Customer Feedback

The following brief comments are unsolicited notes and emails I've gotten from my
many customers over the years:

Dear Dave,

I did receive the rod Thursday and with no problems. (packaged very well). I just love the color with your wife's script just like at the show. A very nice look. The short Wells grip is just right and the SLT blank should have the action I like.

Thanks very much. I hope to try it Saturday or Sunday,

Chuck (from Pennsylvania)


Hello Dave and Mary Lu,

It was nice to hear from you. Everything is fine here in Chambersburg. We are both working hard, but fortunately we make time to play hard too. Of course, playing hard to me means proudly fishing my Dave Lewis rods as much as I can.

Last year's fishing blessed me with my personal best trout, a 26" native brown trout from Falling Springs, a glorious fish and a wonderful memory. I had the 7'6" rod that day, still my favorite, and it handled the fish with finesse and authority.

--- The rest of a fine letter snipped ---

Rod (from Pennsylvania)


G'Day Dave,

I expect more photos from Don. His camera "spit the Kumera" as we say, too many chips to worry about. My camera was in Canada with my wife. These, are Kodak moments on a disposable. Actually, not too bad. -- long snips:

(CB wrote me a long detailed letter chronicling the week long fishing trip with friend Don from Montana and Mark from Australia in which they caught unbelievable browns and rainbows in the best of CB's native New Zealand waters. I will include the last page of CB's letter along with the pictures he sent me. Some are of CB. He's the short stocky one. Others are of Don, the young looking one. Both these fellows have been good friends of mine for some time. Both fish with my rods. Here is the last page of CB's hand written letter):

I have now landed about 50 fish on your rod. Smallest 16" - 18", couple lbs, and the largest 27", 13 1/2 lbs. New Zealand has few but relatively large trout. Probably most, about 30, were in the 20" - 23", 4 - 5 lbs class. Another 10 were 24" and 6 - 8 lbs. Fish from small streams, big heavy rivers, and lakes, but the real deal test was the 27" fish in the 12 foot snag infested stream. Any good disc reel will do. Set it below the breaking strain and forget it. Too many things to think about. It's a matter of the fish, the rod and the angler, sorting each other out. Dave, we are talking 5 lbs Drennan tippet, darn close to 5x diameter, size 16 nymph, and a huge fat fish. it was another case of me having to "put the stick" to the fish. But as befits a lady of her girth, with power and great sensitivity. You make a great rod, mate! Thanks again! Mark has previously said "CB, the rod is probably better than you are." I look forward to putting your rod to further tests. :)

Cheers, CB



Hi Dave,

I purchased one of your 9' 8 wt 4 piece rods at the fly fishing expo in Somerset, NJ this past winter. I want you to know that I couldn't be happier with this rod. --- big snip

Thank you Dave. Thank you for doing what you do so well. Thank you for using good blanks and quality hardware. And most of all, thank you for keeping your rods affordable. If I hadn't met you at that show, I probably would have spent the same amount (or more) and ended up with an inferior rod.

I can't afford to get as many different rods as I would like to have, but the next time I'm in the market for a new rod, I now know where to go.

Chuck (from New Jersey)


Below are a couple pictures of some steelhead Scott and his brother Dave caught on an 8' 4 wt rod Scott purchased from me. Some fish on a 4 wt :


Hello Dave,

Your 7' glass rod, that I purchased at the Charlotte, NC show is just terrific. I had just about settled on a Scott Fibertouch rod, but am glad I waited. Your rod is not only the equal of that series, but I saved about $170 to boot.

I own more than a few expensive rods, but I do not own a better casting one.

Tommy (from North Carolina)


From the Fly Fish List:

In June, based on the strength of his recommendation, I ordered a 4 piece St. Croix 8'6" 5-6 wt. rod from him. I called on the day before he was leaving for Montana, and he shipped it out that afternoon. The rod arrived quickly and was a great piece of work, but, unfortunately, the grip was a bit small for my hand. I wrote to Dave at his West Yellowstone address and explained the problem, also sending him a tracing of the grip on another rod that I like. He phoned me and said that he would be glad to build me another rod and exchange the first one when he got back to VA. He wrote to me in August to let me know that he was back, and I shipped back the first rod, unused. Amazingly, I received a new rod in only 11 days! Dave's craftsmanship is excellent and he made the grip exactly the way I wanted it. The new rod looks great and casts great. I am impressed with Dave's work and especially with the effort he makes to meet the needs of his customers.

Conrad (from Kentucky)


Dear David,

I have just received my new Sage rod this morning. It has your distinct signature with beautiful workmanship and attention to detail. I promise to treat it well and remain a loyal customer. I also want to thank your wife for the personalized lettering. It is a very nice touch.

Ralph (from Massachusetts)



The rod performed marvelously. I caught lots of salmon. In fact, I don't recall ever having so much fun on the Salmon River. With my guide's help my casting improved quickly and I learned to fight fish with the spey. As you can see from the second shot, the rod is plenty sensitive, too. Your workmanship drew many admiring comments. Thanks again,

Alan (from Ohio) see two pictures below:


An excerpt from a long letter that Don in New Zealand wrote to his dad back in California, who had me ship him a rod for Christmas that year: "And the Dave Lewis Graphite 6'6" is a joy to fish with."

The letter was filled with pages of sketches Don made of the insects in the streams he fishes and descriptions of the flies he used. He went on to say, "I can see that Dave Lewis and the Wainuiomata are determined to give me a lesson in salmo trutta as it feeds on Euphemeroptera, caddis, and terrestrials."

Neville (from California)



You're right - It is a great rod. I finally got to cast it and can't wait to use it. Excellent craftsmanship - You are an artist, Dave, Thanks.

