Bamboo Bonzai

The Split Cane Fly Rod
(Excert from Part III: Research and Technique)
A Fly Fisher's Life (1959)
By Charles Ritz
Our sincere thanks to Crown Publishing Company

July 27th, 1998

Publishers note: Since this publisher is older than dirt, it occured to me that some may never have seen many of the older books. From time to time, we hope to excerpt interesting segments from our personal library to enlighten, entertain and perhaps amaze our rod building friends. Some things are older than you might think. Most of these books are long out of print, and if we spark an interest in you, check out the used book stores, or one of the mail-order book sellers. We previously ran a series on bamboo from Ring of the Rise, (check the archives) which I understand is now available in reprint. Your suggestions and comments are always welcome.~DB

The Split Cane Fly Rod
(Excerpt from Part III: Research and Technique)

"Fly rods are like women: they won't play if they're maltreated! All rods can catch fish: their success depends on the hand that uses them. But there are rods and rods! Good ones are rare. To know how to select a rod without faults among the innumerable models placed on the market by the manufacturers of two continents is extremely difficult, even for an expert. The fisherman is therefore limited to searching for one he believes will suit him and seems the best to him. Lack of technical knowledge condemns him to uncertainty and often to useless expenditure.

The moments of hatch and activity on the part of the fish during a day's fishing are relatively short. Therefore, all loss of time should be avoided and all useless movements reduced to a minimum. The rod must do the maximum amount of fishing. The fisherman must have equal confidence in the rod and in himself. He must not thwart it, but endeavour to be in harmony with it and let its flexibility do the work. He must always be master of his smallest reflexes, be continously capable of observing the most minute details and be able to relax as often as possible.

A faultless rod is one of the best trump-cards a fisherman has for attaining his goal. But how are you to know how to select one, particularly if you are only a moderate caster? I hope that my animadversions on rods (my hobby and my passion) will enable you to acquire the knowledge and understanding that every lover of the fly rod should possess. Moreover, I hope that the reader will find something new here." ~Charles Ritz

Next time, "How to select a cane rod without allowing yourself to be unduly influenced."


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