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Post 15 Oct 2021, 06:19 • #1 
Master Guide
Joined: 02/01/12
Posts: 822
Location: Upstate NY
I am pleased to offer my own designed series of rods, The Ondawa Series.




ONDAWA: One of 2 Native American names for the Battenkill, where the series was developed and tested.

The first two are a 7'-9" 3pc 4wt and a 5wt. Rod blanks are rolled in the USA and are constructed of Black Uni S2 Fiberglass. As with my other builds, all finished rods will be built with USA-made rod components.

Both models underwent several months of prototype testing before the final two tapers were selected. I spent the entire late spring testing prototypes and then in early summer the final 2 models were fished extensively on small to medium sized rivers with different brands and types of fly lines.

I wanted both rods to be able to do several different things well, from fishing dries, dry/dropper rigs, swinging wets, and fishing streamers, but both needed a smooth casting profile: A pleasure to cast, easily able to place the offering where you are looking, and offer a great experience hooking, playing, and landing fish.

I believe these two models will offer that:

The 7'-9" 3pc 5 wt is a medium-fast taper best suited for dries, dry/dropper rigs, wet flies, and streamers. DT5 lines are suggested. This rod does everything well, it will load properly for close in work as well as reaching out for long casts, 65-70ft with ease. While I recommend DT5 lines for it, it did do well with heavier WF5 lines and Standard WF6 lines.

The 7'-9" 3pc 4 wt is a medium-flex taper best suited for dries, dry/dropper rigs, and wet flies. DT4 lines are suggested. While it will cast lightweight streamers, the 5wt is better-suited. This model is a bit "softer" than the 795. As with the 795, it will load nicely for close in work as well as reaching out to the 50-60ft range when needed.

Below are several pictures of both models as well as my Rod Decal. The Label for the Ondawa Series, I was shooting for a somewhat Retro Look.






Pricing:
$550 USD for models with a standard stripping guide and $575 USD for an agate upgrade. I do have blank inventory in stock. I will not sell blanks.


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Post 15 Oct 2021, 10:21 • #2 
Guide
Joined: 06/27/11
Posts: 314
Location: US-OH
Congratulations on the new series Bill! I'm sure these models will fit the needs of many anglers who want to grab just one rod for different situations. I own several of Bill's builds and I highly recommend his work.


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Post 15 Oct 2021, 17:36 • #3 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/26/14
Posts: 3271
Location: US-MN
Look and sound awesome! Love the logo!


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Post 17 Oct 2021, 16:17 • #4 
New Member
Joined: 01/03/17
Posts: 5
Location: US-NY
I had the pleasure of fishing both rods. Fishing on a medium size river with slight cross winds I found the 5wt (with a trout boss line) took a small adjustment on the forward cast - I had to give a little more power forward but, the response from the rod was exemplary… I was able to put out as much line as I wanted. I used this in a dry dropper set up and tandem wet flies.

I fished the 4 weight (with a 406 DT fly line) in more of a pocket water setting. Again, a tiny bit of forward input gave the rod a tremendous amount of power especially in the mid section. The 4wt in comparison to the 5wt is just a bit “softer” and allowed for precise dry dropper presentation. I did throw some small streamers with both, beyond 30’ water loaded the lines and had precise casting.

Overall, both rods were very fun to fish, I think this rod series answers the question to most of the stream and river conditions we encounter daily.

One last thing that I would like to add and, my favorite aspect of casting this rod series is: they both pick up a decent amount of line quickly and with ease. This allowed me to cast quickly and confidently.


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Post 19 Oct 2021, 12:31 • #5 
Guide
Joined: 06/08/18
Posts: 183
Location: Boston , MA
You are one of the “Elites” in the field Bill , Best for you with this endeavor , I’m sure it’s everything you intend it to be , only better !!!


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Post 19 Oct 2021, 13:35 • #6 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 04/26/12
Posts: 1778
Location: Dubois Pa
Looks great Bill, congratulations


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Post 20 Oct 2021, 09:18 • #7 
Master Guide
Joined: 12/31/15
Posts: 922
Location: Three Forks of the Flathead
This is really great. I’m looking forward to hearing more about these.


