Author: Russ Gooding

The Longest Post Ever on Antique Guides

Written by : Posted on February 17, 2016 : No Comments

antique-guidesAs much a curse as it is a blessing, Golden Witch may own the largest collection of European-made vintage guides in the world.

It’s a blessing because vintage guide sales comprise a small but steady bit of background income, because rummaging through these classic components informs and inspires our own guide making efforts, because we can sometimes help a restorationist find that one, utterly obscure guide that they need to perfectly restore a rod using an appropriate, vintage, new old stock (NOS) piece of componentry. It’s a curse because the collection is massive – it takes up an immense amount of valuable warehouse shelving space; it is unwieldy – the boxes are heavy – and partially disorganized – there are boxes that have been opened once, then never opened again once they were sorted into the wire-guide group as opposed to the agate & agatine group; and because it bears a weight of obligation: when a maker or restorationist needs a guide, someone in the shop, usually me, spends time looking through the bins, measuring instruments in hand, trying to find a part of the style and size requisite to the project at hand.

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The Last Cover Post EVER from the Old Website

Written by : Posted on January 20, 2016 : Comments Off on The Last Cover Post EVER from the Old Website

Hello Rodmakers & Restorationists!

It’s March of 2015 and I’m updating, not entirely re-writing, this cover letter to the Golden Witch website. Spring is officially here, but the morning after the last of our snow melted we’re getting more and the woods are white again. Now it’s time for spring weather.

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Guide & Line Size Reference

Written by : Posted on December 27, 2015 : No Comments

Ever sit and scratch your top-knot for hours trying to determine what size stripping guide to use on your creation?

Here’s a rough guideline:

  • 8MM 2-3 WEIGHT
  • 9MM 3-4 WEIGHT
  • 10MM 4-6 WEIGHT
  • 11MM 6-8 WEIGHT
  • 12MM 8-10 WEIGHT

For real silk lines, drop one guide size.

Introducing the ACW Silver Snake Hook Tender

Written by : Posted on December 27, 2015 : Comments Off on Introducing the ACW Silver Snake Hook Tender

SIlverSnakesBlueBrightNew from Arcane Component Works, we’re pleased to offer Silver Snake™ Hook Tenders. Like so much of what we do at Golden Witch and Arcane Component Works, these tenders offer rodmakers a new twist on a trusty old component. Silver Snakes™ are crafted from solid nickel silver wire.

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The GW Nickel Silver Hook Tender Series

Written by : Posted on December 26, 2015 : No Comments

TendersHook tenders, or hook keepers, tend to be a dime a dozen; well, perhaps a dime apiece back in the day when our coinage was silver. Generally, they are an inexpensive piece of bent wire or, at their fanciest, a thin saddle of bent sheet metal securing a loose ring.

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References Post

Written by : Posted on December 24, 2015 : No Comments

This is a test references post.  Come back soon!

Regarding Burnishing

Written by : Posted on December 22, 2015 : Comments Off on Regarding Burnishing

We devote so much space to variants on this single tool because it is the one tool that makes the difference between professional and amateur thread workmanship. Many talented amateurs wrap as well as the fellows who do this for a living, but then they put finish on the wraps before taking the time to burnish each wrap (and each flat of each wrap on cane rods). Different burnishers work better for different rodmakers, but no rodmaker should be without one or two that feel good in the hand, are highly polished so that they don’t tear the thread, and are kept clean so they don’t mar the thread with oils, old finish, &c. This is one more example of the unavoidable fact that good tools used properly can make a real & perceptible difference in the quality of the rods to which you sign your name.

Eliminating Thick Glue Lines in Cork

Written by : Posted on December 11, 2015 : No Comments
  1. I use and recommend TiteBond II wood glue for glue-up. 

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Reel Seats by Golden Witch

Written by : Posted on December 8, 2015 : Comments Off on Reel Seats by Golden Witch


Have you ever been fly fishing over a rough & tumble cascade, casting, drifting, and retrieving your fly, landing the occasional fast river fish, then casting again? Did your reel wiggle loose?

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The Golden Witch Video Series

Written by : Posted on December 3, 2015 : Comments Off on The Golden Witch Video Series

finishing bamboo rods

The GW Video Series has one prime goal: Education.
These videos will teach you how to make better rods. Playing on the notion that a picture is worth a thousand words, consider the text it would take to fully describe each frame of film in a thirty second video clip. Now extrapolate this to videos of eighty seven or ninety minutes in length. The volume of information you’ll garner from these videos is immense.

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