Split the Cane

part 1 – some ranting
bamboo fly rods:
depending on where you mention those three words you’ll typically get reactions such as oooing and ahhhing and conversations will inevitably lead towards notions of purity, tradition, nobility and who knows what other hobnob sentimentality hastily shoved down your ears with very little regard to how they actually perform.
having had the great honor and opportunity to be invited to demonstrate casting at several Cane meetings and fairs and having the chance to try out hundreds of different rods, quite honestly most of them perform like something that’s better off staying on a wall and aesthetically speaking, a good portion of them would be an insult to the wall.
the dismal truth is the vast majority of cane builders i’ve met are poor casters and thrive on outdated notions. i’m not saying that every builder should be as anal about fly casting as i am myself but i’d expect them to at least have descent control of the line and produce consistent loops regardless of their style. among others, i’d also expect them to understand that a fly rod is not a spring and that slow actions do not result in a more ‘relaxed’ way to cast.
like most, i can try out a rod and decide for myself but i find it extremely difficult to respect the opinion of a rod builder that doesn’t even understand how a rod functions and doesn’t know how to use the tool they made themselves.

part 2 – the good part, some praising !
friend and FFF certified casting instructor colleague Christian Strixner based near Munich is on the other hand, one of the rare cane rod builders who knows how to combine the essential qualities of both a finely tuned casting/fishing tool while being a beautiful high performance piece of art.  
(rods that would put to shame the finest of walls :mrgreen: )
at first glance we’re struck with their exquisite aesthete but when we pick one up for a cast the real magic happens.
and that my friends is something to realy oooo and ahhh about…

for more info on Christian’s rods visit his site Split the Cane. enjoy !

The View From Coal Creek

-Reflections on Fly Rods, Canyons and Bamboo-

what a nice treat and just in time for the holidays ! one of my all time favorite fly fishing writers, Erin Block the woman behind the awesome Mysteries Internal blog has just finished what i’m more than certain will be by judging her wonderful writing, a milestone in fly fishing literature.
if you’re not familiar with Erin’s world, click the link above and you’ll see what i mean. magical…

“The View from Coal Creek is a reflection on fly rods, fishing, and life seen from the vantage of a canyon in Colorado, but these are props in a larger story about life, love, and tradition. Erin Block is a young, powerful voice carrying the torch and passing on lessons, values, and history of this great, literary and vibrant sport.”

 the view from coal cree- erin block

available in just a few weeks, click the pic to pre-order yours from Whitefish Press at a special price as soon as possible as i’m sure they’ll go fast.

The Snakecharmer

“because fly lines are wild snakes that need to be tamed… “

here’s the beast, a 7’3” 6wt hexagonal bamboo rod with a bamboo ferule and a very special super-fast taper (faster then most fast-tapered carbon rods) specially built to my specs from Ulf Löfdal. although the lower 3/4 of the rod is very fast the upper 1/4 is very supple, sensitive and with a fantastically fast recovery speed (going from bent to straight after loop formation), enabling great loop control and line tension. some relate fast to being stiff but this isn’t the case for this rod. it’s got a lot of power yet the experienced caster remains in full control whether it’s for casting in the short, middle or long ranges. not what one would expect from your typical bamboo rod.
i’ll have a lot more to say about it later when i’ve fully assimilated it’s potential but one thing’s for sure, it’s gonna make for some fun times in the future !