Watchin' For You!

J. Castwell
July 13th, 1998


Odd how a fly-rod can take on a life of it's own; I think this one is going to be famous. No, I'm not talking about the wonderful bamboo 'Makers Rod,' that rod deserves glory and fame. No custom work of the rod builders art here. Nor is there any high-modulus graphite involved. In fact, no graphite at all. And no fiberglass either. In reality, there is not a single piece of anything worthwhile. It's just a broom, a common everyday, household broom.

I think I heard about someone who put a reel seat and some guides on a broom many years ago, I am not sure, but I may have. The expression, 'it casts like a broom,' has been around for perhaps centuries though. So, while I can not, and will not take any credit for producing such a device, I will accept blame. My original broom-rod was produced about 1965. It served my needs well as a devise with which to help teach the double-haul. The idea being that since the broom-rod won't load, it won't cast. Therefore, the only method of casting had to involve the use of the double-haul. About the mid '70s the broom-rod and I parted company; someone swiped it!

Several years passed by and I had no great need to produce another. Until we started the fly casting school here ten years ago. The fateful deed had to be repeated; and so it took life once again. For the engineers of you I will give a brief construction description. It commenced it's life as an "Angler" broom by O'Cedar. Nice yellow wooden handle, plastic bristles cut on a bias, good balance.

I drilled a hole straight into the top and inserted the leg of a stripping guide, then bound down the other leg with some wire.

Tip Top Detail
The two snake guides are attached with wire as well. All wire was then covered with glue.

Guide Detail

The stripping guide had to have more wire due to it's size and the strain of casting.

Extra Wire Wraps

Some hack-saw work relieved a bit of the plastic handle allowing me to use a couple of conduit clamps to anchor the reel to the shaft of the rod. I used the tape normally used to cover the handle of a tennis racquet ahead of the reel.

Rod Seat Detail

A weight forward, twelve, floating fly line seems to be about the closest I can get to a 'balanced rig.' A very cheap reel completes the 'outfit.'

The reality of the creation is this: Several of the best fly casters in the world have cast the thing, most with the same degree of enjoyment. Who could pass up an opportunity to try it? (Including one friend who spent two hours on a stocked pond trying to be the "First Person to Catch a Trout on a Broom.") Most of the students from our school have found it very instructive, helpful in learning the double haul, and a whole lot of fun as well. It was pressed into service at the Trout Bum's Bar-B-Q in Michigan as the casting distance device. And was enjoyed again on the Sunday after the event by a small cadre of willing devotee's.

It has made friends for us and for itself where ever we take it. It will probably outlive me and surely has a greater following. By the way; it has been stolen three times over the years, but always (so far) has been returned. Seems like the thing to do is to 'swipe' Castwell's 'Broom-rod.'


Till next week, remember ...

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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