January 25th, 1999
Sparing the Rod
By Jack Ohman
Excerpt from Fear of Fly Fishing Thanks for use permission.
A fly fisherman's first rod should be modest.
No one should start out with an Orvis split bamboo
or a Winston, even if their credit line goes along with
it. A first rod should weigh the far side of a pound,
be constructed of industrial electrical conduit, be as
flexible as a telephone pole, and have the guides
look as if they were wrapped by Helen Keller. Only
then will you appreciate a good rod.
The first rod can be purchased at a hardware
store. You'll find them in a plastic garbage can next
to the Day-Glo bobber display. A really tony first
rod should run about $20. Make sure it has a fairly
obscure name brand, such as "Cast-O-Rama" or
"Fish'n'Buddy." The rod should be about as flexible
as a 36-ounce Louisville Slugger; you'll also want to
select a model with a defective reel seat, providing you
with the unparalled thrill of reeling in a big trout, while
holding the reel in your hand, instead of having it
securely attached to your rod.
After you've fished with the First Rod for a couple
of trips, you'll need a pretext to get rid of it.
"Accidentally" closing the trunk of your car on the tip,
"dropping" it in a raging torrent, or just "forgetting"
it at a pool are all acceptable excuses to go out and
blow a lot of dough for a new one. After you've ditched
your starter rod, you'll need a new one. Before Orvis gets
your MasterCard number, let's review the different
types of rods: (Next time)
~ Jack Ohman
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