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Robert Traver on Cane Rods

By Robert Traver

I am now reluctantly satisfied that glass fly rods are mechanically the equal of and perhaps often perform better than the best bamboo rods. Not only that, they are more reasonable in price; require little or no care; and apparently last forever. I'll concede all that, but never will I let another glass fly rod darken by door. Put it down, if you will, to a burst of girlish sentiment of the heart or middle-aged sediment on the kidneys - I'll take split bamboo. To my mind there is no fairy wand in creation more graceful and beautiful than a good bamboo fly rod. They look so good; they feel so good. Like fingerprints, no two bamboo rods are alike; each is an individual possessed of its own unique character and one that a fisherman can really get to know.

But these gleaming impersonal glass rods that some chemist has conceived in a laboratory out of skimmed milk and old box tops, these synthetic concoctions that are turned out on an assembly line as much alike as two peas in a pod, simply aren't for me. I'd sooner cast over glass fish than use one. I love my bamboo fly rods and I choose to think they have a sneaking yen for me. But I'm afraid I can never quite fall in love with a chemist's incestuous brain child. In short 'tis a pox I wish on all glass rods. (Adv.: I'll sell you a dandy for five bucks.) ~ Robert Traver

Credits: Excerpt from Traver On Fishing (Trout Madness 1960) Published by Lyons Press.

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