Keith (from Minnesota)


Dear Dave,

In April I purchased a rod from you at the Seven Springs resort. You recommended a four piece rod since I was planning a pack trip to Montana in the summer. I thought you might like to see the results, so I have enclosed a photo of myself standing in Yellowstone's Slough Creek with a 20 inch cutthroat, typical of those we caught while camped in the second meadow.

Gene (from Pennsylvania) that is Gene in the picture below:


Dear Dave,

I would like to thank both you and your wife for the three part rod bag. It works just fine and I'm sure your bag is appreciated by my rod as well.

In the past years you have been very helpful and considerate of my needs as a customer. Again I thank you and look forward to my next rod from Performance Fly Rods.

Gary (from Maryland)


Dear Dave,

My sincere thanks for your outstanding efforts. To say I'm thrilled with the rod would be an understatement. --- snip

I'll be happy to serve as your volunteer "marketer" in the Rocky Mountain region.

Once again, my deepest appreciation for the truly beautiful rod you built for me.

Michael (from Colorado)


Hi Dave,

Thank you for doing an excellent repair job on my rod. I'm looking forward to my first day back out with "her".

Guy (from Virginia)



Had a ball with the rod, Saturday. What a jewel it is! Caught a 10-11 inch brookie on the Thornton. Thanks,

Bart (from Virginia)


Dear Dave,

Thank you for creating such a beautiful rod. The cocobola spacer is magnificent and the overall composition is very nice. I can now go forth, armed with my "Tweeter Caddis" and conquer the Rapidan! Many Thanks,

Tom (from Washington, DC)



Enclosed is a photo of my first striped bass, which at 28" was also a keeper. It was caught with one of your rods, a 10 wt. that I bought last winter at the New Jersey show. If you recall, I bought it specifically to cast a Teeny sinking line and we both cast a bit in the casting pool. Anyway, I've used and abused this rod extensively this year and caught many fish. Additionally, I've gotten much positive feedback on the workmanship. Regards,

Tom (from New York) see picture below:


Dear Dave,

Just got back from Maine, where I had an opportunity to use the 6'6" Loomis rod you built for me. You'll recall that I complimented you earlier on the excellence of your craftsmanship. It's a good looking rod.

Well, the rod passed the final test. Coupled with a hardy JLH lightweight, it fishes like a dream. None of the other fellows on the Maine trip could believe how well that little rod casts. I don't want to tell you how much line you can lay out with it, because you wouldn't believe me, and, of course, laying out a lot of line is not the reason I wanted the rod.

I wanted to use it on small streams for delicate presentations, which is what I did here in Pennsylvania on the Loyalsock while catching rainbows. In Maine, I used the rod to catch and release, of course, a mess of beautiful brookies.

Then, I took the rod along on a backwoods venture to a river that shall remain nameless. Fishing with emergers I tied, hare's ear body, brown palmered hackle, squirrel tail wing and tail, I hooked into four nice landlocked salmon. Two of them broke off, but I landed the other two. One was eighteen inches and the other nineteen. both fish spent most of their time in the air, and, for a while, I wasn't sure who had who. Both of them were returned to the water none the worse for ware.

Believe me, fighting those fish on a one and a five eighths ounce rod was worth the entire trip. The rod performs beautifully in all ways. Thanks again for your superior work. Sincerely,

Don (from Pennsylvania)



Excellent!! Thanks for the great rod. You have certainly outdone yourself on this one, everything is perfect. I don't know how Mary Lu does it, but she got all the print beautifully on the rod. The new rod tube with the gold cap and ring is very classy.

What a great set of rods I have, and I will fish them all.

Rod (from Pennsylvania)


Tom has been a good friend of mine for many many years. He began fly fishing much later in life than I did and quickly developed a passion for it almost beyond understanding. I usually fish alone but have fished with Tom in several of his favorite places both here and in Montana. About two years ago Tom developed lung cancer. He did the best he could with it, but finally drifted along with it in much the same way he drifted a trico emerger along the banks of Mossy Creek. Tom's best friend Dennis snapped this shot of Tom casting in his yard during a get together a week before he died. Tom loved the several rods I built for him. He gave his favorite one to Dennis that last week. Tom was the sort of fellow who left a much bigger hole when he died than you ever realized he filled when he was alive.


Dear Mr. Lewis,

I thought I should take a moment to thank you for shipping out my rod so promptly before you left for Montana. I hope the summer is treating you and your wife well there.

I took the rod out for the first time this past weekend. Aside from being a pleasure to behold, it was an even greater pleasure to fish. I promptly took four of the best trout I've ever caught in this area (three browns and a rainbow). By the size of them I figure they were all smart holdover fish.

In any event, after having used the rod, I must say that the IM6 material is very much to my liking. It has a "forgiving" action that allows for my imperfect casting yet at the same time it helps me to be just a little stronger and finer. It's very smooth and very accurate, and speaking as an average caster, I really feel that it's the best of all possible actions for my level of skill.

I suppose there can be no stronger testament as to how much I like it than that I would like to order another one right away! I don't know how long you'll have the IM6 blanks around and I would like to be sure that I don't miss them so, please consider this an order for:

LCI Talon IM6 9' 6 wt. two piece,

My VISA card # is:

-- snip

Hoping once again that this finds you and your wife well and enjoying a pleasant summer, Sincerely,

Charlie (from New Jersey)


Hi Dave,

I finally received those photos that were taken of my trip to the Tyonek Indian Lodge in Alaska last June, 2001. Unfortunately, the guide did not "feature" your rod as I asked him to.

Anyhow, that's me with about a 35 lb King. The rod is your HM 10/11 - 2 piece.

