My last (I think) build for the year will be my "all around" rod which is an Orvis Superfine Touch (SFT) 804. I've read good reviews of the 804 including the Trout Underground review listed here:
http://troutunderground.com/2011/10/24/ ... m-fly-rod/
I am almost finished working on the reel seat insert which I turned from Spalted Box Elder Burl to match the SFT 663 I built a few weeks ago. I still need to do a bit more sanding before the insert is complete.
The hardware is N.S. uplocking slide ring set by Joel Lemke. I traded some rod building stuff with Shane Gray of Graywolf Rods in Michigan for the hardware. The hardware is a tad on the heavy side (I typically would not use N.S. hardware for a 4wt. rod), but it looks pretty sharp.
I intended to use a classic Orvis Lightweight reel made by Young that I received as a wedding gift from my grandfather about 6 months ago. The reel weighs 4 1/4 oz. and it balances about the middle of the grip with the fully loaded reel. Ideally I think the rod would balance best with a reel that weighed between 3 and 3 1/2 oz. (unloaded). Perhaps the rod will balance a tad better after I wrap and finish the guides and etc, and especially after I have about 30 feet of line pulled off the reel and stretched through the guides. Although I may keep my eyes open for a Cortland Retro II reel as an alternative as it is about an ounce lighter than the Orvis reel and I can abuse the Cortland. But my main goal was to pair the classic Orvis reel with a nice Orvis rod.
The grip is a Struble Ultrafine Flor grade grip that I modified by adding the inlet to accept the uplocking hardware.
Here are a few preliminary photos of what I've accomplished so far: