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.

March 25th, 2002

Fly Rod Building Made Easy

By Art Scheck
Published by The Countryman Press, Woodstock, Vermont

Reviewed by James Castwell

"This book is for amateurs, for an angler who'd like to build his or her first fly rod, or who had problems with their first one and would like his second one to come out a little better."

How about that? Here is a book by a guy who is not an expert, at least he doesn't claim to be, refreshing idea. The cover states that it is a 'complete step-by-step guide to making a high-quality fly rod on a budget.' I suppose that some of the quality would depend on the 'quality' of the parts you use, but in my opinion, the instructions are certainly clear enough and if you follow them, the rod will have some quality. Undoubtedly a bit more than my first one did at least.

I was at first disappointed that the pictures were only black and white. However they are so big that it doesn't matter. They may not be as pretty, but you don't need 'pretty' to get the job done. There are 225 step-by-step photos.

Speaking of getting a job done. He has. The book gives you all you need to know in a very understandable format. He takes you by the hand from each element clearly and precisely. I found nothing left out.

The problem I see is this. You should have had this book when you built your first rod. You didn't though and probably will not buy this one now if you have not yet built a rod. You are too involved with the cost of the blank, what kind, where to get it on sale, and all of the other fittings to make it into a casting stick. A shame.

If you could justify the price of this book now you would have a realistic first rod which you could be not only proud of, but actually fish with and enjoy. That may be a radical idea, but at least give it a moments thought. You probably want to see a picture so here is one, one of the many which will help you keep from making a mess of your second rod, or first if you get this book.

Did the world need yet another book on how to build a rod? Weren't there enough already, really good ones? Probably there were. But, then again, who doesn't like to have the latest works on any subject. If so, here it is and it will do the job. I am a bit amused by part of the title, 'made easy' it says, well, perhaps making a fly rod is easy. I think I should have a chat with Art about that someday. Made correctly may be closer, and made pleasurably as well. Check at your fly shop for it, if he doesn't have it, well, at least you gave him a chance. ~ JC

Fly Rod Building Made Easy
190 pages
8.5" x 11"
Softcover $24.95 U.S.
ISBN 0-88150-511-0
Published by Countryman Press
P.O. Box 748
Woodstock, Vermont 05091

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