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Anyone have any recommendations for a 8'0" or 8'6" 6 weight 3 piece taper?  I've not found many in the published books.  I was leaning towards a Heddon taper but haven't found an 8'0" yet, which I'd prefer over a 8'6".  (Bob Williams)

    Might be hard to beat a Leonard 50 DF in one of the heavier versions that is floating around.....  (Harry Boyd)


I have a friend who would like a rod built that is going to be used primarily with a full sinking line, trout in the 18-24" range, and where casts will most likely be relatively short - say, 25-50 feet at most.  I'd like to make it a 2 piece configuration, and was thinking of something in the 6 wt range like a Dickerson 8014 or Garrison 212e.

Anyone have other  suggestions or  advise they'd like to pass along?  I have never fished a full sink tip with a cane rod before, so I am not fully confident in my taper choice(s).  (Chris Carlin)

    I do a bunch of lake fishing with sinking lines. I use a Para 15. In fact, I built a second this winter so I don't have to change lines all the time on the rod.  And if the second works out, I may build a third to handle all my floating/sinking line situations.

    The Para 15 is tough enough that I've probably landed  several hundred + 5 lb. trout on it over the past 5 years. The only failure was the guides. Pac Bay chromes aren't all that tough. Now running Ti guides on the rod.  (Don Anderson)

      I concur with Don.  I built a Para 15 this spring from the taper listed at Rodmakers using the Dry Tip.  I was disappointed at first because I tried to fish it at short ranges (30 feet and less) with a 5 wt as "advertised".  It won't do it.  But when I tied on a relatively heavy streamer and got out about 40 feet of line or more the rod performed  Great. I'd say it's more a 6 or 7 wt and probably good for the use you intend.  It does have the feel of a parabolic (duh) so make sure your friend doesn't mind it.  (Al Baldauski)

      After some discussion, my friend decided to go with the Dickerson 8014.  Plus, I decided to make myself a Para-15, and spend some more time with Ray Gould's new book.  (Chris Carlin)


Last spring I made a 4 piece Sir D for backpacking and it worked out great for mountain streams, but it didn't have the backbone needed on some of the windy lakes I encountered.  This winter, I would like to build a 4 piece 6 wt to fill that gap.  I plan to use aluminum ferrules like I did on the Sir D.  Any suggestions for a taper?  (Mark Lenarz)

    Make a Sir D 5 wt. A 6 is going to be overkill. Better to learn to deal with the wind. I made a Paul Young Midge 4 wt that has no problem belting into a high sierra gust. Maybe a 5 wt Midge might do you.  (Jim Lowe)

    What about trying a silk line to cut the wind?  One fact about silk lines that most people don't know about or forgot about is the wind cut ability of the silk lines.  On days where you would pack in a 4 weight rod and opt for a 6 or 7 weight rod due to the weather, a silk line on the 4 weight will cut the wind like a sharp knife through butter.

    Silk lines have a bit more rig-a-ma-roll involved with them, but they are nice.  (Al Grombacher)

      I second that.  Silk is thinner so it cuts the wind better, and makes it easier to land large fish in strong currents for the same reason.  (Olaf Borge)

    I use the Gillum 7' #5 for backpacking.   It is  designed as a three-piece.  It fits in a 29" tube that I tape to the frame of my pack. It works very well for backpacking (and airline travel), yet the taper isn't compromised to suit this purpose.  (Bill Lamberson)

    Just for my insight in things - was the Sir D taper designed as a 4 piece - giving account to the added weight and locations of the ferrules???  (Wayne Cattanach)

      Last winter, Darryl Hayashida mentioned on the list that he had made a 4 piece Sir D by using the standard taper for a 2 piece and then cutting each piece in half.  He felt that the aluminum ferrules eliminated a need to change the taper.  I followed his lead.  I'm a mediocre caster and am unable to observe a marked difference between my 4 piece and my 2 piece Sir D.  My plan was to do the same with a 6 wt.  (Mark Lenarz)


Anyone ever built a Dickerson 8615?  If so what are your impressions?  Is the taper in the rodmakers archives a good one?  Any and all opinions would be appreciated.  I was looking at both the 8015 (8 weight) and 8014 (6 weight) and thought the 8615 would be a little longer and in the middle line size wise.  Also, has anyone ever hollow built an 8615?  (Aaron Gaffney)

    I built an 8615 last winter, to the 6-weight version found in "The Lovely Reed," considerably lighter than the Hexrod version. It is smooth and powerful, not as fast as the 8014. It still prefers a seven to a six, I can't wait to try it on fish. 

