February 2015 – Update

Howdy all.  It has been a while since I’ve posted anything here and I figured it’s about time.  Please remember to get in touch with me directly anytime if you have any questions or issues!

I’m still working through my chemotherapy regimen which knocks me out of commission for 4-5 days every two weeks.  My cancer seems stable though and other than those several days of recovery I’m able to do my work at fairly full capacity.

We are still sitting on plenty of Blondes and 6′ bundles in the warehouse in Seattle (only 6′ bundles at Tim’s in New Jersey).  I am off to China later this week to select more poles for 2015.  We should receive our next shipment by the end of April.  That means that we’ll have our Standard poles back in stock as well as the XL’s, hopefully.  I say that because we saw last year that there can be years in which the farmers simply did not harvest very many XL-sized poles.  That was the first time in nearly 20 years but I can’t promise that it won’t happen again.  I’m sure that I’ll find some amount of the XL’s but if those are the poles you desire, it might be a good idea to shoot me an email so that I can add you to an “XL Wait List”!

I will not be shipping orders during the month of February.  This entire month will find me either on chemo (now and at the end of the month) or in China.  I WILL be able to arrange shipments from New Jersey for the 6′ bundles but please note that there may be some delays in communication.  At times it takes several days for me to respond to people.  If you write and don’t hear back from me for a week or more, please do try me again!!

That’s it for now.  I continue to receive a lot of words of encouragement and prayers from a lot of you and I do appreciate that so very much.  Medicine is only half of what I need to stay as healthy as possible, the rest of what I need comes in the form of moral support from people all around me.  I thank you all for your continued support of my health and my business.

Best to all,                                                                                                                                                  -Andy

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It’s down to the Blondes

or should I say, “It’s up to the Blondes”?

In any event, we are now completely out of our Standard poles.  Thus, all we have left are the 6′ poles (four Standard poles, cut in half per bundle, $110) and the Blondes (10 pcs, $270).

We’ve had a few large group orders in July/August that cleared out the Standards.  Luckily, the Blondes are gorgeous and we’ve got plenty of those on hand as well as lots of the 6′ poles!

We will look to get re-stocked on the XL and Standard poles in the spring of 2015.  Let me know if you have questions!

-Andy

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Onward

All,

We are finally busy here in the heat of summer!  It was tough
timing last month as the container of poles arrived just as my family
and I were leaving town for three of the next four weeks.  Yikes!  But
we’re back and back at it!  There’s plenty of great cane here so give
me a shout if you are interested in any of the Standards or Blondes,
6’ers or anything else!

I was surprised to see that we still have all of the AA bundles we
brought in in June but then I realized that I never really made note
of them and that they are not listed on the “Products” page of the web-
site.  They rarely are listed there since we usually only get about a
dozen of these bundles and they go quickly.  So, here is the
notification for any/all interested!

AA poles are a great combination of cosmetics and heft.  The creme
de la culm! We have about a dozen bundles with two poles each and one
bundle with five of these beauties.  For the month of August, we’ll
say that there’s a limit of one bundle per customer.  If I have any
left after that, we’ll maybe open it up.  The price is $45/culm.

All the cane in this shipment has been dusted with mold as
mentioned in our previous post but the reports from those who have
received material from this shipment have all noted that the poles are
easy to clean and that they look great.

Next…. On a personal note, I am continuing my auction as best I can. We had our fund-raiser auction last May.  Several of you asked if you could take part
in the auction from afar and we were not set up to make that happen in
any way.  Now, Gary Siemer of  Vintage Fly Tackle has generously agreed to hold an auction on his web-site.

We had a couple of reels that did not receive a minimum bid at the
original auction.  These are the first two pieces Gary will auction on
his site.

Some of you had very generously offered to send me some sort of
angling goods for my original auction.  I am now humbly asking that if
anyone would like to contribute to my fund-raising needs, you can send
appropriate goods to myself or direct to Gary.  Please contact me for
more information as needed.  100% of the proceeds from the sales on
Gary’s site are going to my cause.  As most of you know, I have been
diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer and am fighting to …. well,
stay alive I guess.  I’ve got good insurance that helps cover most
medical bills but we are still responsible for more than my family can
handle financially.  Thus, I am respectfully asking for help from
anyone who would care to do so.  Many of you HAVE made donations and
sent notes to me which help me a great deal.  I thank you for that
while noting that our needs continue.  I’m sorry to mix in this
personal request on the “business” site but we’re forced into odd
measures in situations like this.  If you have any old fly-fishing
gear/equipment laying about, Gary will help find a good set of hands
for it while helping me cover some medical bills!

If interested in helping with this, you can contact Gary directly through his website or drop me an email.

