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November 13th, 2000

By James Castwell

At a very well attended fly-fishing-fly-casting event I watched something which really bothered me. I will not give the exact details, you will understand why, but enough for you to get the picture. A notable person was demonstrating how to improve casting and in the process abused a fly rod. He covered the action with a remark similar to, "I don't have to worry, I get those for free."

This was several years ago but the image has stayed with me to this day. As most of you who know much about me already surmise, I like, make that, 'I love' fly-casting. I do wish I was better at it, but I'm not. I am fairly competent, I guess would describe it. Over the years I have accumulated a rather goodly number of rods. Many I have sold or traded off during those same years, down to perhaps just a few now. But, I have never had any lack of respect for or contempt for any fly rod I have ever owned, borrowed, or otherwise used.

Naturally, I have drifted toward those rods which suite my casting methods and needs. Not much surprise, most are a tad on the pricey side. Now, what should one call 'pricey?' Suppose that depends on a whole lot of things and is not the point here. The point is our new fly-rods. Right, like a hole in the head, we needed two more; one for each of us, to be exact. The decision was based on the fear I, or we, may break one of our 'pricey' rods using them on some 'slug-it-out' chum salmon fishing. I bought us each a new nine-foot, eight-weight, four-piece rod, The rods cost us a couple hundred bucks each. Is that a 'pricey' rod? I guess it may be for some, but most of us, if we are truthful, would say it is pretty low end.

After some discussion on the subject we figured it may be nice not to have to worry about busting up our high-priced goodies. Well, the idea seemed good on paper, but did it fly? A resounding 'yes' is the answer. Contrary to the thoughts of some, I am a bit on the shy side and often felt a bit self-conscious when fishing using a fly rod which cost several times more than my first car. Or a couple I bought after it, in fact.

The feeling was different. I chat with many when we are out fishing, many times more are using a spinning rod than are fly-rodders. Often a bit of 'show-and-tell' happens. Guys are just curious and like to let each other know what rod and other gear they are using. With our new rods I felt more like just one of the bunch. Good feeling, I liked it just fine.

It's funny out there, a bit of casting competition goes on. Not quite, but almost on purpose. Each of the better casters will attempt to wing a cast about as far as they can. Some guys like to look good and that's fine with me. I will make a long cast if it is called for, but mostly, I don't. Heck, it's work, not why I am there. I just want to fish.

Did they cast as well and as easily and as efficiently and comfortably and as impressively as the 'pricey' ones? Nope, they did not. Did we have sore shoulders, arms, thumbs or any other complaints the next day? No to that also.

I guess what I am trying, poorly I suspect, to say, is, I did enjoy using a more normally priced fly rod. You may think that for whatever reason you can't afford a high priced rod. If so, let it go, most all of them work just dandy. And, remember, no matter which rods you have, regardless of cost, they are 'yours' and deserve your respect. Will others judge you by how you treat your equipment? Well, right or wrong, I did. Guess I was raised that way. Thanks dad. ~ James Castwell

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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