Bamboo Tips - Contributors - Cooper, Dave

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My name is Dave Cooper and I'm 63. I got interested in fly fishing as a kid. The bluegills that I was fishing for had mouths to small for most of the lures in the store, except the flies, and they needed a fly rod that I didn't have. Finally in high school I got a fly rod - 9 ft 7 wt, level line, any piece of mono I could find for a leader, a few small flies and poppers. I didn't know what I was doing and didn't have anyone to teach me, but I had fun anyway. In 1969 I got out of the Marines and started working night shift. A few years later a friend got me to join a  bass club.  The club had 8-10 local tournaments for fun, no prizes. The next thing I knew there were sectional tournaments, state tournaments, and open tournaments. To be competitive I was fishing Saturday and Sunday every weekend, holidays, and vacation days. I was getting up at 3:30 in the morning so I could be on the lake at sunrise. FISHING BECAME WORK and was no longer fun. I stopped fishing altogether until 1993. When I started fishing again I skipped spin fishing for the most part and went to fly fishing. I fished mostly panfish at first, and then steelhead on the Lake Erie tributaries.  I have always had an interest in trout fishing, but there is very little trout fishing in Ohio. I have started taking some day trips to Pennsylvania and a week trip to Michigan each year so maybe I learn how to do it some day. This does put me at a disadvantage. If I were a better caster and fly fisherman it would help me be a better rod builder. I got interested in bamboo fly rods after reading Fishing Bamboo by Gierach. I started searching the web for more information on bamboo rods and started finding sites that had information about building bamboo rods. I got interested so I bought books by Maurer, Garrison, Cattanach, and any thing else I could find. I decided that it would make sense to take a class and see if I really liked it before I started buying the tools, so I started looking for one. I after checking several sites I found that George Maurer's class would be the first one available. I took a class with George in May 2007, decided that I liked it , and started collecting the tools. I have only finished 8 rod at this point, and I have 4 rods I'm building now. I have no interest in selling rods. I just want to learn to build decent rods that fish well and casts well enough so that people can cast them can get a good idea of how a bamboo rod should cast. At this point I'm building different tapers so I can understand the taper better. I don't know where bamboo rod building is going to lead me, other than astray that is.

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