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WRITTEN AND ILLUSTRATED

by GEORGE LEONARD HERTER


and JACQUES P. HERTER
Also Authors Of: Professional Fly Tying, Spinning and Tackle
Making Manual
and Manufacturers Guide Professional Guide Manual
Volume I Professional Guide Manual Volume II
Professional Net Making Manual The Correct Way To
Fillet and French Fry Fish
Fitting and Finishing Gunstocks Bull Cook and
Authentic Historical Recipes and Practices
Dedicated To My Wife Berthe E. Herter
No one else would ever love and care for a person with such fixed
habits and strong opinions as myself.

COPYRIGHTED 1949
COPYRIGHTED 1953
COYPRIGHTED 1958
COPYRIGHTED 1961
by GEORGE
LEONARD HERTER
and JACQUES P.
HERTER
All rights reserved. No part of this book
may be produced in any form without
permission of George Leonard Herter.

10th Edition

INTRODUCTION
This book was not written with the thought of
expressing any personal opinions. Rather it was brought
out to express the thoughts of many noteworthy men in
the rod building field.
This book is not intended to be a literary piece of
work in any sense of the word. The author does not make
any pretense at being a polished writer.

CHAPTER I
A BRIEF EARLY HISTORY OF SPLIT
BAMBOO ROD S
It is always interesting to know the true history of the things you work
with. The history of the split-bamboo fly rod has been needlessly confused
by many modern authors and would-be historians. It is strange how some
men, who invariably have never invented anything worth while themselves,
seem to enjoy discrediting some truly deserving inventor.
In England, the first mention of a split type or "rent and glued up" rod
that bears any authenticity, was made in 1847 in the first edition of Edward
Fitzgibbon's book "Hand Book of Angling". This book stated that a Mr.
Bowness, 12 Bellyard, Temple Bar, London, made a three section splitbamboo rod which had been in use for a few years at the time the book was
written. It is likely this rod was made in the early or middle eighteen forties
although nothing about this has ever been proved. Research by the late Dr. J.
A. Henshall before 1875 proved that this rod was made with the enamel
turned to the inside. The same book also mentions the method used by a Mr.
Little, 15 Fetter Lane, London, a rod maker. He made a salmon rod with an
ash butt; the other joints were made of three section split and glued-up
bamboo cane. The split-bamboo part of the rod was made with the enamel on
the outside as we do it today.
Thus, as far as written record goes, credit possibly should go to Mr.
Bowness for making the first section of split bamboo with enamel inside. For
the first section of split bomboo with the enamel side out, credit belongs to
Mr. Little of England and Mr. Samuel Phillippe of America. Both were
making rod sections with the enamel side out around 1846.
Mr. Marston an editor of the English Fishing Gazette wrote some
interesting comment on the history of split bamboo fishing rods. Mr. Marston
was unquestionably well meaning, but the authenticity of most of these
comments has never been proved. Mr. Marston wrote that he found in
Blaine's "Encyclopedia of Rural Sports," first edition 1840, that Blaine, in
describing the manufacture of fly rods, mentions split bamboo. No one has
ever been able to show where Blaine received his information or to locate any
British manufacturer who was making split-bamboo rods or sections at that
time. Mr. Marston also mentions that in 1836, Ronald, in his first edition of
"Fly Fisher's Entomology," refers to a bamboo top joint for a fly rod. This top
joint was undoubtedly made of whole cane as was the practice at that time.
Whole cane for fishing rods and parts of fishing rods was in use before any
written history, and this quotation from Ronald means nothing. Mr. Marston
believed that Mr. Ronald referred to split-bamboo because, in an edition 20
years later when split bamboo rods and rod joints were beginning to be
considerably used in England, he still phrased his book the same on this
point. This is more than likely just wishful thinking on the part of Mr.
Marston. Mr. Marston also mentioned that Chettham, in his book "Anglers
Vade Mecum" published in 1681, wrote directions on how to get the arrow
and bow maker to saw and plane wood for rod making. Mr, Marston reasons
that bows for archers were made of several pieces glued together before rods
were so made and that it was the custom of fishing tackle makers to

A BRIEF EARLY HISTORY OF SPLIT BAMBOO RODS

get the bow and arrow makers to help them. Hence, he deduces that split and
glued up rods were made in England probably late in the 16th century. Split
wood rods may have been made in England at this time, but this proves
nothing regarding split-bamboo rods. Truthfully, if one wants to guess as Mr.
Marston has, split-wood rods and even split-bamboo rods were more than
likely to have been in use in China long before even bows of split wood were
in use in England.
W. D. Coggeshall of England, a member of The London Fly Fishers'
Club, found the following in a copy of "The young Angler's Companion".
The published date is unknown. "The fly rod is generally made of hickory,
with a top of several pieces joined together, cut out of the solid part of the
large bamboo, the butt is sometimes made of ash." The publication had no
date, but Mr. Coggeshall judged it to have been printed between 1810 and
1820 from the anglers costumes as shown in some color prints of the
publication. If it "generally" was the custom, between 1810 and 1820, to
have the top of the fly rod made of pieces of bamboo, Mr. Coggeshall's guess
is not off a little but a mile or more. The known rod makers between 1810
and 1820 were not using split bamboo tips on their rods. It has never been
even remotely proved when the issue of "The Young Angler's Companion"
in question was published.
The father of modern complete four and six strip bamboo fly rod
making, however, was Samuel Phillippe. Phillippe was born August 9. 1801,
in Reading, Pennsylvania. Many authors and would-be-historians have
confused the facts about Samuel Phillippe through lack of knowledge. They
were also misled by men seeking to discredit Phillippe for business and
publicity reasons. The sportsman among them should have hung their heads
in shame. This also applies to his present day critics.
Dr. James A. Henshall, noted fishing author, wrote the facts regarding
Phillippe, honestly and fairly many years ago. In fact, he started writing them
while Phillippe was still alive. Dr. Henshall knew Phillippe's family, nearly
all of his friends and rod builders of his era personally. He examined many
Phillippe rods and had one of his own that he used for fishing. Dr. Henshall
proved, beyond any reasonable doubt, that Phillippe invented four and six
strip split bamboo rods and shared the inventing of the use of split-bamboo
for rod sections, enameled sides out, with Mr. Little of England. All of the
famous rod makers of that era agreed heartily on this.
As before mentioned, many modern authors have ignored the facts and
have confused the issue with many false and misleading

One of the first Phillippe rods. This rod was owned


by Dr. J. A. Henshall.
statements. This is not sportsmanship, neither is it just plain common sense.
It is hardly possible for present day men to know as much about Phillippe or
what he did as men who lived with him in his era.

A BRIEF EARLY HISTORY OF SPLIT BAMBOO RODS

Here are facts, authenticated as given by Mr. Solon C. Phillippe, of


Easton, Pa., (son of Samuel Phillippe) to Dr. J. A. Henshall. This son worked
with his father.
"Samuel Phillippe was born August 9, 1801, in Reading, Pa., and died
in Easton, Pa., May 25, 1877. He went to Easton when about sixteen years
old, where he learned the trade of gunsmith with Mr. Peter Young. He was a
skilled workman in wood, or metal. He made violins and fishing rods in
addition to his regular work as a
gunsmith. He received a silver medal for
one of his violins from the Franklin Insttute Fair, at Philadelphia. He made the
first "Kinsey" fishing hooks from patterns
furnished by Phin-eus Kinsey, of Easton,
Pa. He was a good trout fisherman, and
fished at times in company with Thad.
Norris, of Philadelphia, and Judge Jas.
Madison Porter, Colonel T. R. Sitgreaves,
Wm. Green, Phineus Kinsey, John and
Abraham De-Hart, Sheriff Heckman and
others of Easton.
"He visited a number of places
with Mr. Thad. Norris, when the latter
Samuel Phillippe J. Mr.
was seeking a location for a trout
hatchery, and which was finally located
near Bloomsburg, N. at work on split- Norris often saw Phillippe
bamboo rods in his shop. Charles F.
Murphy, himself a noted rod maker, of Newark, N. J., also visited Phillippe
to learn something of his method of making split-bamboo rods.
"In his first experiments Phillippe made tips and second joints of two,
and then three sections of split-bamboo, enamel outside, with butts of solid
cane or ash. But these rods would not cast the fly true. He then made the
joints of four sections, and found that they would cast perfectly in any
direction. He then made complete rods of four sections, including the butt,
and later of six sections or strips; the enamel was always on the outside.
These rods were for his own use, but afterward he made some for his friends,
one of the first being for Colonel T. R. Sitgreaves, with ash butt and joints of
four section split-bamboo.
"His books show that the first split-bamboo rod sold was in 1848. This
was a four-section rod in three pieces, all split-bamboo, including the butt.
His first rods were made certainly as early as 1845. Solon Phillippe learned
rod making, in addition to the trade of gunsmith, from his father. In 1859
Solon made a complete rod of six sections; the hand piece, 18 inches long,
was made of twelve sections of hard wood. In 1876 he made a three piece
rod, with hand piece of red wood, and balance of rod of eight sections or
strips, four of split-bamboo, and four of snakewood, alternating."
Here is a letter from Mr. George W. Stout of Easton, Pa., to Dr.
Henshall:
"I came to this town in 1851. I made my first split-bamboo rod in 1860,
and got my idea from Phillippe's rods. I was an amateur only, and never
made more than a dozen in all.

A BRIEF EARLY HISTORY OF SPLIT BAMBOO RODS

"Ex-Sheriff Thos. Heckman, now in his eighty-sixth year, was a lifelong acquaintance of Phillippe, and often went fishing with him. He is well
preserved, with an excellent memory, and is good authority. He says he
knows that Samuel Phillippe made split-bamboo rods in 1846. Edward Innes,
a man of repute, aged about sixty-seven, remembers seeing him making one
of these rods in 1847. You may rely implicitly on the evidence of Heckman
and Innes, who both fished with Sam before, and many years after 1846.
Innes was much at Sam's shop before 1847 and fixes the date by its being just
before he removed to Philadelphia, where he resided several years."
A letter from Mr. Thos. Heckman, ex-Sheriff of Easton, Pa., to Dr.
Henshall reads as follows:
"I knew Sam Phillippe a great many years, some sixty or seventy. I have
fished with him many times, sometimes for a week's camping in the
mountains of Monroe County. He was the first man in this part of the country
to build a split-bamboo rod. He made two for me, one of which is still in
good condition. To my best recollection he built his first rod about 1846; he
made his own ferrules, rings, and keepers."
Here is a letter from Abbey and Imbrie, of New York City to Dr.
Henshall:
"Your account of the origin of the split-bamboo rod is perfectly correct.
Our Mr. Abbey, the writer, was the active member of Andrew Clerk and Co.
at the time of the origination, by Mr. Phillippe, of the split bamboo rod, and
is therefore well acquainted with its history down to the present time."
A letter from Mr. Chas. F. Murphy, famous early rodmaker of Newark,
N. J., states:
"Mr. Chas. Luke, of this city, formerly of Easton, Pa., used to fish and
hunt with Mr. Phillippe, and frequented his workshop, where he saw him use
split-bamboo for fly rods certainly as far back as 1848. Luke moved from
Easton to Newark in 1850. I am very certain you can give Phillippe credit for
the discovery of split-bamboo for fly rods without fear of being contradicted.
While making rods for Andrew Clerk and Co., Mr. Abbey, of that firm,
showed Mr. Green and myself a rod made by Mr. Phillippe, the top and
second joint made of split-bamboo, with butt joint made from white ash. I
made the first split-bamboo salmon rod, also the first black bass rod of splitbamboo."
Further corroboration is found in this letter from Dr. W. W. Bowlby of
New York City to Dr. Henshall:
"My earliest recollection of the split-bamboo rod dates back to about the
year 1852. At that time I lived in New Jersey, near Easton, Pa., and fished in
the same waters in New Jersey and Pennsylvania with an old gunsmith of
Easton, known among us as 'Old Sam Phillippe.' It was about the year abovenamed that I saw a split-bamboo rod in his possession, and he informed me
at the time that he was the originator of the idea; and to him, I earnestly
believe, belongs the credit of having first conceived the idea of constructing a
rod from such material."
Mr. Asher J. Odenwalder, 45 South 4th Street of Easton, Pennsylvania,
a noted present day collector of fishing rods, has a six strip bamboo rod
made by Phillippe. The cigar shaped Phillippe grip is even made from
bamboo on this rod, and it is beautifully checkered.

A BRIEF EARLY HISTORY OF SPLIT BAMBOO RODS

Because this grip swelled from the rod, itself, people who observed the rod
thought the butt was made from wood, not bamboo. This is not at all true but
shows the class of people who take it upon themselves to be authorities on
rods.
The following measurements of Mr. Odenwalder's Phillippe rod were
taken by Mr. V. C. Marinaro, a man who is a marvelous maker of rods. Mr.
Marinaro, however, makes rods only for his own use.
Three sections of six-strip bamboo; length 11 feet; swelled grip
checkered bamboo; diameter of swelled grip at largest diameter 1 inch; butt
section above checkering 34/64; middle of butt section 25/64; top of butt
section 23/64; middle section 19/64 - 18/64 - 14/64; tip 12/64 - 10/64 - 5/64;
dovetailed ferrules sizes 19/64 and 12/64.
After Samuel Phillippe's death, some competitors, although fully
granting that Phillippe invented the four and six strip bamboo rods, tried to
dim his popularity by saying his rods had been crudely made. They also
claimed that they had never been made with all the sections constructed of
split-bamboo. They reported that his butt sections were always made of ash.
Nothing could be more of a lie than these statements. A Mr. Mitchell, a rod
maker of New York, was especially jealous of anyone questioning his
opinions on rods. He actually knew little about rods or rod history but set
himself up as a self styled authority. He made many of the misleading and
false statements regarding Phillippe. He even had an article published in the
American Angler, regarding rod making which was not only badly incorrect
but which also falsely discredited Phillippe.
Phillippe was a violin maker, and his rod work was never equalled by
any of the competitors of his era. After 1870, Phillippe made no fishing rods
as his health did not permit it.
At the World's fair in Chicago, the United States Department of
Fisheries displayed rods made by Phillippe of six strips and all sections were
made of bamboo.
In 1861, E. A. Green and Thadeus Norris made four strip, three section
bamboo rods for their own use. They were copied directly from Phillippe's
rods, and they learned how to make them from Phillippe.
In 1863, Charles Murphy, who also learned what he knew about fine rod
making from Phillippe, made trout split bamboo rods for the commercial
trade. In 1865 Murphy made the first split-bamboo salmon rod which was
taken to Scotland by Dr. Andrew Clerk where it aroused much favorable
comment. It was a four strip rod. Its design was at once copied by English
and Scotch rod makers. The first split-bamboo black bass rod was made by
Murphy in 1866. It also was a four strip rod.
In 1870, H. L. Leonard of Bangor, Maine, brought out a six strip rod
with the enamel on the outside. Leonard did not originate the rod; not only
Phillippe, but also Phillippe's son, had made such rods many years before.
This fact was well known to all the recognized rod makers of the era and also
to Andrew Clerk and Co. to whom Phillippe, Murphy, and Leonard sold rods.
The company acted as advisor to all these rod makers, assisted and
encouraged them at all times and kept them informed of improvements made
by individuals of the group.
The Clerk Company exported a great many six strip and twelve strip
rods to England. In fact, for years they had standing orders for

A BRIEF EARLY HISTORY OF SPLIT BAMBOO RODS

all they could secure. Many of these rods were shipped back to America and
sold as English made rods at ridiculously high prices. (The Andrew Clerk
Company was succeeded by Abbey and Imbrie).
In 1877, Leonard and William Mills and Sons went into partnership and
the factory was moved from Bangor, Maine, to Central Valley, New York. It
is still operating in this location.
After this time, many fine rod makers sprang up all over the States, and
today America is the home of fine rod makers known the world over. Nearly
all of the well known rod makers of today now, however, make both splitbamboo and glass rods.

CHAPTER II
BAMBOOS OR CANES USED FOR MAKING
SPLIT BAMBOO RODS
A great deal of false information has been published regarding the
bamboos or canes used for making split-bamboo fishing rods. In fact,
practically all published information on this subject is incorrect. I will
endeavor to straighten out some of the worst errors.
Bamboo is a genus of grasses. The word "bambusa" is sometimes used
in place of the word bamboo. This is incorrect. Bambusa is only one of the
many genera names for bamboo. There are some six or seven hundred known
species of bamboo at present. They all have underground root system much
like ordinary quack grass. Each system has from five or six to over a hundred
stems sprouting from it. Bamboo grows in height from a few feet to over a
hundred feet. Different species of bamboo vary greatly as to the diameters.
Bambusa Guadua of New Granada and some Philippine and Java bamboos
will grow to as large as fifteen or sixteen inches in diameter. The foliage
found on bamboo is denser at the top of the bamboo than toward the bottom.
The branches do not develop on the stem until the stem has reached its full
height. The stem of bamboo is jointed like ordinary grass. The joint is called
a "node" and goes completely through the stem to form a partition. The
outside of the stem, when dry, is hard and siliceous. The inside pithy and soft
and, in most cases, hollow. The stem, or stalk, of bamboo is botanically
called a "culm". The word "cane" so often given to a stalk or culm is also a
botanical name. Cane refers to any plant that has long, elastic stems that have
a hard outer surface.
Bamboos are found in all mild climates that are not too dry, such as the
southern part of the United States, Central and South America, Africa, China,
South Pacific Islands, Burma, India, etc. Certain bamboos of India and
China, however, are the only ones generally used for split-bamboo rod
making. Bamboos have a great many uses besides fishing rod manufacture.
Bamboo sprouts are eaten like asparagus. The juice of some bamboos
thickens and is called "Indian Honey". The various bamboos have seeds, nuts
and apple-like fruits that are used as food. The stems or culms are used to
make furniture, nails, baskets, houses, fortifications, water pipes, water
bottles, etc. In World War II many of the Japanese "pill boxes" were
supported with bamboo.
CALCUTTA CANE: Calcutta cane or bamboo is a trade name given to
bamboo coming from India or that general part of the world. It means no
specific species of bamboo; in fact it does not even necessarily mean that the
bamboo is from India. There are a dozen or more different species which
have been imported as Calcutta cane. Bamboos from India and surrounding
territory, exported as Calcutta cane, are, in general, species like Bambusa
Arundinacea or Arundinaria Falcata or Bambusa Tulda that are fine grained
with the power fibers (or fibers that make up the main strength of the
bamboo) close to the outside surface of the bamboo. Calcutta bamboos were
formerly used for split-bamboo fishing rod making very extensively; in fact,
they were the first bamboos to be used for split-bamboo fishing rods. Socalled Tonkin canes or bamboos, however, proved so superior to Calcutta
bamboos that the use of Calcutta bamboos, except for a few specific purposes, has been abandoned.

MATERIALS USED FOR MAKING SPLIT BAMBOO RODS

11

One of the many popular myths about Calcutta bamboos concerns the
brown burned places usually found on these bamboos. Many reasons were
given for these brown burnt marks. A popular one was that the men cut the
bamboo then burned the leaves from the bamboo rather then cut them off.
Another was that it was burned in places to drive out the insects. Actually,
practically all Calcutta bamboos have no leaves or branches on them for
quite some distance from the butt; at least for a greater distance than should
ever be used for good rod making. The leaves that do appear on bamboos or
easily cut or broken off. When the bamboos are cut, they are green and soft
and cutting them is no problem at all. The brown or burned spots found on
some Calcutta Canes are, in reality, put on laboriously by hand as decoration.
This was originally done on the order of exporters who thought the bamboo
so decorated was more attractive for furniture making and for use as curtain
poles. None of this is based on hearsay but has been verified by Albert
Severin, an employee of Herter's who has lived in India.
Another very popular Calcutta bamboo myth is the one regarding
"male" and "female" bamboos. "Male" Calcutta canes have been known to
the trade as bamboos that are solid or nearly solid. That is bamboos that are
not hollow at all or which have just a very small cavity in the center. They
are hard and tough and have large nodes. These so called "male" Calcutta
bamboos (Dendrocalamus Strictus) have never been used to any extent for
split-bamboo rods, but just as they come they make very good salt water rods
of various sorts.
"Female" Calcutta bamboo is the name given to all distinctly hollow
Calcutta bamboo. As before mentioned, there are a great many different
species of these bamboos, although the trade groups them all as Calcutta
cane or bamboo.
TONKIN CANE: "Tonkin Cane" is a trade name given by importers to
bamboos coming from China. "Tsinglee Cane" is another trade name used
for such bamboos. In some cases, these names have been used for imported
Japanese bamboos and bamboos coming in from various Pacific islands. The
name "Tonkin cane" was in use long before such bamboos were used for
split bamboo fishing rods. The name "Tonkin Cane" covers well over
twenty-five species of bamboo and actually means nothing as a means of
identification. The idea that Tonkin Cane came from the Tonkin province of
French Indo-China is purely a fable. This particular area produces no bam^
boos of any quality suitable for anything and never has. The finest bamboo
for split-bamboo rod making is the bamboo Arundinaria Amabilis McClure.
It is a cultivated bamboo, not one found in a wild state. Herter's have
standing orders for all of this bamboo that is grown.
This bamboo was discovered by F. A. McClure, an American. Mr.
McClure has spent a large part of his life in China studying bamboos. He is
the unquestioned world's authority on Chinese bamboos and one of the
world's top authorities on bamboos of all kinds. I want to take this
opportunity to thank Mr. McClure for the great help he has always been to
me and for the ready cooperation he has always given me.
Arundinaria Amabilis McClure bamboo grows on occasion, as high as
forty feet and as thick as 2 Vz inches in diameter. This is very

12

MATERIALS USED FOR MAKING SPLIT BAMBOO RODS


much the exception, however, not the
rule. One of its characteristics is the erect
straight stem with no crooks or bends or
very, very slight ones. The stems are
gently tapered, not sharply tapered as
many bamboos are. The nodes are not
large and are flat. The wood is of high
density. The foliage is an olive green in
color. The stems are green before cutting
and have a grayish-green hue at the nodes.
It takes ten years to produce stems of
maximum size. This bamboo should be
cut after the stem is four years old for use
in the best quality split-bamboo rods. The
size of the bamboo is not important, but
the age is very important. This bamboo is
usually grown on hillsides, although it
produces just as well on bottom land if the
land is not too moist. The story that
bamboo must be grown on hillsides facing
the sea so the winds can bend the stems is
purely a myth. No bamboo for rod making
is grown on hillsides near the seas. The
bending and waving of bamboo in the
wind
does not affect its density or quality in any
way. This statement is

Arundinaria Amabilis McClure


Bamboo.
backed by botanical tests.
Arundinaria Amabilis McClure bamboo is not found any more in the
wild state, as all of the wild bamboo is either dead or has been transplanted
and is under cultivation.
This bamboo is found in Kwangsi Province in an oval area not more
than 25 miles long. In only about half of this area is bamboo cultivated
extensively. Today, enough of this bamboo is produced so that only a small
percentage of the split-bamboo fishing rods in the world can be made from it.
During periods of from three to six years, when the bamboo flowers and
nearly dies off, none of this bamboo is available at all. Consequently reserve
stocks must be built up. The finest split bamboo rods in the world are made
from this bamboo. If Arundinaria Amabilis McClure bamboo is properly
seasoned and dried, there is practically no waste. Nearly all of it will make
the finest possible quality rods. In other bamboos, waste might easily run as
high as 80% or even higher.
The large majority of rod makers the world over, however, still know
little, if anything, regarding bamboos and keep on buying "Tonkin Cane"
which they believe is a distinct type of bamboo. Nearly every time they get a
shipment of bamboo, it is a different species, yet they have not discovered
this. Their buyers are not rod builders in most cases. The following bamboos
are usually sold as Tonkin Cane. They are all very inferior bamboos for rod
making when compared with the Arundinaria Amabilis McClure:
1. Man Lei Chuk. 2. Lei Kaang Chuk. 3. Foo Chuk. 4. Paak Chuk. 5.
Pat Chuk.

