Individual taste in books varies as much as the favorite rod or fly.  With that in mind, we hope to review books and videos from the ever-growing fly fishing world, and share them with you.  Books will be the best of all worlds, new and old.  Many of the old books are now available in reprint, and the wisdom contained is timely today.  Others can be found in second-hand book stores, or by mail order dealers. As we find videos we feel are outstanding they will be included. Be assured, reviews are based on what we have actually read, and due to that fact, may not appear weekly.

August 17th, 1998

The Lovely Reed
An Enthusiasts's Guide to Building Bamboo Fly Rods
By Jack Howell
Published by Pruett Publishing Company

The Lovely Reed

I am in no way an expert or professional on bamboo rods. I have owned a couple, and probably did not have a real appreciation of those. However, some exposure on current bamboo rods in Grayling Michigan this summer when the Rod Makers were gathered at Gray Rock has sparked at least curiosity.

From some of the contacts at Gray Rock, I understand the author, Jack Howell is held in high regard by his contemporaries. In fact, he has agreed to produce one of the med-section pieces for the 1999 Makers Rod.

I actually found the book facinating. Here is a small excerpt from The Lovely Reed in our About Bamboo section.

For those interested in the technical aspects of bamboo rod building, it is here. The formulas for the tapers of some Fred Devie, Dickerson, Gillum, Granger, Halstead, Heddon, Leonard, Payne are more are given. Along with insights and comments by the author.

Each step in making a rod is explained and shown. Including the tempering of the bamboo strips, which for many years was considered 'secret' in most bamboo circles.

The story of how the author, a professional muscian got involved in rod making is also great fun. It's a delightful read, even for one not making bamboo rods.~ DB

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