Bamboo Tips - Contributors - VanSchaack, Pete

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I’ve read many of the rod makers autobiographies, many great stories.

Mine started here on the list in 2000 I think. I was working on restoring my grandfathers rod. An unnamed trade rod. With helpful advice from many, I got it done. Not a great looking job, but it was fitting for how the rod cast. I wanted a good casting fly rod so I went to a local fly shop and bought a graphite rod. It wasn’t a great rod, but cast better. I was hanging out in the fly shop listening to a few older gentlemen talking of good ole days and bamboo rods. They started pulling rods from their car trunks and lining them up. I got to cast a few and WOW, I was hooked.

I started looking for a rod and the money was way out of my reach. So I started saving and put a deposit on one and started saving for the rest. When it was supposedly done, it never came, several phone calls and empty promises. No rod.

With encouragement from several here on the list, I decided to build my own. With the money I saved I ordered my wooden forms from Golden Witch, drove to the Somerset show to pick them up and a starter pack of bamboo.

The first rod was a 2/1 7’ based on the Sir D / Wayne Cattanach taper, based on because the measurements were not real accurate. The rod cast and caught fished, I was hooked. I built a 6’3” 2/2 Cattanach taper next, a pair of 7.5’ 2/2 5wts from the Mauer book.

Plagued by a shoulder problem planning became painful, so I resorted to build out blanks. Today I have a 3/2 4wt taper in the forms, it’s been a work in progress for about a year. I’m determined to have it done for this summer.

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