MATERIALS USED FOR MAKING SPLIT BAMBOO RODS

13

The real technical knowledge of Arundinaria Amabilis McClure is


confined to F. A. McClure. Although they should have technical information
regarding this bamboo, none of the following institutions to date have it:
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; British Museum; Arnold Arboretum;
University of Zurich; Conservatoire et Jardins Botaniques, Geneva; Museum
Nationale d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris; Botanishcher Gartens und Museums,
Berlin Dahlem.
Arundinaria Amabilis McClure bamboo is harvested at any time of the
year. There is no particular harvesting season. The stems are cut off just
below the ground with a heavy knife. The stems are not difficult to cut when
they are alive and green. The foliage on the bamboo acts as a sort of
parachute, and the stems fall gently to the ground. The bamboo is not
damaged or strained in any way in its fall as some people would like to have
you believe. This is not my opinion but that of university professors of
forestry, who have spent lifetimes studying bamboo. The branches and leaves
on the upper part of the stem are cut off after the bamboo is felled.
Arundinaria Amabilis McClure has no leaves or branches on the lower part
of the stem. On large stems, the tops are cut off and used by the farmers for
fencing, etc., as there is no sale for them. The stems are now bundled, carried
to the nearest river and floated to a beach of fine white sand. Here the stems
are scoured with wet sand. The stems then are tied in bundles and left to dry.
They bleach to a pale biege or dark cream color in the sun. At night and in
the case of rain, the stems are put under shelters. It takes about a week to
quick dry and bleach the stems. The stems then are taken by boat or barge
down the Sui River to the town of Fatshan. Here the bamboo is inspected.
Most of Arundinaria Amabilis McClure bamboo grows perfectly
straight. Some stems have a slight bend that is visible only to a trained
observer. Other bamboos have a bad tendency to grow quite crooked. The
bamboo is inspected and straightened when necessary. Bamboo is
straightened by the following processes: A charcoal fire is built in an
earthenware pot. Two bricks are laid across the pot, covering all the opening
except a slit approximately 2 inches wide. A bundle of bamboo is placed 3 or
4 feet above the pot so that it gradually warms up. The worker then takes a
warmed up stem from the bundle and checks it for bends. If he finds a bend,
he holds the area in the slit be tween the bricks for a second or two and
then straightens the bamboo by one of two methods.
If the bamboo is Arundinaria Bamboo.Amabilis McClure, he
uses a
hand straightening tool, as the bend is slight. If he is straightening
some other species of bamboo that has a bad bend or is heavy and bent, he
straightens it with the rope-type of bamboo straightener.
The bamboo is never heated enough so that it is even slightly scorched.
The heating does not damage the bamboo in any way, contrary to common
opinions or, rather, "guesses."
The pectin compounds which cement plant cells together are soluble in
hot water. These pectin compounds, when the straightening of the bamboo is
done in China, contain about 25% water. The heating of the bamboo warms
the water enough to allow the tissues to adjust very slightly so that the
bamboo can be straightened. When

14

MATERIALS USED FOR MAKING SPLIT BAMBOO RODS

the tissues cool, the pectin layers quickly harden again and hold the tissues as
rigidly as before but in their new position.

Rope-type of Bamboo Straightener.


At this stage (that is, after the bamboo is straightened and when it
contains 25% to 30% moisture) it is shipped to rod makers with the exception
of Herter's. Herter's were the first and are still the only company seasoning
bamboo in China and the only company importing Arundinaria Amabilis
McClure bamboo. George Leonard Herter worked out this process.
The Herter process is as follows: Every stem of the bamboo is carefully
split with a knife down one side to allow it to shrink as it dries without strain.
The stems are then further sun-dried until they reach a
moisture content of not more than 13%. The sun drying
DRYING
also helps greatly to kill any beetles or beetle eggs that
SLIT
might be in the stems.
When the bamboo is down to 13% moisture content
or less it is shipped to the United States or other
warehouse points. Once bamboo has been dried down to
13%, it picks up moisture content very slowly, as the
cells of the bamboo have become dried and are hard. Herter's Method of
The bamboo after being received by Herter's is then
scientifically kiln dried down to approximately 4% Splitting one Side of
moisture content. Storing and drying bamboo anywhere the Bamboo Stem to alin the United States under natural air drying conditions low for Perfect Drying
Without Strain.
with the exception
of parts of Arizona and Death Valley will never reduce the moisture content
of the bamboo to less than 8% and very rarely as low as 8%. A hundred years
of storing and drying will not reduce it lower than this. The humidity in most
states will not permit moisture contents of less than this from natural drying.
If your climate has a relative humidity of 50% you can air dry bamboo to %
moisture content. With 60% relative humidity, it can be dried

MATERIALS USED FOR MAKING SPLIT BAMBOO RODS

15

to 11% moisture content and at 70% relative humidity to 13%. Bamboo


with 13% moisture content will shrink or swell a little in any part of the
United States. Although such bamboo is used for 95% of the production rods
manufactured in North America. A really good rod simply cannot be made
from it. The best bamboo rods must be made from bamboo with not more
than 7% moisture content and preferable around 4%. By careful, slow,
scientific kiln drying, the moisture content of bamboo can be safely reduced
to as low as 4% without damaging the bamboo in anyway. However,
ordinary wood kilns cannot be used at all, as they will ruin bamboo. A wood
kiln that has scientific humidity and heat controls must be used.
Thousands of tests on bamboo rod sections proved this all important and
until now an unknown fact. The moisture content of a bamboo rod section is
the most important factor in giving the rod "back bone" or suitable stiffness.
Arrangement of nodes, fit at the glue line of strips, number of strips used in
the rod are all of minor importance compared to the importance of the
moisture content of the bamboo.
Removing the moisture content of bamboo after it has been made up
into a rod section should never be done.
Some amateur rod builders advocate building a small drying oven and
drying out the completed rod sections in it. Never do this. Drying out a rod
section shrinks it causing stresses and strains on both the rod and the glue or
cement used to cement the section together. Such sections are apt to break or
warp at anytime during use.
Other amateurs place rod sections in sand and put them in their attic to
dry out. This does nothing for the sections.
Remember this important fact. In order to make a good bamboo rod the
bamboo must be dried down to 7% moisture content or less before the rod
sections are made.

CHAPTER III
HOW TO READ A MICROMETER CALIPER

Illustration shows Herter's adjustable Rod


Builder's Micrometer with a rod strip being
measured. The micrometer reading is 290
thousandths of an inch. The figures 1 and 2
are completely visible. The distance
between each of these numbers represents
100 thousandths of an inch. Each marked
interval between these numbers represents
25 thousandths of an inch. The numbers on
the thimble (E) represents thousandths.
Numbers 1 and 2 are completely visible
(200 thousandths). But the number 3 is not
completely visible so only the three marks
that are completely visible between the
numbers 2 and 3 are counted. This gives us
three markings on the barrel (D) (75
thousandths) and 15 thousandths on the
thimble (E) which totals the reading to 290
thousandths of an inch.

In fine rod building,


it is necessary to use a
micrometer to measure
your rod strips for
absolute accuracy. Rod
strips
are
always
measured from the apex of
the strip to the center of
the enamel side, as the
illustration shows. The
thickness of the enamel
and under-ena-mel are not
counted in measuring, so
if they are left on the strip
they should be deducted.
It is not difficult to
learn to read a micrometer. In fact, if you
follow these instructions
and do not get impatient,
you can learn to read a
micrometer
in
ten
minutes.
The paragraphs below
describe the various parts
of the micrometer, how it
works and how to read it.
In using a micrometer to
measure remember to
never turn the thimble
more than enough to
barely make the spindle
touch the object to be
measured. The spindle (C)
is attached to the thimble
(E) on the inside. The
spindle is threaded to fit a
nut in the frame (A),
where it passes through
the frame. The frame is
held
stationary,
the
thimble (E) is revolved by
the thumb and the finger,
and the spindle (C), being
attached to the thimble,
revolves with it and moves
through the nut

HOW TO READ A MICROMETER CALIPER

17

in the frame, approaching or receding from the anvil (B). The article to be
measured is placed between the anvil (B) and the spindle (C). The
measurement of the opening between the anvil and the spindle is shown by
the lines and figures on the barrel (D) and the thimble (E).
The pitch of the screw threads on the concealed part of the spindle is 40
to an inch. One complete revolution of the spindle therefore moves it
longitudinally one fortieth (or twenty-five thousands) of an inch. The barrel
(D) is marked with 40 lines to the inch, corresponding to the number of
threads on the spindle. When the caliper is closed, the beveled edge of the
thimble coincides with the line marked O on the barrel, and the O line on the
thimble agrees with the horizontal line on the barrel. Open the caliper by
revolving the thimble one full revolution or until the O line on the thimble
again coincides with the horizontal line on the barrel; the distance between
the anvil (B) and the spindle (C) is then 1/40 or (.025) of an inch, and the
beveled edge of the thimble will coincide with the second vertical line on the
barrel. Each vertical line on the barrel indicates a distance of 25 thousandths
of an inch. Every fourth line is made longer than the others, and is numbered
0, 1, 2, 3, etc. Each numbered line indicates a distance of four times 1/40 of
an inch, one-tenth of an inch or one hundred thousandths.
The beveled edge of the thimble is marked in twenty-five divisions, and
every fifth line is numbered, from 0 to 25. Rotating the thimble from one of
these marks to the next moves the spindle longitudinally 1/25 of twenty-five
thousands, or one thousandth of an inch. Rotating it two divisions indicates
two thousandths, etc. Twenty-five divisions will indicate a complete
revolution, .025 or 1/40 of an inch.
To read the caliper, therefore, multiply the number of vertical divisions
completely not partially visible on the barrel by 25, and add to this figure the
number of divisions on the bevel of the thimble, from 0 to the line which
coincides with the horizontal line on the sleeve, thus you have the reading of
the micrometer.

CHAPTER IV
V BLOCK PLANING FORMS
V blocks are wooden or metal blocks with angle grooves for
planing strips of bamboo into the exact proper angles so that the strips
will fit together perfectly to form a section of a rod. Custom rod mak
ers the world over use V blocks to build their hand made rods. During
the last few years, the use of wooden V blocks has died out nearly
entirely. Wooden V blocks are notoriously inaccurate, easily damaged,
and very difficult to make with precision.
V blocks are now used only as devices to hold the strips for
planing to insure correct angles. The actual measuring of the strips
as they are planed in the V block is done with a micrometer. In the
old days a 1/64 inch gauge was usually used, but such a gauge is not
nearly accurate enough for present day rods even in the lowest price
field.
V blocks were also used limitedly at one time as the actual mea
suring device for planing strips to the exact measurements. The
grooves in the V block were made just the exact depth and width de
sired for the strips to be used on a certain rod. Then the strips were
planed down flat in the grooves of the V block. Such a V block, of
course, would only make one particular rod, and that inaccurately, as
it is difficult to plane down to a surface within a few thousandths of
complete accuracy. These old types of V blocks were made of wood
and if you did plane down too close on the strip you ruined the surface
of the block and all accuracy of the grooves. Wooden V blocks were
used years ago in both England and America. They were used for a
number of reasons during their era. One reason was so that the rod
maker could make his V blocks himself and thus not impart any trade
secrets to others. The second was because their cost was low. In the
third place, rods in past eras did not require the precision they do today. Fourth, machine shops
capable
of
making
precision V blocks were
very rare and usually a long
distance from the rod
makers.
As a matter of record,
I shall describe some of the
ways in which wooden V
blocks were made.
One method was to
make a set-up as shown in
the illustration by properly
beveling pieces of wood so
they could be put together
to form a groove of the
Across section of one method for plandesired angle.
ing a piece of wood to form half of the
groove in a wood V block.

This set up, itself, is no easy thing to make even fairly accurately. It is
obvious that, if the piece of wood for the half of the V block is not perfectly
true and held perfectly straight by the wedges, the

20

V BLOCK PLANING FORMS

Another type of wooden V block that was supposed to be a measuring


device is as follows. A piece of wood, as long or a little longer than each
section of the rod to be bulit and from 2 % to 3 inches square, was selected.
Three center lines were scored down the middle of 3 faces of the piece with a
carpenter's gauge. Then a rabbet plane with

One Type of Wood V-Block Used As Measuring Device

a cutting blade about a half-inch wide was taken and the blade ground to a 60
degree angle. This was checked for accuracy with a rod maker's angle gauge.
Then this plane was used to groove out the
marks of the carpenter's
gauge to 60 degree angles. To do
BASE OF
BRASS SUPPORT
TWO BRASS STRIPS
this accurately is a really difficult
STRIP 3/16 THICK
SAME THICKNESS- AS BRASS.
task, as the small plane always
FOR SET SCREW.
ROD MAKERS GAUGE.
DEPTH INDICATING ARROW wants to follow the grain of the
wood or has a tendency to slip
from the hard to the soft spots in
the wood. Then the 60 degree
point on a rod maker's gauge was
sharpened so it could be used as a
scraper and the grooves were
scraped out carefully with this.
The
ROD MAKERS ANGLE GAUGE
RIVETS OR BOLTS.
grooves were roughly tapered by
WITH POINT SHARPENED
L.ARGE SET SCREW.
making a holder for the gauge, as
FOR SCRAPING OUT GROOVES.
Holder for rod maker's gauge so the the illustration shows.
grooves can be scraped out in wood and
The wood in such a V block,
roughly tapered.
even if kiln or air-dried properly,
will swell in wet weather and
shrink in hot weather enough so that the grooves will not be accurate enough
for a good modern rod even if the block is varnished. A careless cut of the
plane on such a V block, of course, will ruin it.
In 1947, a book by Mr. G. Lawton Moss, M.C., T.D., called "How
to Build Your Own Split-Cane Fishing Rod" was published in England.
The book is small but manages to contain a great many incorrect
ideas on the making of
split-bamboo
rods.
Mr.
Moss advocates the use of
a "former" for planing
rod strips. A "former" is a
piece of hard wooda little
longer than the strips you
desire to make planed to
form angles of 60 degrees.
The top of this piece is then
planed off flat and to
different

OF
BAMBOO 'GLUED TO FLAT "OF
FORMER

DOTTED LINES INDICATE FINISHED STRIP.

PLANE AWAY SURPLUS BAMBOO

"Former" advocated by Mr. Moss for


planing rod strips.

V BLOCK PLANING FORMS

21

depths so that the flat is tapered as you desire your strips to be tapered. A
piece of bamboo is then glued to this flat area with a glue that can be easily
loosened when desired. In order to do this, you must plane the bamboo strip
flat on the enamel side before gluing. By doing this, you will plane off some
of the power fibers, thus ruining the bamboo for a fine quality rod. I heartily
disprove of this method. You then plane off the surplus bamboo, loosen the
glue and you have your strip.
As the use of wooden V blocks went out, the use of steel V blocks came
in. Adjustable steel V blocks were at first used to some extent but were soon
abandoned for the following reasons:

1. They were very expensive .to make, as they required a great deal of
skilled machining if they were to be made accurately. 2. They could not be
used as measuring devices for straight tapered rods, as had first been
anticipated. It was found that it was impossible to plane the strips accurately
enough in the planing form without measuring the strips carefully.
These adjustable steel V blocks were made of two steel bars of cold
rolled steel to 1 inch thick and 3 feet to 4 feet long. The edges of the steel
bars were beveled at 60 degrees with the face widths as indicated in the
illustration. The bars were held to the metal or wood base-board by right
angle steel holders. When it was desired to switch the bevel surfaces, the
machine screws were removed and the bars

were turned over to the bevel desired; then the machine screws were put
back. The bars, as you will note in the cross section, have four tapped or
threaded holes to take the machine screws in the various positions the bar
may be put into.
The bolt in the adjusting slot can be moved back and forth to allow you
to adjust the distance between the steel bars. The illustration shows the bars
adjusted to 2/16 inch wide at one end and 3/16 inch wide at the other end.
This would be for a strip about 2/16 inch wide at one end and tapered to
about 3/16 inch wide at the other.

22

V BLOCK PLANING FORMS

A steel V block with a "track" built in it so a plane could run along this
track and plane the strip to a certain desired depth was
used by early machine made rod
makers. The strips were cut and
beveled on a planing machine. These
early machines were not very
accurate. After the strips had been cut
on it, they were placed in a "track"
type of steel V block and planed down
accurately enough to fit together.
Of late years, the hand made rod
"Track" type steel V block.
makers have all come to the use of steel V
blocks with
enough grooves of various widths in them so that a strip of nearly any size,
from the smallest to the largest, can be held in them and planed to the proper
angle. These later type of steel V blocks are not measuring devices, as this is
not desirable. They hold the strips while they are planed to the proper angle
and measurements.

CHAPTER V
SPLITTING AND PREPARING BAMBOO
STRIPS FOR PLANING
Bamboo, for split bamboo rod building is available in 8 foot, 6 foot, and
46 inch lengths. In constructing the popular 9 foot, 3 piece fly rod you should
purchase the 8 foot cane. This is cut into two 48 inch lengths, leaving
sufficient length for node spacing. Most eight foot canes have enough
material in them for one 9 foot fly rod with three sections and an extra tip.
This will vary with the diameter of the cane and the size rod being
constructed. The 46 inch cane is also excellent for 3 piece, 9 foot fly rod
construction. It is also used for 2 piece casting and spinning rods and for
extra tips for 9 foot 3 piece rods. In building two piece fly rods, 7 foot, 8
foot, 8 foot and on one piece casting rods, 6 foot cane should be used.
In handling and working cane, wear leather or sturdy canvas gloves to
protect your hands from cuts, as the edges of cane are extremely sharp. If
you find it difficult to hold the plane with a gloved hand, leave the glove off
your planing hand.
File the nodes (nodes are the joints) on the cane smooth and level with
the outside of the cane. (See illustration.) The outside of the cane

NODE'
pTV4 S40E

24

SPLITTING AND PREPARING BAMBOO STRIPS

cane together usually average from .003 to .009 of an inch in thickness. Both
the enamel and the under-enamel of the cane serve no purpose in rod making
and are removed. (Directions will follow.)
Just beneath the under-enamel
of the cane are the power fibers. They
usually average about .125 of an inch
or more in thickness on a good cane.
The fibers directly under the underenamel are, however, the finest and
strongest. These fibers run lengthwise
with the cane and are quickly visible
if you sand off the enamel and underenamel. These power fibers are the
strongest fibers of the cane and are
the fibers that give your rod its
strength and power. If possible, do
not sand any of them away. If you
have to sand them away after your
rod is completed to reduce the
strength of the rod, do so as little as
possible.
Some rod makers are prone to
sand the outside of tip sections on
light and medium rods to any desired
dimensions. They believe that
because these sections are so small in
diameter that they are practically all power fibers and it makes little
difference if you sand some off. This is not true. Even on the finest tips, do
not sand off power fiibers if at all possible, as the strongest ones are at the
surface and you need them for the best tips.
After all the nodes on the cane have been filed level, take a heavy
butcher or hunting knife and place it across the end of the cane as illustration
shows. Tap it with a hammer to start it in the cane, then push and twist it
down through the cane, splitting the cane in half. Now split the halves in
quarters, using the same method.

Now remove the inside protruding parts of the nodes so they are even
with the inside or pith side of the cane. A medium size gouge or small chisel
with a hammer works well. A heavy hunting knife or a wood rasp can also be
used and will do a good enough job.
Now split the quarters in eighths. See illustration. Do this by laying the
strips on your bench, pith side down. Put the point of a knife

SPLITTING AND PREPARING BAMBOO STRIPS

25

on the outside of the node where you desire it split and drive the point of the
knife through the strip with a hammer. Then twist the knife until the strip
splits about half way to the next node. (Never

OUTSIDE
OF STRIP
NOOE
NODE
NOOE
more than half way.) Now do the same on the next node and make the splits
run together; thus proceed to split the entire strip.

