The Facts Behind the Legend
Gypsy Jack, or G-Jack to his friends, began experimenting with different
flyrod 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 flyrods led him to try casting poppers and large
flies on his department store 8’ flyrod.
"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 flyrod 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 flyrod 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.
Lightweight flexible foam, he discovered, was perfect for flyrod bass lures.
Preventing twisted leaders from chunking large lures and keeping the large hooks
from tangling the line at every cast required further G-Jack ingenuity. Swivel tie-ons eliminated knotted tippets and belly hook retainers held the loose line snaggers in place.
G-Jack found the ideal flyrods 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 flyrods I could find were stiff salmon rods that threw a 10- or 12-weight line. So I learned how to build rods. Gypsy Jack flyrods are specifically built for casting and fishing our lures, and they have great action.”
For bassers who want to consistently catch fish on a flyrod, Gypsy Jack lures and flyrods 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 flyrodding – you know, ‘the artistry of fly fishing.’ We just want you to Catch them Hawgs!”
The Gypsy Jack team: Big D, G-Jack, Little M and Mighty Mickey McGhee (seated).