Tom Moran 7’ #4-weight 2-piece 2-tip model № 844 c2013.
In unused condition, with its leather case.
Rod 56 of this, the late Tom Moran’s most popular and defining model. As you can see in the accompanying pictures, the handle still has its protective plastic shrink wrap. It has been lawn cast only and is a superb example of Tom’s later work (he died in May 2014).
This is the model that was the subject of the late Peter Lapsley’s five page piece Magic Wands in the April 1997 edition of Fly Fishing & Fly Tying magazine. The following extract succinctly captures the essence of this iconic rod:
‘When Tom had talked me through the whole rod-building process, he took me into the garden and handed me one of his completed rods. Eighty four inches long, weighing 3.5 ounces and fitted with an Orvis CFO reel and a #4 line, it felt light and perfectly balanced. I extended fifteen yards of line or so into a stiffish breeze. The loop of the line on the forward and back casts was extraordinarily tight and precise. I tapped the rod forward. Its tip stopped dead, without a hint of tremor or vibration, and the tiny tuft of wool at the end of the leader dropped feather-like onto the fallen leaf I had selected as a target –again and again. Never had I fallen in love so quickly.
As I drove home, my thoughts kept turning to that rod – to the thought, care and craftsmanship that had gone into its construction, to its beauty as an artefact, whatever its purpose, and to its astonishing “rightness” as a fishing implement.’
As I have said elsewhere, Tom Moran was one of the all time best makers of high class fishing rods. Note that this was his 56th rod of this particular model. Most so-called rod makers these days won’t make anywhere near as many rods in their lives and nor will they have the finely honed skills that come with long experience.
This is a rod that devotees of fine split cane shouldn’t be without.
The blank is Tom’s ‘blonde’ (oven tempered) precision built cane. Nodes are staggered 3 x 3 in the classic Leonard style, with no groups of nodes near the elegant butt swell, ferrules or tip rings. The sections are straight, true and unblemished.
The tips are numbered 1 & 2 in Indian ink and have identifying tippings to the tip ring whippings –one green, the other red.
Ferrules are Tom’s own nickel silver splint end Super-Z pattern, blued, lacquered and fitted with his superb cork and Rosewood stopper.
The Flor grade cork handle is a very comfortable classic cigar shape, with blued nickel silver checks at each end.
The reel seat is beautifully figured tiger maple, its colour in harmony with that of the blank, and hand mortised to suit the underside of a Hardy reel foot. The nickel silver butt cap and band are incredibly finely knurled, blued and lacquered. The butt cap is engraved ‘T. Moran – Maker’
The guides & tip-tops are black nickel coated hard chrome plated Snake Brand. The hook keeper is Tom’s own make. Whippings are in varnish impregnated white Pearsall’s Gossamer silk, with Tom’s trademark single strand tan tippings.
The varnish finish is especially fine and durable even by the exemplary standards of the maker.
The rod’s tailor made bag is complete with a stiffener to protect the tips.
The case is in superb dark tan leather, made by the excellent Ger Vroomen of the Netherlands.