    I might add that although I was disappointed with it while lawn (or gym, or snowdrift) casting with the six weight, on the water with that extra loading it's a fine six-weight. (Henry Mitchell)

      I checked the taper in my book and the figure at station 10 is .264. I think you typed it wrong at .364. And if I'm not wrong the measurements on the tip side are for the butt, and vice versa. However that’s how its was printed originally; not hard to figure out they are backwards though.  (Floyd Burkett)

        You're right about what the book says, but I think what the book says is wrong. It makes no sense for a station to be .264" when the one above it is .375" and the one below it is .320". That would be a hell of a jump in the stress curve at that point.

        I used .364 when I made my rod, because I felt that the 2 in .264 was a typo. After all, Dickersons are known for stout butts, not wasp waists.

        Because of subtracting varnish and reversing the order of the stations I then put the #s into Hexrod to print out my final settings. When I ran that stress curve it was smooth.   (Henry Mitchell)

      I don't have a copy of The Lovely Reed, is there anywhere online I can find the taper?  (Aaron Gaffney)

        Here's what Jack Howell  says:

        "Measured over original varnish: Deduct .006" from butt and tips. A nice trout rod. A little less stout than the 8-foot rods and not something  you'd  use  for  steelhead,  but  a  very  nice 8-1/2 foot 6-weight."

                      Tip       Butt
          0         .375      .228
          5         .375      .212
          10       .364      .197
          15       .320      .186
          20       .306      .170
          25       .295      .156
          30       .287      .138
          35       .276      .117
          40       .266      .101
          45       .254      .088
          50       .240      .074
          51       .238      .073

        Notice he starts the 0 at the butt, I had to reverse that for it to make sense to when setting the planing form.  (Henry Mitchell)

          After looking at the taper you listed from the Lovely Reed as being a Dickerson 8615 I am really confused.

          As I see it there are two listings for the 8615 in Rod makers and Hexrod online, both are the same and look nothing like the one you gave. I realize you are just passing on information but some one is really way off. The one in Hex and rodmakers is a 8 wt rod strong tip, getting weaker to the top of the butt. There is a small flex area 35" to 65", then the butt gets a little stronger. This rod has no large changes from a Straight Line Taper.

          The one you gave, with .006 subtracted for varnish, has a weak tip which gets stronger toward the end of the tip. At the ferrule there is a large change between station 45 to 50  (an extra .015) which says there maybe a step ferrule. The butt is strong in the upper part falling off into a flex area from 65" to 85" where there is a butt swell 5" before the handle. This rod is a 6 wt.

          As you can see there  but is no comparisons between the two rods. So I'm wondering which is which. They both maybe nice rods, but they are not at all alike ?

          I have no idea which is the right taper, if one is. But I really get confused when the information put out differs so much. If anyone else can be of any help I would appreciate it.  (Bob Norwood)

            Not all Dickersons of the same number are the same taper. If you add searches in the Howell book and Ray Gould's book, they're often different. Howell's book lists 2 different versions of the 7613, 8014 and 8015. As Howell stated, this version of the 8615 is a 6-weight. Mine, Impregnated with Mike's Sauce, likes a seven as well or better.

            At last year's "Superboo II" I was able to cast Banjo's original 8615 and it is a six or a five. It was casting that original Dickerson that made me want to make one. I'm certainly glad that I didn't make it to one of the heavier versions. (Henry Mitchell)

    I have just completed a Dickerson 8014 and I am going to fish it for the first time tomorrow. I will let you know how I make out and what my impressions are this weekend  (Bill Bixler)


I would like to ask the group for some recommendations for an 8' 6 wt or even 5wt taper to build, I would also like to build this rod as a 3 pc rod. I've spent some time reviewing RodDNA tapers, but I'd also like a sense of what others feel would be a good med-fast taper.

I've looked at the Dickerson 8013, 8014, and used RodDNA to convert them to a 3 pc rod. However I noticed that both tapers seem to have a hinge point in the stress curve approximately where the ferrule would be in a two piece rod.  It makes me wonder if this wasn't done intentionally by Dickerson, knowing that the ferrule would be in place at the hinge point thereby alleviating the stress shown in the stress curve in RodDNA.  If that is the case than it also makes me wonder if these two tapers might not be good candidates for conversion to a three piece rod, everyone's thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.

However for that matter I'm not sure whether RodDNA, takes into consideration the ferrule location when generating a stress curve.  (Wayne Daley)

    You are right about the Dickerson's and the ferrule. However, the two rods are quite different, the 8013 is a nice fast rod but the 8014 is much slower because of the heaver tip and the weaker butt.

