Customer Feedback 2007

Many of you have enjoyed the many comments and pictures included
in my original customer feedback page. That page has gotten so big that
it just doesn't load quickly. This one is simply an extension of the original.

Brothers Jonathan and Martin along with friend Philip, all from the UK, have literally covered me up with rod orders the last couple years. They are my English Performance Rod cult. You saw a picture of Martin holding a huge Permit he caught on an XI2 blank rod I did for him two years ago. Below is another much larger fish, a Giant Trevally, he caught the next year, I believe:

Here is the note he included with the picture:

Hi Dave,

Better late than never, I thought you might be interested to see what I got up to with that 12 weight you made for me. I've actually been waiting for a shot taken by someone else which showed the rod as well but he's taken so long I've more or less given up ! The fish is a Giant Trevally caught at Cosmoledos, an uninhabited island group which belongs to the Seychelles, in the Indian Ocean.  The fish is held by one of the guides but it was caught by me on your rod - we estimated its weight at 55-60 lbs. These are very strong fish and the treatment of tackle is pretty brutal but the Sage handled it well. I lost several fly lines, one on a rather bigger fish than this that I hooked when I only had the 9 weight that you made me last year with me - a bit ambitious really.

Hope all is well with you and thanks again for two great rods,

All the best,


p.s. if you think the leader looks heavy you're right - it's 130lbs - you can really put some pressure on with that ! 

This past year, the brothers and friend Philip made a trip to Cuba to fish for Tarpon and Permit. Here are three pictures they sent along after they got back:

And the note they sent along with those pictures:

Hi Dave - Martin may have already sent you these pics but just in case he didn't, here are a couple of the captures with your fine 12wts. We had a ball in Cuba and are trying to get back next year - if my arm recovers in time! The tarpon are strong pullers! Hope all is well with you and thanks again for the exemplary equipment - many covetous glances from the guides!!

Best wishes, Jonathan W.

And one last shot for this year:

Hi Dave,

Just to say how well the repaired 9wt worked in the Turks & Caicos ­ and here are the pictures to prove it!  Thanks for all your help, patience and exceptionally high quality work.

Best wishes,

Jonathan W.

I corresponded with Charles from South Africa regarding a Sage TXL blank rod for more than a year before he finally had it in his hands. The letter below tells the story much better than I could:


What began nearly a year ago ended yesterday when I collected my rod in Germany! And the time factor was by no means your fault but rather my not willing to entrust the rod to the South African postal services. You sent it to friends of ours in Florida and they took it to Germany where I collected it yesterday at the end of a business trip in Dusseldorf. You may remember that my wife to be got the diamond engagement ring and I opted for a fly rod made by you!

Dave, I am not a great one for praise and flattery but in this instance I must say that the rod is more than craftsmanship and goes into the realms of art! A most beautiful and perfectly balanced fly rod the likes of which I have not handled before and a joy to dry cast this morning at home in Santon, Johannesburg. And many thanks also to your wife for the text and special inscription that my fiancee wanted on the rod.

I have purchased a Battenkill reel to go with this rod and I shall be loading up the Land Rover and heading into the Drakensburg Mountains next weekend to try and do you and the rod justice and take a wild South African brownie or two with it.

Dave, many many thanks for a great piece of art and craftsmanship and I have no doubt at all that I will have many hours of great pleasure and relaxation with the TXL in my hand.

Kindest regards from South Africa and as they say here "Keep well"!


And another note he sent along after his first day on the stream with his new rod:

Dear Dave,

Although it is deepest winter here in South Africa at the moment, I ventured out yesterday to the Vaal River which is an hours drive from Johannesburg and had a superb day fishing for small mouth yellowfish with my new TXL 4 weight that you made up for me. The yellowfish is a native African fish similar to the European barbel with the small mouth running to some 8 lb - the average is about 2 lb.

I paired the rod with a Marryat 5 weight reel and floating line and it was a dream! I caught and released three good yellowfish to some 3 1/2 lb nymphing and on the dry and put the rod through the tests. And Dave, it managed them all - lifting and turning strong fish and at the same time effortless casting for some 6 plus hours! This rod is without doubt the number one in my collection and it was a great joy to fish it yesterday and put it through the paces!

Many many thanks to you and your good lady for your expert craftsmanship and attention to the finest detail and to Mary Lou for her excellent art work and inscription.

As they say here in South Africa - "Keep well" the two of you and many thanks again.

Charles Weller

(ps. photos to follow this week)

Here are some pictures he sent me of some of his native South African yellow fish he has caught with his new rod.

Rob from the Netherlands bought a rod from me a couple years ago. He had great success with it on a recent trip to Austria. Here is a wonderful sequence of pictures he sent me, along with his email:


Almost 2 years ago you built me a small rod which up to today is my favorite rod. It is a 7.5 feet #3/4 which I chose from a picture from your story "Oscar coming to hand". This year on my annual trip to Austria I managed to catch the biggest trout in four years we went there. It was a nice brown, lying against an undercut bank where I saw him rise only once. I placed my fly (klinkhammer) right in front of the rings he left behind, approximately 1 inch from the bank. The bank itself was kind of collapsed and a big piece of grass was hanging in the water. My fly soon traveled out of sight on the current and behind the overhanging grass. Then the noise of a big splash made me set the hook. This immediately triggered the rod to bent as far as I have seen it bent in the years I have the rod. The bent that this fish put on the rod was as nice as I have ever seen, but had me worried a bit if the rod would be fine. But there was nothing to worry, and after a few minutes a nice 43 centimeter brown came to hand. I did not expect a trout this big, because I was fishing at an altitude of 1600 meters. This fall I hope to put the rod to some more tests in the Crowsnest region and am thinking of driving to Yellowstone for a few days to test it on some of the streams in your pictures.

Give my regards to Mary Lu and your furry feline friend,


Nils from Denmark, bought a Sage TXL 3 wt from me this summer and sent along this nice picture and note:

Hello Dave

Just a little note from I guy who is really happy with the rod you made for him. Beautiful design and the best craftsmanship I have on the TXL you build. Also compliments to your wife's part!

Bet regards from Denmark


PS. As you can see on the attached file the Abel #2 fits fine on the rod. It also looks great!