Testing Cane for Rod Making Figure 1.


Superior quality for rods. Figure 2. Excellent quality
for rods. Figure 3. Poor quality. Not suitable for rods.
Take one of the eighths and grasp it firmly by each end with your hands.
Slowly bring your hands together until the cane breaks. If the cane fibers
appear approximately as in figures 1 or 2 of the illustration, the cane is to be
used to make your rod. If the piece breaks off

26

SPLITTING AND PREPARING BAMBOO STRIPS

sharply as in Figure 3, the cane is not to be used for rod making. Discard any
such poor cane and select another cane to make your rod.
Now that the cane has been split into eight pieces, you may continue to
split some of the strips down for the tip and middle sections. The others may
be used for large butt sections. Each rod that is built may require different
width strips to be split from the cane; hence there can be no exact standard in
splitting the cane to width. This will be learned with very little experience.
Some of the strips may be very crooked and will need straightening
before planing. These can be straightened by holding in a jet of steam from
an ordinary kettle spout. Expose to steam jet for a minute or so and apply
pressure in an opposite direction from the bend until straight.
In removing the enamel there are two methods that can be used but must
now be decided on. Either is satisfactory. We will describe them both. The
first: take some fine sand paper or a scraper and sand or scrape off the
enamel and under-enamel down to the power fibers on all the strips. Thus,
when you are measuring the strips for size later on, you will get true
measurements.
Second method. Take one of the strips and, with Herter's Rod Maker's
Micrometer, measure the thickness of the strip. Then scrape or sand off a
small patch of the enamel and under-enamel down to the power fibers; then
re-measure the strip on this spot. The difference will be the enamel thickness
of the strip. This figure must be added to all measurements of the
specifications for the rod you're building. This latter method is used if you
leave the enamel and under-enamel on the strips until they are completely
made and glued together to form a rod section.
The advantage of the latter method is that the glue tends to stick less to
the enamel of the cane than the power fibers and hence any glue that dries on
the outside of the rod in gluing chips off easily.

Now select the five or six strips that are to be used in making the
section. (5 for a 5 strip rod, 6 for a 6 strip rod.) It is better to have them far
too wide than too narrow. Always use the heavy end of the cane for the end
that will face the reel seat or butt of the rod. Lay the strips on your work
bench side-by-side with the enamel side up. Shift the strips in the manner
shown by the illustration so that no two nodes are together. This will give
you a spiral node layout.
There has been considerable controversy on node spacing. The spiral
node layout of course is the best for hand made rods. It's not as important
however as has been previously taught by many rod

SPLITTING AND PREPARING BAMBOO STRIPS

27

makers. A great many manufacturers now pay little attention to node spacing
and they make the finest rods. The node is actually the strongest part of the
strip. You can test this yourself by taking a strip of cane that has been split
from the culm and try to break it at the node. Bend it with the enamel side out
the same as it would bend in your rod. You will note the strip will in nearly
all cases break between the nodes. So actually, when you find two or even
three nodes together on a rod section it will have little or no effect upon the
strength or action of the section. Above all it will not be a weak spot. If the
cane you have selected for your rod has unusually high nodes, it may be
necessary to cut down into the fibers considerably when filing the node level.
In cases such as this, it then may tend to weaken the strip at this point and
more attention should be paid to node spacing.
From the heavy ends of your strips, measure the length of the section,
plus about five inches. Mark all the strips at this measurement. The extra 5
inches for the section length is allowed so that if, in planing you damage an
end of a strip, you will still have something to go on (When the strips are
completed, glued, and dried you cut the section to the proper length you
desire before putting on the ferrule.) Now number the strips from 1 to 5 or
from 1 to 6 depending on whether you are making a five or six strip rod. Do
this on the enamel side with a pencil or crayon. Then dip the heavy ends of
the strips in ink so that they will not become mixed when planing them.

PLANING AND GLUING BAMBOO ROD STRIPS

29

may also be covered with Herter's latex. This is superior to leather as rubber
does not cut as easily. Now take one to three or four cuts with your plane the
full length of the strip on one side only. Follow the instructions in illustration
exactly. It is of the utmost importance. The plane blade should be set so your
shavings measure from five to seven thousandths of an inch in thickness.
Now turn the strip over and take exactly the same number of cuts on the
other side of the strip. Never plane the enamel side of the strips, only the two
raw edges. This of course is imperative. The strip may splinter slightly at
some of the nodes. If this is the case and you're using Herter's Rod Builder's
Plane, close the blade opening on the bottom of the plane, just leaving
enough clearance for the shavings to come through as previously explained.
Keep rotating the strip taking three or four cuts on a side each time you rotate
it. Do this three or four times until the strip is roughly triangular and slightly
tapered. Do not attempt to plane the strip down to, or near its final
measurements. Now lay this number 1 strip aside and plane the balance of
the strips for the butt section in the same manner.
In planing down the sides of the strips as instructed above to form a
rough triangle, the point or apex of the triangle must be kept in a
perpendicular line with the center of the enamel side at all times. You will
find this a little difficult at first. More than likely as you are planing on a
strip you will find that one side of the strip becomes wider than the other and
hence the apex of the triangle is not in perpendicular line with the center of
the enamel side. This must be corrected as soon as it is noticed.
If the right side of the strip is wider, place the enamel side of the strip
toward the right side of the block, tilt the heel or rear of your plane down and
take one to three light cuts. Then turn the strip over

and again tilt the heel of the plane down, and take one to three light cuts.
Rotate the strip until this condition is corrected.
If the left of the strip is wider, as shown in the illustration, place the
enamel side of the strip towards the left side of the block, tilt

30

PLANING AND GLUING BAMBOO ROD STRIPS

the toe or front of the plane down and take one to three light cuts, then turn
the strip over and again tilt the toe of the plane down and take one to three
light cuts. Rotate the strip until this condition is corrected.
The apex of the triangle of the strip
may also be straightened in many cases by
placing your rod maker's gauge in a vice and
draw or press the faulty strip through the V
in the gauge, scraping off the sides until
they fit perfectly in the V.
The reason for roughly working down
all the strips at the same time is to give
beginners a chance to "get the feel" of
planing strips before they are brought down
to exact measurements. It also eliminates the
necessity of changing the plane blade setting
as you will note later.
Now take strip number 1 and mark off the measurement intervals on the
strip. In marking the measurement intervals on the strips, start at the heavy
end. The extra five inches at the small end of the strip is merely a precaution,
as before mentioned, in case one end of the strip is spoiled. Also, in gluing
the strips together to form the section, it may be necessary or desirable to
have these extra five inches or so to cut off in case the end gluing turns out
badly. Before putting the ferrule on the completed section, this extra length is
cut off. At each measurement interval mark in the measurement you desire on
the enamel side of the strip. This eliminates having to refer to the measurements while planing and checking the strip. Put in the measurement intervals
and specifications on all the strips in the section. Now change the plane blade
setting so that the shavings measure about two to four thousandths inches in
thickness. (It is best if at all possible to have two planes, one set fine and one
coarse, to avoid changing the setting on the plane.) Take strip number 1 of
the butt section, place it in the grooves in the V block that roughly
corresponds to these measurements and plane it carefully down to the exact
measurements you desire. Work from the small end of the strip back toward
the heavy end. That is, plane the first measurement on the small end to
measurement by planing toward the small end. Then set the micrometer for
the next measurement and then starting at the first measurement slide the
micrometer toward the second measurement until it binds. Put a pencil mark
on the two raw edges at this point and proceed planing being careful not to
plane further than the pencil marks. Continue this procedure the full length of
the strip. Rotate the strips as before, taking a cut off one side and then one off
the other as you get the strip down to the exact measurements. Be sure the
apex of the strip is always carefully kept in a perpendicular line with the
center of the enameled side.
At first, if you are afraid to use a plane when you start getting the strips
down close to where you want them, use a flat file to take the strips down to
exact measurements. Always file lengthwise, or it will sliver the strips. A file
is also excellent for finishing tip section strips. A razor blade is also good for
finishing strips. Scrape the strips lengthwise when using a razor blade.
When you believe you have all the strips down to the given measurements, pressure wrap them in your Pressure Wrapping Machine

PLANING AND GLUING BAMBOO ROD STRIPS

31

without glue to check their fit. If satisfactory, the strips can be glued; if not
mark the poorly fitted spots with a pencil, place these strips back in the V
block and file them lightly near the apex. Then wrap the section again
without glue and check it. Keep this up until the strips fit together perfectly.
Then glue and wrap them.
You will find Resin base glue will give you the results desired in this all
important part of rod building. Too much care cannot be given to the gluing.
Hot glues, fish and animal glues are not
FIT CAUSED BY
satisfactory for rod building. Hot humid BAD
days soften such glues, making the rod's POOR PLANING.
action soft and useless for good casting.
Strips that have broken edges or
poorly planed edges that cannot be
brought together in the pressure wrapFIT CAUSED
ping machines should not be used in a
BY BROKEN EDGE.
section. Make new strips to replace
them. Save these spoiled strips, if they
are from the butt section, as they can be
used in making strips for the tip or middle section. When a strip is spoiled,
replace it with another from the same cane whenever possible so that the
general quality of the cane will remain as similar as possible.
A common practice with many bamboo rod makers is to fill in any gaps
between the rod sections with a filler in the exact color of the bamboo. The
match between the filler and the bamboo is so perfect that only an expert can
tell if the rod has been so filled. Rods so filled are of course not of as good a
quality as unfilled rods.
Some rod makers also use a glue in the same color as the bamboo and
let the glue fill in any gaps in the joints. This also is of course not a good
practice.
SINGLE AND SPIRAL WRAPPING OF GLUED ROD
SECTIONS WITH A PRESSURE WRAPPING
MACHINE
To pressure-wrap glued strips
of a rod with a pressure wrapping
and rod winding machine, hold the
rod strips in your left hand with the
belt looped over the larger end of
the rod (Fig. 1). Add one more loop
as in Figure 2, then put the belt
over the crank handle and onto the
pulley, as illustrated in Figure 3.
Lay the strips in the grooved rodholder of the machine, and be sure
that the belt on the underside of the
strips is between the prongs (Fig.
4).

32

PLANING AND GLUING BAMBOO ROD STRIPS


Additional weight other
than that afforded by the sliding
weight which crank is attached
to must be added when
wrapping any section. To do
this, suspend a bucket partly
filled with sand (or any heavy
object) on the hook located
beneath the crank handle (Fig.
3). When making the initial
winding on the glued strips, an
additional weight of between 5
to 15 pounds will be sufficient
depending upon the strength of
the section.
In winding rods, it is necessary
to use rod wrapping cord or a
similar cotton cord. Do not use a
linen
thread
under
any
circumstances. When linen
thread is used, the tension disc
of the machine will
flatten and separate
the individual fibers
of the thread, and it
will break under the
lightest tension.
Thread the rod
wrapping
cord
through the tension
disc at the top of the machine
(Fig. 3). The cord must pass
through the tension disc at a
right angle or it will continually
slip out of the disc. The angle of
application also helps to keep
the cord out of the way when
winding glued strips. If your
cord is in a box or a can, place it
to one side of the machine at the
proper angle. If your cord is on a
spool, sink a dowel in your table
at an angle from the machine,
place the spool on

34

PLANNING AND GLUING BAMBO ROD STRIPS

it at corresponding spots on each end. (Fig. 6). Thus, the strips can be laid on
any surface, and the tape will hold them together in proper position for
assembly before gluing (Fig. 7). After the sections are laid out, glue can be
applied with a brush to all sections at the same time. If this method is used, it
is not necessary to tie the glue strips together before running them through
our machine.
If this is your first rod, you may worry about the fact that the strips
(before gluing) or the sections (after gluing) may be crooked. This is to be
expected and is not to be construed as a fault in your rod. There are many
ways of straightening these bends. The easiest way to straighten a section
after it has been glued and wrapped is to slap it against a piece of linoleum
before the glue has an opportunity to set. You can also straighten the section
by bending it with your hands after it is glued and wrapped. This
straightening must be done in five to ten minutes. After approximately ten
minutes the glue begins to jel and the section should not be bent. Some rod
makers advise hanging a weight on the end of a section and suspending it
from the ceiling. This is not a uniformly successful method, but it is useful in
maintaining straightness in a section after the bends are taken out by the
methods described above.
Do not remove the wrappings from the glued rod sections for at least 5
days. When using Resin Base Glue do not subject the sections to temperature
of less than 65 degrees F. for this period.
There is considerable controversy over the aging of sections. This hinges
mainly on the type of bamboo and glue that is used. Some of the well known
rod makers age their sections for six months, others three months and still
others allow no aging period. You have read previously, the data on air and
Kiln dried wood. Bamboo Kiln dried to 7% moisture content or less has less
moisture than any air dried bamboo, hence it is obvious that aging your
sections would not be necessary. If you are using a water soluble glue or one
of the various hot glues, fish glues, etc., then the aging period is
recommended. Even though Kiln dried bamboo is used the strips will take on
a certain percentage of the moisture contained within the glue. If this
moisture is not allowed to dry out the sections will have a tendency to be
"softer" then the specifications would indicate. Most of the companies selling
the various types of bamboo or "tonkin cane" do not bother to Kiln dry it.
This bamboo usually is air dried, however, in most cases not long enough.
This bamboo may contain from 13% to 25% moisture content and truthfully
is worthless for fine rod building. If you are using bamboo that you are in
doubt about the moisture content, we suggest you age your sections. If you
have access to a place that can give you a moisture reading on the bamboo,
by all means have them do it. All commercial kilns and some lumber companies could do this for you.
After the sections have been glued and aged, if necessary some

PLANING AND GLUING BAMBOO ROD STRIPS

35

will require straightening. Sections can be easily straightened by passing


back and forth through the steam from an ordinary kettle spout, at the same
time applying
r
pressure in the opposite
direction of the bend, until the
section
is
straight.
We STEAM
recommend getting them as
straight as possible when gluing
as they will hold their shape
much better.
Rod strips may, of course,
be glued together to form rod
sections without the use of the
pressure wrapping machine. The
results, as you can well imagine,
are not satisfactory for modern
Straightening a Crooked Rod
split-bamboo fly rods. You
Section with Steam Jet.
cannot apply enough uniform pressure
to the strips, and poor glue lines are the result. Today few rods are made
without the use of pressure wrapping machines.
As a matter of record, I will describe the gluing of strips to form a rod
section without the use of a pressure wrapping machine. Rod wrapping cord
should be used for all sections. Lay out the strips with cellophane tape
holding them together, as before described, and apply the glue to them. Then
press the strips together, and hold them together with rubber bands at the
two ends and in the middle. Now wipe off as much excess glue as possible
with a rag. Now double a long length of the cord and make a noose in it. as
the illustration shows. Tap the ends of the strips on the
floor or table top to make sure they are all in line. Slip the
noose over the butt end of the piece and tighten the noose
as illustration shows. Make several turns of the cord around
the strips toward the middle of the section to keep
the noose tight. Now, keeping the cord tight, lay
the section down on a table with the butt end
toward your left hand. Roll the section away from you
Noose of double with your left hand, and put tension
linen thread.
on the cord with your right hand as it is spirally wound
onto the section. The short end of cord will wind down. Keep the winds
about of an inch or less apart. If you do all this properly you will find that
the strips do not twist and also that the rolling on the level table top keeps
your section straight. When you complete the winding, take several tight
turns around the section at the end and carefully tie off your winding cord
very tightly. Now wipe off the excess glue with a damp (not wet) rag. Do not
use a wet rag, as you do not want any excess of moisture on the section. If
you do have any bends or twists in the section at this stage take them out by
counter bending or counter twisting the section. Now place the wrapped
section on a level table top and roll it over the table top with your hands.
Exert a good steady pressure on the section with your hands as you roll it.
Keep this up for three to five minutes. In hand gluing, usual-

36

PLANING AND GLUING BAMBOO ROD STRIPS

ly only one wrap is used. If you desire a double wrap, wrap the
section again, using the same process but start the windings in the
opposite direction so as to form a
double spiral wrap.
Here is a brief word regarding
section lengths. It is very desirable
but not absolutely necessary to
have all the sections of your rod the
same length, or nearly so, when the
rod is unjointed. For example, assume
you are making a nine foot three
piece rod. Such a rod will have one
ferrule joining the butt and middle
section, in which the male ferrule
would be about one inch long, or, in
other words, the ferrule would seat
one inch. It would also have one
ferrule joining the middle and tip
section which would seat about 3/4 of
an inch. (Always buy your ferrules
before commencing your rods so you
will know their exact seating
length.)
A nine foot rod jointed together
ready for fishing would measure 108
inches long from end to end. This rod
unjointed, with its three sections laid
end to end with the ferrules not seated but barely touching, will
measure 109.75 inches long. The extra 13/4 inches in unjointed length
is gained from the seating parts of the male ferrules. So, to have all
the sections of the rod of equal length when unjointed, divide

the 109.75 inches by three, which will give you 36.583 inches. This
is the length that each unjointed section must be when completely
finished. On the butt section, about an inch of this length will be the
empty forward part of the female ferrule. The cane length, then, of the
butt section is 35.583 inches. The middle section has a male ferrule on
the end toward the butt which is filled with cane and a female ferrule
on the end toward the tip that has an empty space 3/4 inches long for
seating the male ferrule of the tip. Hence, the cane length of the middle section will be 35.833 inches long and 36.583. including the empty
space of its female ferrule.
The tip section has only a male ferrule on one end. This ferrule
is filled with the cane so the cane length of the tip section will be
36.583 inches long.

PLANING AND GLUING BAMBOO ROD STRIPS

37

The above measurements are taken from conventional type ferrules.


These will vary of course with different type ferrules and with different
ferrule manufacturers. Therefore you actually should have the ferrules before
cutting the sections to length so as to have the exact measurements.

CHAPTER VII
FERRULES The fore runner of ferrules
was the "wrapped splice joint."
Figure 1. Cross section of the end of a beveled rod section with metal
protecting cap. Figure 2. The beveled ends of two rod sections are placed
together and wrapped with linen thread. For purpose of illustration, the
sections are shown with shorter bevels than they

METAL PROTECTING CAR

FIG.2

HEAVY LINEN

THREAD

The Wrapped Spliced Joint.


actually had. This joint was made as illustration shows. The beveled ends of
the sections were covered with metal protecting caps when not in use. The
caps were removed when the rod was to be jointed and beeswax was smeared
onto the beveled surfaces. The beveled surfaces were wrapped, and then hot
beeswax was poured over the wrappings.
I have heard men who had never tried rods with these wrapped spliced
joints state that rods so joined were superior to those jointed with our present
day ferrules. I have used rods with the best of wrapped spliced joints; they
are not bad, but terrible. It is impossible to bind the splice together tight
enough to prevent a slight movement in casting. This results in a nice sloppy
action fine for rug beating, but not for fishing.
DOWELED FERRULES
So called "Doweled" ferrules were used considerably for a short period
some forty years back. These doweled ferrules were thought, at the time, to
be stronger and more secure than other types of fer-

rules. This, of course, was not at all true but was firmly believed for a
number of years. Doweled ferrules at best were clumsy affairs hard

FERRULES

39

to manufacture and hard to fit onto rods. Many types of doweled ferrules
were made. The best of the doweled ferrules was patented by George I.
Varney of Poughkeepsie, New York, in April of 1895. Varney not only
brought out the best of the doweled type of ferrule but also made
improvements on other types of ferrules during his lifetime.
Doweled ferrules are used only by two American rod makers on salt
water rods at present, but are still used by a considerable number of British
rod makers on fly rods at this writing.
SWISS-TYPE FERRULES
One type of ferrule originated in Switzerland and used in other parts of
Europe is known as a Swiss-type ferrule. They are ferrules in which the male
ferrule is all center and has no shoulder. This makes it possible to put the
male ferrule on the rod section without stepping down the section end to fit
the center. This greatly strengthens the rod section.
There are three ways in which Swiss-type ferrules may be made. No. 1.
Turning on a metal lathe from a solid bar of metal. The male ferrule is drilled
to proper size and cut off. Here the male ferrule may have a slight shoulder.
In some cases it may be necessary to machine the center, or seating portion
of the male ferrule slightly, to insure a smooth surface for a good fit.
Serrations are milled in the cap on a milling machine. The female ferrule has
two inside diameters as you can note from the illustrations. The large hole is
drilled first and then the smaller. The outside is then turned down. The welt
may either be turned or a separate piece made and sweat soldered in place.
Serrations are put in the cap in the final operation. No. 2. Precision tubing;
the male ferrule is just one length of tubing with one end closed by a small
metal turning that is sweat soldered in place. The female

Swiss-type Ferrule
ferrule is made up of two different sizes of tubing; one soldered partially into
the other. The welt is a small metal turning soldered on the female ferrule.
Serrations are put in on a milling machine. No. 3 Drawing; The male ferrule
is drawn from a small sheet of metal. The metal is heated and placed in a
steel die which presses and stretches it to shape. The female ferrule may be
drawn the same way also, however the end must be cut out after drawing and
also the welt soldered in place. The female ferrule may also be drawn from a
piece of tubing; either by swelling the end to take the male ferrule or by
compressing the end that fits over the section end.
Swiss type ferrules, although used here for a great many years, failed to
gain any popularity until after World War II. They are superior in every way
to the conventional type of ferrules that are in general use here. The reason
they are not widely used on all rods is that ferrule makers were already tooled
up for other ferrules when they became familiar with Swiss-type ferrules.
Tooling up for ferrule making is no small item; as long as the ferrules they
were making

40

FERRULES

served the purpose, manufacturers did not feel like spending a great deal of
money to bring out another type of ferrule.
Herter's were one of the first companies to offer Swiss ferrules to the
public and they are now available in a price range suitable for everyone.
In measuring a Swiss-type ferrule take the inside diameter measurement
at the cap ends. For example, an 18/64 ferrule will have an inside diameter of
.281 on both the male and female at its cap ends. On the conventional type
ferrules, the outside diameter of the male center would be .281.
FRICTION FERRULES
Friction ferrules get their name from the fact that they hold together by a
friction fit; that is, a good snug fit. Friction ferrules come in two general
types, the conventional and the Swiss. The conventional friction ferrule is the
most widely used, but the Swiss-type friction ferrule is superior to it.
Conventional-type ferrules are those in which the male ferrule has a center
and a shoulder. Swiss-type friction ferrules are those where the male ferrule
has only a center and the center is approximately the same diameter as the
section on which it is fitted.
On a salt water rod with detachable butt or grip, another type of friction
ferrule is used. It is the same as a conventional friction ferrule, except that the
female part of the ferrule has a reel seat built on it or, in other words, the reel
seat is a combination reel seat and female ferrule.
FRICTION FERRULES THAT ARE NOT
SATISFACTORY
Two versions of the friction-type of ferrule that are not satisfactory are
the pin lock, and screw lock friction-type of ferrule; both are British. Either
type is unnecessary, and only complicates, without improvement, a simple
friction-type of ferrule.
The pin lock friction-type ferrule is one in which the female ferrule has
a spiral slot cut in the top. The male ferrule has a pin near the top that fits
into this slot and is twisted, locking the male ferrule to the female ferrule.
The screw-lock friction-type of ferrule is really a masterpiece in making
a simple mechanism complicated. The top of the female ferrule is slotted
length-wise an eighth of an inch or so, and the top of the female ferrule is
also threaded down for about a sixteenth of an inch. The male ferrule has a
pin near the top that fits into the slot on the female ferrule. The pin fits deep
enough in the slot so that it is below the threaded end of the female ferrule.
The male ferrule has a loose threaded collar that rides above the pin. This
collar is now screwed onto the end of the female ferrule. You have to use a
rod with such ferrules really to appreciate their very bad points. If you have a
special man to keep the dust and dirt out of them and otherwise keep them in
working order they are not too bad; otherwise they are terrible.

