Charles Chandler – Michigan
I wanted let you know how much I have enjoyed my Custom Laurel Ridge
Centerpin rod. Your method of building my rods and the finished products far exceeded all
my expectation. As mentioned I had some very bad experiences with two other rod builders.
However you worked with me to define the specifications and finish treatments for my rods.
You made excellent suggestions based on your experience as a rod builder and a centerpin
fisherman. You discussed each phase of the process and sent me photos of the finished sections.
There were absolutely no surprises. The finished product was a beautiful rod built to the exact
specification as order. The functionality of my centerpin rod is amazing. My fish hooked to
landed ratio has improved dramatically. As you recall when I received the rod I was concerned
that it was going to be to light to handle our wild Michigan Steelhead. You kindly suggested
that I fish the rod and after a few fish if I was still concerned you would resolve the matter. I
have fished the rod for a year and I am delighted. The soft tip lets me fish small flies, streamers
and single eggs on 6lb test fluorocarbon with confidence. I have hooked and landed a 37 inch
rainbow in Alaska and 16 lb steelhead on the Clearwater River in Idaho. My rod has the softness
to protect light lines but plenty of power to play these class fish in big fast water. I have taken a
good number of Muskegon River steelhead in the 6 to 10 lb range with no problems.
Here are a couple of pictures from my Clearwater trip. One is of me with a worried look on my
face and hold My Laurel Ridge Rod. The other is the reason for the worried look. Landing the
16 lb steelhead on a 6 lb leader on a #10 egg hook was dreams come true. Thanks again for a
great rod building experience and a great rod.
Herb Imondi – Mentor, OH
One of the greatest joys about fishing is, meeting a large and extensive diversity of people who share that same simple interest. From the moment I laid my hands on the custom Switch Rod from Laurel Ridge Rods and Adam Norris, I was amazed, and liking what I was seeing! We first spoke about the types of fishing that I will be doing like, swinging some fat streamers, and sculpin’s for Lake Erie Steelhead and Smallies, and maybe the occasional Bucket Mouth, as well as other species in and around Northeast Ohio.
This rod is made from a Rainshadow IF 1086-4M 10’8″ 6wt blank fitted with a Batson SW1175S-300 (Switch Fore Grip) and the SW258-300 Rear/Butt Grip. The rod had nicely wrapped guides and a sweet triangular ALPS real seat in flat black with a chrome weave which really makes this rod pop! When I met Adam, I had paired the rod with a REDINGTON Titanium CDL and it was a miss match from the start. Oh don’t get me wrong, I did catch fish, but it just wasn’t one of those long term relationships between a Rod and it’s Reel. I eventually married my MEGOFF with the rod, and believe me it was a perfect match and balance! That CDL was best suited to the Super Sport I have reviewed, and other rods.
The next time I used the rod with the new reel, I instantly hooked into a nice fat football shaped buck that put up a nice short battle with only a few rolls, but this rod was becoming something I liked. Soon after that fish I had several more on, and one that really took me into my backing until finally breaking me off way downstream in a fast little cut! Man this rod performed exquisitely throughout the day and as light as it was for a 6wt rod, it certainly packed a big punch! Rated as medium fast, I found it just a tad more on the fast side which is great for me, and she loads up effortlessly, it was that poetry in motion that you can cast all day!
Considering all the variables here I’m going to have to say “Well done Adam and Laurel Ridge Rods!” I have to give this rod a TOP SCORE and HONOR simply because of the looks, the feel, and the ability to get into some huge Steelhead with quality and ease. This is a perfect example, and the point of this letter from the beginning paragraph, to the finished product. Would I recommend this talented craftsman and his abilities to my growing facebook FANS and Blog readers if it was anything short of awesome? Give them a shout and see what Adam can do for you, one thing is for sure, “You’re gonna like the way you fish!” He guarantees it!
Chris Raslonski – Bethel Park PA
I received the exact rod I wanted shortly after I ordered it. I had a number of personal conversations with Adam to choose exactly what blank, style, length, weight, guides, and colors I wanted for my new rod. Knowing this rod would be used mostly for native brookies and other small wild fish we determined that a 6’10” 1wt build on a Dan Craft blank would be perfect for what I was looking for. After ordering the components Adam kept me updated on a daily basis how the rod was progressing; even sending me a few teaser pictures of the process.
Once I received the rod, which Adam hand delivered, I matched it with a line that Adam recommended and I couldn’t get it out fast enough. Same day in fact I landed a few browns on Meadow Run with it. For such a small rod I thought it would be tough to cast, but over lined with a 2wt floating line, the rod can really launch some line. I’ve since used the rod to catch, brookies, browns, rainbows, crappies, perch, smallmouth bass, and some slab bluegills. Anyone looking for a rod with a personalized touch should contact Adam, and he’ll set you up with a rod that will be everything you want and more.
Dan Hall – Rockport, NC
I just found out about centerpin fishing two years back when a fishing buddy from Yellowknife Canada told me about it. I am from North Carolina, but fish in Alaska 2-3 times per year. Often remote float trips, but the last two years I have spent a few weeks on the Upper Kenai targeting rainbows and dollies during mid/late September. .
My first requirement, being that I fly from NC to Alaska, was a four piece rod. It amazes me that nobody makes a four piece float rod. I had one made last year, a 12.5 foot 7/8 wt 4 piece Batson, but it was a meat stick for the fish on the Upper Kenai. It will be good for silver salmon and some other species, but not what I needed for rainbows. After talking with Adam about my needs and goals, he knew immediately what I wanted. He made me a Rainshadow RX-7 12.5 foot 4 piece float rod from the 6 wt spey rod blank. He offered guidance when I asked for it. His suggestions were spot on in all cases. I got exactly what I wanted, a high quality, lightweight, travel friendly, float rod. Actually, I got two made up identically. You never take a remote float trip in Alaska with one of anything. I got a 42″ tube from Clear Creek and I was good to go. Added a slate gray Islander Steelheader centerpin reel with upgraded ball bearings as a cherry on top. This is one sick set up I must admit.
I am spending a week at a remote USFS cabin in SE Alaska fishing for steelhead in mid April. A river of intimate size, tough to access in spots, but with deep pools full of steelhead. Trick is getting the fly, jig, etc.. to the holding water. These float rods are going to be worth their weight in gold upon unloading my gear from the float plane. And being four piece rods, I can fly them to Alaska easily. My wife and I love fly fishing, but we will also be taking float rods on our future trips to Alaska. Rainbows on the Upper Kenai, silvers on remote SW Alaska float trips, 10-15 lb dolly varden in arctic NW, sheefish on the Kobuk, steelhead in SE Alaska, etc… these float rods have earned a spot in my raft.