Bright and colourfull fly rods, a matter of beauty and performance, for those who don’t know him yet, we’re talking about this great custom rod builder, Eddy Scheinpflug.
Hi Eddy, for those who don’t know you,
could you present yourself briefly ?
Hi to you all, I’m Eddy, and was born in Switzerland in 1964. I’ve worked in the Biotechnological branch in California, and ended up in Belgium, in the Courtrai region.
I’ve started building rods out of frustration, because I always found defaults on the rods I bought. If it wasn’t the snake eyes’ position, it was the handle, or the reel seat, etc.
Between building a personal rod for your own and developping a series of rods covering all fishing styles, there’s quite a leap.
How did this project evolve ?
I’ve always had the desire to work with my hands, rather than with my head. So I took a sabbatical year, to develop my first FishBone rods, and, I was happy to see, they were well appreciated.
Today, with the help from my ProStaff, which is made up of professional fishing guides and very motivated anglers, I’ve developped a series of 20 models capable of coping with every flyfishing situation.
Talk to us about your rods, a FishBone, what is it like ?
First of all it is a blank on which I work hard to get the desired action, and you can easily recognise my ‘hand’ on the action of all of my rods. Once a prototype pleases me, I send it out on the water to be tested by my ProStaff, to look for any detail to make it even better.
The rods come standard with the best components which are available (Titan snake eyes, high class reel seat, etc). Then comes its personalisation according to the client’s wishes and needs, so you never have two identical rods. The possibilities are endless, and the client can choose any style and components, from discrete to utmost extravagant.
I do want to remark though, that I never sacrifice performance for aesthetics, because first of all these rods are meant to fish with. When a customer asks me extras or options that would affect the rod’s action, I simply explain the disadvantage of his idea, and we’ll seek other possibilities.
How can we order a rod ?
Does a customer has to come to your place ?
Oh no, I’ve got customers all around the globe. If one wants to order a rod, there are four ways to do so :
- You come over to my workshop, and you try out the different models on my casting area. You choose a rod which meets your needs, and then we can check out what personalisations you want.
- If we meet at a fly fishing fair, it’s the same principle as when you visit my workshop, you try out and than choose.
- I’m often contacted by mail or phone. The customer explains me what he wishes, I then make a drawing of his rod or some photos of the project, and once we agree, I’ll put it in production.
- There’s another way, our Test Drive program, where a customer can choose two models and pay a caution, I send him the rods, he tests them and makes his choice.
What happens if the customer isn’t 100% satisfied
with those models ?
I’ve got less than 1% of unsatisfied people, which isn’t too bad. They’ve got 10 days to return the rods, and if after checking the rods upon arrival, and the motivations are justified, we refund the caution. This happens only very seldom, because my customers always know exactly what they want.
At the last fly fishing fair in Charleroi,
I’ve seen a stand with almost identical rods.
Often copied, never matched ?
(laughs) Copying is not matching indeed, because my blanks are unique, and that’s the most important thing. As for my custom finishings ? There will always be people who’ll try to copy, but without ever creating, which is quite frustrating. Happily there are laws which protect us against this type of crimes, as well as against parasitic competition (which is a nice synomym !).
I’ve been as far as going to justice against these people, but anyway, a FishBone rod will always be recognizable, and if it was made and signed by myself, you can easily see the difference.
On your website,
you explain in detail how you build a rod step by step.
Isn’t that shooting in your own foot ?
Business is business (smiling). No, seriously, the sales of fly mounting gear for rods is also part of my professional activities, and it is a logical evolution of our passion. First you buy your flies, then you mount them yourself. It’s the same with rods.And then again, you can’t find everything on my site, especially not the details on which I’ve worked months to find outs.
I also organise workshops for building rods : in one weekend, my clients learn, mount and walk out with their own rod. You should see the proud faces at the end of the workshop !!
In addition to your rods, you also propose a range of reels and fly lines. How come ?
With all those existing products on the market, you only propose two types of reels and one brand of fly line.
As for the reels, Hatch is simply magical. In my opinion, it’s the best reel on the market. Whether you discuss it’s finishings, aesthetics or performance, they are always exceptionnal.
The Danielsson range is a very good price/quality reel. They are very well made, don’t blow the bank, are robust and do what they are intended to do.
As for the fly lines, I recommend Lee Wulff, I just love their profiles and discretion, I find them just perfect.
For clothing, waders and wading jackets, I’m also distributor of Field and Fish, a new brand which proposes a nice set of waders, shoes, shirts, etc Many of their products are made of recycled materials which has an important impact nowadays.
So these all make for a complete range, which is well studied and in the best price/quality ratio.
I do choose my partners according to their products which I test before integrating them and I want to keep offering a superior range of simple but terribly effective products.
Eddy, what’s coming up for us?
Loooooooaaaaaadddss, a corkscrew rod and a square rod. (laughs)
A series of limited glassfibre rods has just been released. These are small rods to cover small streams and come in the 2 to 3-weight range for lenghts of 6,7 and 8 ft. They are fast and light.
It’s just impossible to make these in carbon fibre and get the same action. This series of Sweet Cast rods are available on my site.
I’ve got plenty of other ideas, but I just need to find the time to develop them and test them out.
Many thanks for sharing your time for us Eddy.
What’s your last word for us ?
Come discover these rods, fish with them and buy them ! (laughs)
No, thanks a lot for this interview, and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. And see you on a riverbank !
For more details about fishbone, visit their website.
Interview by Romain Angiulli