In sorting through some old paperwork in these cold long days of pre-spring, I came across an invoice for a custom fly rod, built and purchased in 1990.
I met Bill Franke at a Worcester, MA fly fishing show and was instantly impressed with his custom rods, but more importantly with Bill himself. Turns out Bill was not only a builder of fly rods, but an engineer and designer of custom reel seats and the PFOOT, a patented replacement foot for the classic Pfluger reels of the past. Read about Bill here.
To my specs, Bill built a 9' 2 piece 3 weight on a beautiful Powell green blank, western grip and a birds-eye maple with nickel-silver seat. The rod is medium action and a relaxing change from the fast action Sage's I usually take to the water.
With a little silver polish, this beautifully crafted rod is ready for the Spring. I pair it with a classic Orvis CFO III or the Fly Fishing Benefactor's Deschutes I, a great little reel at a super price point.
I look forward to fishing this piece of personal history this year, in the relaxed manner it was intended for, and I will remember Bill Franke in the same way; a quiet gentleman, a craftsman, and a fly fisherman who will be missed by all who came to be in his presence. Thank you for the memories, Bill.