Customer Testimonials
Mainspring Aurora
8'3" 5wt 2/2 Hollow Quad


I went down to the river here in town a mile from my house where there is a nice riffle and run that I like. I put up a two nymph rig under a strike indicator using a Peach 5-weight DT on my Hardy LRH Lightweight reel. First pass down through the run I caught this very nice wild rainbow – a tad under 14-inches, but nice and thick and well colored. I always think it’s a good omen when my first fish on a new rod is a good one. At least, a good one for the water I was fishing,

I think the rod works perfectly with a 5-weight DT line and it was a breeze casting the nymphs both short and long. I like the [8'3"] length of rod; it mends line very easily with a flick of the tip and pulls the line off the water at the end of a long drift extremely well. I have to admit I was taken aback at first at how stiff it was and how it seemed like a very fast action rod, compared to my other rods. I was afraid it would take a 6-weight line to properly load it for normal fishing distances, but surprisingly it handles a 5 well – must be the light tip? As I’ve played with it more, mostly lawn (snow) casting but now on the water too, I’m coming to appreciate that it is so different from my other rods. It has a very modern feel to it and should be a serious stick for much of the more demanding big water fishing that I do.  - Hal
LM8053f
8'0" 5wt 3/2 Hollow Hex


I just thought I’d let you know that I christened your rod and what a fantastic rod it is! To make it even more special the first fish I hooked and landed with it was an 18” hen on a Rusty Paraspinner. I fished a Scientific Anglers DT5F Supra line on the rod and that felt just perfect to me.  - Dean
ST8682
8'6" 8wt 2/2 Hollow Hex


The rods are great - both for casting and playing the fish, we love them. - Federica
LM7952
7'9" 5wt 2/2 Hollow Quad


The quad became smooth extensions of my casting motion. I was able to focus on fly placement without thinking of my cast. It made for a very enjoyable two days. Whatever is going on, I sure enjoyed fishing your rods. - Dan
SH8683
8'6" 8wt 3/2 Hollow Hex


The rod got bent on Wednesday and this is the first fish landed on it. Nice fish... and nice rod. Decided to keep both. The rod, as you know, was plenty beefy to handle the silvers, although I was not lucky enough to hook & land one of the really big ones we saw (18-20#). But is sure was fun to fish on Kodiak Island for salmon with a bamboo rod. - Dave
LM8043sf
8'0" 4wt 3/2 Hollow Hex


Recently I closed off some beautiful days of fishing in Austria. I have to give it to you, it is a delight to fish with your rod. Pure enjoyment. I had my doubts as a EFFA casting instructor but it casts above expectations. You're very skillful that you’re able to make these kinds of rods. I am very much pleased with it :) - Cees
DB8383 Blank
8'3" 8wt 3/2 Hex


Earlier this year, you built me a 8' 3" 8-wt blank. I recently returned from trips to Prince of Wales Island and Afognak Island, where I used that rod on pinks and silvers (and a couple of chum). It performed great! It casts like a dream, and it handled the strongest fish well. Thanks for making a great blank for me! - Fred
SH8053
8'0" 5wt 3/2 Hollow Hex


I was ten years old when I first saw a hand-made bamboo fly rod. It was a in a glass showcase at the Camp Sherman Store & Fly Shop by the Metolius River in Oregon where I first learned to fly fish. I knew then I would own one someday. I thought of it often, but always decided “not now.” When I was about to turn sixty it dawned on me that I had waited too long, so I ordered a custom Carlin Bamboo Fly Rod for my birthday!

My first bamboo fly rod has arrived. This thing is beautiful! Chris Carlin’s craftsmanship is amazing. I have adapted quickly to the balance of bamboo, and absolutely love the feel of this rod in my hand. Casting it is a joy! Chris, you were right . . . roll casting with this rod is superior. I find myself roll casting when I don’t need to, just for fun. This is now my go-to rod. I have always loved fly fishing, but what is so nice about the Carlin is that I find myself enjoying the rod and the casting every bit as much as the fishing. And I should mention there have already been plenty of fish caught on my new rod as well. It was worth the 50-year wait! I am now explaining to my wife why I need a 3 wt -7’3”- 2-piece - trQuad with extra tip, clear wraps, agate guide, and a redwood burl reel seat . . . or maybe I need the 6'3" Bantam.

Dealing with Chris was a treat. He was friendly and enthusiastic while listening to my needs, knows his fly rod actions and how to explain them, and I found myself relying on his advice. After describing the Colorado trout waters where I usually fish, and the action of the Winston graphite rods I have become accustomed to, Chris helped me pick the 5 weight bamboo rod that would be best for me. I got to choose the color and shape of the bamboo, the wraps, the hardware, and most importantly, the weight, length and action I wanted. What fun! This truly is a custom rod. And his recommendations turned out to be perfect. Best of all, after multiple email and phone conversations, I feel I have made a new friend. It has been great getting to know you Chris!

Thank you for making me this fine and beautiful Carlin Bamboo Fly Rod. I couldn’t be more pleased. You will be hearing from me soon to talk about that 3-weight. I hope to meet you in Alaska sometime soon! Thanks again!  - Wayne

Mainspring Walkabout
8'9" 8wt 4/2 Hollow Hex


As you can see, your fine cane rod did the business at Lake Strobel in Patagonia. These are big fish.......but the rod handled it. - Clem
Mainspring Nonpareil
8'3" 6wt 3/2 Hollow Hex


When recently preparing for a Southwest Alaska fishing adventure it was time to consider adding another bamboo rod to my quiver, one especially designed for the waters and trout fishery of the Togiak River.

Chris has earned a reputation for the design and performance of his tapers, as well as his impeccable build quality. It only took one discussion with Chris for him to fully understand the waters and fish I would be targeting, and making a recommendation for the rod weight, length, and taper. In this case it would be an 8’3” Mainspring Nonpareil hexagonal hollow-build taper. The rod would be 3 piece for easy travel, and cast a 6 weight with easy and authority. Chris explained this taper would be a medium fast action, offering good range, ideal for roll casting, yet still quite capable of delicately presenting dry flies.

We only were able to fish for trout one day...the rivers were high so we had to wait for the drop. We fished the Gechiak River on Saturday. Managed several dozen Dolly's and three Rainbows, the largest were as follows; 24" Dolly and 18" Rainbows. The rod is truly beautiful, I can't thank you enough for getting it done on time for the trip. It handled the Gechiak great...love the size too! I cant wait to fish it locally, I think it might just be my go-to rod. - Troy
LM8062
8'0" 5wt 2/2 Hollow Quad


Finally got a chance to cast the rod and it is great! Fast, responsive, strong tip, no problems with tip bounce. No haul necessary for the first 50 ft or so, and can easily reach out much farther when you haul. As a side note, due to its “beefiness” it can also snap-T, etc.  - David
D7012 Blank
7'0" 4wt 2/2 Hex


I know the bamboo is not designed for saltwater, but I couldn't resist taking it out one day to catch a bonefish on it. - Daniel
P97m Blank
7'2" 4wt 2/2 Hex


I really tested your Payne 97 blank today with a 20 inch brown on a 22 BWO dun and 7X. Please note the last photo where the rod is still straight as an arrow. You make very nice bamboo!! - Bob

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