Posted by: socalsalty | April 18, 2011

John A.’s Magic Workshop

Preview of Jakes birthday present

Jake had his birthday this last week.  My little fishing buddy turned 11.  For his birthday, John wrapped a custom rod for him.  I saw a preview of it when John brought his quiver of sticks last weekend on the Mission Belle.

After we got off the boat, John invited me over to grab some lunch and pick up Jake’s rod.  I’d been over to his secret fishing hideaway before.  I think I was so overwhelmed that I didn’t take any pictures.  This time I fared better.

The series of 3 pictures below shows you the back wall of John’s workshop.

Working from L to R, this is the back wall.

The middle section

The far right section

Note the rod roller on the workbench.  John’s been playing around with different speeds and applications to do the marbling that you saw in the first picture.  Several weeks back, he asked me what Jake’s favorite colors were.  I told him purple and gold (I’m a UW Husky alum and Jake’s adopted the school).  John layered in purple/gold/black/white to come up with the the effect you see at the base of the rod.

The wall is dominated by every imaginable variation of iron jigs.  Surface and yoyo, in every color of the rainbow.  Now that we’re finally starting to move on from winter fishing, I’m looking forward to learning everything John will share about fishing iron.  I’ve done it with some modest success, but color is only the beginning.  At Fred Hall, John took me through the process by which he picks out one vs. another.  The bottomline is how will they swim, and I can’t wait to fully understand how that looks and feels for different conditions.

Along the top of the shelf you’ll note several reels of varying sizes and with different kinds and sizes of line.  I have another picture of the roof which is lined with rods.  Along the sides are blanks and other rods in various stages of work.  You get the idea.  John will be launching a business that I’ll tell you more about when he gets closer to opening.

Jakes Husky rod

Getting back to Jake’s rod, the original plan this weekend was that Juju was going to stay with her mom while Jake and I went on a trip.  That idea ended up being postponed unfortunately.  We did manage to break in the rod a little bit though.  Jake, Juju and I went out to Venice Beach Pier for a few hours and caught some croakers.   We’re both looking forward though to putting the rod to a real test in the near future.  The good news is that the San Diego (the 3/4 day boat out of Seaforth Landing) boated 23 school size yellowtails down in the Coronado’s on Saturday.  They got bit on both flylined sardines and yoyo iron.  I also heard Dana Wharf report on Let’s Talk Hookup that the calico bite along the kelp was starting up.  Rockfish and ling continue to be good out of Channel Islands, and they’re starting to report a few white seabass.  I’ve got a feeling that we’re about to turn the corner into something pretty cool.  Tight lines.



  1. Sweet looking rod! Tell Jake I’m sending him some good Fishy mojo from the OBX for it 🙂

    Is John going to be set up to do surf rods on 12’6″ blanks? Let me know when he gets his business rolling and I’ll give him a plug on the blog and maybe order a rod if he can work with the big blanks.

    • I’ll ask him when I see him. I don’t see why not. Good to hear things are ok with you and yours out there in the OBX

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