Bamboo Tips - Contributors - MacKenzie, Ralph

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I'm Ralph MacKenzie, prefer "Mac", and started flyfishing by wet wading for bluegills along the shore when fins on Chevy's were new and cool.  ;-)}  I read daily, post occasionally, have learned a lot.  I'd completed some "other" flyrods over the years and after my daughter returned from antique shopping with my wife, all excited over the bamboo fly rod they found for me, I thought I'd invest some bucks and get it all fixed up good.   The local Orvis guy, (I'm in Okemos, Michigan), pointed me to Bob Summers in Traverse City.  When I called Bob, and described the really cool 5 piece Japanese rod I wanted him to restore, he 'adjusted my sights' by suggesting I should do it myself with a little steel wool and varnish, since it wasn't worth his time or my money.  As all y'all know can happen, well, ...one thing lead to another - I bought a Makers Rod 98 ticket, went to Grayrock, bought a couple issues of Bamboo Flyrod mag, and most importantly, got signed up on the list somewhere in there.  I think I have nearly every book on the topic, and although they are helpful, my first choice for help has always been here on the list.  It's "required daily reading"  even though I've not  been doing a lot of rods lately.  I've learned all kinds of good stuff I didn't even know I didn't know or needed to know.  I've managed to do about a dozen rods, use some of 'em, 'gifted' some, and have done some restorations and rebuilds also along the way - including a special rebuild on that first rod my daughter found.  When the kids were younger, I could only do a little every night after their bedtimes.  Keeping at it, I finished off #1, the legendary Sir D taper, in time to masking tape guides on and fish it the Labor Day 98 weekend and found out what a delight bamboo is to fish with.

Over the years, one of the best pieces of advice on the list, in my opinion, is "Just do it". No matter how it ends up, it's still "a fishin' pole".

There are so many people who built the craft and the list to what we enjoy today.  It has been an honor and a pleasure to meet  some of them, having been to several Grayrock gatherings.  I have often used Frank Stetzer's online Hexrod, a great resource, and we all owe Todd a big Thank You for all the work he has done to pull all the tips out from the daily banter and provide the Rodmakers Tips page - a fantastic source of information, as well as for keeping Power Fibers alive and well. The knowledge and power of the internet is a tremendous resource.

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