With much, much gratitude,
-Andy

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the mold

Gents,

As noted in my last post, we do have a mold issue on these new
poles.  Again, they were cleaned before leaving China but they sat in
a metal container for three weeks shipping across the Pacific and
picked up a bit of condensation.  The mold is not pretty but it is
also not a significant problem.  At this point it has not had time to
sink in beneath the enamel and when cleaned, disappears completely.
Here is a note from a Seattle-area rod-maker, Rolf Mogster which
details the issue from a maker’s perspective:

~~~~                                                                                                                                                          I looked at the canes as soon as I got home last night.  The XL bundle 
was the first one I opened.  The mold was BAD.  There was almost 
complete coverage from end to end with heavy mold.  I got 2 buckets. 
One with plain water, one with a 10% bleach solution.

I wiped them down with plain water to remove the mold, it all came 
off.  I followed that up with a wipe down of the bleach solution.
I needed to change out the plain water every 2 culms (4 different 
buckets of water, about 1.5 gallons each). The bleach solution 
remained clean for all 16 culms.

Once they were cleaned up, they looked pretty good. 

The regular size bundle was much cleaner.  There was much less 
mold, and I only needed to change out the water once. These also 
cleaned up nicely. 

Summary:
  You have mold.  The degree varies from bundle to bundle.  I suspect 
it depends on where the bundles were in the shipping container.
Once you clean it off, it leaves no trace, so the culms are not 
damaged by it yet.  I do not know if it becomes a problem if it stays 
on longer.
I found mold on the culms I bought back in May, and those cleaned up 
beautifully.  I would guess the mold was there for almost a year.                                        Since it would be very labor intensive to clean all the culms now, 
that is not an option.  It would be too costly.  But you already know 
that.

As long as they are stored where they can get good air circulation and 
remain dry, I do not think there will be a problem.  The new owners 
will need to clean them up a bit, but they clean up nicely.

~~~~                                                                                                                                                 There you have it.  I apologize in advance for this issue.  We do
use desiccant in our shipping containers but it simply was not enough
to handle the moisture this time around.  To me, the main points are
that you may receive poles that need to be cleaned but that if you do
this, there will be no lasting issue.  I think that the only way the
mold becomes a lasting problem is if it’s left to sit for months and
months at which point it could seep beneath the enamel surface (and
even then, it will NOT effect the structural integrity, it will only
be a cosmetic issue).

I think this year’s batch of cane is great and especially the
“Blondes” have very nice cosmetics.  It is a shame that some of these
poles may have mold on the surface but with a bit of work, their true
beauty should come shining through.

As always, if the mold (or anything else) keeps you from being able
to use any of this bamboo for your rods, let me know and we’ll work it
out.

Thank you!

-Andy

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Ready to ship!

All,

We are just about ready to start sending out shipments and I’ll make a few notes here.

WE ARE OUT OF ALL XL POLES. As I’ve noted in the past, there seems to be some mysterious force that dictates our bamboo poles vier toward either good-looking or large.  In the past several years there has been a good mix of each but this year, as we had a lot of cleaner-than-average poles (hence, the new “Blondes” category), we had fewer of the large, “XL” poles.  A lot fewer.  In total, there were only 43 of these bundles between the XL and XL-Blondes.  Now there are zero.  We’ve been collecting a “wait list” of sorts for the past several months while we were out of cane and between those orders and a few group orders pending, these XL bundles went quickly.  Apologies to those of you who would like these larger poles.  I can only imagine that we’ll have plenty available next spring!  [If you were on that “wait list”, your XL order is secured.]

Next.  Mold.  Yuck.  This year’s shipment sat in the metal shipping container for three weeks as it crossed the Pacific and it collected some condensation.  We do use desiccant in the shipping containers and all the poles are cleaned before packaging but we did see some mold collecting on the poles as we unloaded this shipment last week.  This is not entirely uncommon but still not a very pleasant site (for you or me).  The mold will clean up just fine with water and a little bleach but this should be done as soon as you receive your order.  As always, let me know if there are problems with your order and/or if the mold has somehow degraded your bamboo!  I really don’t think it will be a problem, especially for folks who get their orders relatively soon.  If the mold becomes more of an issue when winter sets back in in November, we will address it as needed.

Group Orders.  As of now, there are three Group Orders in the works.  Remember that ordering with others can help save quite a bit of money per bundle.  Interested parties in the following areas should contact:

  1. Northeast – Barry Mayer  flyh2o@comcast.net
  2. NY/NJ/Attendees of the rod-makers gathering at the CFFCM in September – Mike Canazon  mcanazon@live.com
  3. Michigan – Richard Perry  rkp@rkpcanerods.com

We plan to start sending out shipments on July 2.  I am out of the office from July 4-16 so whatever we don’t get shipped on the 2nd, we’ll take care of after the 16th.  Thereafter we’ll be making our regular, weekly shipments.

