Someone asked recently in a PM what happened when I contacted Elkhorn about the broken tip and the warranty. Thought I had posted something about that, but obviously not.

Brian was of the opinion that it would probably be impossible to determine whether the breakage was from a flaw in the blank ( covered by the warranty ) or accidental ( not covered ). However, he did express a willingness to work something out, as a matter of customer service, if I insisted.

That was good enough for me. I didn't insist. There really was no way that I would "waste" the broken tip section knowing that a simple repair at home would almost certainly make it as good as new.

I did finally get around to finishing the repair. I had replaced the tip top shortly after I talked to Brian, but I didn't get around to wrapping it and applying the first two coats of varnish until yesterday. Will apply an additional coat of varnish later today.

While I am at it, here's an update, beyond the information posted as a part of the '09 Elkhorn Challenge thread on the Fishing Reports Forum.

First, the tip section that I have been using has developed a noticeable bend to it, but not along the flat where the guides are located. The bend is most noticeable with the guides pointed down, at which time the curve is to the right side. I've read some about bamboo taking a set for various reasons and the cure for the curve. Not ready to try a remedy yet. The bend does not affect casting or catching. If and when it does, or at the end of the year, I'll bone up on the remedies I've read and try one of them.

Second, the ferrule on the section I am using is a bit more "worn" that I would have expected. Not bad, just a bit loose. Something to pay attention to over the course of a day fishing. That may well have resulted from some playing around I did with another male ferrule when I was considering making a shorter butt section for the rod so I would have a 6' back up to the original 8' rod.

Third, the last couple times out, I've been using a DT3F line ( the rod is rated 5 wt ). I have been surprised at how well the rod handles a line that light. It isn't quite as smooth casting with the 3 as it is with the 5, and it actually takes more work to cast the 3, but it does point out the "flexibility" of bamboo ( no pun intended ). When I get the chance, I'll try a DT4F. I think that might be a dynamite combination, maybe better than the 5 ??

Finally, I took a while getting around to the repair because I also wanted to replace one of the snake guides which was damaged in a moment of carelessness. It was a bit intimidating, since I had not tried to strip a varnished silk wrapping before, and it took me a while to get past that. IT WAS A BREEZE. A slice with a razor blade along the side of the snake guide foot and the wrap just peeled off. I had to do the new wrap a couple times because I was a bit rusty, but the second time was a charm. Looks just fine.