Lighter Side
January 25th, 1999

Sparing the Rod

By Jack Ohman
Excerpt from Fear of Fly Fishing Thanks for use permission.

A fly fisherman's first rod should be modest. No one should start out with an Orvis split bamboo or a Winston, even if their credit line goes along with it. A first rod should weigh the far side of a pound, be constructed of industrial electrical conduit, be as flexible as a telephone pole, and have the guides look as if they were wrapped by Helen Keller. Only then will you appreciate a good rod.

The first rod can be purchased at a hardware store. You'll find them in a plastic garbage can next to the Day-Glo bobber display. A really tony first rod should run about $20. Make sure it has a fairly obscure name brand, such as "Cast-O-Rama" or "Fish'n'Buddy." The rod should be about as flexible as a 36-ounce Louisville Slugger; you'll also want to select a model with a defective reel seat, providing you with the unparalled thrill of reeling in a big trout, while holding the reel in your hand, instead of having it securely attached to your rod.

After you've fished with the First Rod for a couple of trips, you'll need a pretext to get rid of it. "Accidentally" closing the trunk of your car on the tip, "dropping" it in a raging torrent, or just "forgetting" it at a pool are all acceptable excuses to go out and blow a lot of dough for a new one. After you've ditched your starter rod, you'll need a new one. Before Orvis gets your MasterCard number, let's review the different types of rods: (Next time)

~ Jack Ohman

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