    Here is a modified Garrison 212 (Norwood_GE-8062-212M.pdf) that should give you what you are looking for, it's a nice medium fast rod with a smooth flex area in the middle and a butt swell the will allow smooth, short and long casts, It has a Garrison tip but the modification makes the butt get stronger as you go toward the handle.  (Bob Norwood)


How about recommendations for your all time favorite 8' or 8 1/2' 6wt medium action. I may also consider hollow building this one so weight isn't an issue. This rod will be fished on the North Umpqua River in Oregon. It's a fairly large river and there is always the possibility of finding your self hooked to a summer run Steelhead so the rod needs backbone and the ability to reach out a bit but will be primarily used for rainbow trout.  (Wayne Kifer)

    I've built the Heddon #50 as a two piece hollow built, one tip solid and one tip hollow. For the hollow tip I kept the dimensions as original, and tapered the wall thickness from .070 at the ferrule end to .045 towards the tip (the hollowing ends at around the 15" mark).

    On the rod I built, I added 4% to the diameters through the butt for hollow building, but if you want a true medium action you could hollow the butt as per the original taper.

    I fish the rod out west here A LOT, and have caught Deschutes steelhead up to 33" on it (a by-catch while trout fishing), once on a size #20 red brassy, 4x tippet. YES, I landed that fish (and have pics to prove it).

    Here's the taper, taken from the Hexrod archives.  (Chris Obuchowski)

    Heddon #50 President - 8ft 6in 3pc 6wt - tip #1

    Heddon #50 President Deluxe Taper

    8ft 6in 3pc 6wt - tip #1

    Posted by Fritz Weiss on October 31, 1998.

    From a stripped rod.

    Parameter       Value
    ------------       ------ 
    Geometry        Hex    
    Rod Length:     8 ft 6 in (=102 inches)    
    Action Length   7 ft 9 in (= 93 inches)    
    Line Weight     6    
    Pieces             3    
    Line Fished      40 ft    
    Tip Factor        2.179    
    Ferrule Type:   Standard    
    Ferrule Sizes:   Computed    

    Ferrule 1:        Size 11/64  (Rod is 11.12/64 (0.174 Inches) at 34.00 in from tip, Wt approx 0.194 oz.)

    Ferrule 2:        Size 18/64  (Rod is 17.52/64 (0.274 Inches) at 68.00 in from tip, Wt approx 0.477 oz.)

      Point          Dimension

    (Inches)         (Inches)           Stress    

        0                0.060            -    
        5                0.083            162608    
       10               0.096            216295    
       15               0.109            228841    
       20               0.128            195185    
       25               0.144            178272    
       30               0.160            162954    
       35               0.177            148161    
       40               0.192            144498    
       45               0.208            138001    
       50               0.222            135629    
       55               0.235            134988    
       60               0.249            132696    
       65               0.269            122145    
       70               0.277            130556    
       75               0.291            132255    
       80               0.308            129589    
       85               0.323            129426    
       90               0.336            131516    
       93               0.344


A short while ago, there was some talk about Dickerson's 8615 having two different sets of taper #'s floating around. I think the discussion was that one set of #'s was published at one source (perhaps a book that I don't remember the name) and another different set of numbers were published at a different source...

Would anyone who knows about this chime in and shed some lite on the subject.  And possibly what they thought about the "Why" or the difference between the two?  (John Silveira)

    The one I built was from the the original Rodmakers site. The provenance of the taper is provided there too. They have it listed as a 6wt. There is another on the Hexrod web site, but it is exactly the same yet they have it listed a 7wt. Someone else can chime in here too. I'm curious of another version myself.  (Eamon Lee)

      Howell has one listed in "The Lovely Reed."  I am not sure if that matches the ones Eamon listed, and I don't have the book handy at the moment to check.  I might be able to get to it a bit later, though.  (Carl DiNardo)

    I have never cast either of the tapers and so, as usual, I'm talking out of my butt.

    I looked at both sites Eamon posted and while I didn't compare the numbers, the stress curves are very similar. The main difference I see is that the 7wt is calculated with 40 feet of line and the 6wt at 60 feet. More and less line (weight) out the tip top. Yet the rod bends the same.  (Mike Shay)

      The rods on the Hexrod web site are from postings to this group.  If the original poster didn't specify a line weight, I looked at the numbers and made my guess.  Please don't take them as gospel.  (Frank Stetzer, Hexrod, Taper Archive, Rodmakers Archive)

    I'd call the Hexrod 8615 at least a 7-weight, it has a tip of .094, at 50" it is .232".

    Here's Howells version:

    It's a little tricky to compare them because Howell listed the measurements   butt-to-tip   as   opposed   to  the  customary tip-to-butt.