That’s it for now.  I’ll be in touch with many of you in the coming weeks!  Thank you again for your patience and understanding as we wade through the various ordeals with getting this stuff into your shops.

[My health is stable for now.  I am on a chemo “maintenance plan” which is sort of like “chemo lite”.  I feel much better than last winter and am able to engage in most normal activities.  No one knows the future; I’ll just ride this wave as long as possible!  Thank you for all the support!]

-Andy

 

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Our ship is almost in!

We’ll have plenty of cane available to ship out of Seattle very soon.  I’ll post again when we’re ready and I’ll be contacting directly those on our “wait list”.

We have a new entry into our catalog this year.  The “Blondes”!  Not since 2009 have I come across so many clean poles that look great for blonde rods.  I made the choice to keep these separate for those who want to pay a few extra bucks for cleaner cane.  

Our Standard poles are still the standard.  I don’t want to imply that we have down-graded these poles which are the backbone of our business.  I am still picking out each and every one of these poles and they are on par with the material from the past few years.  These are clean poles with ample power fiber and no slash marks or burn marks.  The price on these poles will remain where they were in 2013.

There was a limited number of the XL poles this year.  The sizes vary a bit from year to year but this is as few of the big boys as we’ve had in a while.  All you spey-rod guys should get in touch soon!  These will be available as Standards and Blondes.

There are, as usual, a VERY limited number of AA poles.  These are poles that score excellent marks in cosmetics, power fiber and other categories.   These will go quick.

We still have plenty of the 6′ poles available.
 
Note that we will NOT be sending a shipment out to Tim Abbott in New Jersey this year for continuous East Coast distribution.  Because of the late nature of this year’s order to China we simply did not have enough poles to stock both the Seattle and New Jersey warehouses.  So until next year, only the 6′-ers are available to ship from Jersey, everything else will come out of Seattle (actually, our local warehouse has moved to Kent, about 15 miles south of Seattle).  Thus, there has been some interest in a group order for makers in the North East.  I am working with Tim and Barry Mayer to set this up; please stay tuned!

And without further ado, heres the 2014 line up:

  •     Standard    (12’x 2″ – 10 pcs/bundle)     $240/bundle    $220/bundle at 5+ bundles                                                                         
  •     Blonde       (12′ x 2″ – 10 pcs/bundle)    $270/bundle    $250/bundle at 5+ bundles    
  •     XL              (12′ x 2.5″ – 8 pcs/bundle)   $200/bundle     [Limited]
  •     Blonde XL  (12′ x 2.5″ – 8 pcs/bundle)   $230/bundle     [Limited]
  •     AA              (12′ x 2″+ – 2 pcs/bundle)    $90/bundle       [Very Limited]
  •     Halves        (6′ x 2″ – 8pcs/bundle)        $110/bundle      [12′ poles cut in half, marked to match butt/tip]

Shipping 12′ poles is typically $140 to a business address ($160 to East Coast).  That covers 1-3 bundles so get a few!
Shipping 6′ poles is UPS and averages about $45 PER bundle!
Shipping to Canada is the same but… averages $120 higher because of certificates and boarder fees.  Again (as always), if you ship more than one bundle, you save a lot on shipping $$ per bundle!

NOTE that these options/prices are NOT updated on the web site yet and it may take a week or so to get the prices on there.  We are working to get it done asap. Thus, you may not be able to make a complete order from the “Order Page” at this time.  Let me know what you need and we’ll get ‘er done.

-Andy

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The Skinny – Spring 2014

Howdy all.

I am back from China and ready to start getting orders set up for folks.  For the time being, we still only have the 6′ bundles in the Seattle and New Jersey warehouses.  I found a lot of great cane in China and the new shipment is due into Seattle by late May.  That means that we’ll have plenty of the regular 12′ poles in stock after that time.  We’ll have the Standard size, XL and, for as long as they last a bunch of blondies (cleaner than average cane, best for blond rods).

At this time I do not know if we will re-stock the New Jersey warehouse with 12′ poles.  I would like to do so but because of the odd nature of this year’s order, we may only be able to fill one warehouse.  If so, we’ll only have the 6’ers available from the Jersey warehouse until the next go-around in the spring of 2015.  I will post an update regarding this matter as soon as possible.  But for now, let me know if you want any of the 6′ poles or get in touch anytime to make an order for the 12’ers.  We’ll have plenty of those on hand soon so there is no need for an actual “wait list”.  Just let me know now or after we get the stuff in and we’ll be able to start making shipments by the end of May.

More information to be posted in a couple of weeks.  Thank you!

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