Last year, in the month of July, I was out on a lake in South Carolina with Alfredo. We were in the drifty, and as I recall we were doing more drinking than fishing (shocker).
I was using my ever trusty, and always favorite JP Ross K357 6wt rod. I was slinging streamers at whatever lives in the lake, and noticed that the tip section of the rod was splintered. Maybe I hit with a steamer, or maybe it just gave up the ghost after 7+ years of hard service.
I contacted JP Ross about this rod and asked if a repair was possible. When I purchased this rod, it was custom made for me. It had my name on it, a feather inlay, custom grip, etc. It was MY rod, and I didn't want to give it up. Jordan informed me that it was just a rod, and even though his policy (at the time it was made back in the day) stated that it could be repaired once at no charge, and at cost after that, he wasn't going to be able to fix it.
The usual back and forth went on for a few days, and when he looked up the serial number and realized how long I had the rod, he offered to build me something new and unique.
Months went by. Occasionally, we exchanged emails. No rod was built.
Months went by. No emails. No rod was built.
Two hundred and seventy two days later, I emailed Jordan and told him to forget it. I was done waiting. I have other rods and with almost a year in the books without my favorite, I had moved on.
Within hours, I had email after email promising a new rod immediately. I was asked what I wanted and within a few days was told that the rod was on it's way.
I opened the box to discover the JP Ross Black Dog. It is a six weight at exactly nine feet in length.
It is a matte black blank with green wraps. The cork is simple, with a silver (I asked for black) reel seat on top of the fighting butt.
Simple is the word that comes to mind. My name is on the rod, but there is no feather inlay. The reel seat has a beautiful cut of maple with some great etching in it, and that draws the eye from a rather vanilla looking rod.
Casting the rod, I immediately missed my K357. To be fair, I need to try it with a few different lines and dial it in, but my first attempt with this rod was in the mountains of Colorado, far from my loft full of goodies back in North Carolina.
The action is fast. It is nimble, but just lacks that buttery smooth feeling I loved in my K357.
The jury is still out on this rod. I need to put some time in with it, and with fall in the air, I'll be looking to do that.
The best news is that my K357 was returned. It is slightly shorter than before, and lost some action with the tip section seeing a reduction in length, but it is back!