Reviewed by James Castwell
By Vince Marinaro is the rest of the title. One might mistake
the title for a book by Vince. It is not. It is about him though.
Not really a biography but close. I was fortunate to have met him
about 1970 and stayed in touch with him for the rest of his life.
If anyone ever had an influence on my fly fishing it was Vince.
The book is the product of two fine fly fishers and close friends
of his, Bill Harms and Tom Whittle. My deepest admiration for the
I read it slowly, very slowly as I did not want it to come to an end.
But, end it did, some three hundred pages later, after detailing how
and what Vince had accomplished in the world of bamboo rod making.
The expertise shown in the book is exemplary of the experience of
the authors and their fellowship with him.
There is a wealth of photos all through out the book. Some old black
and white but mostly color shots of Vince, his rod making tools and
equipment, his fish, his rods and his friends. The first part starts
with a fine background on cane rods, then on to his accomplishments.
Of course there are not only pictures of his rods but a detailed list
of his tapers used to produce them. As with every cane builder I have
ever known, creating the perfect cane rod is an illusion. It is about
as easy as painting the perfect picture. Ask any artist, how do you
know when you are done with it. Ask any cane maker if he will change
anything on the next one.
Unless, of course, they are a commercial builder. Then they have
settled on a few that will cover most of the desires of his following.
I will venture to say that Vince never was perfectly happy with any
of his rods, however he was right proud of several. I was party to
one such event when he and his 'Green Mountain' boys came out to
Canoe Harbor, by Grayling, Michigan for the subvaria event. He had
built a rod back in Pennsylvania and would not let his buddies even
I met him as he stepped from the motor-home, but he popped right
back in and quickly returned with the rod tube. The big Italian
smile flooded from ear to ear, much to the howls of good natured
complaining from his friends. Vince had a wry sense of humor and
I was about to become part of it. Introductions were made and then
he takes me off to a picnic table at the camp site and with a bit
of 'ceremony' opens the case and removes the rod. It was nice, very
nice indeed. Was it the most greatest rod I had ever seen? No. But,
he had made the whole thing, taper and all. And, it was special.
It was a secret thing he had made especially for the South Branch
of the Au Sable where we were standing.
The rod was joined and strung and handed to me. Can you say
intimidated? How about overwhelmed. Well, pick one then. Now,
I was supposed to cast his new rod. It had never been cast!
This is the guy who went to Camp David and helped Jimmy Carter
and his wife with their fly casting and fishing for Pete's sake.
He wants my opinion. Somehow I survived the casting and he gave
it a few pitches too. Seemingly satisfied, he took it down and
returned it to his rod case. He fished it the next day.
Here are a few pictures I took of him fishing the rod. An end
note to this, he accidently broke the rod to smithereens later
in the day. And, oh yes, the taper was not exactly what he
wanted. Close, but not quite.
I am sure the book will be of great interest and value to
many of you. Those who knew the man and those of you who
just wish you had. Many may have tried, but few have left
their mark on our recreation; he most certainly left his,
Split and Glued by Vince Marinaro. ~ James Castwell, (JC)
Split and Glued By Vincent C. MarinaroPrevious Reviews
By Bill Harms and Tom Whittle
Published by Stony Creek Rods
6530 Leo Drive
Harrisburg, Pennyslvania 17111
8½" x 11" format, full-color throughout,
approximately 300 pages, 11 original paintings,
225 photographs, 50 drawings, plus charts of
all Marinaro's rod tapers.
Hardbound, 7 x 10 inches, 159 pages
Trade Edition ISBN: 978-0-9796532-0-9
Limited Edition ISBN: 978-0-9796532-1-6
Printed and bound in the United States of America
By Jostens Printing and Publishing
Price: $59.95 (plus S & H) US
Special Limited Edition Sold Out