Bamboo Tips - Contributors - Port, Art

< Home < Contributors < Port, Art

It all began in a small 5000 watt station in . . . No, that’s Ted Baxter’s resume. . .

I’ve lived my whole life on Staten Island, which doesn’t make for a lot of experience fishing for trout! I’ve been married to Kris for 43 years and have a 38 year old son James and 34 year old twin daughters, Amy and Jessica. I’m retired from the NYC Bd of Ed after 34 years of teaching HS Math. I’m planning to teach a grandson - my first grandchild, to be born this May - to fly fish, so I’ll be able to pass on what I had to discover on my own.

After picking up flyfishing in my mid-twenties I began first tying flies and then making my own fiberglass and graphite rods. I had decided I’d never have a bamboo rod if I didn’t make my own. This was in the early 70’s when a Sharpes Scottie or a Constable R.H. Woods was about $125 (the cheapest yet so toweringly costly I couldn’t even consider it!). I bounced around trying to amass info and was just about ready to call it quits when “The Book”€ was published. I love to hear guys say that NOBODY could make a rod from that book, ’cause I made one – my first 20 or so, in fact! I chased the tools and parts and was even lucky enough to have Hoagy Carmichael take a shine to me and troubleshoot my first attempts. What a gentleman!

I made rods and fished them and donated them to my TU chapter and used up all the printed tapers several times over and then I developed bursitis in my shoulder from splitting too wide and planing too much. Having decided that I’d made enough to say I could do it, I packed away the fixin’s and stopped making bamboo rods.

Fast-forward to the late 90’s and I somehow discovered there was a Rodmakers’ List on the Web. I lurked for a few weeks when I found that there were lots of fellows who were doing what I had done, and that there was waaay more info on the hobby than there was when I gave it up. I was even lucky enough to stumble in at the time the guys were trying to settle on the top 15 rods ever made (I think they settled on 35 that they could whittle down no further)! Since I was taking a sabbatical from my Math teaching job I made 15 of the tapers they listed (in between taking college courses to satisfy my Board of Ed) and was as re-hooked as anyone can be.

Since then I’ve made another 70 or so rods and am still exploring the width and breadth of what can be done with bamboo.

Now I’m lucky enough to be able teach those who want to make a cane rod at the Catskill Museum’s Bamboo School with Dave Van Burgel and Kat Scott every June and see the wonderful results they get in just a week of work. So satisfying.

Art Port

BTW, I’m at least ONE of the guys you hear about in urban legends who baked his cane in his local pizzeria! Worked fine till the guy retired and sold the business!

Site Design by: Talsma Web Creations

Tips Home - What's New - Tips - Articles - Tutorials - Contraptions - Contributors - Search Site - Contact Us - Taper Archives
Christmas Missives - Chat Room - Photo Galleries - Line Conversions - The Journey - Extreme Rodmaking - Rodmaker's Pictures - Donate - Store