FERRULES

41

THE MANUFACTURE OF FERRULES


Brass, stainless steel, beryllium copper, monel, aluminum alloys, and German
silver are the metals used at present for ferrules. German silver, which is known
to manufacturers as 18% Nickel silver, is a combination of 18% nickel with
copper and zinc. The amount of nickel remains constant but the amounts of
copper and zinc vary somewhat from manufacturer to manufacturer. German
silver, although greatly inferior in strength and other qualities for good ferrules
when compared to such metals as stainless steels, monel, and beryllium copper,
makes good ferrules and has long been a favorite. The popularity of German
silver is due mainly to its silver-like color that tarnishes in use, thus giving the
metal a non-reflecting surface desirable in some fishing areas. Ferrules of any
metal can now be given non-reflecting coats of metal plating, however. They
also can be lacquered in a dull color to stop reflections under conditions where
the reflections might scare fish.

Names for the various parts of a set of the


conventional type of ferrules.
Ferrules are commonly made by four different methods, drawing them
from a sheet or ingot, machining them from solid rods, making them from tubes,
or spinning them from a piece of sheet metal. The latter method of spinning
ferrules is only used on occasion for large sizes of ferrules.
DRAWING FERRULES: The male ferrule usually is the only ferrule
drawn at present, as the use of precision tubing has eliminated any necessity of
drawing the female part of the ferrule. To draw a male ferrule, either a small
sheet or ingot of the desired metal is heated and placed in a steel die that presses
and stretches it to the shape of the ferrule.
MACHINING FERRULES: Ferrules, both male and female, can be
machined from solid rods of the metal desired. Such work is done on automatic
metal lathes. Machining ferrules is a difficult procedure if done properly and is
an expensive method. The trouble with the usual machined ferrules are that they
are too hurriedly machined and are of very poor quality. Fine quality machined
ferrules, however, can and are made.
FERRULES MADE FROM PRECISION TUBING: Precision tubing for
ferrule making has to be made to order. Ordinary tubing is not satisfactory for
good ferrule making. Precision tubing makes by far the best, most accurate
female ferrules and it is very simple to make female ferrules from such tubing.
Male ferrules are difficult to make from tubing unless the center end is left
open. This is rarely done except on ferrules used on the cheapest salt water rods.
On all fly rod and bait casting rod ferrules, the center end must be closed. To
make a conventional male ferrule of tubing, two diameters should be used; one
for the shoulder and cap and one for the center of the male ferrule. The piece of
tubing for the center must fit tightly into the piece for the shoulder and must be
sweat-soldered

42

FERRULES

into the piece of tubing for the shoulder. Then a round piece of metal must be
stamped, machined, or cut out and sweat soldered to close the center end. It
is quite a tricky job if done properly. Drawn male ferrules are better than
male ferrules made from tubing, as the center ends are positively water proof
and the inside diameter of the shoulder is the same throughout, giving
additional strength to the rod at this weak point. In a male ferrule made from
two pieces of tubing, the metal from the center necessarily has to extend well
up into the shoulder, making the inside diameter of the shoulder smaller at
this point and hence weakening the rod section that must be stepped down to
fit.
DEFINITIONS FOR THE PARTS OF A SET OF FERRULES
WELT: The welt of a ferrule is found only on the forward end of the
female ferrule except in rare cases where it is found occasionally on Swisstype male ferrules. It is a reinforcing ring around the open end of the female
ferrule. It tends to keep the end of the female ferrule from spreading.
There are three usual forms of welts.
Rolled Welt: The metal from the forward end of the female ferrule has
been rolled back on itself to form a strengthening ring around the end of the
ferrule.
Hand Welt: A ring of metal has been sweat soldered, pressed or heat
fitted around the forward end of the female ferrule to strengthen it.
Machine Welt: The female ferrule is turned on a metal lathe from a rod
of metal. In turning down the outside of the ferrule body a welt, or metal
band, is left on the forward end of the female ferrule to strengthen it.

44

FE R R U L E S

W ATERPROOF

FERRULES

T h e t e r m w a t e r p r o o f f e r r u l e s i s a t r a d e t e r m w h i c h i n d i c a t e s th a t
th e f e m a le f e r r u l e h a s a m e ta l d is c s o ld e r e d o r p r e s s f i tte d in t o i t s o
t h a t w a t e r th e o r e t ic a ll y c a n n o t g e t i n t o t h e e n d o f t h e r o d s e c ti o n
e n c a s e d b y th e fe m a le fe r r u le . S u c h a m e th o d o f w a te r p r o o fin g a fe r ru le , if d o n e p r o p e rl y , is e x c e lle n t. H o w e v e r, th e y a re ra re ly p e rfe c t, a s it is
d iffic u lt e ith e r to s o ld e r o r to p re ss fit
a d isc in to a fe m a le fe rru le , s o th a t it is
a c tu a lly w a te r tig h t. A c tu a ll y th e r e is n o
lo n g e r a n y n e e d o f w a te r p r o o fin g fe m a le fe rru le s w ith m e ta l d isc s. If y o u
c o v e r th e e n d o f yo u r ro d se c tio n w ith
S ilh o w e r fe rru le c e m e n t w e ll ju st b e fo re yo u sta rt d riv in g o n th e
fe m a le fe rru le th e e n d o f th e ro d se c tio n w ill b e re a lly w a te r tig h t.
A M r. W . L . A n g le s w o rth o f E n g la n d a d v o c a te s p o u rin g h o t p a rriffin o r t y p e m e ta l in to th e e m p t y e n d o f th e fe m a le fe rru le to w a te r p r o o f it. H e a ls o , a t tim e s , m a d e a
k n o b o n t h e e n d o f t h e r o d s e c ti o n
s o t h a t th e p a r a f f in o r m e ta l
w o u ld a n c h o r its e lf fir m l y to th e
r o d s e c tio n . A n e y e d r o p p e r w a s
u s e d to p o u r in th e h o t p a ra ffin a n d
a sp o o n to p o u r th e t y p e m e ta l.
T y p e m e ta l is a le a d a llo y m e ta l
u s e d b y p r in t s h o p s i n t y p e
se ttin g m a c h in e s .
I c a n n o t re c o m m e n d th e u s e o f t y p e m e ta l fo r w a te rp r o o fin g fe r r u le s a s i t a d d s t o o m u c h w e i g h t t o t h e r o d . S i l h o w e r f e r r u le c e m e n t
is e a s ie r to u s e th a n e ith e r p a r a ffin o r t y p e m e ta l a n d it is a b s o lu te l y
m o re e ffe c tiv e . P u ttin g a k n o b o n th e e n d o f th e ro d se c tio n is n o t
a t a ll n e c e s s a r y .

FERRULES

45

MOUNTING A CONVENTIONAL MALE FERRULE


If there is any enamel or under-enamel on the rod section clean this off
with fine sand paper. Re-check your section for length. If it is too long, cut it
off at the larger end. Now lay the male ferrule along side the end of the
section, as illustration shows. We are assuming that you are putting on a
tubular constructed male ferrule. Such a ferrule

has an inside shoulder different from the outside shoulder as illustration


shows. Now mark with a pencil the exact length of the ferrule less the
thickness of the metal of the center end of the ferrule on the rod section.
(Under close scrutiny the thickness of the cap is visible from the outside).
This is indicated in the illustration as the dotted line. The encircling pencil
line is not to be removed at all but remains on the rod permanently. You will
see the reason for this later on. Now take a piece of half-inch to one inch
wide adhesive tape; wrap it tightly around the rod section, as the illustration
shows. The forward edge of the adhesive tape is to be exactly on the pencil
line. The adhesive tape is put onto your rod section so that you can only cut
down the end of the rod section in front of the tape as is necessary in order to
put on your male ferrule. In other words, it prevents you from marring up or
cutting down your rod section where it should be left untouched.
Now take a strip of number one sand paper wide enough to cover the
entire part of your rod section to be cut down. Hold the sandpaper with your
left hand around the rod section and just in front of the adhesive tape. Now
rapidly revolve the rod section by rolling the smaller end back and forth over
your knee with your right hand. If you do this carefully, you can "blend" the
sides of the section just in front of the adhesive tape and "round" the rest of
the end of the section to fit the largest diameter of the shoulder of the male
ferrule.
Now examine the inside of the male ferrule carefully. Determine if the
inside shoulder is finished off square or tapering. Carefully measure the
distance from the open end of the male ferrule to the inside shoulder. At this
exact distance from the forward edge of your present band of adhesive tape,
make another pencil line that com-

46

FERRULES

pletely encircles the rounded area of the section. This pencil line marks the
point at which the rounded area must be cut down still further to fit the inside
diameter of the center of the male ferrule. With a sharp knife score over this
new pencil line about ten thousandths of an inch deep. Now put on another
piece of adhesive tape to cover the area between this scored line and the first
piece of adhesive tape. This is to protect the area from accidental damage.
Now take a medium fine sharp file in your left hand and roll the bamboo
section on ironing board or table with your right hand. Hold the file against
the rotating section end, cutting it down carefully to fit the inside diameter of
the center of the male ferrule. As you work, keep trying the male ferrule onto
the section so you will, at all times, know how you are coming along on the
fit. After you have a good close fit, remove the two pieces of adhesive tape.
Coat the cut down area with Silhower ferrule cement. This cement takes from
two to four weeks to dry, but is the finest ferrule cement made in the world
and to be strongly recommended above all other ferrule cements. Once a
ferrule is put on with this cement, the ferrule is on for the life of the rod. If
you do not have the time to let this type of ferrule cement dry, use the sticktype of ferrule cement. Melt the stick-type with a small flame of any kind and
cover the desired area with the cement as it turns liquid.

Ferrule driving plugs are used by some custom rod makers and are an
excellent way to put on ferrules. If properly made, they support the ferrule as
it is being driven on and prevent any damage being done to the ferrule in the
process. They are excellent to use but of course there are other satisfactory
methods of mounting ferrules. We will describe first, however, the mounting
of ferrules using ferrule driving plugs.
On the left of the illustration on the following page is a plug for

FERRULES

47

setting male ferrules and on the right of the illustration is one for setting
female ferrules.
A ferrule driving plug for a male ferrule is really a steel counter part of
the outside of the male ferrule that fits about a
thousandth of an inch loose. A ferrule driving plug for
the male ferrule must bear on the ferrule shoulder and
the center end of the ferrule at the same time. This is
of the utmost importance. Each male ferrule, of course,
has to have its own male ferrule driving plug. In other
words, for every size of male ferrule, you must have an
individual male driving plug in this size made for it.
Now put the male driving ferrule over the male
ferrule and slip it onto the prepared end of the rod
section. Hold the rod section in your left hand and
place the end of the rod section against any solid
object. If Silhower ferrule cement is being used, now
just tap the male ferrule driving plug slowly until the
Ferrule Driving Plugs.
male ferrule is seated. Then quickly wipe off any surplus
cement. You can tell if the male ferrule is really seated perfectly by
observing your first pencil line mark around the rod section. This is
important. If stick-type ferrule cement is used, you will have to put a flame
onto the cement on the end of the rod section until the cement is flowing
freely before you drive on the male ferrule. With Silhower ferrule cement,
there is no need to pin on the ferrule, as it will not come off. If any other type
of ferrule cement is used and, if there is any question about the bamboo not
being thoroughly seasoned, it is best to pin the ferrule. Pinning a ferrule, if
done properly, according to the following instructions, does not injure the
rod in any way nor does it affect
the rod's action in any way. If not
done
according
to
these
instructions, it ruins the rod.
To pin a ferrule properly,
first drill a hole with a metal drill
through both the ferrule and the
bamboo, 3/8 of an inch from the
end of the encased bamboo. This
is very important. If you drill this
hole further than three eighths of
an inch from the end of the
bamboo you will damage the rod.
A hole twenty-five thousandths in
diameter will do for most
ferrules. Do not counter-sink
either side of the hole you drill;
just remove any burrs caused by
the drilling. This

48

FER R U LE S

c a n b e d o n e b y p o lis h in g th e m o f f , tr i m m in g th e m o f f w ith a
s h a r p k n i fe o r b y t w ir lin g a la r g e r s iz e d d r ill in th e h o le s w ith
y o u r th u m b a n d fin g e r . N o w ta k e a p ie c e o f n ic k e l s ilv e r w ire
tw o th o u s a n d th s o f a n in c h in d ia m e te r la r g e r th a n th e h o le . T h a t
is , if th e h o le is tw e n t y -fiv e th o u s a n d th s o f a n in c h in d ia m e te r
h a v e y o u r w ire tw e n ty -s e v e n th o u sa n d th s o f a n in c h in d ia m e te r.
F o r fl y ro d s m a k e th e le n g th o f th e p ie c e o f w ire a b o u t a h a lf in c h
lo n g . T a p e r o n e e n d o f th e w ire to a fin e p o in t b y r o llin g it o n
s a n d p a p e r o r a fil e . T a k e a li g h t h a m m e r a n d d r i v e th e w ir e
th r o u g h th e h o l e u n til o n l y a b o u t a s i x t y - f o u r th o f a n in c h o f
w ire re m a in s u n d riv e n . N o w ta k e a n e n d -c u ttin g p lie rs a n d c u t o f f
th e o th e r e n d o f th e w ire so th a t o n ly a six ty-fo u rth o f a n
i n c h o f it p r o t r u d e s . N e v e r tr y t o b r e a k o f f t h e w ir e o r y o u w i ll
r u in th e e n ti r e j o b . A l w a y s c a r e f u ll y c u t it o f f . U s e a s m a l l
je w e le r 's h a m m e r o r s m a l l t a c k h a m m e r , a n d c a r e f u l l y r i v e t
t h e t w o p r o t r u d i n g e n d s o f th e w ire . W h e n th e y a re w e ll riv e te d ,
ta k e a fin e je w e le r 's file o r S w is s -t y p e file a n d file o f f th e r iv e t
h e a d s flu s h w ith th e fe rr u le . U s e a n y g o o d m e ta l p o lis h to p o lis h
th e w ire e n d s . If y o u d o a p ro p e r jo b , y o u w i l l n o t b e a b l e t o
n o tic e th a t th e fe rru le h a s b e e n p in n e d .
M O U N T IN G

THE
C O N V E N T IO N A L
FERRULE

FEM ALE

P la c e th e fe m a le fe rru le a lo n g s id e th e e n d o f th e ro d s e c tio n ,
a s illu s tr a tio n s h o w s . P la c e th e m a le fe r r u le in p o s itio n , a s
illu s tra tio n s h o w s , s o th a t th e fe m a le fe r r u le is p r o p e r l y
p o s itio n e d . E n c ir c le th e r o d s e c t i o n w i t h a p e n c i l li n e a t t h e e n d
o f t h e s e r r a t e d c a p o f t h e f e m a le f e r r u l e . T h i s p e n c il l in e m a r k s
th e p o s iti o n w h e r e th e e n d o f t h e s e r r a t i o n s w i l l b e w h e n t h e
f e m a l e f e r r u le h a s b e e n p u t p r o p e r l y i n p la c e o n t h e s e c ti o n . If
th e fe m a le fe r r u le h a s b e e n w a te r p r o o f e d w ith a m e ta l p lu g ,
m e a s u re th e d is ta n c e fro m th e s e rra te d e n d o f th e fe rr u le to th e
m e ta l p lu g , a n d th is d is ta n c e w ill h a v e to b e th e d is ta n c e t h e
f e m a l e f e r r u le s e a t s o n t o t h e r o d . P l a c e a d h e s i v e t a p e o n t h e
rod

s e c t i o n , a s t h e i ll u s t r a t i o n s h o w s , t o p r o t e c t i t f r o m b e i n g
m a r r e d . B le n d a n d r o u n d th e e n d o f th e r o d s e c tio n s to fit th e
in s id e d ia m e te r o f th e fe m a le fe rru le , u s in g th e s a m e m e th o d s a s
d e s c rib e d fo r d o in g t h i s i n f i t t i n g t h e m a l e f e r r u l e . T o p i n t h e
fe m a le fe rru le th e h o le s h o u ld b e d rille d % o f a n in c h b a c k
fro m th e e n d o f th e e n c a se d b a m b o o . T h e s a m e p ro c e d u re
a p p l i e s f o r p i n n i n g a s d e s c r i b e d f o r th e m a le fe r r u le .

FERRULES

49

MOUNTING SWISS TYPE FERRULE


Swiss type ferrules have been previously described and are by far the
easiest ferrules to mount.

The seating distance of the male ferrule may be


measured by using a nail as the illustration shows. Adhesive
tape is placed around the rod section as shown in the
illustration. Note that the tape is not at the end of the ferrule
but rather at the pencil line which has been drawn around the
rod section where the serrations begin; around the corners of
the sections so that the ferrule will fit tight. Remove the
adhesive tape and seat ferrule using the same methods as
previously described under conventional ferrules. You will
note that the serrated or split cap will flare up onto the flat
sides of the rod. When these are wrapped with rod winding
thread you will have the best fit possible.
The seating distance of the female ferrule is determined
as shown in the illustration. Use the same general procedure
in mounting the female ferrule as was used in mounting the
male ferrule.

TIGHTENING FERRULES
The fit between the male and female ferrules on rods often becomes so
loose from wear that it is impossible to use the rod. Rod makers are very
often called upon to repair such ferrules. They can be repaired by the
following method. Secure two blocks of steel that are about as thick as the
length the empty female ferrule protrudes above the rod section. Be sure that
the faces of the blocks fit together well. Place the blocks together and drill
two holes through them so that you can thread the holes and bolt the two
halves firmly together with two bolts. Now drill a hole exactly in the center
of the crack between the blocks. Drill this hole about ten-thousandths smaller
than the outside diameter of the female ferrule you desire to repair. After the
hole is drilled, open up the two halves of the steel blocks completely by
removing the bolts. Then put the two blocks around the protruding empty
end of the female ferrule with the ferrule resting in the two halves of the
hole, put the bolts back and tighten them down evenly. Give the female
ferrule a good squeeze by screwing down the bolts. Then try the male ferrule
in it. Keep squeezing the female ferrule until you have compressed it enough
so that it again fits the male ferrule tightly.

50

FERRULES

If you make up a few sets of these blocks for the most popular sizes of
ferrules, you will find that you can quickly repair any loose ferrules on rods
that come into your shop.
If a ferrule again becomes loose after being compressed, it proves that
the metal in the ferrule is too soft and loses its shape too quickly under
pressure. Such female ferrules must be compressed and reinforced with a
width of metal wrapped around them and soldered.
Some rod makers in order to tighten a very loose ferrule on occasion
wrap one row of fine nylon thread completely over the center of the male
ferrule, then they put varnish or cement on the windings. This is not
recommended. If a ferrule is so loose that the male ferrule can be forced into
the female ferrule with a coat of thread on it the ferrule is much too loose for
practical purposes and should be removed and new ferrules put on to replace
it.
A fairly good method of tightening a loose ferrule is as follows: Hold
the empty socket of the female ferrule on a wood table top and slowly
revolve it. At the same time tap lightly, its outside, with a plastic or leather
hammer. If carefully done this will shrink the female ferrule enough so that
the male ferrule will fit into it tightly.
STRAIGHTENING THE ROD
Now that you have the ferrules on your rod, put the rod together and sight
along it in every position to see that it is straight. If it has some twists or bows
in it, put these areas over a small jet of stream. Take a cork with a hollow quill
or tube stuck through it and place the cork in the snout of a tea kettle. The
small jet of steam coming out of the tube or quill is just what you want. It
takes only a few seconds of steaming on a twisted or crooked area to soften it
so that you can straighten it easily and perfectly. Wipe off any moisture left on
the rod from the steam.
WINDING FERRULES
Take off the adhesive tape on the rod sections and wash off any of the
cement from the tape that sticks to the rod with a small brush dipped in
gasoline or carbontetrachloride. Size 5M or varigated silk or Nylon thread is
recommended for putting the windings on fly rods of all kinds. Smaller sizes
can be and are used by many rod makers, however. There are two schools of
thought on winding ferrules. You can start the windings at part of the cap
where it joins the body or shoulder of the ferrule and wind down just so the
windings cover the ends of the cap. You can also start on the bamboo just in
front of the cap and wind up to where the body or shoulder of the ferrule
begins. Both methods are satisfactory. The latter is a much easier method.
Use the same methods for putting windings on your ferrules as illustrated for
putting the windings on your guides.

