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I finally figured out in my wee mind how to plane a rod longer than 5' on my 5 foot forms (should've made 'em 6 feet).  Anyone have suggestions for 5'6" one piece rod 3 or 4 weight? 

I already made the Orvis Mighty Mite from the taper listed on the Rodmakers site.  I thought it was awful and promptly sold it for a song.  (Lee Orr)

    I personally LOVE Wulff midge!!! Only 5' though.  (Geert Poorteman)

      The Orvis Mighty Mite is a club. I built one, trial cast it and sold it off on eBay with immediate effect.

      The Lee Wulff Midge is 6' long and two piece and I posted the taper to the archives a few years or more ago. The Lee Wulff Ultimate is a one piece rod of just under 6' and is best suited to #5-7 lines. It too is relatively clubby but a lot more fishable than the Orvis. Again I posted this taper to the archives a few years ago.

      The best of the bunch by far (and I have an original Lee Wulff Ultimate) is Tom Smithwick’s one Piece 5'6" rod for a #4. I have now built three and sold two to friends. This taper is the business and I can't recommend it enough.  (Paul Blakley)

    A long time ago, I cast a Mitey Mite and also thought it was awful. I revamped the taper so that it would have a responsive tip. The taper is at the Rodmakers web site. It has been built by many people who have been happy with it. It is a fast 4/5 weight that casts well in close, but will also reach out a bit if you need to.   (Tom Smithwick)

      For a 5'6" rod I've never heard of anyone that was not more than satisfied with the Tom Smithwick taper. My first experience with then left me absolutely amazed at what a short rod could do. If I remember correctly I used a DT4 silk line on mine, fishing the Sipsey river in NW Alabama. Casts were from 10’ to 60’ and the fish were hand size bream to 14" spotted bass. Anyhow back to the rod, the Tom Smithwick 5' 6" "Hill Country" rod will give you a new appreciation of the abilities of bamboo.   (Dave Matthews)


Does anyone have any good 5' to 7' one piece tapers?  (Joe Esther)

    Build the Tom Smithwick 5' 6" Taper. Marvelous! If you need something for a heavier line then try the  Lee Wulff 'Ultimate'. If you do a search on the net you will readily find the tapers.  (Paul Blakley)

      I'd have to agree with Paul on the Smithwick taper.  I have one and really like it.  I just wish I hadn't taken so long to make it!  (Todd Talsma)

        I agree, this is a hard one to go past. I've also built it as a 6'3", by just extending the butt 9", if you like something a little longer.  (Nick Taransky)


Anyone have any good one piece rod tapers they are willing to share?  I've got a friend who has asked me to build him one.  Maybe a five weight?  (Tom Key)

    Nunley 504a hands down my favorite small water rod.  (Scott Bearden)

      That is a great rod. I've made 2 of them. (Bret Reiter)

    You might want to check out  Tom Smithwick's small stream taper.  You can get it in RodDNA or on the Hexrod site!!  (Todd Talsma)

      I have to agree with Todd on this one even though it's the only 1 piece I have made. At 5'6" its a fast little cannon. It's my go to 5wt for small streams.  (Will Price)

    Chris Bogart designed the Blueridge Banty as a 4' 9" one piece 4 wt.  The taper is in David Ray's taper library, if you are interested.  I redid it as a 2-piece Quad this spring.  It's a cute little rod, but I haven't had the chance to test it on small stream conditions.  Testing it on an open pond, I found that it handled 30' to 40' of line fairly well, but that slack was a major problem.  Because of the short length, you can't pick up 3' of slack with a flick of your wrist, so line control is much more critical.   (Paul Gruver)


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