You can add my photo to your"Muggs Anonymous Gallery"!

Arthur (from South Carolina) see picture below:


Hello Dave,

Last spring I purchased the 7'9" LCI Talon blank rod from you at the Yellow Breeches Show in Allenberry, PA.

I just want to drop a line to you to let you know that I'm simply thrilled with the rod. It's a pleasure to use, and a everyone I've shown it to is impressed. Keep up the good work, and again, thank you.

Ron (from Pennsylvania)


Dear Mr. Lewis,

I appreciate the great work you did in repairing my rod. My rod works beautifully. I was out in Missoula, MT in late September and put it to good use.

Thanks again for your help.

John (from Virginia)



Rod arrived on time. Fished Missouri R. 8,9,10,11 Oct. Best fall fly fishing for me ever -- and I've been fishing the Missouri River annually in Oct, since 1989. 14-16 parachute Adams, TP's and Hare's Ears - Water flow at 6200, Crowded.

Thanks again. Rod put to tough test with fighting rainbows, mild winds, and even some snow flurries. Tally-ho,

Bruce (from Virginia)


Dear Mr. Lewis,

Thanks for my rod repair. I appreciate your timeliness and quality of repair work. I have used the rod and it performs magnificently. Again, this small rod is one of the best I have ever had. I have several but reach for this rod every chance I get to go trout fishing. Again, keep up the great workmanship and good deals in the rod building business. Thanks,

Daniel (from Virginia)


Dear Mr. Lewis,

Enclosed is a sketch of my desired grip shape. As you can see, it is basically a western grip, but a little bit more of a cigar shape.

(This was a rod order from Christ. He went on with a couple other requests and finished his letter with the following paragraph):

It is a pleasure to order from a craftsperson who understands the value of customer satisfaction and is willing to work with the customer. Thank you very much. I know I will enjoy the rod. Sincerely,

Christ (from Virginia)

Below is the sketch of the grip, Christ sent me. I think it is interesting because from that grip I developed my Classic Half Wells grip shape that has continued as my most popular grip shape.

After I built the rod and sent it off to him I got this follow up letter from him:

Dear Mr. Lewis,

Yesterday, I received the fly rod you made for me. I just wanted to drop you a quick line to tell you how pleased I am with it. You really did an excellent job. The rod was exactly as I wanted it. The wraps in scarlet and gray look wonderful. I am sure that I will enjoy fishing with it.

It is a pleasure to deal with a true craftsman. If you ever need to use me as a reference for your work please feel free. Incidentally, your wife did a great job with my name. It really looks great in script. Please thank her for me. I will be sure and call you when I decide I need to add to my fly rod arsenal. Thank you for your excellent work and taking the job so close to your departure for Montana. Have a great vacation. Sincerely,




Have intended for sometime to drop a line, but like all fishermen became too busy fishing to spend time at the desk.

The rod I bought from you in late summer has proven to be quite satisfactory. In fact, of the graphites I have fished it comes closer to good bamboo. That may sound odd, but I still reach for the grass when getting hitched up. I have two Leonards, one quite old, and an Orvis which I favor. I doubt If I will ever get the feel of bamboo in a synthetic material, but then if I had fished for all my early years with graphite then I would never have known any difference.

Hope this finds you in good health and prosperous. With the competition in the rod game today I imagine you have to keep pretty active.

John (from Pennsylvania)



I just wanted to let you know I got the rod the next day after I talked with you.

Once again, I just want to thank you for helping me out and building a new tip. I really appreciate it very much.

Willy (from Maryland)


Dear Dave,

I found my rod on the front porch when I arrived home from work today. I want to thank you for taking the time to repair it so quickly. I'll try not to nail my fly next time. I can't wait to get back on the stream and start fishing again.

I've enclosed a check as you requested. Trout season is in full bloom here in New Jersey. Troy and I are fishing on the weekends. He extends his best wishes. Dave, thanks again. I hope you catch the one you've been dreaming about. See ya.

Peter (from New Jersey)

P. S. My heart and my rod tip aren't broken any more, thanks to you.


I got this note from a customer in Pennsylvania after he received his rod. I thought it kind of clever so I just scanned it.



Beautifully built rod - am well pleased. I cast it on the lawn today and am planning on casting it on the water tomorrow.

Thanks again for the prompt manner in which you handled my order.

Come up and fish with me some time in Pennsylvania's Cumberland Valley.

Bud (from Pennsylvania)


Dear Dave,

I think that the rod you sent will be absolutely perfect. Please go ahead and put through the bill to my Visa or Mastercard, whichever one I had given to you.

William (from Pennsylvania)


Dear Dave,

This past weekend, I finally got a chance to fish the little 5'9" 3 - 4 wt I bought from you at the Maryland Fly Anglers Banquet back in early April. It was wonderful.

I fished a weight forward 4, and hiked up a little creek called -----. It is a small stream that falls steeply through a heavily wooded cut before emptying into ---- Creek. The native brook trout that populate it rose energetically to a Mr. Rapidan. The rod was quick, accurate and responsive, and made the day more enjoyable, than I deserved.

Thanks for a great rod. Sincerely,

Richard (from Maryland)



The rod is a real beauty. Wes spoke very highly of you. I can see why.

Problem is , this one is so pretty my wife is sure to claim it. Regardless, I'm certain I'll be ordering a second one soon! Thanks

Eric (from Virginia)



Thanks for the super job on this latest rod. I appreciate your extra effort for the fast delivery. My compliments to your wife for her artistic contributions.

