A tribute to a legendary maker by Amelia & Gabe.
PHY Midge by Tufts & Batson 6'3" 2/2 #4
Things are about to get really good they said.
Tufts & Batson had a finished PHY Midge rod available for purchase, the pictures they showed in their FB page were stunning and gave fuel for thoughts. Knowing the effort T&B put into a rod I was quite certain that this rod was all it was supposed to be and then some. A tribute to one of the legendary masters in the world of bamboo fly rods, Paul H. Young.
I had a couple of friends asking me about this rod with intention to buy. One guy was really interested but ended up telling T&B; Thank you, but this rod is meant for Jan Fredrik. Time went by and when I asked about the rod, I was told that it was still here, waiting for me.
Gabe then asked me if he should send it my way. I was not thinking about buying a rod this year, but I had drooled over this rod for quite some time and with the Gillum rod in mind I thought another tribute rod is bound to be good. So, they shipped it.
The Midge was the first rod Amelia and Gabe made together years ago, one of the first in learning rod making, one they have inspected from originals, talked to Young collectors and RW Summers himself. With that in mind they set out to capture the style of Paul Young and what makes his rods so soulful.
The Midge is a 6'3" 2/2 #4 with a weight of just 2oz (57grams). The finish of the rod is what I have come to expect from T&B; Exceptionally good. The wrappings, antique gold silk, seems painted on. Nickel-silver ferrules, blued hardware, agate stripper. Also featuring a ventilated grip. Simply gorgeous.
At first, I thought this rod was nothing but a toy, it felt too light and fragile in hand to be of any use. But Gabe assured me this rod would handle it all, so I packed it up and headed for waters. Rod was fished for several long days in a river.
My initial thoughts were quickly replaced with a sensation of amazement at how this rod handled the many different situations it met. With a crystal-clear low autumn river, stealth was paramount to success. Distance casting would demand double haul resulting in to fast a line speed which would make heavy ripples as it landed on the surface. The solution was to sneak up closer and single haul the last 8-12 meters. Tricky casts and a lot of mending, this rod handled it all. There where times when I had to cast long and direct which I also found this rod to handle well, up to a point of 20 meters. Beyond that I failed to deliver a nice presentation which brings me to believe that I found the limit. Either within myself, or in the rod.
Several trout where caught, the biggest roughly 45cm. The charm of bamboo quickly showed itself, countering every move by the fish in its own way. No two fish alike. It handled them all with ease. Looking forward to catching bigger ones on this beauty.
There is much feel in this rod with a nice, crisp medium action. Firm with a defined backbone and fine tips. The rod was perfectly accurate, loaded easily, recovered quickly and had a great turnover.
Granted much is up to the caster, but you also need the right tool for job. I loved this rod, it has the looks, it has the feel (loved the ventilated grip) and it most certainly has soul.
On windy days, I would leave this rod at home as I found it to be too light for battling the forces of nature. But as a small stream rod, close quarters fishing and stealthy approached. This is my go-to rod.
Rod was tested in both river and lake with a Cadno Silk DT4 line. A very good fit in my eyes.
Jan Fredrik Lund
agile light strong
Tufts & Batson is a level of service and consideration
ensuring quality and satisfaction. A commitment
appropriate for the world’s premier heirloom rod.
Bamboo rods designed with lifelong performance and beauty as priority. Improving with age. An execution of balance--advanced envelope pushing, timeless technique and unending service.
PHY Midge by Tufts & Batson 6'3" #4
-Medium/fast dry fly action
-Nickel silver hardware
-Honey tipped red
-Nickel silver ferrule plug
'Fish fine and far off'
- Charles Cotton