After experimentation with a variety of bamboo rod types, based on the classic tapers of makers such as Leonard, Payne, Garrison, Powell, Cattanach, Heddon, Dickerson, Hardy and others I have developed a series of proprietary rods which I believe combine some of the best qualities of these tapers.
My range of rods is primarily tailormade to fishing small to medium size streams and rivers - simply because I prefer this kind of fishing. These rods are in the 6' to 8'6" range with lineweights from 000wt to 6wt.
My standard all round rod is the "Freestone Special" a 7'6" or 7'9" 4wt. This is a wonderful rod that can cast both short (with just the leader out) as well as through the mid range to longer casts when these are needed. These rods are also great for fishing stillwaters margins.
The 8' and 8'6' rods are great for stillwaters as well as bigger rivers. Thes I amke in the 4wt -6wt range. I can make bigger, and heavier lineweight rods for 'serious' stillwaters, the salt, and large rivers and on request will certainly make a bigger rod for a customer who requires one.
I am offering 1 piece rods in 4ft to 6ft lengths, in lineweights up to 5wt- 'The Freestoners'. These make for great small stream rods where travelling with a one piece short rod is not an issue.
I generally prefer rods with a progressive action and am wary of rods which have too many inexplicable hinges, dips and abrupt changes in the taper. I believe the ideal qualities for a rod are that it can cast delicately up close, but have a smooth transition through to middle distance casts and then still have some power in reserve.
I personallytend to prefer medium to mediumfast action rods and my proprietary rods are mainly of this kind. I do however really appreciate fishing a good slow action rod, one which bends more deeply into the butt but can still punch a tight loop when needed. 'The Small Leaf' is a rod of this sort. I make it in 6'6" and 7' versions for 3 wt lines.
One Two and Three Pieces
"The Freestoner" are 1 piece rods from 4' to 6' long in lineweights up to 5wt.
Unless required specifically for travel purposes I prefer 2 piece rods to 3 pieces for the simple reason that there are fewer ferrules to provide additional weight. My proprietary range are therefore generally 2 piece rods, although they are all available as 3 piece rods on request for a small extra fee.
In addition to 6 strip rods I am now offering quadrate (4 strip) rods. Rods comprising 4 strips are offered with similar actions to 6 strip counterparts, but I am also offering faster rods than can be made with 6 strip construction. For those who enjoy fast bamboo rods, quadrates are the way to go. For some thoughts on the pros and cons of hexes vs quads refer this post in my blog: http://freestonebamboo.wordpress.com/2010/02/21/quads-vs-hex/
Some other rods
Thanks to the generous publication of classic tapers by members of the bamboo rodmaking fraternity, I have further access to a very large range of classic rod tapers and can make custom rods to these specs.