I'll be giving the rod its baptism on the Salmon River at Pulaski, NY the first week of December. Will let you know how things go. Cordially,

Larry (from New York)


Hi Dave,

First off, thanks for the Performance Sage XP that was waiting for me at Tony's. It's truly a wonderful rod, and everybody I showed it to was amazed at the workmanship. It is everything I expected, and more. Unfortunately I have not had a chance to fish it due to excess rainfall and raging tailwaters in North Arkansas, but I'll give the rod its first real workout next weekend. Thank you and I'll put some CDC flies in the mail this week or next.

Martin (from the Netherlands) the picture below is of a huge rainbow he caught on the rod recently.


I turned a special shaped cork grip for a customer in France last year. He likes to do his own rods, but doesn't have a facility to turn his own grips. He wanted something really special. He wrote me this note after he got the grip.


I am very lucky to know a fellow like you, Dave other the big pond who is such talented!!

You have made a very very good work on the grip that you turned with my specification. It was exactly what I wanted to obtain. I have seen immediately when I open the packet that you have respected my measures. A thing that I like is to see that the grip has the same shape on all the faces. I have ordered a grip with a shape like that in the past the craftsman made a work less good than your one.

I am very happy to see that the cork that you used on it is really a first quality cork. There is no black marks on it and not holes overfilled. I love that one. It is very difficult to find here in Europe product like that.

Thanks a lot, Dave,

Christophe (from France)


Dear Dave,

I received the rod yesterday when I came back from Southern Thailand for a holiday. My comments are as follows:

1. The workmanship is exquisite. I feel that it's a shame if I have to take it to water and get it all dirty. I love the reel seat, the maple insert, the tan trimmings, just as you said I would.

2. It feels a tad heavier than my East Branch.

3. Immediately, I went over to my favourite pond and had my first casts. It feels a lot different than the East Branch. I feel that this rod likes to be pushed to the limits.

4. I can definitely cast farther with this rod, considering my inferior casting skills.

5. Finally, I caught a fish with it, a nice size peacock bass, considering I've not been getting that size of fish for the past few months now. Looks like a beginning to a very nice relationship.

Thanks Dave, BTW, you should have kept the change. Best regards,

Khairul (from Malaysia)


Dear Dave,

I had a chance to try out the new 3 piece 6'6" fiberglass rod I got at the National Capital Chapter TU show last week. I went up to Jeremy's Run in the Park today, and, though the weather was cold and blustery and the stream quite a bit lower than I would have liked, the rod was an absolute jewel. The perfect rod for a stream like Jeremy's. It is amazingly accurate and a delight to cast. A great rod!!! Sincerely,

Mike (from West Virginia)



You may remember that I spoke to you while you were in West this summer. Based on our talk, I tried a different spot than West Yellowstone and went instead to Redding, CA. We fished the Upper and Lower Sacramento, the Pitt, the McLeod, and the Fall River. The two piece 8 1/2' foot five weight did just fine on the Pitt. I enclosed a shot of your rod and myself. My son and I caught about thirty fish like this every day between us.

I will call you when we make our plans for next year. If we go back to Redding I will need a six weight, 9 foot two piece Sage XP since on the larger rivers we used a shot on our line and two nymphs with strike indicator. Thanks,

Scott (from California) the picture below is of his son and himself on the Pitt River in California.


Hi Dave,

I just got back from a brief trip to Florida (Marco Island - to visit the in-laws) where I finally had a chance to try out my new 4 piece 9' 8-9 wt St Croix Dave Lewis saltwater rod I purchased at the University of MD Show back in January. WOW!!! What a great rod!!!

Unbeknownst to me, the dock at my in-laws condo has "snook lights." So every night, like clockwork, in come the snook and seatrout. in great numbers.

My first fish on the new rod? - a 24" snook, on a #6 Clouser - what a fight! And, on subsequent nights, more snook and even more seatrout (which I had never taken on a fly before) up to 26". Needless to say the rod was just great. More than once, I had to "lean into it" to steer a seatrout away from the pilings. And the rod was up to the task each time (even if the leader wasn't on occasion!)

During my daytime casting out on the local bays and inlets (primarily for snapper and sheepshead), I was surprised just how easily it laid out 75" of 9 wt line, with virtually no effort. The St Croix blank is very impressive, indeed - and of course, your craftsmanship is superb.

I did do one day of inland freshwater fishing for bass on the canals --- snip personal favorite locations.

Again the new rod is just great.

Mike (from Virginia)


Hi Dave,

Everything arrived today intact and I'm overall quite pleased. The reels are exceptional and were quite a bargain for the price. The rod seems like an extension of my hand. I can hardly wait to try it out. I will be moving to Montana as soon as I sell my house here in IL and I look forward to meeting you and your wife and doing business with you again, and perhaps wetting a few lines together. Till then,

Ed (from Illinois)


In talking about glass rods on the Fly Fish List a while back, someone asked if folks had been using glass rods much in recent years. I spoke of selling quite a few the last couple years and mentioned that Blake had one. He replied:

Yeah I do and I happen to like it a whole lot. It is so much nicer than older glass I have tried. I think it will end up being my favorite best ole friend rod some day. The little point and shoot (a small graphite rod I sold Blake a couple years ago.) I have is sweet to me and has taken the limelight some, won't fish everywhere though. That fiberglass just does anything I want with no complaints, and is so sweet to cast. Light and breaks into a smaller tube than a normal shorty. I have tried various packrods, own a mellow yellow packrod my maw give me for my birthday once. None are near as satisfying.

Blake (from New York)


Below is a picture Chris Bogart took of me at the University of MD Fly Fishing Show last year. I was trying out one of his fine cane rods at the casting pool in addition to one of mine. Chris makes a really fine 6'6" little mountain rod, that I really should own some day.


