The Rod you have made by Playfair is based on the rod Alexander Grant used to cast a world record in 1896 at Wimbledon in London.
Alexander Grant had a great understanding of the vibration qualities of wood as a fiddle maker/player.
The rod has some special features that make it the most complex rod ever made, It Was stated at the time that because of the constant vibrations of the rod it was possible to cast enormous distances with little effort.
The rod was tuned to a note as you would tune an instrument, (like a fiddle)to give it perfect vibration from butt to tip and carry the note through the special desgined splices (normally the weakest part on a spliced rod).
It was stated that in March 1893 Alexander Grant placed before the public his ideas of the scientific manufacture of his fly rods.
Craigspey before i end up going on and on, i will tell you that Alexander Grant sold the rod patent to Playfair and went back to fiddle playing/ making in 1900 when he could not cope with demand, playfair then went on to make around 5,500 of the Playfair Grant Vibration rods (there should be a number on the splice, when playfair made them they made some changes, one would be the cork handle that Mr Grant would never have on his rod.
Harry at Clan rods in now making the real Grant Vibration rods, the first time for 100 yrs, have a look at his site www.clanrods.com . Harry knows more about Alexander Grant than anybody.
Hope this little bit helps.
Gordon,thanks I guess I'll have to due alot of backgrond work on this rod.And will spend time on the Clans site,& some emails to them.Noticed that they are making silk lines for Greenhearts too.By the way have you heard of the 1 sq ft lots in Lochaber Highland Estates on the river Spean with Salmon rights.Got a foot with fishing rights on the north bank of about one mile of water last week.Now I'm a Laird of Lochaber.They are on ebay @ 19.BP.:smokin:
Craig stick with the fishing, never mind that ebay.
But i will be over in BC in Oct so if the Laird of Lochaber wants to come along to a little Speycasting show, i will be doing a demo on Alexander Grant, and will have a Playfair or two and some silk lines.
There will be alot more about Alexander Grant i'm sure in the next year or so, A man a hundred years ahead of his time, invented his own rod, line and casting style and out cast everybody with easy, and always said he was no distance caster, just showing what his rod could do.
There is so many things in Speycasting that we think are new, but there not.
Even the xlt line that Scott Mackenzie won three world titles and a new world record distance, was designed on the same basis as Alexander Grants constant taper line.
I'm sure when he gets time Harry will put something together on Alexander Grant.
From Gordon a poor Spey Ghillie, to the Laird of Lochaber.:smokin:
Though thats quite an invite. This poor laird bought his title for 19bp,1 sq ft as a mater of fact. By the way if i had the $$$ to get to BC or back to NS even,theres still that getting across the border thing.Something to do with a 30 yr ago thing about a night with an A-H Sprite & a bottle of single malt. Anyhow!If you would like to fish my beat on the Spean let me know?Though i may never see the land i guess i can give you written permission?It's non-exclusive though.:whoa:
Hi Speyghillie & craigspey. It was great to read that someone else has appreciated the genius of Alexander Grant. I first watched casters on the river Ness 40 years ago using 16' & 18' vibration rods, switch casting regularly over 40 yards. They had spliced together two silk fly lines to achieve this distance.
I am lucky to have an original 13' Grant Vibration rod, made by Alexander Grant, given to me by Jock Scott ( Donald Rudd). He gave it to me on condition that I would use it, which of course I did, both on the Spey and the Deveron. It casts a dream, is extremely slow in action, yet very powerful. He also gave me a very early, very short cine film of Alexander Grant switch casting on the Ness. The movements are very jerky as it's so old, but the action is plain to see. The trouble is that I have put it away for safe keeping and I am having trouble finding it at the moment!
That is something i would love to see if you ever find it, the rods as you know is only one little part of the story that has become an obsession with me, i know Harry at Clan Rods would really be interested in seeing it as well, he is now making the rods again to the exact spec, first time in over a hundred years, still trying to find a line build to his spec on a constant taper.