    But here's what they are, and not corrected for varnish, forwhich  Jack says subtract .006 for both tip and butt.

             Tip       Butt

      0    .228     .375
      5.   .212     .375
      10  .197     .364
      15  .186     .320
      20  .170     .306
      25  .156     .295
      30  .138     .287
      35  .117     .276
      40  .101     .266
      45  .088     .254
      50  .074     .240
      51  .073     .238

    As you can see, they are very different rods.  (Henry Mitchell)

      I expect that was the numbers for the rod I cast it was definitely a lively 5wt with a WF5 PVC line! John a number of makers make silk lines in  WF's. I do use a DT Terenzio on my 8013, a copy of the lighter 8615 may like it as well. Never know until you try!  (Tim Pembroke)

        Don't look to me to build the heavy version, I don't need that much rod for anything, though I'd like to cast one.

        I derived a rod from the taper in the The Lovely Reed, only taking .004 off of the tips and lightening the butt. Lawn-casting it liked a seven, but on the water prefers a six and roll-casts quite well. It took a 15 ferrule with very little grass-removal. I'm hoping to try it as a single-hand spey this spring in a fishy run with little back-cast room.  (Henry Mitchell)

    I just got off the phone with the guy that built the first Dickerson 8615 I ever held and fell in love with. Felt like an awesome rod to me.  I was at the San Mateo Sportsman’s show and he was showing rods there.

    OK - his name - Randy G. Johnson.  Volcano Rods --- I think at the time I talked to him back then he had just acquired a whole lot of Payne blanks and I remember mentioning this to the list here and some of you guys contacted him - at least he told me some of you guys had.

    Point is - he still has that Dickerson  8615 that I saw at the show.  Here's where things get interesting - he says the one he built is rated at a 5wt. with a tip of about 68-70 thousandths.  OK - so Henry mentioned two rods, one in Hexrod with a 94 tip and the one like Randy Johnson has at about 68 as mentioned.

    Those are big differences.  Anyway Randy said he'd call me tomorrow with the Taper for it.  5 wt ....

    Hexrod - guys think at least a 7wt.    Humm - will the "Real" Dickerson please stand up ......

    I guess it all just comes down to what wt rod you really want.  I'm just kinda wondering though which tapers are really Dickersons tapers.  (John Silveira)

      As I understand it, Dickerson's numbers only refer to the length and the ferrule size, so it's possible he made more than one 8615 (8'6", 15/64 ferrule).  (Neil Savage)

      Tapers changed, milling machines and the patterns that were used on them had wear and alignment problems, enamel was removed from glued up blanks with a frickin file ferchrisake (sorry Harry), it would be more unlikely to find 2 rods of the same model from any maker that had the same exact measurements than to find 2 that are different.  (John Channer)

        Seems to me that  .025" is a mighty big change for wear on the equipment, or filing the enamel off.  I'm more inclined to think there was a dry fly taper and a wet/nymph taper of the same length.  AJ Thramer was apparently making rods to Dickerson tapers, maybe slightly modified, and I know there are 2 different Thramer 8014 tapers, one a dry fly taper and the other a semi-parabolic.  Any chance you could get the whole rod measured & not just the tip?  (Neil Savage)


I'm looking for a good taper for an 8', 3 piece, 6 wt., that would lend itself to hollow building.  I would prefer a relative faster action.  Any suggestions?  (Walt Hammerick)

    Almost all 3 piece tapers fall more into the medium category, it's more or less the nature of 3 piece rods. Peruse the taper archives at and see what you find, start averaging tapers over the working length of the rod and see if you find any that work out to .015 or more per 5". Don't be bashful about using the program to alter any tapers you find that take your fancy, but aren't quite what you're looking for.  (John Channer)

    Give the Dickerson 8013 or 8014 a look.  (Frank Paul)

    Hands down, the Nunley Snake Rod.  Best 6 weight I have ever handled or made.  This will have to be altered to 3 piece.  (Bret Reiter)

    Gould has a series that may be of interest. His Book "Cane Rods Tips and Tapers" page 57  H designates hollow.  No three part hollow rods here by Gould.