Hi Dave,

I received the rod today, actually it came on Saturday but there wasn't anyone here to sign for it. It's a beautiful rod. I love it with a 4 wt line for short brookie work and can't wait to fish it asap.

Just a final note. I appreciate someone saying thank you on the bill just as you did. It seems like saying thanks is a lost art any more, especially when you buy something via the mail, phone, or internet. Thanks again, it's a real sweetheart of a rod. Sincerely,

Jay (from New York)



I have only one word for it --- perfection.

I hadn't been out in weeks and up here in PA the weather today was as good as it is going to get until Spring (30 deg, 10-15 mph wind, spitting snow). So I had to go out and I had to throw my new 3 wt that you made. I went to a small stream around here 30 - 40 ft across. The rod performed like an extension of my arm. I never had to think about or try to cast it. It just cast the line as if it wasn't even there. A real dream to fish with and now my new favorite light/small stream rod without a doubt.

And I'm sure you are wondering about the outcome of the day's fishing --- 8 fish to hand (the smallest 12" and the largest 16"+) and 6 - 7 missed hookups.

Thank you for sharing some of your skill with me.

John (from Ohio)


Hi Dave,

I recieved the SLT rod on Thursday, it only took two days. The rod looks great and it arrived without any problems.

I love the rod.

Thanks again,

Mike (from Arizona)



Attached are a couple of pictures of the stripers I caught on one of your rods in December.

The 9'9" 8/9 weight rod is the best casting saltwater rod I have tried. I get consistently better casts in wind and with heavy saltwater flys. Using this rod fitted with a Teton 9/11 reel and Orvis Depthcharge sinking line, Iwent after stripers December 7. We headed out of Oregon Inlet early Saturday morning and soon found birds working. The fish were feeding on large Bunker and were staying deep. I fished the largest fly in my box, a 2/0 Deceiver Chartreuse over White with Peacock herl over the Chartreuse. The rod handled the seven inch fly easily along with the fast sinking flyline. We took five fish from 15 to 18 pounds with three brought home for holiday dinners. The three piece rod was responsive when handling the fish and had the backbone needed when they got in close to the boat.

Wayne (from Virginia)

Dear Dave and Mary Lu,

I received my rod yesterday and it is BEAUTIFUL. As soon as the temp. here gets above freezing I am going to try it out on one of the local ponds. I can't wait to try it on some brookies when I can make the trip to New Mexico.

Thanks again for the wonderful rod and case. The craftsmanship (and craftswomanship) is so obvious it jumps right out at you.

Warmest regards,

Michael (from Texas)



I received the 9' 8wt. rod kit in the mail, and I just had to email you to let you know how pleased I am. This kit exceeds my expectations 3 times over. I am very pleased with the blank. It is handsome, the parts fit together very nicely, and it feels good, with the flex tapering evenly down towards the butt of the rod. It seems to have a nice quick recovery as well. The reel seat is very nice (next time I will try one with a wood insert) and the cork handle is fine quality with no glaring pores. Even the guides have all been prepped. Although I did grind them down slightly. Not because I had to, but because I'm a nut. My only complaint is that you didn't leave me enough to do. I am almost finished, and I received it in the mail today.

I don't know how you do it, but I'm sure glad that you are doing it.

Thank you so much,

Eric (from New York)


Hi, Dave!

It was great seeing you a couple weeks back at the National Capital Chapter TU show ... well, I got back to Lexington early Sunday morning and decided I just had to try that new little wand out. If you recall, that was one blustery (and fairly chilly) Sunday -- hardly your typical 3 wt. weather!

Nonetheless, I tied on a little #16 prince nymph and began casting. The rod handled surprisingly well for the very demanding conditions, and on the second cast what should I catch (not one of my trout) but my first "Georgia Giant" sunfish of the season! There are larger ones in the pond to be sure -- but none has ever felt larger than this fellow. What a fun rod! Notice how well that little Bliss reel I got from you a couple years back matches with the rod.

Once again, it was great seeing you. Hope you can come on down to Lexington real soon!

-- Mike (from Virginia)


I was out of town and just got back yesterday and my rod was waiting for me. I just want to tell you it looks great! It's exactly what I wanted. I really love the grip and the finish on the rod itself. Maybe after you get back from Montana we can talk about a couple of other rods, if you're interested.

I hope you have a great summer in Montana.

Thanks again,

--George (from Pennsylvania)



I received the fly rod and I am impressed with the quality and craftsmanship you put into your work! I was in our local fly shop last Saturday getting a 3 wt line and had a chance to pick up a Sage 8'9" 3 wt SLT factory rod, frankly there is no comparison - the Performance Rod is definitely a cut above in every way except price! I look forward to many years of enjoyment with this fine rod. I'm sure I'll be visiting your on-line shop again soon.

I'll be showing the rod off to my friends so don't be surprised if you start getting inquiries from other fishermen from the Space Coast area.

Thanks again,

Will (from Florida)



THANK YOU. The rod has arrived, it has certainly surpassed my expectations. I can't wait to use it, the first opportunity is on April 23rd on the River Frome, a chalk stream in Dorset.

Please use me as a recommendation when you receive an enquiry from the UK.

With all best wishes

Peter (from England)



I received my rod today. It is beautiful. I put the Orvis Battenkill 1 LA reel on it with Mastery XPS WF line on it. I used the Battenkill reel because it was only 0.125" larger than the Hardy featherweight. I think it makes a great looking outfit. I went out to try it and even with very unfavorable winds it performed very well.

Thank you
Bob (from Iowa)



Got the rod today. Wow, you kicked ass on it. It's even better than I pictured. Glad I didnt' settle for a used LL. Oddly enough, I am leaving for a trout fishing trip tonight, will be back Sunday. The rod came just in time. I'm loaded, and will be fishing a #20 blue wing olive on my new rod tomorrow morning.

