A Lifetime of Fishing Biscayne Rods by Chico Fernandez

Chico with gag grouper and custom built Biscayne Rod

Chico with gag grouper and custom built Biscayne Rod.

I started fishing in Cuba around 1947 at the age of 6 or so, using the latest tackle of those days, a hand-line, wrapped around a stick. But by around 1950 or so I was already using a spinning rod.

In 1952, the family came for vacation to Miami, and my dad, also a fisherman, took me to Biscayne Rods, and ended up buying me a custom build spinning rod to be used with 8 pound test line. In the years that passed we would visit the shop on every trip to Miami.
Finally, in 1959 we came to live in Miami for good. Not being able to afford a custom rod at the time, I would still go to Biscayne Rod and get components to build my own rods, together with lots of advice from Mr. Carman – Karl Carman.

Now over 60 years have passed since that first custom rod, and I have dedicated my self to writing and teaching about fishing and fly fishing. I’ve written over 700 articles on fishing, three fishing books, and have been on many films and documentaries on fishing and fly fishing. I’ve also done videos on fly casting, spin and bait casting techniques, and taking kids fishing – which appeared in English, Spanish and Japanese. I’ve caught a few world records, fished around the world and this September 13, 2016, I will be inducted in the IGFA Hall of Fame.

I have been a consultant for many tackle and boat manufactures. And I am Charter member of the Board of Governors Emeritus status and lifetime member of the International Federation of Fly Fishers, Director at large of The Snook Foundation, founding member and Board of Directors for the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, and the IGFA Representative for Florida and lifetime member. I’m also on the board of MidCurrent, and presently consultant for Hell’s Bay Boatworks and Costa sunglasses.

And after all these wonderful lifetime experiences, I am still having my custom rods build – all my spinning and bait casting rods included – from Biscayne Rods, where Eddie Carman now helps me select the right blanks and components, then decide on grip and handle size, etc. He is an expert at it, and an angler, as his brother, his father and grandfather was, and that is part of the reason the rods are world class. There is a passion for perfection in that company and it shows.

This year I visited Eddie with another request. I needed two deep jigging rods, for six and ten pound braid for extensive travel, so they had to be built on three-piece blanks. But, I still needed the rod to have a good feel all the way to the butt as they bend during a fight. Eddie thought about it for a minute, took twenty steps, reached an area with many blanks and soon came up with the blanks that filled that requirement… Surprised? Of course not. Those rods are now in my home, waiting for the next trip.

If you want a custom rod, there is nothing like a Biscayne Rod.

– Chico Fernandez

Chico with young guide and 42 pound cubera snapper in the 1970s.

Chico with young guide and 42 pound cubera snapper caught on a Biscayne Rod in the 1970s.

Chico mutton plug b&w 1970s

Chico with a nice mutton snapper caught with a plug rod circa 1980s.

Chico spin yellow jack 2015

Chico with a yellow jack caught on a light rod built by Biscayne Rod.

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