Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Saying Thanks!

How do you say thank you to the person who introduced you to the passion of your life? Well for my friend Shawn the answer was to go off the deep end. 

A few months ago I shared a sneak peak of one of the coolest, and most humbling projects I've ever been fortunate to work on, a project my close friend Shawn and I have been talking about for years. Shawn's dad is about to turn 65, and Shawn has been searching for a way to express a lifetime of gratitude to the man who introduced him to fly fishing, and with whom he has shared his lifelong passion.

For the last two or three years, Shawn and I have tossed around various ideas for making the perfect gift. And when we came across the work of master engraver David Riccardo, the pieces simply fell into place.

This reel is only half of what will be a truly remarkable gift. Equally remarkable is the collaboration of four different craftsmen that is taking place in order to bring this gift to life. Accompanying this reel will be a presentation bamboo rod, hand built by Shawn himself.
Once I finished machining the reel it was carefully packed and mailed to Michigan, where it would be transformed by master engraver David Riccardo. During the painstaking engraving process, David and Shawn would share photos and talk almost daily to ensure Shawn's vision was perfectly brought to life.
Paul Drake from Colorado Springs -- a traditional silversmith and leather craftsman -- fitted the reel with its handmade leather case. The reel case's Sterling Silver name plate was also engraved by Riccardo.


I am extremely proud to be involved with such an amazing project. I cant immagine a better way to say thanks!


  1. What a fine piece of art and craftsmanship Mark. Great job guys!

  2. Well done, Mark and Shawn. Let's see pictures of the whole package when it's complete, please.

  3. Incredible... Simply incredible. Major props to the Fab Four who did the work.

    May I ask, what material is the reel machined from?

  4. Very nice work Mark. You guys should create a business together. Making super high-end fly fishing equipment should have a great market.

    Happy Holidays my friend and cousin.