Thoughts on Rods

Rods: How Small a Trout, every day in May challenge.

Every Day in May Challenge.. Rod

This challenge brought back emotional memories, tear jerking really to think of it. I have a number of fly rods but I am a long way from a tackle junkie.

There is the Stealth Deep Red 8’4” #3 weight that was broken on a guiding trip just days ago. Darn – it was an inexpensive rod but I loved it, a lithe implement with the ability to cast short lines accurately into the pocket waters that I most enjoy fishing but then the chances are that the damaged piece can be replaced.

I have a Sage ZXL #2 weight which is the first from that manufacturer which I have enjoyed casting in a long time, a good deal more costly than the Stealth but a lovely rod, providing wand like lightness and accuracy. I really enjoy softer actioned rods and so many of the modern hi tec ones just seem too stiff to me for the fishing that I do.

Plus I am now the proud owner of a new Tenkara stick which was a birthday present and remains, as yet untried. A remarkable piece of equipment which un-stacks like some piscatorial Russian Doll, the newly revealed sections apparently endless, as it extends and extends as if by magic.

I DID have a Winston IM6 #3 weight which turned over a long leader better than any rod I have ever cast on a small stream, although that has sadly gone.. It was handed over to a client for onward delivery to Winston in the USA for guaranteed repair and I have never gotten it back. Darn I adored that rod, it just did exactly what a small stream rod should do, or at least what I want a small stream rod to do. It turned over massively long leaders with virtually no line out of the tip. Presented a fly beautifully at short to medium range and protected ultralight tippet with the care afforded by a mother to her children

However with all that said one has to bear in mind that rods are tools, they are workhorses in particular for a fishing guide, but really for any serious angler, and one should avoid sentimentality. Yes the silvered butt caps, the neatly engraved accoutrements, the wrappings of bright tinted gossamer thread, the exotic woods in the reel seats and the gloss finish may all hold appeal but in the end rods are to anglers what hammers are to carpenters.

I feel no pain in the notion of carving a cork handle to provide a neater grip or matting down a gloss varnish with steel wool to reduce the fish scaring flash.

I love the rods that I own, I nurture them and respect them, appreciate them and adore them but I am not sentimental about them. I love them in the same way that a carpenter loves the heft of his favourite hammer, a sculptor his chisel or a writer her pen. For the joy of their use and the practicality of their function. All else falls under the guise of frippery and fashion and I will have no truck with that.

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2 Responses to “Thoughts on Rods”

  1. Manuel Says:

    Hmmm… You make a brave case Sir, but the aesthetic is clearly important. If you’ve ever had a rod custom built, or seen someone else do so, you’ll know about the extended deliberations involved in choosing the componentry. The truth is that the trout hardly cares if the tip top guide is ultra-lite bronzed or if the handle has a winding check, but the owner to be will agonize for hours over these decisions. Everyone likes to walk into the party with a beautiful dance partner; after all, your dance partner is not just for dancing…

  2. paracaddis Says:

    Manuel, thanks for reading the blog and commenting, Each to his own and sure pretty things give us all pleasure, I just won’t swap pretty for functional if they are mutually exclusive…. mind you lingerie isn’t functional and hell I could deliberate over that on the right dance partner.. 🙂

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