Bamboo Bonzai

The Split Cane Fly Rod
(Excert from Part III: Research and Technique)
A Fly Fisher's Life (1959)
By Charles Ritz
Our sincere thanks to Crown Publishing Company

October 5th, 1998

Publishers note: Since this publisher is older than dirt, it occured to me that some may never have seen many of the older books. From time to time, we hope to excerpt interesting segments from our personal library to enlighten, entertain and perhaps amaze our rod building friends. Some things are older than you might think. Most of these books are long out of print, and if we spark an interest in you, check out the used book stores, or one of the mail-order book sellers. Armchair Angler in Hillburn, NY is one we particularly like. We previously ran a series on bamboo from Ring of the Rise, (check the archives) which I understand is now available in reprint. Your suggestions and comments are always welcome.~DB

The Split Cane Fly Rod, Part Four
(Excerpt from Part III: Research and Technique)
"WHAT I DEMAND OF A GOOD FLY ROD

  • 1. Feather light in the hand;
  • 2. Instantaneous response from the action and extreme sensitivity to the least movement of the wrist;
  • 3. Possibility of slow or rapid casting at all distances at will. The length of the rod will naturally modify this condition;
  • 4. Progressive strength in a constant relationship to the accentuation of the curve;
  • 5. Complete absence of vibration in the upper part of the rod tip;
  • 6. Great strength, but balance and suppleness;
  • 7. Great effectiveness against the wind (50 per cent of fishing days are windy);
  • 8. Great presicion in placing the fly;
  • 9. Reduction to the minimum of the caster's effort and general adaptability to the majority of fishing conditions.

    The handle must be designed to ensure:

    The maximun of comfort;
    The minimum of fatigue;
    The choice at will of three positions:
    The thumb on top;
    The thumb slightly to one side;
    The forefinger on top.

    The placing and the number of guides require special study to:
    (a) Preserve the optimum curve of the rod during casting;
    (b) Produce the least drag on the line;
    (c) Allow the fisherman to grasp the line at any moment with ease."
    ~ Charles Ritz

    Next time,"Rods made to measure & Comments on the ideal action P.P.P."


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