I was rooting ’round my rod collection the other day when I came across a glass rod which had been given to me about 20 years ago. It’s an Abu Lapplandia Zoom 8’6 #6 2 piece which was given to me [along with an Abu Delta reel – now sadly lost] by an old friend.
As this rod was already old when I got it I never really gave serious consideration to using it in anger. Oh sure, I waggled it about a bit and made the odd cast on the lawn but when it was time to load tackle for a trip the Abu has always stayed in the cupboard – until last Saturday.
My 50th birthday is approaching fast and SWMBO asked if there was anything I wanted for a special present. That was her first mistake 🙂
I’ve had a hankering to fish cane & silk for a while now. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s because I have too much hi-tech paraphernalia cluttering up my life that a move towards more traditional tackle appeals. Anyway, I never thought I’d get the opportunity to pander to this little desire until I started working out whether a bamboo rod would be feasible on my budget.
I looked at several ‘off the shelf’ offerings within my budget and, to be honest, I wasn’t really inspired. Subsequently I found out that most of these are made in Chinese factories from sub standard cane and are unlikely last a lifetime, as a good cane rod should. Of course, there are the usual eBay lots, many of these are rebuilds using parts from older rods or vintage rods who’s provenance is unknown. The only other option to investigate was a custom made rod.
Here’s where things start to get scary. Internet research showed me that four figure sums are often the starting point for custom cane rods. Add higher quality reel seats, inserts, ferrules etc. and the figure climbs into the realms of the ridiculous. I was starting to lose hope. My original aim was to get rod, line and a suitable reel but this was clearly out of the question and there is no point in getting one without the other two.
At this point I was given the details of a guy in Michigan who might be able to build something for me at a reasonable cost. Enter Bob Farrand.
Having looked at pictures of his work I contacted him to enquire about his availability, lead time, costs etc. and I was delighted to find out that not only would he undertake the work but, at the end I would have enough funds for the reel and line too.
After a flurry of emails, here’s the specification for the build:
- Hand built honey flamed Wayne Cattenach 6332 taper blank [6′ 3″ 2 piece] with 2 tip sections
- Anodized Silver down-locking reel seat
- Amboyna burl reel seat insert
- Agate stripping ring
- Mid brown wraps with dark brown trim
- Super fine cork handle
Bob will start flaming & splitting the cane very soon and has promised to send updates of progress.
These papers do not boast of great sport. They are truthful,
not like the tales some fishers tell. They should appeal to many
sympathies. There is no false modesty in the confidence with which
I esteem myself a duffer, at fishing. Some men are born duffers;
others, unlike persons of genius, become so by an infinite capacity
for not taking pains. Others, again, among whom I would rank myself,
combine both these elements of incompetence. Nature, that made
me enthusiastically fond of fishing, gave me thumbs for fingers, short-sighted
eyes, indolence, carelessness, and a temper which (usually sweet and
angelic) is goaded to madness by the laws of matter and of gravitation.
These wise words were penned by Andrew Lang who had several articles published in various periodicals in the late 19th century, later they were appeared as a collection and published by Longmans, Green, and Co. I have made this collection available to read in the Pages section under ‘Angling Sketches‘- enjoy!