Two new rods
I have been a little distracted again as I just got my hands on two rod blanks that I have wanted for some time. They are Sabre E glass ultralight blanks, model 110. I had one of these years ago built up as a spin rod and it was possibly the most fun piece of fishing tackle I ever owned. I also cast a fly line with it and it was something else. Super slow and soft, I think it would be perfect on my local tiny stream. The blank is 6' and 1 piece rated for 0.5-2kg line (1-4lb).
I am going to build one up as a fly rod, and will test it to find the best line - I will definitely post a few photos of it here once finished. The other will be built into a spinning rod. I rarely fish spin tackle these days, but with this blank I will definitely be taking it out once in a while, partially for the memories I hope it will bring back, and partially because I think this blank builds into the most fun rod one can possibly use when not fly fishing.
Choosing a Reel
I used to know all about the current spin reels from the major manufacturers, however over the past 5 years or so I had grown detached from what was available in spin tackle. I figured that since I am a fan of the highest quality tackle available, I had better do some research. Since this blog is about fly fishing and travel, I think it is best not to go into detail about my selection process other than to say I did not set a budget, I wanted the best I could get in a spin reel, and I generally had favoured Daiwa reels in the past. After lots of research I was leaning towards the Daiwa Exist 1003, however after having it in hand at a local tackle store along with a few other high end reels, I have pretty much settled on the Shimano Stella 1000FE. Looks to be a fantastic reel, however not as nice (to me) cosmetically to the Stella 1000F from the early 2000's that I owned in the past. Apart from looks it felt better though, and that old reel is still being used by my best friend and mostly in saltwater almost 10 years after I purchased it and it has never been serviced, and rarely even rinsed or cleaned externally. Can't ask for more than that so I figure I can't go wrong.
As for a reel for the fly rod version that I build on the other blank, I will most likely throwing a Hardy Featherweight on it, but will make a final decision once the correct line weight is decided on after test casting.