Blackwater salmon

Recent guided sessions produced some nice spring salmon from the Munster Blackwater river. This season the water levels have been quite high on our local rivers and fly fishing opportunities have been fairly limited. Luckily the weather has been improving and the rivers reached a better if not ideal fly fishing height, particularly in the upper stretches. As a consequence we managed a few very nice salmon.

My guests were using two outfits, one was a 13’7 Mackenzie Atlas rod matched with a Mackenzie Phased Density Shooting Head in Float/Sink 2 and a short leader to a White Francis fly.

The other client used a 15ft Mackenzie FX1 GRAPHENE Rod matched with a Mackenzie Float/S1 shooting head and attached to the business end was a local shrimp fly pattern called Hick’s Bug. The guys were blown away by this kit and when good fish came the were even more impressed.

So some very happy anglers and a nice tackle test was a great result. The river is coming into good order again after the latest flood so fingers crossed for some more action. Tight lines!

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Mackenzie FX1 Graphene

The Mackenzie DTX team combined forces with Professor Gary Savage, former Formula One World Team Champion and one of the world’s leading experts in carbon and composites to create what may well be the most advanced fly rod ever made – the FX1 Graphene.

Graphene is a Nobel Prize winning material first discovered at the University of Manchester in 2004.  It is the strongest and stiffest material known to man, up to 300 times stronger than steel, stronger than diamond, and 30 times stronger than Kevlar! Graphene has recently been used by Head for their tennis rackets.  These rackets are now used used by Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic.  See the YouTube clip here.

The Science Bit!

Graphene is incorporated in the FX1 rod in the form of multi-walled carbon nanotubes – 1 atom thick sheets of hexagonally bonded carbon formed into tubes and added to a state of the art resin. Being 32 times stiffer than steel per unit mass. The sub-microscopic cylinders of carbon on a weight-for-weight basis are at least 120, and up to 300 times stronger than steel and 30 times stronger than Kevlar!

Single walled Graphene Nanotube                     Multi walled Graphene Nanotube

Approximately 1/50,000th the width of a human hair, Graphene nanotubes can stretch considerably rather like plasticine before breaking, up to 14 percent of their normal length. Their aspect ratio (length/diameter) can be up to 130,000,000:1. To illustrate this, if we think of a carbon nanotube as a piece of spaghetti (typically 2mm in diameter) then, at this scale, the tube would be 66km long!

Unique Manufacturing Process

As well as being the first rod to incorporate Graphene, the blanks are produced using a further unique process where the blanks are cured inside a high pressure autoclave, a machine normally used to make parts for the F1 motor racing and aerospace industries. This extra process removes as much air as possible from between the carbon layers in the blank as it is cured, air that would normally remain trapped during the normal rod making process, creating a much stronger blank.

Quality

Mackenzie FX1 rods are made in the UK, and feature the very best craftsmanship and fitting:

  • Top grade Portuguese cork handles
  • Fuji SiC stripper rings with an ultra hard, ultra smooth, silicon carbide coating that will never wear
  • Titanium recoil snake guides that spring back into shape if knocked or bent
  • Unique custom made ALPS down locking reel seat
  • self healing PTFE silicon coating meaning any scratches can simply be rubbed smooth

Fishing

Incorporating a weave of this new Graphene nanotube material the FX1 rod flexes deeply during the cast and recovers quickly and powerfully. This fast recovery makes it easier to cast further with little effort, yet retains the ‘feel’ that is so important in a Salmon fly rod. The rods have been designed to handle all types of lines, from longer traditional Spey lines to short Scandi and Skagit style shooting-heads.

The new FX1 rods will be available to try at the Ardaire Springs Fishery open day in April (details to be announced soon).

Mackenzie Pro Team!!!

I am absolutely thrilled to officially announce that I am now the newest member of the Mackenzie Pro Team.  They say a picture says a thousand words and if you ask me the rods in the photo below are all smiling from ear to ear!!

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I met Scott Mackezie some years ago when he visited Ireland and we got on really well.  We stayed in contact through social media etc from then on and I watched closely as he developed his range of DTX rods.  At the same time I was developing my guiding business and expanding on the range of casting clinics and fishing courses I deliver annually.  Towards the end of last year I tried his double handed rods when my good pal and buddy Maurice Cahill was using them.  As expected from a rod designed by a multiple world champion spey caster these rods were top class.  This year I have used the single handed rods several times and they really are exceptional.

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The old adage ‘there’s no I in team’ applies as these guys are real TEAM players which makes everything so much easier.  I am looking forward to working closely with Scott and fellow Pro Team Member Maurice for the future.

Thanks guys!