Gypsy Jack, or G-Jack to his friends, began experimenting with different fly rod offerings for bass as a youngster fishing legendary Toledo Bend Reservoir with his dad in the early 1970s. Using conventional bait casting and spinning tackle, G-Jack learned how to catch fish on everything from crank baits and jigs to spinners and top water plugs.
But his hankering for fly rods led him to try casting poppers and large flies on his department store 8’ fly rod.
"I caught some nice bluegill and an occasional small bass, but mainly I was just getting in a lot of casting practice,” G-Jack joked. “I became convinced that fly rod offerings needed to mimic classic bass patterns to consistently catch quality fish.”
Using a variety of materials from balsa to deer hair, G-Jack started crafting bass lures he could chuck on a fly rod with mixed success.
The lures caught bass; however, while balsa was light and easily formed, it lacked durability. Deer hair could be shaped into all kinds of critters but “cast like a wet sock” after getting wet. After years of trial and error, Gypsy discovered lightweight flexible foam was perfect for fly rod bass lures. He also found that swivel tie-ones eliminated twisted leaders, while special hook retainers held large, line-snagging hooks in place.
G-Jack found the ideal fly rods for bassing while trout fishing in England during a three-year military stint across the pond.
“They fished from the bank and had to reach trout rising a good 30 feet away,” he noted. “So they used ten-foot, seven-weight rods to make long casts. I knew these rods were perfect for bassing, but when I returned stateside, the only long fly rods I could find were stiff salmon rods that threw a 10- or 12-weight line. So I learned how to build rods. Gypsy Jack fly rods are specifically built for casting and fishing our lures, and they have great action.”
To chunk the lures 30 yards or more, G-Jack designed custom fly rods with progressive action, 10-foot, 7-weight blanks, with hardwood reel seats, top-quality cork grips and durable hardloy guides.
For bassers who want to consistently catch fish on a fly rod, Gypsy Jack lures and fly rods are a must.
“No offense to fly fishing purists,” G-Jack said, “We’re not making a fashion statement or creating some misguided mystique about fly rodding – you know, ‘the artistry of fly fishing.’ We just want you to Catch them Hawgs!”