Once again, thanks for the prompt delivery, good service and information, and for making a high quality rod. You're a real craftsman....

Larry (from Missouri)

P.S. Tell your wife the she makes a great rod sock too!



I gave the rod a whirl today, and I have to say it made my Orvis clearwater rod seem like wet spaghetti. It definitely took some getting used to but the length is good and I like the action, both with dries and nymphs. I even managed a few nice Brookies ( the one in the picture is 15"), even though the weather up here was horrendous today!

Best regards and thanks for building such a beautiful rod. I hope it continues to be as lucky as it was today....

Bob (from Long Island)


Wanted to let you know that the little 6' 2-3 wt. rod kit arrived in good shape. I like the little reel too. I know this isn't your main/preferred line of business, but I really appreciate your support for "do-it-yourselfers." Thank you. I am looking forward to building it. Like fly tying (one of my main hobbies), there is something special about catching fish on a rod you've built yourself. Certainly a pleasure you know well!

Thanks so much!

Steve (from North Carolina)



Received the rod day before yesterday. As good as lookin fiber-glass flyrod as I've seen. Looking forward to trying it out. If you ever think about makin a few fiber-glass castin rods let me know. Thanks for a great lookin rod and thank your wife for me for putting my name on it.

J.S. (from Virginia)


Below is an excerpt of a trip report Philip of Northern Ireland posted to the Fly Fish List recently:

A lot of my fishing on the trip was done with a Dave Lewis built 11 foot 6 weight Sage rod with the Sage click drag reel. I must say that I found the combination most impressive. While the quality of Dave's work goes without saying on this list the rod is ideal for loch fishing and I have been most impressed by the Sage reel. Anyone looking for a great stillwater setup, at least for wet fly, should get in touch with Dave. While it is different from his usual "short, light rod for dry fly" image it must be said that he does it very well.

Philip (from Northern Ireland)

Here are three emails Bob sent me regarding two small rods he purchased from me this summer (2003):

hi dave. got the rod today. it's a gorgeous little piece and i had it in the yard giving it a w/out. it's just the right action. i'm gonna take it into the catskills tomorrow. i will definitely b ordering the 5 footer by the end of the month or sooner. our season runs into nov. here and a lot of streams r open all year. the water is real low at last season and ideal for small equipment. nice work dave and thanks.

that's exactly what I need. catskill creeks were rivers today. wasn't dry fly water at all, but the 6 footer did everything it's supposed. thanks dave. i'll send u pix

hi dave. ok, go ahead and send me the 5 footer. i used the 6' in the catskills today. no fish but loved the rod. if u need anymore info call me at: xxx-xxx-xxxx thanks dave

Below are three pictures Bob sent me of fish he caught in upstate New York in a couple of the major rivers and a backcountry beaver pond.

Nov 14, 2003
Hey Dave,
Here is the check for $521.70 US. The rod is beautiful. It will be perfect for upstream Yorkshire style wet fly fishing.
Thanks agan,
Alan (from Edmonton, Alberta)

Received the rod yesterday. It's was just what I expected or maybe little more;). Definitely valuable for each dollar I payed for it. I showed the rod for my fishing buddy and he fell in love immediately as well. You may have new orders some day from Finland;) I'll send you feedback about the performance next summer - some fishing pics.

Jukka (from Finland)

I picked up the rod at the post office this morning. WOW! looks great. I am very please with the outcome. You really have done a great job. I sure appreciate your willingness to meet my concerns. I look forward to using this rod and doing more business with you.

Merry Christmas, Stephen (from Utah)

Hi Dave,

Here's a photo of the TCR and a Rainbow from the Arroyo Pescado in Argentina, a spring creek where we had fish up to 25".

Also include is a pic of the Rod with some Flamingos feeding in the creek, the trout were feeding like mad on the bugs that the wading flamingo were kicking up.

And one of the nice 'bows picked up near the end of the day on a tiny Copper John Nymph.

Jonathan (from Ireland)

In a followup note Johathan said in part:

The Rod was a big hit, Guides in particular loved it, they were both from Montana, and are familiar with the TCR, both preferred yours to the factory model. I'd have to say though its a strange rod to play fish on, it never seems all that alive even with a big fish connected, I guess its so damn stiff.

I'm off to Chile later this month and I'll get you some more pictures.

count me as another mightily satisfied customer. I took the 6ft.6in. 3/4 wt rod to a farm pond today and caught several small bass with it. Having used softer action E-glass rods on many occasions in the past, I was very curious to see how an S-glass rod might differ. It is clearly stiffer. It is harder to throw sine waves with the S-glass blank. I could lean into it harder than I had anticipated being able to lay out 50 ft. of line easily. That is a bonus because I got it to fish tight little streams. The action is exactly what I had hoped it would be, and the cosmetics are superb. Many thanks.

Bob (from Tennessee)

Three years ago, I bought a 9 foot 5/6 weight rod at the show in Somerset, NJ. The following year, I stopped by and complained that the rod was not casting well. Well, Dave, I owe you an apology. The fault was mine. Your rod is a very fast action rod and I didn't know how to cast it correctly. During the interim, I have been working on my casting and have come to really appreciate what a fine rod you made. It has become my favorite caster. I'll be at the show this year and will stop by to say hello. I'd like to talk to you about your salt water rods...

Jim (from New Jersey)

Hi Dave and Mary Lu,
I am so happy with the rod I bought from you. I purchased a HM 7' 6" 4 wt. at the Somerset show in January. I have been lawn (snow) casting it ever since. I can't believe its accuracy and wonderful feel. I had to "overline" my other rod to make it respond but not yours. It casts so nicely with the new 4 wt. line I strung.

