It is with mixed emotions I bring this information to the world.
Number 3, yes, this is the third 'broom-rod' I have been compelled
to produce. The whole story is not a pretty thing. But, I will
try to make it bearable out of concern for anyone silly enough
to be interested.
Many years ago I decided that the expression, "it cast's like a
broom," just had to be proven, or at least investigated. I know,
I know, but that's the way I am, sorry about that. So I did it.
I built a broom-rod. The local hardware store (housewares section)
yielded the raw material, mostly. The one chosen had the plastic
bristles cut at an angle, hence the name 'Angler' appeared on the
plastic cap for same. Some old guides, fly and spinning, (remember,
I was new at this) along with a somewhat functioning single action
reel, a few conduit clamps, left over epoxy and tape for a handle
and I was in the 'rod building business.' Oh yes, a 12 weight fly
line conned from a major company who figured if they provided me
with one, I would go away. They did, I did.
And so 'Broom Rod One' was no longer a thing of my devious
imagination, it lived. Not only lived, it achieved a place
of actual value. I found since it would not 'load,' the only
way a cast could be performed was by doing the double-haul.
Neat, I would use it to help teach the double-haul, and I
did just that. In that it did 'cast like a broom' was not
necessarily a bad thing, but in fact (like Martha Stewart
would say), "it was a good thing." Or something like that.
I used it for a few years while trying to teach casting to
those who would listen. I did not let many know that part of
the course would include the broom-rod, just seemed like the
prudent thing to keep secret. In reality it turned out to be
a very good tool for the job and found it's way with my other
rods on trips for conclaves and sporting shows. Over time some
very well thought of casters had the good fortune to be invited
to cast it, some even enjoyed it. It was used for the distance
event at a big time cane rod doings in Michigan one year, made
quite an impression on those cane guys. One 'Master FFF guy used
it to 'tune-up' the night before his test. (Midnight, parking
lot, front of motel, Montana) He passed his test the next day.
It was stolen (abducted or kidnaped really) at a show once in
Salt Lake, or Denver, (I can never keep those two towns separate)
but, showed up after being gone for only two days. I refused to
pay the ransom too. I watched many of the worlds finest grunt
and struggle with the thing, got a few pictures which I will
hold until I need ready cash. Then tragedy struck. It got
swiped, for real, I never found it again.
Not to be deterred from my goals, I replaced it. Same things
mostly, no reason to improve anything. But, Broom-Rod #2 was
just not the same. I used it for about three years, dragging
it to Fish-In's and other gatherings of dubious merit, when
I got another great idea. I needed a 'Pack-Broom-Rod.'
So, here we are today, launching to the world the birth of the
insidious devise. Broom-Rod #3 (pack model).You will notice the
bristles are still slanted, that has class and no respectable
broom-rod would perform well with them any other way. One well
meaning (I think) chap out east threatened to make a 'Mop-Rod,'
but, fortunately for all of us, he just never got around to it.
But, I diverge, with my wife's encouragement I went to all
'top of the shelf' materials, "do it up right," she said.
A trip to the fly-shop... I mean the hardware store again,
and the main part was over. An extension handle, or rather
a set of them (three in a bag, I needed two bags) and I was
ready. Taping my resources by phone got me a reel seat, handle,
and some guides. I am sworn to secrecy as to where these came
from and I promised Bob I would not tell, so please don't write
me asking for a source. It took some doing but, I managed to
fit the pieces together and with the addition of a broom-head
(from the hardware store again) and another call to the fly line
company and my vision of perfection was complete.
You may notice the wraps are a bit unique, (I found a big spool
of real nice wire) so, being out of A sized thread went the extra
mile and 'bound 'er in wire.' I apologize for the seemingly heavy
epoxy on the wraps, but, it was some very old 5-minute stuff and
I did the best I could with it. That and the wire wraps... nice
and strong. I will put 'mouse-over's ' on the pictures if you
need some real technical information.
All in all, it was a fun project. It will show up at some of the
'Fish-In's' in the future ( if not swiped in the meantime) and
I can either mail it or pack it with me on the planes much easier
now. If you find yourself fascinated, as did I, with this kind
of project, either seek conventional professional help (a clinic
comes to mind), take a long drive or walk, spend a few days fishing
on a nearby brook or... see what your own hardware store may have.
There is nothing quite like breaking out a 'Broom-Rod' at a
function to bring humility, embarrassment, joy, blisters, colorful
language, lots of sweat sometimes, and peals and peals of laughter.
From me to you... enjoy. ~ James Castwell