    RR 43H ( hollow Butt)    7' 6" .080 wall , 5/6 wt
    RR 62H, 8', .080 wall , 5/6 wt
    RR63H, 8' fluted, 5/6 wt
    RR129H, 8', fluted, 7 wt
    RR-137H,  8'3", fluted, 7 wt

    This may be useful in building a 3 part rod.

    p70 Heddon Black Beauty is 8'6" 3 piece not hollow
    p 75 Leonard 4099 1/2   8'6"3 piece 8/9 wt  not hollow
    P 78 J Payne 200 8' 3 piece 4 wt not hollow
    p 84 Wright and McGill, Granger Arist., 8'6" 5 wt 3 piece not H   (Dave Burley)


I'm looking for a taper suggestions, the rod should have the following features 7'6" long, wt 6, Fishing with streamers would be the first priority for that rod. But casting  dry fly also from time to time. Any idea?  (Olaf Kundrus)

    I have often used John Long's "Grand Experiment" rod (a Bill Waara taper) this very way.   (Timothy Troester)

    How about CC de France? 8 footer though.  (Rob Clarke)

    If you want to fish streamers, you want a 9' rod and the F.E. Thomas Streamer Rod seems an obvious choice.  (David Zincavage)

    Here's a taper I designed a few years ago for the same thing that your looking for.

    ROD:  The Streamer Special
    LENGTH:  7.5 FT 2 PIECE
    LINE WT:  6 


    Station   Butt   Tip

    45          .336    .220
    40          .336    .216
    35          .336    .205
    30          .310    .184
    25          .297    .164
    20          .286    .143
    15          .270    .124
    10          .250    .104
    5            .234    .088
    0            .220    .078

    I used a 15/64 ferrule on it.  (Ken Paterson)

      Personally, I would want a longer rod, ideally for a 7 wt line, not a 6.

      Larger flies are cast more effectively using a heavier line, and reach is a consideration in fishing streamers. Part of the retrieve involves moving the line with the rod tip. One has more ability to manipulate the line with a longer rod. I've always thought 9' streamer rods significantly preferable to 8 1/2' rods.  (David Zincavage)

    Depends upon how large the fish are and how big the streamers.  The kicker is the use of dry flies with it.  For normal streamer fishing you can get by with the 6 wt..  However, I would suggest making it a 9 ft rod.  If it's a medium action rod you could also use it with dry flies.  If you are going after big pike, etc. you will probably want to go to a heavier wt rod and forget using it for dry flies.  (Grant Adkins)

      IMHO, 9’ is stretching the limits of our chosen material here.  Even building hollow, 9’ may be best left to the Plastic People.  Since not every stream where streamers are fished can be done well -- if at all -- with a long rod (just look up to Michigan), the 8 footer does just fine.  Not sure as to the taper, but you may want to work with the Dickerson 8014 and Hexrod to get what you want.  Just watch that ferrule station.  It's 14/64, so don't go much over .218 or .219 to prevent failure.  You could lighten the tip section some to speed things up, also.  Hope this helps.  (Bob Brockett)

    Try the 1952 version of the Dickerson 7613 from Jack Howells book. Tony Young a rodmaker from Australia and a bigger Dickerson fan than even me(though that is hard to imagine) often referred to this taper as the 7613 Guide. Quite capable of handling a 6 wt and yet it's usable for dry flies as well.

          Butt                Tip
    0   .213               .068
    5   .220               .090
    10  .238              .104
    15  .256              .122
    20  .274              .140
    25  .288              .155
    30  .298              .170
    35  .344              .180
    40  .360              .198
    45  .360              .208

    I have made one of these and can attest to the fact that it will indeed handle a 6 wt even though the standard 7613 is a 5 wt. Dickerson, though not quite as bad as Paul Young, would constantly tweak his tapers. Whether this was by design or at a customers request remains unknown, but he did it never the less. I think you will be pleased with this one.  (Will Price)


Gentlemen, I need a taper for an stiff 8' 2 piece 6 wt, but, not a tomato stake.  (Jon Holland)

    Try the Dickerson 8014 or the Gillum 8', 6 wt ("A powerful rod, for fishing larger rivers, or lakes. This rod has a swelled butt which gives it authority for making presentations at distances up to a 80 feet or more.") or the Paul Young Boat me more a 6/7 wt ("A fast action, powerful rod, which will cast a full line, still with the bamboo qualities to allow short, accurate presentations. This is an ideal rod for larger rivers or lakes, with the backbone for pushing large flies into the wind. Presentations to 90 feet and beyond."). The Dickerson 8014 Guide Special if you want to go up to a 7 wt or the Payne Canadian Canoe at 8'6", 7 wt is a great rod.  (Dennis Higham)

      I have been thinking about making a nice, strong, fast, bamboo rod for bonefish. Does anyone have suggestions for such a thing?  (Phil Crangi)

        Bob Nunley has an 8X7 (8’ 7 wt 2 piece) for bonefish out there somewhere.  Try David Ray's site.  If you want I could find & send along.  (Bob Brockett)


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