Dave, thanks so much for sharing your craft with us. Thank you to Mary Lu for her beautiful handwriting. I really respect your flawless craftsmanship, the same regardless of the rod's price. I can't wait to hookup with lots of trout this spring....I think I'm in love (with the 4 wt. that is).

Cheers! Scott (from Pennsylvania)

Joel, a friend and customer from North Carolina writes:
"Rod works fine."

It was an OK, but not spectacular day...I caught about 20 of these guys in 4 hours... The weather was warm and the beer was cold :-) and it was much better than being at work!

I got another note and some pictures from Jonathan in Ireland.

In a followup note, he said:


The rod was the perfect tool for the job, The place where we had the big brown was full of snags and I needed the backbone of the TCR for steering fish. Plus some days it was windy and punching a big fly into Wind was no problem with the TCR.

Some of my fish came from this amazing little river. I had several 19-23" fish from pools on this little marvel.



I finally had a chance to fish that new rod I bought from you last fall. It was such a wonderful day that I hopped in my truck and drove out to Clark's Creek. I must say, I don't think I'd like the rod much as a true 4 wt, but it's one hell of a 3wt. It handled today's wind admirably while throwing a long, fine leader with a #14 EHC and a small dropper attached--- and it's deadly accurate. It's labeled "Signature HM Blank #475-5."

Thanks again, This rod and I will be great friends. I can tell already!

Attached is a pic of the first fish on her---

Richard (from Pennsylvania)

Dave and Mary Lu,

Well I got off to South Andros and had a spectacular first day back in February. It was sunny and mild with no wind. I saw more bonefish this day than I saw in an entire week last year up in the the middle bight of Andros. The first bonefish I caught weighed 6 lbs and the last one I caught weighed 5lbs (see picture). This last one was interesting because it was the smallest of the group of three that I cast to. One of the three was double digit size. It always happens that way - the little one gets to the fly first.

The rod is terrific. It gets the line right out where you need it in one cast. And it's a beauty in that tropical sun.

another, Richard (from Pennsylvania)

Hi Dave,

I finally got the time and opportunity to visit your website. Apart from the mouthwatering rods on display, that I hope I'll be able to afford one day, I had a good look at the various picture stories. You are one fine photographer! As a landscape and fly fishing artist, I get great inspiration from photos like yours. The quality of the fish portraits is outstanding! And I really have to go fishing in the US some time it seems....

Many thanks,

Troels (from Denmark)

Friend and customer, Dan, from Salt Lake City sent me this picture of him with the special rod on a T&T blank I did for him, recently. He had an enjoyable time winter fishing for lovely little browns among the beauty of the red stems of willows and the remaining snow banks of a healthy winter in the west.


I am writing to report my extreme pleasure with the 9', 4-piece fly rod kit you sold me last month. Much to my surprise, the finished product appears like something everyone would want to write home about. The Sage 1201 reel is the cat's meow also, and when I loaded it up with backing and 6wt floating line, tied on a small popper, I was fully satisfied to land a 2 pound large mouth bass on only my second cast in the fresh water canal in my back yard. Subsequent trips to the canal have continued to produce while the rod emits great feel and control. Thanks for making a quality product available at such an affordable cost. I'm sure you have not seen the last of my orders for your quality products.

Mike (from Florida)

Your flyfishing photo journal is like a hot drink in the middle of winter, warmed me up from inside and made me think about how lucky i'm to be able to flyfish. very nice photos and comments. i'll have to unpack my fly tying stuff tomorrow and whip up few of those tweeter caddis flies of yours.

great pages, thank you!

best regards
wellington, nz

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Lewis,

Last year I purchased an 8'2" 1 wt. rod from you at the Somerset Fly Fishing show in New Jersey. This rod has become my favorite to fish at xxxx Creek.

Big snip.

This year I showed you the enclosed photo and you asked that I send you a copy. I purchased a 6'3" 3 wt rod this year from you that will be perfect for fishing this very enclosed brook.

Other snips.

Sincerely, Louis (from New Jersey)

My good friend and long time customer from Maryland, Drew, dropped me a note and a picture the other day. The note was in response to the fact that I noticed the short rod I had done for him back when he was in College. He responded:

Sure thing Dave. Too bad I couldn't have gotten any of the writing on the rod in the pic.

As for "old rod", it may be old in time (1997) but it is still my go-to rod for brookies. I bet that rod has caught a few thousand fish.

The only time I use a different rod on brookie streams is when I am fishing high water and know I will nymph a lot, or on really windy days, then I'll fish my 8' 1 wt which I built and actually has more punch to it than the 2 wt. Drew...

Here is the lovely picture he sent along. His good friend and my local friend here in Harrisonburg, Henry Bowser, took the shot of this wonderful fish they caught the previous weekend in a secret stream in the Virginia mountains.

A big thanks for Henry having his camera along to catch Brookie splendor.

I sold a couple brothers in England two Sage Xi2 rods last winter. Martin was kind enough to send along a note in their regard along with a picture of an absolutely outrageous permit he caught:

Dear Dave,

As I may have mentioned when we bought them, my brother and I were looking forward to using your rods on a trip to the northern tip of Australia. That trip is -sadly - now over and I have attached a couple of photos of an indo-pacific permit caught on my 9 weight - the only permit of that week, weight estimated at 22-23 lbs.

Your rods were a joy to use and the finish was noticably better than the factory built rods used by other members of the party. When I have a moment I will check for any other photos featuring them and forward these.