If you ever come across the cine film or are ever up this way please let me know, Harry and myself would like to put something together to tell the whole story of Alexander Grant.
Now that i realize that the Clan doesn't have Silk lines for sale I'm woundering if any of you guys have tried silk line makers like Phoeix(FRA) or Terenzio Zandri's (ITL) Maybe they can build Grant style tapers like SA XLT or Rio Grandspey!
Im just packing my tackle for a weeks fishing on the Deveron, and praying for rain at the same time. I will have a really good look for the film when I get back in a weeks time. I have been in contact with Harry and will be sending him micrometer readings of the rod's diameter and ring spacing when I come back, probably fishless unless we get some rain, as it's 8" below summer level at this time! Regards...PatK
Iwill be going up to see Harry later this week to get some rods for the speyclave in Oct, Would be great to see the cine film, well the Spey has been fishing well this year, and over the past month we have had a good Grilse run, not big fish but plenty of them, only a few weeks left then its Canada, can't wait.
Good luck on the Deveron.
Craigspey, i have tried all the lines you mention, and still not what i'm looking for, Harry will be speaking to some of the silk line manafactures in the next while so i think there will be a line in the Grant style next year (constant taper), i have one line that is a bit special and this one will be the basis for the Grant line, but the process takes time so we will have to try and get it right, its expensive so we want to get it right, but it will be done soon.
Thanks Gordon Hope to cast a classic.Still in the market for a reel for the rod.$13,566 for a royal Hardy a bit too mutch.:Eyecrazy: See([email protected]@K eBay Rare HARDY)Keep me posted on a line. Harry dated the rod for me & line weight.Hope the film of Grants cast can be posted to the web. Have fun in BC,& hope the Deveron has rain for ya Patk
Hi craigspey,speyghillie, and patK. Watching your posts from years ago I would suggest to read (perhaps you have read it by now) an interesting article "The Wizzard of Ness" , in fact an homage to Alexander Grant, published at speycast.co.uk website
I admire Grant`s work, and the wonderfull book Jock Scott deserved to him and his work "Far and fine off" being also the happy owner of a Grants Vibration rod made by Payfairs.
I used the rod from time to time on "special days" and still wrapped the greenheart sections with the original leather tongs. It is a pleasure to cast with this rod, feeling its slow action and its continuous power action from butt to top.
I got surprised about Grant`s casting film is still alive, because a picture secuence of this film were published at Far and fine off showing Alexander Grat casting his Switch Cast. Hope patK still have the film. I guess,perhaps, some dvd copies could be made, it would be great to see the master casting!
Greetings singlespey! After I signup on speycast, I will read "The Wizzard of Ness"Just an update here on the rod.It's the 13' Playfair with a 4 1/2 R.Turnbull added.This is lined with a #5 Kingfisher.Haven't gotten any respond as-to constant tapers from Harry or Phoenix yet.Recently found a copy of Jock Scott's "At the Sign of the Split Cane.1st chapter is on the "Planet Cast". Only about 9 pages tough,with a few line drawings.
Hi craigspey, hope you like the article.
I guess we have the same rod from Payfairs, I should check the series number on the flat side. I got mine with three tip sections, each of different lengths and tip action, one of them seemed not to be original, made in greenheart by the previous owner. It is a nice tip section too.
Regarding the constant tapers lines I have done several attemps to learn about the Grants square plaited lines Jock Scott described in Far and fine Off but is not a matter so easy to achieve if you have to consider not only the plaited but the constant taper as well.
Other attemps I made were splicing double taper lines, trying to get the "constat taper", but, you know, is not the same (and will never be the same).
I wonder why line manufacturers have decided not to produce this kind of line (I do not pretend to get it in luxury silk plaited but PVC coated dacron would be great, indeed) , you know the Grants 60 yards long with a #4 line tip and #12 butt (with different tips, loop to loop connected, as Grant did on the XIX century!) just to balance all the present offer of WF Spey lines, short to long heads, with plenty of running line.
