Courtesy of Chris Barclay
By Jane Gonzalez-Meyer
Chris Barclay has fond childhood memories of fishing across the South with his family. When he left his job this past fall, he combined his carpentry skills and his passion for fishing to form his own business, crafting fly fishing rods full time.
On fishing trips, people were so impressed with his fl y rods that they offered to pay Chris to make one for them. Now, his fly rods are sold in stores across the nation and to international customers.
Chris crafts each fly rod in his basement. First, he uses raw blanks, which are long cylindrical tubes made of fiberglass. Then, he combines the pieces together to form the rod and fastens steel guides to it. Next, Chris takes fine Japanese silk thread and wraps it around the guides. Finally, he uses cork imported from Portugal and forms a handle for the rod.
His friends make the reels. Chris says that customers who are in St. Louis can try his rods before they buy. Visit the Barclay Fly Rod Company website for more information.