet up against a back-drop of 2000 feet of water.
We had her hooked up to the downrigger with a 10 pound ball of lead. Paired with my Avet 50 2 speed. Had it running deep at about 80-100 feet hoping for a big marlin. No takers this trip.
Finally we get another good hook up. Not sure what it is, but it's substantial. My line is peeling off for the first five minutes as I just wait for the train to slow. Finally we see her break the surface about 50 yards off the back of the boat. Cow Dorado, BIG cow, doing a little tail dance for us. Beautiful sight.

We get her to color and she sees the deck hand and the boat. She says "forget that" and dives deep, straight down. Once again my line is peeling off at an amazing rate. I wait for my turn to get it back. She finally tires again and I lay into her. After another 10 minutes, get her back boat side and this time she has no choice...
One hit with the gaff and sweet flip of the fish and she's in the boat. Thrashing wildly we get her in the cooler. It sounds like a couple of pits bulls going at it in the cooler. The lid is popping up with three of us sitting on it. She's not happy, but we sure are.
We get back to dock and I get to hold her for the first time. No scale on board but we estimate her at 50 lbs. and about 5.5 feet in length. That is one healthy girl. We take one filet from her and give the other filet to the boat. We ate great for the rest of the week.
Until next time, tight lines. Shieldski