Sure, we got the Grand Spey and the XLT, but, is it the same?
Perhaps, one day, some line manufacturer will read Far and Fine Off and the miracle will be reality!
In the meantime, just relax and wait.
Bye craigspey, enjoy your land at Lochaber, you are real Landlord, are you?
Just back from Canada and got a bit of jet lag that why i am posting this at 4am.
I can tell you having studied Alexander Grant for the last four years, there is nothing i have'nt read , in fact i have been lucky enough to have lots of stuff never published.
Anyway, i have been talking with Alexander Grants Grandson and will be having a meeting with him in the next couple of weeks as we hope to do a book and some fishing articles later this year, he has lots of Alexader Grants personal stuff, unbelievable detailed drawings ect.
One thing i will let you know, Alexander Grant was asked about how a fly line should taper, he did the perfect taper on a match stick and sent it with detail, and line spec.
The complete story will be published later this year.
Greetings! singlespey & speyghillie.Very good reading,though nothing about Grant's "Planet Cast".I was able to get photocopy of a leaflet that came with the Playfair rods from a gent in BC Can. He had some Playfair rod listed on ebay.Thankfully he was willing send me a copy.In it is stated that the rod was ment to make the "Planet Cast" with a line made for this rod.The same gent also sold me a Kingfisher #5,40yd silk line, DT8 by todays standards.That being as close as I can get for now.2 years ago the folks @ Phoenix (silk lines) told me that they would have a Grant taper line ready soon, a line they worked with Harry (Clan Rods) to make.1year ago no return on my emails to both.singlespey as far as plastic lines,speyghillie will tell you,they cast like rope on the vibration rods.On your rod with the 3 tips singlespey are all the raps all the same color? I ask because 1 of the tips on mine (#5604), has gold raps on the tiptop & 1st snake.Thought this is to tell the tips apart for rotation.speyghillie this is great news hope we can get sgined copies when the book is out.
Hi Speyghillie and craigspey
Glad to know speyghillie about your research and about your work for a book dedicated to Alexander Grant, now in progress to be published by the end of this year! Great news indeed, just keep me in your records too for a signed copy.
Concerning tapered lines, craigspey, I know by trial an error practise contemporary plastic lines technology for greenheart rods are not the perfect choice, but untill silk line manufacturers (2 or 3 at present times worldwide) take the decision to produce Grant tapers at a reasonable cost I have no alternative but double tapers, he,he.
Regarding the rod tips wraps I could not remember differences in the rod (#961), tips are just different in length and taper.
I just wanted to say be careful while casting the Greenheart rod, years ago the rods where always kept outside , stuffed in a hedge to keep the wood alive, with the heating in houses now it dries the wood out and makes them brittle, i have snapped quite a few Playfairs over the past few years , alot of rods made in Greenheart at the time had different lengths of tips to give different actions, the shorter the tip , the stiffer the rod.
If you do cast plastic lines with a greenheart start off really light.
Speyghillie, thanks for your advise, I am aware about heating and always keep the rod in the attic in winter and in basement in summer, always out of heating rooms, but will consider your advise to keep it directly outside in a shadow place with convenient humidity. Concerning lines I have going down to light lines, depending the tip section, just in case, not forcing the rod anyway, in fact it is not necessary at all because the slower and progressive the swing the better the cast.
Tip tapers design as you described: the shorter the stiffer (and stronger in action).
Hope the rod will last for a lifetime!
Hi Gents! The 2 tips with mine are equal.On 1 only the tip-top & 1st snake are gold wraped instead of black. Does not look rewraped @ all.Seen this from other builders before.Making tip rotation easy to tell apart. The rod itself is 13'4" put together.The Kingfisher #5 has a very long ft taper of 16'+3' tip.:whoa:
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