CHAPTER VIII
ROD ACCESSORIES REEL SEATS FOR
FLY RODS
Reel seats for fly rods are manufactured in three diameters, 5/8 of an
inch, 11/16 of an inch and 3/4 of an inch. The five-eighths inch and 11/16
inch diameters are the most popular, being generally used on trout, panfish,
bass and streamer fly rods. For bass bug rods, streamer, salmon, and
steelhead rods, where a little added weight to the rod is not of great
importance, the three-fourth inch reel seat may be used, however they are not
recommended as they have no advantage over the 11/16. The 11/16 is
becoming a very popular size and is being accepted as the standard by many
manufacturers.
Reel seats usually come, or can be bought, with a wooden plug or cork
rings that fit to their inside dimensions. If they do not have such a plug, a
suitable one can be made from dried birch, sumac, or cedar. Avoid such
woods as balsa. Although it is very light in weight, balsa lacks enough
resilience for this purpose. If a wood plug is used drill a hole down through
the center so that it will fit tightly over the butt of the rod. Using Plasto Resin
glue or Risex Liquid Bamboo glue, coat the end of the rod where the plug is
to go. Then force the end of the rod into the plug and let it dry for 24 hours.
Now coat the outside of the wooden plug with Silhower ferrule cement, and
force it into the reel seat. Let it dry for several days. Silhower ferrule cjement has no equal for mounting the wood reel seat plug in the reel seat.
Some reel seats require the reel holding butt cap to be screwed onto the
end of the rod. In such cases, a metal collar must be fitted

52

ROD ACCESSORIES

on and glued directly to the rod. For such reel seats, a reel holding button
must be securely screwed to the butt end of the rod. This button should also
be glued onto the cork with Silhower ferrule cement.
Reel seats that have the reel holding butt caps press fitted into place are
usually pinned. The pinning operation is clearly illustrated in the drawing.
The pinning of the reel seat in no way harms the rod or the reel seat.

ROD ACCESSORIES

53

ROD ACCESSORIES

55

On bait casting rods, the number of guides and sizes are usually as
follows:
5 foot rod4 guidessize 1/4, 7/32, 5/32, 5/32.
6 foot rod5 guidessize 1/4, 7/32, 7/32, 5/32, 5/32.
The guides used for surf casting rods are the same styles as those used
for bait casting rods. The usual surf casting rod for fishing purposes with a
seven foot tip carries one guide size which is generally 11/16 inch. The top is
also 11/16 inch. Tournament surf casting rods usually have 4 to 5 guides
from size 7/8 inch to 1/2 inch with a size 3/4 inch top. On surf rods and
saltwater rods in general, you sometimes notice that guides are put on both
sides of the rod. In such cases a top must be used which is mechanically
made so it can be moved and locked in different positions or a stirrup type of
top used which has the ring in it centered so that the line can enter it from
either side. The guides are put on the rods so that, if the rod takes a set under
a heavy strain, you can change the line to the opposite set of guides, thus
putting the pressure on the rod so that it will bend back the set in the rod.
This practice of "double" guides is becoming less popular instead of more
popular.
In passing, it is interesting to note that statements regarding the
hardness of materials can be very misleading. The scale of hardness
introduced by Mohs around 1800 is still in use today. It is very un
fortunate that a more scientific scale has not been adopted, because
an utterly false impression is created by Mohs' figures. His scale runs
from 1 to 10. Talc is number 1. Corundum or ruby, as well as a num
ber of metals, are number 9. Diamond is number 10. A diamond, how
ever, is 85 times harder than the items in number 9; yet it can be said
under this law that a number 9 item is only one number less in hard
ness than a diamond.
Now we shall proceed to mount the guides on a fly rod. Before putting
any guides on your rod, you must first acertain which side of the rod is the
stiffest. A deflection board will quickly show you this. For six strip fly rods,
guides must be mounted opposite the stiff side of the rod if the rod is to
produce maximum results. This is also true for trolling rods, but, on casting
rods, just the opposite is true.
The reason for having the guides opposite the stiff side for fly rods is so
that the stiff backbone whip of the rod will be brought into action on the
forward cast and the weaker action will be concentrated on the less important
retrieve.

56

ROD ACCESSORIES

Fasten the weight onto the line which is passed through the guides and
attached to the first guide at the butt. Now rotate the rod to all six sides,
noting carefully which side on the butt section shows the least deflection.
The bottom strip will be the stiffest side of that particular section. Keep this
side down and proceed to the middle section. Test it exactly as you did the
butt section, keep the stiff side down and proceed to the tip where the same
test is repeated. When the stiff sides of all sections of a fly rod are
determined, you are ready to proceed with affixing guides permanently on
the opposite side.
You can also of course, just locate the stiff est side of the rod or sections
by merely bending the sections with your finger tips after you have braced
them against a chair, as illustration shows. This method is satisfactory but not
as accurate as the deflection board method.
Five strip rods present more of a problem as the flat side has a point
opposite it. In Mounting guides on a five strip rod determine which is the
stiffest side and then mount the guides on either side of the point opposite the
stiffest side.
There are many systems for spacing and for determining the number of
guides on fly rods. Most all of them work pretty well. I will describe several
for a three section nine foot fly rod.
Most manufacturers have their own recommended guide spacing for the
particular action of their rods. When buying unfinished rod blanks or rod kits
you will receive a booklet of instructions which include proper guide
spacing.
R. W. CROMPTON METHOD: No stripping guide or guide of any kind
is put on the butt section. Four guides are put on the middle section and five
guides on the tip section. His rods cast very well.
STANDARD METHOD: One stripping guide is put on at the forward
part of the butt section; 3 guides on the middle section; four guides on the tip
section. Many famous rod makers the world over use this method. Such rods
also cast beautifully.
PHILLIPPE METHOD: Phillippe placed one stripping guide on the butt
section; four guides on the middle section and five guides on the tip section.
This method also is used by many famous rod makers and works very well.
The stripping guide on the usual fly rod is much too small and prevents
"shooting" the line the maximum distance. Use a stripping guide on fly rod in
sizes 7/32 or 9/32. This allows the line to flow much more freely when
"shooting" the line.
SCOTTISH METHOD OF GUIDE SPACING: A number of Scotch
rod makers use the following method for spacing guides on trolling
rods. However, never use this method on fly rods.
Place the guides on the rod temporarily with cel
lophane tape or rubber bands. Mount a reel on the
rod, string the line through the guides and tie it
to a ringed eye set in the floor or any place at about
Butt Stripping
floor level where it cannot move. Now pull on the
Guide.
rod as if you were hooked into a fish, arching the
rod to put it under strain. Now note the line. It should be
touching the rod between each guide in about the same position. If it does
not, move the guides until it does. The guides must

ROD ACCESSORIES

57

be adjusted until, under a strain, the line touches the rod between
the guides at the same time and in relatively the same general position.
In general, as your guides approach the top
of the rod, the distance between the guides should be
lessened.
The size of guides used on fly rods is also a
great point of controversy. The usual method of
sizing the guides on a nine foot fly rod is as follows:
A size 7/32 or 9/32 stripping guide on the butt
section, size No. 2 and No. 1 guides on the middle
section and size No. 1 and No. 1/0 guides on the tip
section.
The Goddard method of guide sizes on a nine
foot rod or, for that matter, any length of fly rod is
to use a stripping guide size 9/32 on the butt
section, size 2 guides on the middle section and
size 1 guides on the tip section. The theory of this is
that, by using large guides on the rod and a large
stripping guide, shooting the line is easier, and
hence distance casting is easier.

Fig. 1. Hold the guide in place on the rod with cellophane or adhesive tape. Start winding the rod winding thread on the
rod about a sixty-fourth of an inch in front of the "shoe" or
"foot" of the guide you are to wind down. Wind the thread
over on itself to get it started. Wet the end of the thread if you
have trouble doing this. Fig. 2 Wind tightly to within about a
thirty-second of an inch from the end of the shoe of the
guide as shown in Fig. 3. Make a loop from a piece

58

ROD ACCESSORIES

of the winding thread or a fine piece of nylon or fishing line and wind it
down, as illustration shows. Fig. 4. Put the end of your winding thread in the
loop, and secure the end of the thread underneath the windings by pulling the
loop. Lay aside the loop, and trim off the surplus end of the winding thread. It
is necessary to use a razor blade for cutting the winding thread flush with the
windings. Scissors will not do as you cannot cut close enough to the
windings. Now take off the adhesive or cellophane tape that is holding the
guide in place and wind the other shoe or foot of the guide in the same
manner.
There are several other methods advocated to put on winding, none of
them are as good as the one described above and should be avoided.
THREAD SIZE GUIDES FOR ROD WRAPPING
Never wax threads used for rod winding, as it prevents the color fixative
or rod varnish from sealing and sticking them to the rod. Never use
mercerized cotton thread of any kind for rod winding; it has little strength for
its diameter and rots out quickly. Nylon rod winding thread is by far the best
as it will not deteriorate as will silk. The "stretch" in nylon also helps to bind
the guide down tight to the rod.
Fresh Water Rods
Fly rods one, two or three piece, size 00 or A silk or nylon.
Bait casting rods, one, two or three piece, size 00 for light rods and size
A for heavy ones, silk or nylon.
Note: if you desire, you can use heavier sizes on the guides, but this is
not really necessary.
Salt Water Rods
Surf rods, medium or light, size A or E, silk or nylon. Surf rods, heavy, size
E, silk or nylon or 6 pound test nylon leader material.
Three Six rods and light tackle rods, size 00 or A, silk or nylon. Rods with 6
to 9 ounce tips, size A, silk or nylon. Rods with 10 to 24 ounce tips, Size E,
silk or nylon or 6 pound test nylon leader material.
The same applies to salt water rods as to fresh water rods; that is, if you
desire, you can make the windings on the guides of heavier thread than the
decorative windings, but this is not at all necessary.
On salt water tips 16 ounces and over, fine aluminum wire is also used for
windings.
In the illustration Nos. 5 shows a plas
tic sleeve. Nos.7 are the feet or the shoes
of the guide. The use of plastic sleeves to
hold down guides was patented in 1932 by
Jack T. Welch of Dowagiac, Michigan.
The patent was assigned to the James
Heddon's Sons Corporation. As yet no
Plastic sleeve for
particular use of this patent has been
affixing guides.
made.
1
A new type of plastic tape for affixing guides is being used by some manufacturers. It has a gummed surface
much like "Scotch tape" and adheres to itself. We have tried

ROD ACCESSORIES

59

several types of the tape and have found it anything but satisfactory and
could not recommend it for permanently attaching guides. For in the field
repairs, plain "Scotch tape" will temporarily reset a guide that has accidently
been torn loose.
HOOK KEEPER FOR FLY RODS
Just ahead of the cork grip on most fly rods is usually found a little
loose ring held on the rod by a piece of bent metal. The metal is wound down
onto the fly rod. These little rings were originally used on the entire rod as
guides and were called ring and keeper guides. When the various stationary
ring types of guides were invented, the ring and keeper guides were no
longer used as guides. One was still left, however, just in front of the grip on
rods so that, when walking along with your rod set up for fishing, you can
put the hook on your fly through this ring and it will thus lessen the danger of
your leader or line tangling in brush. The idea is excellent. I use such hook
keeper-rings on all my rods and find them very helpful. However, on factory
rods the little piece of formed metal that holds the ring in place is usually
pretty weak, and the ring, itself, is also weak. When you are going through
brush you catch your line on some brush occasionally no matter how much
care you use. When this does happen, it sometimes pulls the small metal
piece holding the ring apart or breaks the windings that hold it down. Silk or
Nylon windings, at best, are not too strong. I use a small chrome-plated
snake quide, and put a solid bronze split ring on it. This combination makes a
much superior hook keeper than is to be found on rods available today. I
wind down the guide with 6 pound test nylon leader material. This really
holds it on even if you give the hook keeper a real yank.
PUTTING ON TOPS
There are several methods of putting on tops. Some makers carefully
sand or scrape with a broken razor blade the end of the tip section so that it
exactly fits into the end of the top. The top is then glued on with Silhower
ferrule cement. Others just taper the end of the rod section very slightly so
that it will fit up into the top only a short distance. Then they cement it on
with Silhower ferrule cement
and, while the cement is wet,
take a flat, smooth-jawed pliers
and crimp the top in two or
three places so that it fits up
against the sides of the rod
section. They claim
this
crimping meT
O
P
CRIMPED TO TIP.
thod gives the end of the tip
section much more strength, as Methods of crimping the top to the rod tip
practically none of it is tapered after it has been cemented in place.
off or cut away.
If the tops are put on with Silhower ferrule cement, no windings are
necessary on the tops to aid in holding them on. In fact, windings

60

ROD ACCESSORIES

BREAK

PENCIL MARK.
Using a broken razor blade to scrape down the
rod to fit the top.
are detrimental if wrapped on the top itself.
A few windings just below the top are
attractive and should be put on for
decorative purposes. If stick-type ferrule
cement is used to put on tops, it is best to
put windings on the lower part of the top
and down on the rod section a short
distance.
Tops made from tungsten, stainless
steel, beryllium copper and monel are all
satisfactory if they are heavily dull-chrome
plated. The chrome plating gives them a
hard, smooth surface that the line will not
wear. Agate, glass and porcelain tops have
become obsolete. They work very well when
they are not cracked, but all three crack
easily and, when cracked, will ruin a line in a short time.
FINISHING THE ROD
There are many methods of finishing rods. Brown-tone or brown colored
rods are very popular today. Rods can be made brown by two methods only.
One is by staining it with bamboo stain. This gives the rod a good brown
color several thousandths of an inch deep. It does not damage the rod in any
way. Ordinary wood stains, which are acutally only oil or water with a small
amount of color pigment, will not penetrate bamboo. The other method is to
stain the bamboo brown by the "fume" or so-called tempering method before
you fashion it into a rod. This is the method used by many famous rod
companies.
Split the bamboo into the strips desired but do not plane or shape them.
These strips are suspended in Ammonia fumes for a period of three weeks.
This length of time will produce a very good brown color all the way through
the bamboo. The color may be varied by increasing or decreasing the
exposure. A "tank" for coloring bamboo can be easily made from lengths of
stove pipe. Solder a quart can on the end of the length of pipe for the
ammonia. The other end may be covered with a piece of wood into which
screw eyes may be attached

ROD ACCESSORIES

61

for suspending the bamboo. Do not let the bamboo come in direct contact
with the liquid ammonia as they will become discolored.
The bamboo must be air dried for six months after treating. This drying
period is to allow sufficient time for the ammonia to work out of the bamboo.
These strips may be Kiln dried at 170 degrees F. for six days if there is a Kiln
available, this also will remove the ammonia. Ammonia will crystalize resin
glues and the sections would fall apart if glued before the ammonia was
allowed to work out.
Ammonia dyeing of bamboo also hardens the bamboo somewhat.
Very mild heat is sometimes used in connection with the fume process,
but this does not, in itself, have anything to do with coloring the bamboo.
The mild heat merely speeds up the fume process. All heat above 170
degrees F is very detrimental to bamboo. Some manufacturers lead you to
believe that heat is the factor that makes their rods brown all the way
through. This, however, is seldom the case as this is the next thing to burning
the wood and rod manufacturers cannot afford to put out poor rods.
The ammonia dyeing of bamboo is supposed to have originated in
Scotland. A Scotch rod manufacturer threw away some poorly made rod
sections in a manure pile. After a year, he happened to notice the sections as
they were uncovered in the manure pile by a farmer. He noticed they were
stained dark brown and quite stiff. He tried them and found them to his
liking.
Rods may be finished with several different types of rod varnishes or
rod finishes. The thing to remember in applying all rod finishes is to apply
no more coats than necessary. Too many coats of rod finish will greatly slow
down the action of the rod.
The "holding windings" are the first things to consider in finishing a
rod. These are the windings that actually serve the purpose of holding your
guides, top or ferrules in place on your rod. Other windings on a rod are
merely decorative and serve no practical purpose. In fact, decorative
windings should be avoided as much as possible, especially in fly and
casting rods, as they tend to hinder the natural, much-desired casting action
of the bamboo.
If you desire the colors of the rod winding thread to remain much the same
after the rod is finished, give them a saturating coat of a good color fixative.
Most of these preparations are cheap collodians and
are of little value. A color fixative to serve its
purpose, must be a good cement as well as a color
fixative so that the windings are cemented tightly to
the bamboo.
If you do not care whether the color of the
windings will change greatly, rod varnish can be
used, to fill your windings. Cut the end of a match
flat and chisel-like, as the illustration shows, or se
cure a small red sable brush with which to
apply the liquid to the windings. A camel's
hair brush is not satisfactory. Try to get a
red sable which is a trade name for good
A match end prequality imported squirrel tail hair. The
pared for applying
temperature of your varnish, as well as the
color fixative or
room, must be at least 75 degrees F. You
rod varnish to rod
cannot varnish well enough for rods below
windings.
this temperature. It should be 90 to 100 de-

62

ROD ACCESSORIES

grees F, if possible. Dip your match or brush into your rod varnish, apply,
and work it into the windings carefully. Have your rod varnish in a can of hot
water so it is warm. Do this whenever you use rod varnish. Wipe off any
surplus rod varnish with a clean, lint-free wool rag. Let this first coat dry
thoroughly at least two days; if possible, four to six days. Then apply another
coat and let it dry. Repeat this procedure until the windings are not only
completely filled, but also until there is a distinct covering of varnish over
them. This means applying from four to six coats of rod varnish to the
windings. After the last coat of the rod varnish is dry, take a piece of felt
from an old felt hat; wet it and sprinkle it with powdered lava stone. Rub the
rod varnish covering the windings carefully with this pad to smooth it out
perfecetly. Rub carefully, as you must not cut down into the windings. When
finished, wipe off the lava stone with a damp clean rag.
Rod varnish colors silk winding threads approximately as follows: In
general, it darkens them. Pink turns to a medium red; light tan to a dark
brown; light green to a dark bright green; red to a burgundy, etc.
After your windings are all smoothed by the lava stone and felt, take a
varnish brush not less than a quarter inch wide and give the entire rod and
windings a medium, not heavy, coat of rod varnish. Stroke the varnish on
length-wise and then cross-wise, then, again lengthwise as a fine cabinet
maker does in applying fine finishes. Just stroking the varnish on from end to
end is not correct. Now put down your brush and finish properly, spreading
and evening the first coat of rod varnish. To do this, hold the ferrule of each
joint in one hand and quickly shuttle the joint back and forth between your
thumb and first finger three of four times. Do not overdo this; just a very few
strokes back and forth will even the varnish coat perfectly. This, again, is
nothing but a trick used by fine cabinet makers. Let this first coat of varnish
dry from ten days to two weeks; the longer the better. Now take another piece
of an old felt hat, wet it, sprinkle with a little powdered lava stone and lightly
rub down the rod until the varnish coat is perfectly smooth. Be careful not to
cut through the varnish coat in any place. Wipe off the lava stone with a
clean damp rag, and let it dry. Now give the rod another coat of varnish and
let it again dry for ten days to two weeks. Here opinion of famous rod makers
varies greatly. Some apply only two coats of rod varnish, a few apply only
one and others apply as many as four or five. The one and two coat rod
finishers claim that any more coats than this changes the rod action. The
three to five rod finishers claim that it takes three to five coats properly to
waterproof the rod. Whatever number of coats you decide on, use the same
procedure as described. Apply a coat, rub it down smooth, then apply
another. If you want the final coat brilliant, leave it as it is; if not, rub it down
to a semi-gloss.
Herter's have brought out a new type of finish that is very effective. It is
not new in the eyes of old rod makers as they have used it for the past
decade. They have kept it more or less as a secret and have not put it on the
market. It may be purchased from Herter's as Natural Tonkin Cane Finish.
This is applied before the guides are attached merely by saturating a lint free
cloth with the finish and apply with a lengthwise stroke. Two coats are
applied allowing 12 hours between coats. The second coat is rubbed lightly
with steel fur and then a final coat is applied. The windings are then put on
and finished as previously explained.

ROD ACCESSORIES

63

Automobile or floor waxes, or any wax or combination of waxes put


over your rod varnish or Tonkin Cane Finish, is just a waste of time insofar
as adding materially to waterproofing the rod is concerned. Strange as it may
seem to you, waxes of any kind are not extremely waterproof. A good rod
varnish, itself, is far more waterproof and water repellent than any wax you
might apply.

