What I didn’t know was that the hobby of making bamboo fly rods is such a social activity. Much of the work is done alone, but a lot more time is spent talking with fellow rod makers, 3-years-old daughter who wants a pink fly rod, 5-year-old son who wants a rod longer than his dad has, workmates, friends, and, well, just about everybody willing to listen. At some point a sister-in-law’s husband told me about a guy that only ever speaks about cars. I got the point.
I believe that most of bamboo rod makers are engineers. Books, articles and internet sites about bamboo fly rod making deal at least as much about construction of required tools and machinery, as they deal with the actual process of bamboo crafting. My task is to prove to the world that a humanist can craft a bamboo fly rod. The small print is that this particular humanist has partnered with an engineer to build bamboo fly rods.
Tools and machinery is one of the reasons this hobby is so social. If you don’t have all the tools, and believe me – you don’t, you can either construct (engineering degree doesn’t hurt), buy (costs about ten times as much as the materials for a bamboo fly rod), or you can borrow them. I prefer the last, so it takes a bit mingling with the right people to make the rod.