Bamboo Tips - Contributors - Easton, Doug

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I am Doug Easton, a 65 year old Biology Professor at the State University College at Buffalo. I grew up in the cornfields of Iowa where fly fishing was something you saw in magazines and the LL Bean catalogue. I used to sit in study hall when I was a high school student, reading Sports Afield and Outdoor Life. I always wanted to fly fish and never had anyone to teach me. Moving to Western New York, I joined TU, got into fly fishing and never looked back.

I started making graphite and fiberglass rods but I just couldn't stop looking at a beautiful new bamboo rod in a local fly shop. To say the least, it wasn't within the budget of an assistant professor with two young boys. My wife fueled my bamboo passion by picking up an old Shakespeare from the early 20's at a flea market. It had two tips, one short and the other full length. With the long tip it was worthless but with the short tip it was a decent 5 WT and I had many happy adventures with it .  I spent about 5 years buying, restoring and fishing low and medium price rods. I still love those old rods ad write a column about them for Power Fibers. As my interest in bamboo grew I began to realize that if I was going to fish with rods better than 9' Montegues, Heddons etc., I might have to make them.

I was cruising the web one day and I ran across Bruce Connor's site. He made the process of making a bamboo rod look doable. He provided a link for visiting this list. At the time I came in, Darryl Hayshishida ( we all were shocked by his untimely death and miss him a lot) was writing ecstatic posts about having finished his first rod, the Wayne C taper later dubbed the Sir D.  I think that was about 1997. He made it sound easy but I lurked here for about a year. I finally got a used Morgan Mill. I met Bob Maulucci, Joe Perigo and Jim Tefft through this list. Bob and Joe gave me a lot of encouragement to make my first rod. It started out as a 7'6" Granger taper.  After numerous mistakes, and missed measurements, I ended up with a workable 6'8" 3 WT. What a thrill to take my rod to Grayrock , have people cast it and actually like it! I have been happily making a few rods a year ever since. One of the really cool things about making bamboo rods is that you can design your own tapers. I spend hours and hours with Online Hexrod (Thanks Wayne and Frank) and with Rod DNA (Thanks Larry). I think there is only one rod I have made that I haven't, for better or worse, tweaked.

I have been disabled to some extent by a major back surgery and I have to say that bamboo rod making has played a major role in my rehabilitation. I have been able to make it to a couple of Catskill gatherings and Canadian Cane I hope I can make Grayrock next year. I was in bed for a long time in 2006 and following this list kept me thinking about less painful things. Thank you all so much.

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