Last weekend was the general trout opener here in California, and while I will still have to wait a bit to fish my favorite coastal streams and Sierra rivers, I am looking forward to trying out some new waters in the upcoming days and weeks, and I will make sure to keep the blog updated.
In the meantime, I have gotten a chance to put a few hours into the Eclectic Angler reel kit I got for christmas. These kits, made by fellow Massachusetts-er Michael Hackney, are really nice. He has taken a lot of the shop work out of the equation by rough cutting the brass and aluminum pieces, but left enough work to do so that you can get a true sense of accomplishment from finishing your own reel (or at least that is what I imagine it will feel like when I get around to finishing it).
The first phase of the kit requires sanding and filing all the pieces so that the spool plates can move easily within the reel, and then test-assembling the reel so that you can customize the action and make sure all the parts fit together properly.
I want to point out that Michael is a really nice guy to work with, my kit was missing a spring washer (more likely I lost it), and he sent me a new one, along with a nice little eclectic angler screwdriver.
I still have a lot of projects in the que, including the Orvis Hydros build that is nearing completion, so there should be a lot more blog posts in the future.