CHAPTER IX
ROD ACTION
The action of a fishing rod is the behavior of the rod while being cast by
an individual. The action of the rod may be the same for all the people who
cast with it and it may be different for every person who casts with it. Very
few casters cast exactly alike. Their hand, arm, muscular and nervous
systems are never exactly alike and they consequently perform a cast with a
rod differently than any other hand and arm, etc. The action of most rods will
react substantially the same for all casters, however. When a rod does not
react the same for one caster as another, the action of the rod for each caster
is different. That is, a rod may be called a stiff action by one caster and a
medium stiff action by another, and both are correct. The action of a rod,
then, depends directly on the particular caster using it and may vary from
caster to caster.
We will discuss rod action as it applies to fly rods, only. The rod actions
are only discussed in general terms.
WET FLY ACTION
WEJT FLY ACTION: Years ago, a "wet fly action" fly rod was
considered to be a rod that was very limber and which bent freely from the
grip to the tip. The theory of such limber, soft rods was that they allowed the
flies to fall gently into the water and the line to fall straight into the water.
Either claim has questionable advantages under many conditions. Gradually,
as the years have gone by, fishermen began to find out that these old "buggy
whip wet fly rods" were actually poor rods for casting the wet fly and that
rods suitable for dry fly casting generally cast wet flies much more
satisfactorily. Actually, wet fly rods are non-existent today except when a
maker turns out a poor dry fly rod and sells it to some novice as a "wet fly
rod."
DRY FLY ACTION
DRY FLY ACTION: There are many ways to build a dry fly rod or dry
fly action into a rod. Most of these methods produce good dry fly rods. I will
briefly describe some of the better known methods of producing dry fly
action in a rod.
HEWITT DRY FLY ACTION: Edward H. Hewitt, as you undoubtedly
know, was considered the best fly fisherman for trout in the world. There are
those who are prone to minimize Hewitt's abilities for personal reasons or self
glory. However, I have never known or heard of anyone from reliable sources
who could beat Hewitt for actually putting trout in a creel. Hewitt used a rod
with action or the bending in the lower or middle part but not as pronounced
as in the standard Dry Fly action. On a three piece rod, for example, the upper
half of the middle section and the lower half of the tip have "level tapers",
that is, the tapers are slight. This leaves these areas a little stiff. Such a rod
has action all over but slightly more of the bending is in the butt section, the
lower half of the middle section, and the top half of the tip.

ROD ACTION

65

Hewitt action is identical to the Standard Dry Fly action described


below, except that the variations in the "level tapered" areas are less from a
straight taper than the Standard Dry Fly action "level tapers."
In one of the last letters from Hewitt, he wrote me that he much
preferred this type of rod to all others and that he never was able to wear one
out or soften up the action of such a rod no matter how long he use it. This
means something coming from Hewitt. He not only had used rods of various
types for a great many years but used them a great deal ever year. As always,
Hewitt had Leonard make his rods and he always had the highest praised for
them.
STANDARD DRY FLY ACTION: (Also called streamer action.) This
method of producing dry fly action is to have the majority of the action of the
rod, or bending of the rod, in the lower and middle parts. On a three piece
rod, for example, the upper half of the middle section and the lower half of
the tip have "level tapers"; that is, tapers that are very slight or nearly level.
This leaves these areas semi-stiff. Such a rod has action all over it's entire
length, as a good dry fly rod should, but most of the bending is in the butt
section, the lower half of the middle section and in the top half of the tip.
Slight variations of this standard dry fly action are used by practically all of
the famous rod makers throughout the world today.
HEDDON DRY FLY ACTION: The dry fly action used by Heddon's a
great deal is identical to the standard dry fly action, with one exception. Two
or three inches just ahead of the grip, Heddon's taper up their rods very
sharply; often as much as seventy-five thousandths of an inch on the
diameter of the rod in three or four inches. As a result, the part of the rod just
ahead of the grip (and in the grip, itself) is very heavy and stiff. This
accomplishes a very important purpose. It stops most of the action or
movement of the rod right in front of the grip. In other words, a nine foot rod
thus made has about the actual stiffness of an eight foot rod made in the
usual manner where the butt end of the rod does not have this quick sharp
upward taper and heaviness.
FAST TIP DRY FLY ACTION: These fly rods are made with the tip
and upper half of the middle section (on a 3-piece rod) fairly light and the
butt section and lower half of the middle section stiff to semi-stiff. If the butt
section and lower half of the middle section are too stiff, the rod is very
difficult to cast; if semi-stiff, they are not too bad for a good caster. Such a
rod is also, at times, referred to as a "steep taper" or "quick taper" rod.
CROMPTON DRY FLY ACTION: (Also called fast butt or streamer
action). This action was used by R. W. Crompton. Crompton's dry fly action
is exactly like the standard dry fly action except that he tapered the lower half
of the butt section inward toward the reel or butt of the rod quite noticeably.
That is, the extreme butt of the rod was made light. This gives the rod
powerful butt action for distance casting. Forms of this action are aften called
"streamer action" and are used by many famous rod makers.
PARABOLIC DRY FLY ACTION: I do not know who first applied this
word to rod action, but it undoubtedly was coined by some unthinking writer
or sportsman who did not know what the word really meant. It has caused a
great deal of needless confusion. The word parabolic, according to modern
dictionaries, (I am quoting from Funk

ROD ACTION

67

fully, you will see how the rod bends and where it is semi-stiff. Compare
what you see to the illustrations shown here and you will have a pretty
accurate picture of the type of rod action you have. The "speed" of the rod is
merely another word for "action." If the action of the rod is what you desire,
the speed of the rod is automatically correct.
Systems for measuring the vibrations of rods in order to determine the
action have not proved of much importance. The Montagu Free Deflection
System developed by Mr. Ralph D. Montagu of Oroville, California, was
popular some years back but now has fallen into dis-use. His system was as
follows: The grip of the fly rod was held in a vise or blocked down tightly on
a table-top. The rod was then pressed down and released slightly ahead of the
grip until the rod began vibrating well, in an up and down motion. When the
vibrations of the rod became what was termed as "regular," they were
counted. According to this system, a suitable dry fly rod must have not less
than 100 vibrations per minute. The stiffer the rod, the more vibrations you
will get per minute using this system; the softer the rod, the less vibrations
per minute. Mr. Montagu called the distance from the rod in an immobile
horizontal position to the extreme downward end of its arc, as it vibrated
regularly, the "Free Deflection Distance." In good dry fly rods, this figured to
be about 5 to 6 inches, depending on the length of the rod.
The "point of balance system" of determining rod action was, at one
time, a favorite English method which was also fairly popular in America. It
is also in dis-use and justly so. The point of balance system involved finding
the point on the assembled rod where it balanced perfectly and trying to get
rods of equal length and action exactly to balance at the same distance from
the butt. This actually is ridiculous, as a little thinking would tell anyone, yet
this system had many followers. A slightly heavier reel seat, guides or top
would give you an entirely different "action" under this system, yet the actual
balance of the rod would be little changed.
Another point often stressed that means little in fly rod making is the
tensile strength of the rod. Tensile strength is merely stress strength
determined by pulling. This has little to do with fly rod action. In trolling
rods, such as salt water rods, tensile strength, however, is important.
A deflection board is an excellent way to test rods but is rarely used.
The reason for this is that, if the man operating it or viewing it knows fly
rods, it quickly brings out the bad points as well as the good ones. This is
very often embarassing, as many very expensive and well-known rods show
up very poorly on a deflection board test. The average sporting goods store
would not be caught dead with a deflection board anywhere near its
premises; neither would many well known rod makers.
A deflection board is made exactly as the illustration shows. The handle
of the rod to be tested is placed between the two wooden pegs and a fourounce weight (when testing fly rods, fresh water spinning rods, and fresh
water casting rods) is attached to a line tied to the first butt guide of the rod,
as illustration shows. The resultant arc formed by the rod will show the soft,
semi-stiff, and stiff parts of the rod. In order exactly to interpret the arc made
by the rod you must have the arc of a good rod of the same length and weight
to draw a comparison. In other words, to use a deflection board you must
have considerable information about rods at hand.

68

ROD ACTION

The rod on the deflection board is a nine foot, three piece dry fly rod,
weight 3 ounces. It is made with the standard type of dry fly action. The
rod weight is the true one; that is, it does not include the weight of the
reel seat and the cork grip. The deflection board must be constructed
exactly as the illustration shows. The wooden pegs must be in the exact
position as shown. If the rod is tested without the reel seat or cork grip
on the rod, or if the reel seat and cork grip are so small that they allow
play between the two wooden pegs, shim the rod, the handle or the reel
seat up with flat pieces of wood until it is held tightly between the two
wooden pegs and exactly in the center of the line indicated.
The true weight of a split-bamboo fly rod is the total weight of the rod
assembled for fishing, less the weight of the reel seat and cork grip. This
system is rarely used in weighing fly rods any more, but it is the correct one.
Usually the entire weight of the assembled rod is taken as the rod weight.
This is very misleading; reel seats and grips vary greatly in weight, yet
contribute little to the rod action and should not be calculated in determining
the true weight of the rod. You can, for example, take a 5 ounce rod, put a
heavier reel seat on it than it has and easily make a 6 ounce rod from it; yet
such a rod would not have the action of a true 6 ounce rod.
Another important function of a deflection board to the rod maker as
previously mentioned is in using the board to ascertain the stiffest flat side of
the rod since he must mount the guides opposite this stiffest flat side on fly
rods. This gives the fly rod much added strength on the forward part of your
cast. This is the part of your cast that requires the power of the fly rod. This is
very important, yet it is followed out by the rod makers only on a few of the
finest custom rods.
You will be surprised to note that a deflection board will prove to you
that all sides of your rod do not have equal power. If you move your rod so it
rests on different sides, it will test differently

ROD ACTION

69

on your deflection board. If you want to locate the actual points of stiffness
on a four, five, and six strip rod, the deflection board will quickly locate
them for you. You will find that, if you rest a four or

4 STRIF
5 STRIP.
6 STRIP
Cross sections of 4, 5, and 6 strip rods and the
angles of their strips.
six strip rod in the deflection board holders so that you are bending the rod
on a corner, the rod is much stiffer than if you rest it so it is bending on a flat.

CHAPTER X.
ROD

CONSTRUCTION

The different qualities of a four, five, or six strip rod can easily be
noted on the deflection board. You will find the five strip rod much stiffer
than a six strip of the same diameter and stiffer than a four strip rod of the
same weight. Either four, five, or six strip rod construction result in excellent
rods, and it is a matter of personal preference which you desire to make. In
spite of what anyone says or thinks, all of them can be made to cast straight
and well. This has been clearly proven in casting machines. The type of
construction you use depends on what you want in a rod.
Before deciding whether you want to build rods in 4, 5, or 6 strip
construction, you should use rods of these three different types. They all have
very different, distinct types of actions. The construction you decide on
depends on what you want in a rod. I am not discussing 3, 7, 8, 9, 10. and 11
and 12 strip rods, as they are seldom made any more. The important rod
constructions today are the 4, 5. and 6 strip, beyond any question. A four
strip rod is the easiest and quickest rod to make of the three important
constructions, and the 6 strip is the most difficult and slowest to make. This
factor alone, has at times, influenced some rod makers as to which
construction they followed. All three constructions definitely produce good
usable actions.
On all rods, the corners are the stiffest part of the rod as before
mentioned, and the flat sides are more flexible. Any odd number of strip
construction such as 5 and 7, etc., will definitely produce stiffer or firmer
rods. The reason for this is elemental; each flat of the rod has a corner
backing it up which, of course, greatly reinforces the flat side. The deflection
board will show this to you clearly. Any university engineer will prove it to
you mechanically. A five strip rod, or other
rods made with uneven numbers of
strips are not always liked by every caster
because of their stiffness.
The late R. W. Crompton has been
the great exponent of the five strip rod.
Crompton was a good wood craftsman.
Crompton turned out, by hand, some
good rods. The five strip rod has recently
gained some popularity from Nathaniel
Uslan. who is marketing five strip rods.
Mr. Uslan was a pupil of Mr. Crompton's,
and learned rod building from him.
Claude M. Kreider. an amateur
rod builder learned amateur rod
building from Crompton and wrote
a book on it. The book is full of
glaring
inaccuracies,
unintentional,
but none the less there.
R. W. Crompton

I knew Crompton personally. He lived in St. Paul. Minnesota. I knew


what he could do and what he could not do very well.

72

ROD CONSTRUCTION

that a four strip rod, per diameter, is much heavier than either a five or six
strip rod and what power it gains from more power fiber area is lost to the
added weight.
CHART

OF

ROD

TAPERS

I am including a chart of rod tapers mostly in an attempt to clear up


some of the confusion and errors that exist regarding them. The drawings
show the tapers of the rod for the entire rod, or tip (in the case of detachable
tips) with the exception of No. 13, which shows the taper only up to the male
ferrule at the butt of a detachable tip rod. All the tapers are greatly
exaggerated for purposes of illustration.
The tapers shown can and are varied and are combined in numerous
other warps, not shown on this chart, as they are too numerous to illustrate.

ROD CONSTRUCTION

73

2. Standard Dry Fly Taper: This taper is used on fly rods, as has
been previously described. It is not used on bait casting rods as illus
trated. A form of this taper, with the tip made heavier, is used on
bait casting rods and also on spinning rods and surf rods. There are a
great many variations of this taper.
3. Fast Tip Dry Fly Taper: This taper is used on fly rods, as has
been previously described. It also is used occasionally on light bait
casting rods.
4. Crompton Dry Fly Taper: This taper is used on fly rods, as
previously described. A form of this taper, with the tip made heavier,
is used on bait casting and spinning rods.
5. Castleconnell Kick Taper: This taper was used sometime back
in Ireland and England on long salmon fly rods. However, it is no
longer in use. The middle part of the rod is made weak so that the
rod is top heavy. Because of this the rod "kicks" the line out.
6. Heddon Dry Fly Taper: This taper is used on fly rods, as has
been previously described. With the tip part made slightly heavier, it
also is used for bait casting, surf and spinning rods.
7. Convex Taper: Ths taper is used somewhat on fly rods and
is also used on bait casting rods. It is used on salt water rods of all
kinds.
8. Compound Level and Convex Taper: Compound simply means
"double" or more than one. Do not let it confuse you. Rods with
"compound" tapers simply have two kinds of tapers. This particular
compound taper is used to some extent on salt water rods.
9. Concave Taper: This taper is not used on any rods at pre
sent.
10. Compound Level and Concave Taper: This taper is also
obsolete.
11. Compound Level and Straight Taper: This taper is used oc
casionally on salt water rods and bait casting rods.
12. Compound Straight and Straight Taper: This taper is used on
bait casting rods, occasionally on surf rods and on salt water rods
in general.
13. Straight Taper Sharply Swelled at the Ferrule: This taper is
used on fly rods. It also is used on bait casting rods, surf rods, and
salt water rods in general.
14. Compound Reverse Straight and Straight Taper: This taper
is used occasionally on fly rods.
MAKING A GRAPH OR PLAN OF A ROD
Professional rod makers draw either a graph or a plan of a rod before
they begin to make a new rod. If the rod is a success, they keep the plan or
the graph so that they can duplicate the rod. Contrary to the opinion of selfstyled authorities, if the bamboo is of good quality, rods made from the same
plan or graph are identical or so close to being the same in action that there is
no difference between them for all practical purposes.
A graph or plan of a rod offers many advantages. It is easier to visualize
what the rod will be like when it is completed. A plan also

74

ROD CONSTRUCTION

makes it possible for you to have the measurements at any given point on the
rod.
Whether you use a graph or a plan is a matter of personal preference.
Either serves the purpose well. Both are made with the thought that the rod is
assembled. I strongly recommend the use of a plan or graph for all rod
making, both for professionals and amateurs.
I will first describe how to make a plan for a rod. Take a piece of good
quality paper anywhere from 18 inches to 3 or four feet long. Set some
logical figure to represent 6 inches of the rod on the paper, and mark off the
paper in these intervals. For example, if you are making a plan of a 9 foot rod
and your paper is 40 inches long, select

A plan of a 9 foot, 3 piece Hardy dry fly rod.


2 inches to represent 6 inches on your rod. Mark off the length of the rod in 2
inch intervals. Draw a straight line through the marks. This straight line
represents the center of the rod.
If you have a rod you desire to duplicate, measure the diameter at the
butt and divide by two to get the thickness of one strip. Now project this
thickness measurement above the center line (using actual measurements, not
a scale). Measure the diameter of the tip, divide by 2 and mark this
measurement above the other extreme of your center line. Join the butt and
tip measurement points with a dotted line. This dotted line will represent a
straight taper. If you are making a straight tapered rod this is as far as you
need go. Mark in the positions of the ferrules. If you are not making a straight
tapered rod, draw in a solid line with the taper you want. Use the straight
tapered line as a guide. You will find that it helps considerably to do this.
You can now find the width of half of your rod at any point by simply
measuring the actual distance between the solid line representing the center
of the rod and either the dotted or solid line representing the taper you have
decided upon.
To make a graph of a rod, proceed as follows: Secure some "graph"
paper. This paper is marked off into squares which are, in turn, marked off
into smaller squares. The larger squares are numbered on the width of the
paper as well as on the length.
Cross out the numbers on the width of the paper and number the large
squares in inches, figuring each large square as 6 inches. Change the figures
on the length of the graph paper so that every large square represents ten
thousandths of an inch. The illustration shows all this clearly. Now measure,
in thousandths, half the diameter of the butt end of the rod you desire to make
or duplicate. Put a mark on the left hand margin of the graph paper where this
figure coincides with the figures on the graph. Then measure in thousandths
the diameter of the tip and put a mark on the graph paper where this figure
coincides with the figure on the graph and directly above the length
measurement that indicates the end of the rod. Draw a straight line between
these two points. This line represents the taper of a

ROD CONSTRUCTION

75

straight tapered rod. If this is the type of taper you are giving your
rod, you need go no further with your graph. Mark in the ferrules.
To determine the measurement of the rod at any desired point, follow
the line from the desired point horizontally to the left edge of the
graph which indicates the measurement in thousandths. If you desire a
rod of a taper other than a straight taper, figure out the measurement
in thousandths you desire the radius of the rod to be at 6 inch intervals

throughout its entire length. Then, by using the thousandths figures on the
vertical side of the graph, and the 6 inch interval figures on the horizontal side
of the graph, put a dot on the graph paper at each one of these points
where the horizontal and vertical lines intersect

ROD CONSTRUCTION

77

HOLLOW RODS
Completely hollow rods of split-bamboo of many types have been made.
Some of these rods were completely hollow; others might be hollow for
perhaps five or six inches and then left solid for a half-inch or so as to brace
the rod. Hollow butt sections on large diameter
rods

Cross section of a six strip rod with hollow center.


(where the diameter of the section is so large that it is
impossible to build them solid if single construction is
used) are often made and work out very well.
H0LLOW CENTER

Mr. Powell patented a


hollow type of construction on Oct. 31, 1933,
as the illustration shows. Figure 1 indicates the
power fiber area of the strips above and the pith
area of the strips below. Figure 2

'Edwin

C. Powell's hollow type


six strip rod.

shows the hollow area of the strip before


section is assembled. Mr. Powell is a fine rod
maker and known for his rods the world over.

78

ROD CONSTRUCTION

FRED. D. DEVINE S P I R A L
TWISTED ROD
Away back in June of 1892, Fred Devine patented a fly rod
in which the strips were twisted to add stiffness to the rod. The
strips were glued together and pressure wrapped. Then they
were twisted before the glue set, and the twisted rod section was
left to dry while firmly held between two vises. Some of
Devine's rods are still in use

A spiral twisted rod section made by Devine's method.


The letters A. B. C. D. E. F. indicate the strips of the
rod. The letter M indicates the female ferrule.
today and remain in excellent condition. His method definitely
stiffens a six strip rod. It never became popular, as it gave the
rod maker too much extra work. If you like stiff rods, try one
made
by
Devine's
method.

ROD CONSTRUCTION

79

section. On the tip section, only one triangular piece was used to fill in
between each part of the cross as naturally it was too difficult to make two
pieces this small. The outside of Martin's rod was round.
I have been unable to secure one of Martin's rods and have not had the
time to build one to date. I have heard very favorable comments concerning
them. Martin's construction method is, however, too complicated ever to
become popular.
WILLIAM H. STEWART METHOD OF RUNNING
THE FISHING LINE THROUGH A HOLLOW
FISHING ROD.
On May 12, 1942, William
H. Stewart of East Jaffrey, New
Hampshire, patented a method
of making a fishing rod hollow
and running the fishing line William H. Stewart Method of Hollow
through the hollow rod instead of
Rod Construction.
putting guides on the rod and
running the line through the guides.
FREDERICK S. HERRIS METHOD OF ROD
CONSTRUCTION
On February 25, 1930, Mr. Frederick S. Herris of Los Angeles,
California, patented a method of making fishing rods which had wires
imbedded in the rod, as the illustration shows.
Various methods for imbedding wires in fishing
rods have been used in Europe a great many years
before this time. The imbedding of wires in rods
has never gained any amount of popularity. On fly
rods, it tends to give the rod a heavy, slow action;
on trolling rods, however, it increases the tensile
strength.
Frederick S. Herris
Method of Rod Construction.

FRANCIS

M. O'BRIEN METHOD OF MAKING


LAMINATED FISHING RODS

On January 4, 1938, Francis M. O'Brien, Jr. of Miami, Florida


patented a heart shaped laminated fishing rod illustrated in the cross
section. In the illustration Line 22 is the Strain Dividing
Line. The upper half of the rod
is subject to tension or stretch,
while the lower half is subject
to compression. Line 23 shows
the center of compression
area. Right Hand illustration:
This is a cross section of Mr.
O'Brien's heart shaped
laminated rod. Guides
Round and Heart Shaped Cross Section
are mounted on the top
of a Laminated Fishing Rod.

