Bamboo Tips - Contributors - Crangi, Phil

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I have had a strong interest in making bamboo fly rods ever since I was given a Shakespeare bamboo fly rod in 1969 by the father of my then brother-in- law Gary. When his father passed away I gave Gary his father's fly rod back and promised myself that I would get another one soon. About 1973 I discovered some literature regarding making bamboo rods and was totally hooked (excuse the pun).

I started to look around for someone where I live in southeast Florida who made or knew someone who made bamboo rods - to no avail. So I figured that I would learn how to make them on my own. I found someone offering plane for steel planing form and bought them. I found someone locally who said he would make the forms for me. I gave him the plans and never saw either again. Undeterred I purchased a copy of Everett Garrison and Hoagy Carmichael's new book, some small tools and began to work on flattening an old plane I had laying around.

Then life got in the way, I became involved with my sculpture and developing my style and getting my work in galleries and my name around. I also worked full-time as a department chair and resident faculty member which meant that I was on duty one night a week in one of the dorms and on weekend duty one weekend in 5 throughout the academic year. Throw in a family and things really get interesting and my dream of learning how to make bamboo fly rods while still strong had to take a backseat to the rest of things in my life. As I stated life got in the way.

I did purchase another bamboo fly rod - a South Bend 6 wt. Which I played with and even learned how to cast a bit slower. I still wanted to make my own.

After my kids want to college and we finally moved off campus I decided to do something about my dream of learning how to make a bamboo fly rod. I started to Google the subject and found classes offered by Bill Oyster in at the time  Gainesville, GA. That worked for me. I managed to get some support to take the course from my Headmaster and took the 6 day class - it was an epiphany! What an amazing week it was. I made 8 new friends, the 5 other students in the class, Bill and Shannen Oyster and their son Cutter - all wonderful people. I am still in touch with one of my classmates, Bill, Shannen and their children. Bill has moved his headquarters of operation to Blue Ridge, GA.

Since I have taken Bill's class I have made roughly 8 more rods with one ready to be wrapped and one more waiting for final planing. I also now have orders for two rods, these will be the first I will be selling in new avocation.

I have also made a whole raft of new friends from attending a couple of bamboo rod makers' gatherings as well as from this wonderful list. I have learned so much from you all for which i will be eternally grateful. As I approach that time in my life when retirement is looming very large on my horizon, although I really can't afford it nor can I afford to give up my studio space I am looking forward to making more bamboo fly rods as well as a couple of spinning rods for my less enlightened but no less important fishing buddies.

So, that's who am, sort of.

Philip G. Crangi, husband, father, grandfather, teacher, sculptor, fledgling bamboo fly rod maker, etc.

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