For the past 3 weeks in between customer rods I have been working on what I consider my "piece de resistance" It is a new Steelhead rod for myself and I wanted this to be by far the best build I have done. So I spent a considerable amount of time making sure everything was just how I wanted it, and now that it is done I feel it was worth the wait.

Blank is a prototype blank that Batson made just for me and is a 10ft 7wt 4pc Rainshadow.

Grips- The grips are coated with 9 coats of Marine grade spar urethane and hand smoothed between each coat. That alone took about 5 days work to do that. I did the grips in somewhat of a "mini spey" style so that it would keep the reel away from my vest and all the stuff hanging off the vest when a big Steelhead decides to make a run. I rounded the rear grip and plugged it then sanded it smooth so it doesn't require any cap. The front grip is 9.5" long and is 1/2" rubberized ring, two turns of gold thread, 1/8" rubber gasket material, 1/4" dark mix, 1/4" rubber gasket material with 3 turns of gold thread, 1/2" burnt, 11 rings dark mix, 1/2" burnt, 3 turns gold thread, 1/4" rubber gasket material, 1/4" dark mix, 1/8" gasket material, two turns gold thread, 1/2" rubberized.

Reel seat is bethlehem olive wood with nickle silver hardware and two lock nuts (used a 2nd set of hardware for the extra lock nut.

Has a polished metal winding check both on the front of the grip and then another used as a transition piece between the rear of the threaded barrel and the rear grip.

The main wraps are black, Teal, metallic gold, single turn trim on the edges of the black both inner and outer, then double turn gold between the teal and outer black. Over 120+ single turn trim bands on the whole rod.

The feather inlays are done over a base of black thread with teal and gold trim, and are something that I just started with nothing specific in mind for the feather inlay when I started it. I just sat down and started working on it and this is what came to me. All in all there are 58 Jungle Cock feathers in total in the feather inlay.

opposite the feather inlay I had an idea to do something I have never seen on a rod before. My favorite river to fish and where this rod will be used the most is the Au Sable river. So I took a quill pen and hand drew the course of the Au Sable from a map on the blank, then put the main towns that I fish along the course from the start of the headwaters in Grayling to the outflow at the mouth in Oscoda.

Guides are double foot snake guides with a FUJI fully Titanium frame stripper and an oversized tip top.

I also matched it up with a new fully machined reel and a custom tube I made just for this rod.

I'll be putting it to use in a few days and hope to have some pics of the first Steelhead it lands.