80

ROD CONSTRUCTION

flat area of this rod. Line 20 is the Strain Dividing Line. Note that it is nearly
at the top of the rod. Thus a large part of the rod resists compression, making
the rod stiffer. Only a small part of the rod is subject to tension or stretching.
Line 21 shows the center of compression and tension areas.
All the pieces of wood in Mr. O'Brien's rod lie on edge in relation to the
direction in which the rod is flexed. This gives the rod great strength.
The following description is set forth in Mr. O'Brien's patent:
The lamination piece number 10 is the central lamination and may be
slightly thicker than the laterally disposed laminations, and is preferably
made of hickory wood. The hickory wood imparts toughness and strength to
the pole body. At opposite sides of the middle lamination number 10 of
hickory, are disposed lamination number 11 of snake wood which imparts
flexibility to the rod, and by disposing the flexible snake wood laminations
against the strong and tough hickory lamination, the snake wood is well
supported and combines with the hickory to impart the desired strength and
flexibility to the pole body.
Against the outer sides of the laminations number 11 are disposed the
outer laminations number 12 of bamboo which possesses relatively high
recuperative characteristics so that the bamboo while being readily flexible
with the snakewood assists in returning the snakewood laminations number
11 and the hickory laminations number 10 to their normal straight line
positions to impart a longer life to the fishing rod without its setting or
remaining in a bent condition in the direction of flexing under a load.
It will be noted that all of the laminations numbers 10, 11 and 12 are
normal to the plane of the back of the rod so that the laminations will offer
resistance to bending in an edgewise direction. This provides a rod body
which has great resistance to bending, is very strong and is thus well adapted
for use in handling heavy loads.
Mr. O'Brien's laminating method produces excellent rods. Mr. O'Brien's
method was designed primarily with the idea of salt water rods in mind but it
also produces fresh water rods of remarkable quality.
ERIC

M.

HOLM METHOD OF MAKING


LAMINATED FISHING RODS
On December 18, 1934, Mr. Eric M. Holm of Los Angeles, California
patented a method of making laminated fishing rods on the order of an
automobile spring.

Figure 1 shows the tip of a detachable butt or grip salt water rod
made by the Eric Holm method. Figures 2 and 3 show cross
sections of the rod.

ROD CONSTRUCTION

81

As illustrated in Figure 1, the principal feature of this invention


embraces an arrangement of a number of leaves, 6a, 7a, 8a, and 9a according
to a regular laminated spring construction. Figure 1 shows the full leaf in the
center and other leaves on opposite sides, short of one another, to provide for
various thicknesses of the finished rod.
The intermediate leaves, such as 6a, 7a, 8a, 10a and lla, are preferably
tapered, as clearly indicated at 12, so that the finished rod as illustrated in
Figure 1 presents an evenly tapered appearance where
ever a change of thickness is provided.
Moreover, the individual leaves are also tapered so as to assure a very
desirable flexibility in the completed rod.
The individual leaves of this fishing rod are preferably made of strips of
bamboo, the outer, such as 9a, being merely flattened and smoothened on one
side, while all other or intermediate leaves are flattened and smoothened on
opposite sides, besides being tapered at the ends and edgewise as set forth
above.
Mr. Holm's method produces excellent rods and, although designed
primarily for salt water rods, this is a good method of construction for fresh
water bamboo rods.
WARREN

BRUCE PIRNIE'S METHOD OF


RODCONSTRUCTION
In 1934 Mr. Warren Bruce Pirnie of Greenfield, Mass., patented a
method of gluing together pieces of bamboo from which the pith had been
removed and then rounding off this glued section to form a rod. The patent
was assigned to The Montague Rod and Reel Company
of Montague City, Mass. In general Mr.
Firnie's method is to remove the pith
from the pieces of bamboo and enough
of the enamel and under-enamel so that
they can be glued together well. He then
Warren Bruce Pirnie's
glues them together. After the pieces
Method of strip lamare dry he turns the glued up section
ination.
into a round tapered rod. Mr. Pirnie
intends this method of rod structure
mostly for casting and salt water rods. However it can also apply to fly rods.
Such a rod will bend easiest when the concave part of the strips are toward
the pull and is stiffest when the convex part of the rod is toward the pull. The
left hand illustration of Bruce Pirnie's method shows the pieces of bamboo
with pin and enamel and under-enamel removed and glued together to form a
section. Piece 7 is left flat on the bottom so that pressure can be easily
applied to the strips while the glue is drying. The right hand illustration
shows, in cross section, the 7 strip section rounded to form a rod.
DR.

GEORGE

PARKER HOLDEN'S 5 STRIP SIX


SIDED ROD
Dr. Holden, a number of years back, advocated five strip, six sided fly
rods built as the illustration shows.
Figure one shows the strips glued together to form a triangular

82

ROD CONSTRUCTION

s e c tio n . N o te th a t th e c e n te r s tr ip is d o u b le b u ilt. F ig u r e 2 s h o w s th e
p o in ts o f th e tria n g u la r s e c tio n p la n e d o ff
to fo rm a 6 sid e d
sec tio n . R o d s so m a d e
cast w ell an d are
v e r y s tif f . A n u m b e r
o f th e m a re s till in
u se to d a y. U sin g D r.
H o ld e n 's m e th o d , a n
e n tir e s ix s id e d r o d
c a n b e b u ilt u p o f
p o w e r fib e rs a n d
stu rd y fib e rs c lo se to
th e p o w e r fib e rs . P ith
is e n tire ly a v o id e d . D r . H o ld e n 's m e th o d o f m a k in g a s ix s id e d
r o d is v e r y g o o d , b u t
it is n o t a m e th o d r o d m a k e r s d e s ir e , s in c e it r e q u ir e s tw o p la n in g s ;
o n e to p la n e th e th r e e s in g le b u ilt s tr ip s a n d o n e d o u b le b u ilt s tr ip to
f o r m th e tr ia n g u la r r o d s e c tio n a n d a n o th e r to p la n e o f f th e c o r n e r s
of
th e tr ia n g le to fo r m a s ix s id e d s e c tio n .

R E S I N
IM P R E G N A T E D
S P L IT -B A M B O O
FLY
RODS AND R E S I N
IM P R E G N A T E D F I B E R R O D S
V a rio u s re s in s c a n b e u se d to im p re g n a te b a m b o o . Im p re g n a tin g
b a m b o o w ith re sin , o f c o u rs e , in c re a s e s th e w e ig h t o f th e b a m b o o
c o n s id e ra b ly . I m p r e g n a te d b a m b o o h a s a v e r y d iffe re n t a c tio n th a n
b a m b o o n o t im p re g n a te d . It a ll g o e s b a c k to w h a t y o u w a n t in a r o d
a c tio n . I h a v e a lw a y s p re fe r re d a n a tu r a l b a m b o o a c tio n to a n y o th e r,
a n d m o s t o f m y f r ie n d s f e e l th e s a m e w a y a b o u t th is a s I d o .
O n e w e ll k n o w n p r o c e s s fo r im p re g n a tin g b a m b o o is c o v e re d b y
th e f o llo w in g p a te n t N o . 2 ,3 5 2 ,7 4 0 .
P a te n te d J u ly 4 , 1 9 4 4 U N IT E D
ST A T E S P A T E N T O FFIC E , 2,352,740
M E T H O D O F IM P R E G N A T IN G B A M B O O W IT H S Y N T H E T IC R E S IN
H a rv e y D . S h a n n o n , W e s tfie ld , N . J . A s s ig n o r to B a k e lite C o rp o ra tio n ,
N e w Y o r k , N . Y ., a c o r p o r a tio n o f N e w J e r s e y
N o D ra w in g . A p p lic a tio n M a y 1 4 , 1 9 4 0 ,
S e ria l N o . 3 3 5 ,1 3 7
4 C la im s (C l. 1 1 7 -5 9 )

ROD CONSTRUCTION

83

"This invention relates to the impregnation of bamboo with synthetic


resins and to the product produced thereby.
"It is often desirable to impregnate bamboo with synthetic resins of
known characteristics in order to impart to it desired properties and yet retain
in the bamboo substantially all of the natural resins which were originally
present.
"Dried bamboo comprises bundles of fibers running lengthwise of the
stalk and the fibrils are extremely difficult to impregnate. Disposed
throughout the fibers, cells and cell walls are the natural resins of the bamboo
together with various salts which are deposited as the water of the sap
evaporates from the bamboo as it is dried. The resins in the bamboo are
desirable as they have somewhat of a binding effect on the fibers but the
water soluble salts have no particular advantage. The membranes of the cell
walls are porous to water as is evident from the fact that bamboo can be
thoroughly dried.
"Difficulty has heretofore been experienced in impregnating bamboo
with synthetic resins of known characteristics. It has heretofore been
proposed with regard to wood to dissolve a resin in an organic solvent, for
instance alcohol and force the solution into the cells of the wood; however,
this has not been effective with regard to bamboo probably because of the
action of the membranes and the difficulty in impregnating the fibrils. Again
with regard to wood, it has been proposed to treat the wood with a solution of
one of the constituents of the synthetic resin, for instance
hexamethylenetetramine, then dry the wood and then treat the wood with an
alcoholic solution of a fusible synthetic resin, after which the wood is again
dried and thereafter heated to react the fusible resin with the
hexamethylenetetramine and form a hardened synthetic resin in situ. In
coating wood it has also been proposed to dip the wood in a solution of the
unreacted constitutents of the resin to obtain a superficial coating.
"The objections to the first method of treating wood, namely the
treatment with synthetic resin dissolved in an organic solvent is that the
solvent is expensive, it does not penetrate the cell walls or enter the fibrils as
well as water, the solvent is flammable, and also the solvent has tendency to
dissolve the natural wood resins which it is desired to retain in the wood and
it does not dissolve the salts which it is desired to remove from the wood. The
difficulty with the other methods of impregnating wood is that one can never
be certain as to how much of the resin constituents are retained in the wood
and therefore one never knows the characteristics of the resin which will be
formed and hence one does not know the characteristics which will be
imparted to the wood after the treatment. Moreover, the second mentioned
treatment is expensive in that it requires alternate drying and soaking of the
wood. The difficulties experienced with wood are multiplied in connection
with bamboo due to its peculiar fibrous structure.
"According to the present invention, a method has been devised for
impregnating bamboo with a resin of known characteristics to the end that a
final product of known characteristics may be obtained. Furthermore, the
method is extremely simple and low in cost and is operable under conditions
where vacuum and pressure treatments have been ineffective in thoroughly
impregnating the bamboo. Moreover, the treatment does not remove from the
bamboo the natural resins which it is desired to retain but does remove the
water soluble salts, which do not strengthen the bamboo, and permits their
replacement by synthetic resins of known characteristics which impart
known, predetermined and desired charactertistics to the bamboo.

84

ROD CONSTRUCTION

"In treating the bamboo, it is soaked in water until it is thoroughly


saturated which usually occurs in from two to four days for a piece about 1/4
inch in thickness. The usual tap water may be used for this treatment and it is
unnecessary to use specially purified water such as distilled water. It has also
been found desirable to use warm water, for instance water maintained at a
temperature of approximately 60 C in which case the water absorption may
occur in approximately 24 hours. If desired, the water may be circulated
through the receptacle in which the bamboo is treated in order to have a fresh
supply of water next to the bamboo and prevent concentration of the salt
solution next to the surface of the bamboo. After the bamboo has been
thoroughly soaked in water and the salts have had an opportunity to dissolve,
the water is merely drained or wiped from the surface of the bamboo but the
bamboo is not permitted to dry to any material extent.
"After the water is wiped from the bamboo, the piece to be treated is
immersed in a water solution of a synthetic resin. Resins of this type may be
obtained by reacting a phenolic constituent for instance phenol, cresol,
resorcinol, etc. or a urea constituent for instance urea, thiourea, etc. with a
reactive aldehyde for instance formaldehyde, paraform etc. but stopping the
reaction before the resin has become water insoluble, that is the reaction is
continued to the point where one of the constituents has chemically reacted
with the other but enlargement of the molecule and polymerization has not
taken place sufficiently to render the resin water insoluble. The preferred
resin is inherently water soluble. It is important that the reaction does not go
too far and it is preferred that the reaction be stopped as soon as the
constituents of the resin have combined and before there is any substantial
amount of polymerization or enlargement of the molecule. The water soluble
resins may in fact be dispersions of the resin in the water but the resin is in
such a condition that the watery mass has the characteristics of a solution so
far as the present invention is concerned, as the resin is miscible with the
water to give a homogeneous mass. Such a mass is contemplated by the term
'solution' and similar terms used herein.
The wet bamboo is permitted to remain in this resin solution for a period
of time depending upon the thickness of the bamboo. A section of bamboo
approximately 1/4 of an inch thick will automatically impregnate itself in
approximately two to four days by soaking at room temperature or at about
60 C. in a water solution containing about 30% of synthetic resin. The resin
solution appears to diffuse throughout the bamboo and passes through the
membrane walls and enters the fibrils by osmosis or a physiochemical
phenomena which is similar thereto. Whatever the physical or chemical
phenomena may be, however, it has been found that bamboo can be
impregnated by this method whereas very little more than a surface layer can
be impregnated by immersing dry bamboo in the resin solution, even though
alternate vacuum and pressure be used in an effort to assist the impregnation.
It is considered probable that when the dry bamboo is immersed in a resin
solution, the water passes through the membrane building up a layer of resin
molecules on the outside of the membrane, and these molecules quickly
become interlocked to form such aggregates that thereafter they will prevent
further penetration of the resin molecules through the membrane whereas
with a section of bamboo previously soaked in water, the resin infiltration is
so gradual that molecules do not build up such an interlocking structure but
retain their small size and are enabled

ROD CONSTRUCTION

85

to pass through the membrane and into the fibrils and thoroughly
impregnate the bamboo.
"After the bamboo has been treated in the resin-water solution, the
solution is withdrawn and the bamboo is permitted to drain. The bamboo may
then be permitted to dry or, if desired, may quickly be flushed with water
containing no resin or wiped to remove the surface layer of resin. It is usually
preferred, however, to retain the resinous surface layer. Thereafter, the
bamboo is permitted to dry and is subsequently heat treated to polymerize the
resin to the desired extent. Also, the wet bamboo, after the resin treatment,
may be warmed slightly to polymerize the resin while the moisture is present
and this heating may take place in a humidity chamber where the evaporation
of the water may be controlled. Permitting the bamboo to dry prior to heat
treatment has a tendency to withdraw the resin from the center of the bamboo
and concentrate it near the surface and thus provide a graduated resin
distribution, although leaving a portion of the resin at the center. This is
because as the moisture moves from the interior of the bamboo to the surface
it carries the resin with it. Polymerizing the resin before the water has
escaped enlarges the molecules sufficiently to prevent their passage through
the membrane or out of the fibrils and there is a heavier concentration of resin
in these places.
"By proceeding in the manner described herein it has been found
possible to control the characteristics of the final product. The treated
bamboo is somewhat heavier than the untreated material but is much stronger
and, on the basis of equal strengths, a piece of bamboo treated in this manner
is lighter in weight than untreated bamboo. The finished product may be used
for poles for pole vaulting, oars, sailboat masts, shafts of golf clubs and polo
mallets, bristles for brushes, etc. Where the resin is baked hard after the
woody base material is treated, the composite has great dimensional stability
under any atmospheric condition and is resistant to abrasion; it is therefore
useful for propellers and other parts of aircraft, patterns for casting,
phonograph needles, etc.
"Although a particular and preferred form of the invention has been
described, it is recognized that many other forms may be used. For instance a
cellulosic wetting agent, may be used with the water as well as other solvents
for the resin. Furthermore, as previously stated, the invention, while
particularly applicable to bamboo which has not been successfully treated by
other methods, is applicable to other woody materials, for instance balsa
wood and the more common woods. It is therefore desired that the invention
be construed as broadly as the following claims taken in conjunction with the
prior art may allow.
"I claim:
1. Method of impregnating bamboo containing cells and membraneous
cell walls with a synthetic resin of the group consisting of phenolic aldehyde
resins and urea aldehyde resins, which comprises soaking the bamboo in water
until the cells and cell walls are impregnated with water and thereafter,
without substantial drying of the bamboo, soaking it in a watery solution
comprising the synthetic resin until the cells and cell walls are impregnated
with the resin, and insolubilizing the resin and depositing it within and around
the cells and cell walls.
2. Method of impregnating bamboo containing cells and membraneous
cell walls with a synthetic resin of the group consisting of phenolic aldehyde
resins and urea aldehyde resins, which comprises

86

ROD CONSTRUCTION

soaking the bamboo in water until the cells and cell walls are impregnated
with water and thereafter, without substantial drying of the bamboo, soaking
it in a watery solution comprising the synthetic resin until the cells and cell
walls are impregnated with the resin, heating the treated bamboo in a humid
atmosphere to decrease travel of the resin to the surface of the bamboo and to
insolubilize the resin and deposit it within and around the cells and cell walls.
"3. Method of impregnating bamboo containing cells and membraneous
cell walls with a synthetic resin of the group consisting of phenolic aldehyde
resins and urea aldehyde resins while retaining in the bamboo the natural
resin, which comprises soaking the bamboo in water until the cells and cell
walls are impregnated with water and thereafter, without substantial drying of
the bamboo, soaking it in a watery solution comprising the synthetic resin
until the cells and cell walls are impregnated with the synthetic resin, drying
the treated bamboo and insolubilizing the synthetic resin and depositing it
within and around the cells and cell walls.
"4. Method of impregnating bamboo containing cells and membraneous
cell walls with a synthetic resin of the group consisting of phenolic aldehyde
resins and urea aldehyde resins and of removing water soluble elements from
the bamboo, which comprises soaking the bamboo in water until the cells and
cell walls are impregnated with water and said elements are dissolved out of
the bamboo and thereafter, without substantial drying of the bamboo, soaking
it in a watery solution comprising the synthetic resin until the cells and cell
walls are impregnated with the resin, and insolubilizing the resin and depositing it within and around the cells and cell walls."
WRAPPED

RODS

In the late eighteenth century and in the beginning of the nineteenth


century many rod makers tried wrapping split bamboo fly rods with such
materials as silk and linen threads, wire, metal ribbons,
etc., with the thought in
mind of giving the rods bet
ter action. All any of these
William R. Wheeler method of
methods did, however, was
wrapping metal ribbon on fly rods.
to make the rods heavy and
Patented in March 1905.
slow.
In October, 1897, John
M. Kenyon, of Toledo, Ohio, patented the winding of rods from end to end
with thread. He preferred to use white silk and then varnish it so it became
translucent.
Dr. George Parker Holden was a strong advocate of the Wheeler method
of cross winding rods. The good rod makers of today try to put as few
windings on rods as possible so that the natural action of the bamboo will not
be hindered in any way.
SPINNING

RODS

American fresh water spinning rods are usually made seven to seven and
one-half feet long. Grips run from 12 to 14 inches long, and the rod runs
down through the full length of the grip on all

ROD CONSTRUCTION

87

good spinning rods. The grip is made long so that you can shift your reel to
any desired place, thereby to balance the rod with the lure you are casting.
For light weight lures your reel should be more toward the butt end of the
grip and for heavy lures more toward the front of the grip. The action of a
spinning rod should be made with the same general principles as the action
on a dry fly rod. Any of the
dry fly rod principles will produce a satisfactory spinning rod. A spinning rod should
never be a whippy, soft rod. If you take the
specifications for any good eight foot dry fly rod
and cut off six inches at either end, you will
have a good light spinning rod.
Spinning rods weighing from four to five
ounces are the most popular in America. Such
rods will cast lures from 1/8 to 3/8 of an ounce.
A spinning rod of 5 to 6 ounces should
be used on lures of ounce to 3/4 ounce.
General
The guides on a spinning rod are of the
guide spacing
utmost
importance. In fact, if the guides are not
for a
of the correct sizes the rod will not cast at all (or
seven foot
very poorly) no matter how well the rod is
spinning rod.
made. Never use conventional snake guides on a
spinning rod. Use guides that are held well away
from the rod by their supports. Good solid metal
Sheffield spinning guides or Guild Quality side
support spinning guides are excellent for use on
either bamboo or fiber glass rods. The butt guide
on a spinning rod must be an all metal guide made just for spinning rods to
assure the fact that you will get near maximum performance from the rod.
This butt guide should be at least 11/16 inches in diameter for maximum
results. It cannot be a heavy standard salt water guide or it will add too much
weight to the rod. If your butt guide is too small, you cannot cast well enough
with a spinning rod to merit using one. The guide spacing as shown in the
illustration is meant to be only a general guide in mounting
spinning rod guides. If you buy
your spinning rod in a kit form you
should receive complete instructions for
assembly that will include correct guide
spacing for that particular rod.
If you are new at spinning, be sure
to watch the pound test of the line you
use. Spinning successfully cannot be
done with heavy lines. The lighter the
line you use for spinning, the better
WEIGHT MEASURED
spinning rods perform.
IN GRAMS.
In Europe, spinning rods are
(ONE OUNCE EQUALS 28.35 GRANS)
classified by several different methods.
One European or so called French One is called the European or French
Method of determining the method. See illustration. To classify a
classification of a spinning rod.
rod by

88

ROD CONSTRUCTION

this method, the rod is mounted on a wall, as illustration shows, and weights
are attached to a line fastened to the rod until the weighted line and a line
drawn through the center of the rod handle form a 90 degree angle. Then the
total weight used is computed. The total weight in grams (raised or reduced to
the nearest hundred) is the classification of the rod. For example, a rod that
requires 400 grams to produce the required angle is called a number 400 rod;
one that requires 600 grams is called a 600 rod. Actually, this particular
system works out about the same as our weight system, unless extra heavy
guides and reel holding bands are used. A number 400 European classified
rod will weigh about 4 ounces; a number 500 about 5 ounces.
Another system used in Europe, and especially in France, is the weight
of the lure method of classifying spinning rods. That is, the classification of
the rod is set by the weight of the lightest lure it will cast well and the
heaviest lure it will cast well. A French spinning rod classified as Puissance 5
a 10 g. means that the rod will handle lures of 5 to 10 grams in weight.
Incidentally, this is the classification used in France for trout fishing. A
Puissance 20 a 60 g French spinning rod will handle lures from 20 to 60
grams in weight and is used in angling for carp and northern pike.
A spinning rod Puissance 10 a 25 g. is called in France "Action
Americaine." A spinning rod Puissance 10 a 35 g. is used for precision
tournament casting and distance casting. Many French spinning rods have
only three guides, a large butt guide and two other guides.
No reel seat is used on spinning rods. Instead, two sturdy knurled rings
that can be slipped up and down the spinning rod grip are used to hold the
reel unto the grip.
FRESH

WATER

CASTING

RODS

The specifications found in this book give you the measurements for bait
casting rods of all sorts. The methods for making the bamboo part, or parts,
of these rods is the same as described for making the bamboo parts of fly
rods. At one time, bait casting rods were considered strictly fresh water rods.
This, however, is no longer true. A great many small salt water fish are
commonly taken on these rods, and expert fishermen think nothing of
catching tarpon on them.
There are a few important points to be brought out relative to the making
of bait casting rods that were not covered under the making of fly rods.