Thanks again for supplying a great product !
Kind regards
Martin (from England)

Dave - I'm afraid that I missed the heart of the cutt run in 'my' stream this year ( I went back to Maine for my 20th high school reunion - where are my priorities?), but managed to hook into a couple of stragglers - a photo is attached.

The rod plays its role beautifully - ideal for the tight streams where I spend half my time bushwhacking from spot to spot. At the other extreme, I even managed to reach out to a couple of fish 45 or 50 feet across a beaver pond, just for the sheer fun of it. And it makes a 12" trout feel like a striper.

Thanks for making a great product. I look forward to doing business with you in the future.

Ian (from Utah)


Both rods arrived in good order - and much quicker than anticipated. No chance yet to get on a stream with them - had to go down to South Bethany with the lady Ros to weed and plant her herb garden (raspberries still to go.) However, I did rig up the repaired rod and threw both a 3 and a 4 wt. for a few minutes. Rod handled beautifully with both lines and I had no sense whatsoever of a weak or a stiff point in the cast. I looked at the flex while casting and it looked good to me. BTW, check is en route.

As usual, both the repair and the new rod are done with the craftsmanship, care and uniquely good taste (no hyperbole intended) that I always have associated with your (and Mary Lu's) work. The seat on the new rod is gorgeous. I'm almost, but not quite, afraid to put a reel on it. Hope to use the rods on some hopefully unwary trout in the next ten days and will give you a full if not fulsome report.

Speaking of fulsome, only once in my adult life have I wanted a photo with a trout and I'm attaching it here - a searun brown from the Rio Grande in Argentina's Tierra del Fuego.

Thanks much for getting the rods to me so fast - and for continuing to do such outstanding work. You both have my admiration as well as my affection.

Be well.



It is a cold snowy night in Colorado. Looked with interest at the comments and pictures of all the different fish. You didn't have one of these. I caught this fish on one of your 4 piece 8wts that Bill loaned me for the Canada trip in July.

John, (from Colorado)

I recently did a heavy rod for John Becker up in Mass. He had in mind a grip similar to a favorite rod he has used for some time. To give me some dimensions to work with, he did a quick drawing with some measurements to go by. I thought the drawing had a nice quality about it, so I asked him if I might include it on this page for folks to enjoy like I have.


I got the rod yesterday. It is surely a very nice rod to see and I don't believe the cork on the rod. It is a smooth as silk and no damages what so ever on the handle. I will try to get to a put and take pond tomorrow, if it is not freezing to hard, and will give the rod a try. Thanks for such a wonderful rod and I think I have a new favorite rod.

Rob, (from the Netherlands)


Just a short note to say how great the rod for Dian was. We fished the White River outside of Mt. Home, Ark. She caught 30-40 trout per day for 4 days and was ready for more. We will get back soon we hope. Anyhow the rod got lots of attention and comments about the workmanship being world class. May have to save my pennies and get one for me as no one gets to use the rod but her...can't blame her for that. Did you ever get a chance to try the new coatings for the rods besides epoxy finishes?

Thanks again for the rod.

Steve, (from Kansas)

Hi, Dave.

Today, I had an Internet converstion with a former coworker who has moved to New Boston VA. We BSed a while and I mentioned to him that I went on a fishing rod buying spree over the winter, and that one of the rods I bought was a Dave Lewis custom rod.

He asked me "Who is Dave Lewis", and I told him to do a Google search on "Dave Lewis" and he'd find your Web site. After our conversation I checked to make sure that that Google search would get him to your Wab site Yup, it did.

While I was on your Web site I noticed the new subtopic of varnish-finished rods and read that. Nice job writing that piece! Especially the part with the pictures of the rod that you built for me! (There is no doubt, the lines in the cork grip match perfectly.)

I'm glad that you're as proud of that rod as I am. If you ever need someone to confirm the excellence of your workmanship and great business conduct, you can use me as a reference. The home phone is xxx xxxx, and the Verizon cell phone is xxx xxx.

Again, it's been a rare pleasure.

Best regards,
Denny, (from New York)


Recieved the rod today and it is awesome! Great workmanship, beautiful guide wraps and color scheme and the spar varnish gives it that unique touch of days gone by.

I own a Cortland Classic 7'9" 2/3wt. that has spigot ferrules also and I like the way they look on a rod. I think they tweak the action of the rod a bit, and make the connection very solid.

Thank You very much for the beautiful rod, I simply cannot wait to get it on the stream!

PS I will need a good mid flex 2pc. 7'6" 4wt. in the near future. I will keep in touch.

Leo, (from Pennsylvania)


I received my rod Saturday and it looks fantastic! You did another great job. Thanks and best regards,

Steve, (from West Virginia)

Back in the winter Brother Bill and I did a little collecting of old Shakespeare Wonder Rods. The 7'9" model was the first quality fly rod both of us had back in the 50's. I ended up getting two really nice rods on ebay, a nice 7' one and a dandy 7'9" one. Since I already had my original 7'9" and an extra one, I decided to sell the 7'9". A fellow in Fairbanks, Alaska bought it and, through the process, we ended up establishing a nice friendship. He was so taken with that Wonder Rod and with the pictures of my rods on my web site, that he went on and ordered a TXL rod from me. I sent it along to him shortly before we left for our Montana home in early May. Below is a nice note Richard sent me with a wonderful picture of the first fish he caught with the rod.

"Not sure when you'll get this if you're in Montana for the summer. On the very first cast I made with 00-Wt rod you made for me I got this 20" Dolly Varden. Not bad, eh? I'm a happy guy. It was plenty of rod. Everyone here tells me of their 5wt rods.... and I use my 5wt when it's windy, but I'm a total convert; the 00wt rules. Can't wait for the clouds of grayling that will be in the rivers here around Nome soon."

Fairbanks, Alaska