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Post 22 Oct 2021, 11:25 • #8 
Master Guide
Joined: 09/02/12
Posts: 827
Location: Upstate NY
Well I was lucky to cast the new series yesterday in let’s just say windy conditions like 20 miles an hour in my face lol.. The rod really performed well it’s not your average fiberglass rod it has Real backbone it give you power you need to cut through the wind in place a dry drop rig in the right spot.The finish work is impeccable as always let’s just say I’ll be placing an order soon


Last edited by Lordideme on 23 Oct 2021, 20:23, edited 1 time in total.

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Post 22 Oct 2021, 14:12 • #9 
Guide
Joined: 11/23/17
Posts: 229
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
Very nice, looking forward to trying one out.

Jeff


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Post 22 Oct 2021, 14:45 • #10 
Guide
Joined: 02/07/12
Posts: 189
Location: US-NM
Congratulations Bill! The new series looks great!


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Post 02 Nov 2021, 12:59 • #11 
Guide
Joined: 02/27/12
Posts: 160
Location: US-AR
Congratulations!! Sounds like a fantastic series. I have always liked the 7'9" rod length, in general it seems like a good all purpose small stream configuration. I am intrigued by the 5/6wt. Might be good for some of the warm water streams in the Ozarks.


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Post 02 Nov 2021, 16:42 • #12 
Master Guide
Joined: 02/01/12
Posts: 822
Location: Upstate NY
Thank you for all the encouraging and positive comments. I had a lot of fun designing and fishing these tapers. The 4wt came pretty easy, the 5wt was a chore to say the least, that one took more than several prototypes to get it where I wanted.

My favorite is the 5/6, I like my 5wts to have some extra power or be versatile. With that being said, the 5/6, while being able to cast dries and dry/dropper (my most common fishing situations) I wanted it to be able to cast pretty heavy streamers and still be able to manipulate them while retrieving them. I weight my streamers pretty well, and typically I'll fish a bugger or muddler style streamer with a trailing nymph. It does that very well also. I have not tried it with bass poppers yet, but given how it does with streamers, I'd say it would work pretty well. I did tank a couple of browns and rainbows that were in the 18 to 20 inch range on this rod, hook sets were quick and the fights were short lived due to the power of the rod and its shorter length.


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Post 22 Nov 2021, 16:47 • #13 
New Member
Joined: 08/19/20
Posts: 1
Location: Texas
I had the pleasure of being Bill’s first customer for the Ondawa 4wt. I’ve fished conventional gear for the last 50 years but have only recently made the switch to fly fishing. I’ve made several trips to Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado and I’m totally hooked on small to medium size stream fishing.

Earlier in October, I was fishing a medium size stream with my 3wt and was thinking a 4wt with a little more reach is what I really need here. Mind you, I’m still finding my way in the fly world and this forum has been a wealth of invaluable information for me.

I saw Bill’s post on his new Ondawa series and took a shot on the 4wt model. I received it this past Friday and it clearly is a rod built by a true craftsman. Bill was very easy to work with and communicated with me throughout the whole process. Excellent price, excellent customer service and a beautiful fly rod.

Living in Southeast Texas, I don’t have the option to use the rod for what it was made for, but I really wanted to get out on my local pond and get a feel for it and maybe even catch a fish or two. I had a brief window yesterday afternoon and was able to try it out. I strung it up with a 406 DT4 and tied on a popper. Even for a neophyte like me, it was easy to cast, well balanced and loaded in close or could reach out to the limit of my ability with ease(40-45’). I was even able to land a 12” bass in my test session and the 4wt handled it no problem. I look forward to getting some more time on my new Ondawa 4wt and can’t thank Bill enough for such a fine fishing tool. Bill is a gentleman and true craftsman.


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Post 23 Nov 2021, 00:49 • #14 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 09/18/09
Posts: 5109
Location: Washington DC Region
I missed this the first time around.
Congratulations Bill. The blanks look great and the 5/6 sounds like a fantastic all around rod. Your builds are always stunning.


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Post 26 Nov 2021, 17:18 • #15 
Master Guide
Joined: 02/01/12
Posts: 822
Location: Upstate NY
David,
Thanks again for giving me the opportunity to do a build for on my new series. Good to hear that it meets expectations! It will serve you well on those trout streams when you get a chance to fish them again!


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