ROD CONSTRUCTION

89

Although the illustration does not show one, bait casting rods can be
made with the front grip built up on the "bamboo" of the rod itself on such
rods as No. 3. In such cases, the front grip can be made by wrapping the area
just ahead of the reel seats with heavy linen cord or fishing line, or by gluing
cork rings onto the bamboo and sanding them to shape.
By far the most popular types of bait casting rods today are numbers 1
and 2 in the illustration. One piece bait casting rods with no detachable grip
or butt are also very popular among those who have means conveniently to
carry them. Rod number 3 is an obsolete type, as the ferrule in the center
weakens the rod and also destroys much of its action. Rod number 4 is also
an obsolete type. It has the female ferrule protruding slightly which is a
disadvantage instead of an advantage.
Most bait casting rods are made with double grips, as the large
percentage of casters prefer them this way. For the man that "palms" the reel
in his hand, the front grip is not necessary, and for him the single grip rod is
preferable. Such casters, however, are far in the minority.
Regardless of what type of bait casting rod you make, use a reel seat that
has a finger hook on it. The finger hook is not necessary (as it once was) to
hold your reel onto the rod. It is necessary so that you can hold onto the rod
firmly. Nothing takes the place of this finger hook. Many well known rod
makers build expensive split-bamboo casting rods without these finger hooks.
This is a bad error, and I have heard them criticized for it on many occasions.
If you cannot secure a reel seat for bait casting rods which has a finger hook,
make one from spring-tempered stainless steel wire or something similar.
The offset type of detachable grip or butt has become very popular in
late years and is now by far the most widely used.
To make the grip or butt on such rod types as number 2, the following
method, or a version of it, is used. Take a section of glued up bamboo strips
or a piece of aluminum tubing as long as the total butt or grip, minus the
length of the empty socket of the female ferrule. Then fit and glue your
female ferrule to the end of the bamboo joint or metal tube*with Silhower
ferrule cement. Pin the female ferrule to the bamboo or tubing in addition to
gluing it. Then glue a grip check tightly around the end of the female ferrule
and glue cork rings right up against the grip check to form the front grip.
Now glue on a wooden sleeve over which you will fit your reel seat. Then
glue and pin the reel seat onto the wooden sleeve. Now glue on your cork
rings for the rear cork grip. Shape your cork grips as you desire them. If you
have used a bamboo section to build your butt, it should have a little metal
collar around the rear end. Screw an aluminum washer below the rear grip.
The metal collar on the end of the bamboo section will prevent it from
splitting and will hold your screw tightly in place. If you have used metal
tubing, glue a wooden plug into the end and screw the washer fastening
screw into the wooden plug.
The illustration shows a bait casting rod with a 50 inch tip. It has three
guides sizes 9/32, 7/32 and 5/32. This is the conventional number of guides
for this length of tip.

ROD CONSTRUCTION

90
FACTORY

PRODUCTION OF SPLIT
FLY RODS

BAMBOO

It is well to have a knowledge of production methods for making split


bamboo rods so that you will be able to judge the difference between a rod
made entirely by hand or with production methods and so that you can select
the methods that you want to use in rod building.
In factory production, the bamboo is graded by the "breaking test"
method. Usually there are only two grades selected, those that are suitable for
rod making and those that are unsuitable for rod making. The latter is
discarded. Contrary to opinion, factories rarely make any further selection or
grading of usable bamboo.
The bamboo is split by hand with a wooden mallet and a heavy knife or
pushed and twisted through a pipe that has cutting blades set in it. These
blades are set in the pipe in the form of a cross. It takes a good workman
about ten minutes to split the usual eight foot long bamboo into sixteen strips.
Some factories saw the bamboo into strips. This is not as satisfactory,
however, unless the grain of the bamboo runs perfectly straight, which is
rarely the case. When sawing the bamboo the grain tends to follow the lines
of the strips much less. This, of course, reduces the strength of the rod
considerably.

Figure 1. Black area is a strip sawed from a piece of


bamboo. Figure 2. Black area is a strip split from a piece
of bamboo.
The split or sawed pieces of bamboo are then put on a strip cutting machine.
Herter's is the only company in the world building these machines. Herter's
modern strip cutting machines are used both here and in
England. These machines are especially made to hold the
piece of bamboo and to cut it to any desired taper. It cuts
accurately to one thousandth of an inch and at the highest
speed.
In some factories if strips are desired for
quick assembly on 6 strip rods, they are cut to
61 degrees. This makes it very easy to fit the
Modern bamboo cutter.

outside of the rod sections together quickly and


evenly but such construction leaves too much glue
in the center of the rod for absolute perfection.
All strips for good quality rods are cut at angles that allow the strips to
fit together perfectly with no excess glue space between the strips.
The strips for production rods usually are glued
together with the nodes spaced or staggered according to
the "alternate node staggering methCross section of a six strip rod in which the strips were cut at a
61 degree angle. The black areas indicate the glue.$

ROD CONSTRUCTION

91

od." This method greatly simplifies arranging the strips for cutting as well as
gluing. The "spiral method" of node staggering or arranging, described
elsewhere in this book, is superior to the "alternate method". Node spacing
however, as a whole is not a great factor in the action of a rod. The spiral
method is too slow for the usual factory production. The alternate node
staggering method is as follows: Lay all of the nodes of every other strip in
line with each other. Then lay the nodes of the remaining strips in a straight
line with each other but a number of inches below the nodes on the original
alternating strips.
In factory production, the outside of the nodes are usually ground off on
a sanding machine. This works satisfactorily but, of course, does often cut
into the power fibers. Leveling off the outside of the nodes by hand is far
more satisfactory but is quite costly.

The production gluing of rod strips must be done rapidly. Many of the
well known rod makers still use hot, animal or fish glue as it is by far the
quickest and least expensive way to glue up fly rods. The old fish glues were
made from the bladders of Russian sturgeon. Hot gluing, however, is the
poorest method possible to use in gluing up rod sections, as hot glue is
greatly affected by weather conditions. On a wet day, such rods have a softer
action than on a dry day. Hot gluing is done simply by tying string or a
rubber band around one end of the rod section and dipping it into a hot glue
tank. The surplus glue is roughly wiped off the outside of the section, another
string or rubber band is put onto the other end of the section and the section is
run through a pressure wrapping machine. Hot glue can be used day after day
by just heating up the glue tank. It does not tend to spoil easily. This saves
considerable expense and is convenient.
Synthetic resin glues are much more satisfactory for gluing rod sections,
as they are much more waterproof and much stronger than hot glues.
However, it takes more time to apply them and they are much more
expensive. For best results, they must be brushed onto the strips by hand.
Synthetic resin glues will not keep from day to day but must be used within a
very short time after they are mixed for best results. Many rod companies are
turning to synthetic resin glues in spite of the extra cost.
After the strips are dry the enamel and under-enamel are usually sanded
off the strips on a power sander. By so doing, many of the power fibers are
sanded from the rod, destroying some of its strength; still worse, this
damages the lasting qualities of the rod. For the finest quality rods, the
enamel and the under-enamel must be carefully sanded or scraped off entirely
by hand.

92

ROD CONSTRUCTION

Factory rods are graded mostly by visible means. If the rod sections on
the outside are tight at the glue lines, the rod can be put into any grade. The
difference in various grades is made mostly by the type of fittings and finish
that is applied to the rod.
On factory rods, as well as custom made rods, the windings are put on
by hand. Automatic and semi automatic machines are not used to put on
windings, as they can actually be put on faster by hand.
A small device made by Herter's and D. H. Thompson to hold a spool of
winding thread under tension is used. The rod is supported on a metal holder
that comes with these devices and is turned by hand. Women operators are
employed by most rod makers for putting on windings, and they work out
much more satisfactorily than men. A good woman operator will put all the
windings on a 3 section, 9 foot fly rod in 15 minutes. This includes all guide
and ferrule windings.
STIFFENING

SOFT

ROD

One of the frequent repair jobs demanded of a rod maker is to stiffen up


a fly rod made with too soft an action or of one that has been used so much
that it has become soft. Such rods, of course, can be stiffened by making a
new section for them. However, this is a task that requires considerable time.
Soft rods can usually be stiffened by the following method. Secure a
small electric plate. Remove all rod finish or rod varnish from the rod section
you wish to stiffen. Use rod varnish remover so that there is not a trace of
finish left on the rod section. Then hold the area of the rod section you desire
to stiffen over the electric plate until it is so warm that you can just barely
handle it. Now take a brush, dip it into household ammonia and run the brush
quickly over the area of the rod section you wish to stiffen. Avoid the fumes
from the ammonia as much as possible, as they are very strong and toxic. Let
the ammonia remain on the rod section for five minutes; then wipe off any
surplus. Let the rod section cool, assemble it in the rod and try it for stiffness.
If it is not stiff enough repeat the process until the section is as stiff as
required. Do not stiffen the section any more than necessary, of course.
A very soft tip can be stiffened some by cross winding it, using the
Wheeler method. It will give the tip a stiffer action but a slower type of stiff
action than that resulting from the method described! above.
LAMINATED

FISHING RODS

Laminated is actually the wrong word to use in this case, but I know of
no other any more suitable so will have to use it. Laminated actually means a
"layer or coat lying over another". On some of the rods that we will put in this
group this applies; on others, it definitely does not apply. Actually, the rods in
thi* group are those built on engineering principles of compression and
stretch.
When the building of laminated rods started, I do not know. I am certain
it was a very long while back. Bows built on the same engineering principles
have been in use for centuries. The amazing thing to me is that little has been
done in the field of laminated fishing rods,

ROD CONSTRUCTION

93

whereas in other fields the same principles are well established and used. To date,
the only laminated rods, with the exception of a few made by some of the fine rod
makers for their own use, are all salt water rods. Three six, light tackle class, heavy
tackle class, and extra heavy tackle class salt water rods are commonly made
laminated. Actually, the theories behind laminated rods apply to fresh water rods
equally as well as they do to salt water rods. I am afraid that our fresh water splitbamboo rod makers fuss around arguing whether 4, 5, or 6 strip rod construction is
best when actually, if they put their minds to it, they could develop laminated rods
that would be far superior to any examples of these rods ever built.
As before mentioned, laminated rods are built with compression and stretch
theories in mind. For example, when strain is put on a round rod a Stress Dividing
Line comes into being across its center. Above this line, the wood in the rod is
subject to tension and stretching; below this line, the rod is subject to compression.
Actually, the

2.
3.
*
&
Cross sections of some popular laminated salt water rods. Cross
section No. 1 is Roy Shaver's Trussbuilt laminated rod. The others
are various types of pear shaped laminations.

upper half of the rod becomes a fraction longer than the bottom half of the
rod under a strain. The bottom half becomes a trifle shorter than normal. In
other words, the upper half of the rod stretches a little and the lower half
compresses a little in order to take the strain without breaking.
All wood is built up with a cellular structure which will expand or
contract to a degree when bent. As a simple example in my own work shop I
selected a piece of pine measuring 42 1/4 inches long. Holding the measuring
tape in position, I inserted one end of the board under a stationary block and
had a friend bend the board down over the edge of the bench. Under his
weight, the board broke. Immediately at the breaking point, the convex
surface of the board measured 423/8 inches. Naturally, the concave portion
was proportionately compressed. This is a simple test of a principle that you
can perform in your own shop.
The Trussbuilt type of laminated rod, designed by Roy Shaver, is made with
layers of bamboo on the top and bottom and with a layer of spruce in
between the bamboo. The bamboo on the top resists
tension and the bamboo on the bottom resists compression.
The layer of spruce between takes up the adjustment
necessary between the two pieces of bamboo. The shape of
the rod is like that of a flat leaf auto spring. Robert C.
Mankowski, in 1933, caught a 348 pound Marlin on a
Method of guide Light Tackle Trussbuilt rod with a 6 ounce tip. Roy
mounting
on Shaver is a master rod designer of note. He designed and
Roy
Shaver's made the first 3/6 rods for Mr. Thomas MC.D.
Trussbuilt Rod. Potter, the

94

ROD CONSTRUCTION

originator of this class of tackle. Mr. Shaver also designed the Dualwood rods
which were used with good success before he brought out his Trussbuilt rods.
These rods were made in the same shape as Mr. Shaver's Trussbuilt rods,
except that the top half of the rod was hickory, and the bottom half of the rod
was black palm.
In other parts of this book I have described other laminated rods under
their inventors' names. Be sure to study these sections together with this
discussion so that you will get a general picture of what has been done to date
with laminated rods.
Heart-shaped laminated rods are very popular. They are based on the
theory of having the Strain Dividing Line near the top of the rod. This gives
the rods tremendous compression resistance. Only a small portion of such rod
is subject to stretch or tension, as the bulk of the rod is under compression.
Cross section Number 2 shows a rod made up of flat strips of bamboo
except at the Stress Dividing Line where a piece of hickory (or other wood) is
used to facilitate easy movement between the compression and stretch areas
of the rod.
Cross section Number 3 is made up of pieces of bamboo on edge to give
terrific compression resistance. The top of the rod generally features a piece
of hickory or some other wood which will stretch.
Cross section Number 4 is made up of two pieces of bamboo in the
stretch or tension area. A piece of hickory lies on the Stress Dividing Line to
permit easy movement between the compression and stretch areas of the rod.
The main compression area of the rod is constructed of wood with the grain
running up and down to resist compression.
Cross section Number 5 has one piece of bamboo on the top for the
stretch or tension area of the rod and three pieces of bamboo on edge for the
compression area of the rod.
Heart-shaped laminated rods are excellent for trolling and have amazing
strength.
In making all laminated types of rods, glue the different pieces for the
rods together to form a long square piece. Use great care in the gluing. Use
plenty of clamps and clamp the pieces to be glued between two boards as
long as the pieces or a little longer.
Use your ingenuity to plan out a laminated rod to suit your purposes and
try it out. You well might be the one to revolutionize rod building.
MAKING

SURF

RODS

More surf rods are used than any other type of salt water rods, except
pier and boat rods. Pier and boat rods are described in another section. They
are the salt water rods used to fish with from piers and boats that take out
large numbers of fishermen to fish as a group.
Surf fishing is a grand sport and is becoming more and more popular
every year.
I will first describe the surf rod generally used for surf fishing. The
illustration shows such a rod. You will note that it is quite different from a
tournament surf rod. The butt or grip of the surf fishing rod is

96

ROD CONSTRUCTION

to plane strips for the tip of these rods in one operation, consequently, you
must move the strips as you plane them in the V block. It is tricky and takes a
few attempts, but soon you will be "slipping" the strips in the V block with
no trouble at all. Unless you have very heavily walled bamboo, you will find
it necessary to build part of the tip hollow. Of course, you can construct the
entire tip double built, if you so desire, and have it solid.
You can use either double or single guides on the rod. The use of double
guides is becoming less popular instead of more popular. Double guides are
designed so that if you get a set in the rod from using it in one position you
can turn the rod, use the opposite guide and thus take out the set. If
you use double guides, you must use either a "stirrup" or "swivel"
type of top.
Stirrup-type of top

The stirrup type of top is a top that has a ring centered so that
the line can enter it from either side. The swivel-type of top is
one which has a screw in the end which allows the top to be
loosened, turned and locked in the opposite direction. You will note
that the surf fishing rod featured has only one guide. Surf fishing
rods of this type are by far the largest sellers. However, many surf
casters can cast much better with two or even three guides on the rod.
If possible, have your customer try casting with rods having various
numbers of guides; then let him decide what he wants.
A tournament surf rod is entirely different than one used for fishing, as
the illustration clearly shows. It is a formidable tool in the hands of an expert
like "Primo" Livenais. When he starts to bend one of these rods it really
separates the men from the boys. Consult the specifications given for a
tournament surf rod in the specification section.
The grip or butt on a tournament surf rod is made from hickory. It has no
reel seat on it, but rather has just two bands of metal at the end with bolts
which clamp the bands together. The reel seat is bolted onto the grip in any
desired position. The female ferrule is made exceptionally long so that the tip
will not come out as a result of the powerful casts necessary with these rods.
The female ferrule is also reinforced with a band of metal, lathe turned and
press fit so it will not lose shape under the terrific strain it encounters during
a cast. The tip of the rod is long and is made hollow for as much of its length
as is deemed necessary. Single guides are used. Double guides are not used
on tournament rods. Put the finish on surf rods by the same method as
described for fly rods. Finish the grip or butt as described under heavy tackle
rods.
Mount the guides on both tournament and fishing surf rods on the
stiffest side. The stiffest side of the rod can be determined by the sz\na
method as used for fly rods previously explained.
MAKING SOLID ALL WOOD RODS
The making of solid non-sectional wood rods has nearly become a thing
of the past. A few heavy tackle and extra heavy tackle salt water rods are
built of hickory, but these are about the only solid

ROD CONSTRUCTION

97

all wood rods made today. A few maple and hickory salt water pier rods are
still made in some areas but definitely to meet price competition. The
companies that make them also make quality rods of split-bamboo at higher
prices.
As a matter of record, I shall describe some of the methods employed
for making all wood rods. We shall assume that we are building a solid
hickory tip for a heavy salt water rod with a detachable butt.
Go to a lumber yard that supplies hickory. Look over the planks they
have to offer. The center cut of any log is the best for any precision
woodwork. It has the least tendency toward warping, dishing
SLAP PLUNK

THE AREA ENCLOSED BY THE


OOTTED LINES IN THE CENTER PLANK
THE HEART IT IS USELESS.

Above is an illustration of the natural tendencies in wood to warp if


normally dried without being weighted down.
and checking. You must not, however, use the heart of the center plank. The
next best planks are number 1 planks. Working from the center to the
outside, the planks have progressively greater tendencies to warp outward
toward the bark, even though they are thoroughly air and kiln dried down to a
moisture content of 7% or less. The grain of wood has a natural pull toward
the outside, because the wood, in growing, pulls down and outward to keep
the tree upright and to keep it from bending.
The curve in the end grain of center cut planks will be more pronounced,
and this is one good feature to watch in making your selection. Outside cuts
and slabwood will have a more open curve to the growth rings.
The growth rings should be fairly far apart, indicating that the tree grew
well and was not starved from poor soil and overcrowding. If the growth
rings run exceptionally far apart, the tree on which it grew had too much food
and moisture and the wood is too soft and not satisfactory for rod making.
When the wood is too soft it is not strong enough to resist compression and
tension properly. If the plank has growth rings too close together, it indicates
that the tree was grown on poor soil, that it was too crowded or that it was
grown in a climate which was too cold. Such wood is very hard, but is too
brittle.
The species of hickory you use is important. Cut off a small sample of
the wood from a plank of hickory you think suitable and send it to the Forest
Products Laboratory, Madison, Wisconsin. This is the wood

98

ROD CONSTRUCTION

testing laboratory of the United States government. They will identify its
specie for you. They also will give you the moisture content of the wood. The
Forest Products Laboratory is staffed by a fine group of men. I wish to take
this space to thank them for the many services they have rendered me. If you
want to know the truth about anything

MOCKCRNUT (iHoa IM)5OTANlCAi. ANO COMMCROAI. RAN6


The Botanical and Commercial Ranges of the four hickories
suitable for rod building. Reprinted through the courtesy of
the United States Forest Service.
concerning wood, write to them. Many self-styled authorities on wood get all
their information from this source.
Hickory for rod making, must be one of the following species. Chances
are the hickory lumber you buy will be one of these, but it is better to have it
checked to make certain.
Pignut Hickory (Hicoria Glabra), Shagbark Hickory, (Hicoria Ovata),
Mockernut Hickory (Hicoria Alba), or Bigleaf Shagbark Hickory (Hicoria
Laciniosa).
If everything turns out satisfactorily at the lumber yard, buy a piece of
hickory about or inch thicker than the largest diameter

ROD CONSTRUCTION

99

of the rod you contemplate and about 64 inches long. As we before


mentioned, we are going under the assumption that we are making a heavy
tackle rod. Such a rod will have the usual 60 inch tip. As the tip is measured
from the top end to the cap of the male ferrule, you will need a piece of wood
long enough to fit down into the center of the male ferrule. This will be a
distance of from 2 to 3 inches on such rods. The extra inch or inch is just
for something to go on in case of error.
If you cannot secure hickory lumber through a lumber dealer, you can
go out and cut down a hickory tree that is, if you live in a hickory growing
area. If you are not prepared for a great deal of additional work, try to avoid
this. First write to your state forestry department, asking for illustrations and
descriptions of the species of hickory you want to cut. Also ask them where
such hickory trees are apt to be found in the state, if they are scarce. After
you can identify a desirable species of hickory, select a tree growing on good
soil so that the growth rings of the tree will not be too close together. The
tree also should be growing uncrowded for the same reason. Fell the tree so
that the trunk does not hit any rocks or similar high, hard objects that might
bruise it.
Some people would try to impress you with the idea that, unless a tree is
felled very carefully, it will strain the wood to a point where it is worthless.
This is not at all true. The ordinary tree, in being felled, is not damaged in
any way by strains. Green wood is meant to take strains and does so with
ease. After the tree is down, cut out a seven foot log, if possible from the
thickest and most level part of the trunk. It is best to cut the log up into
lumber as soon as you fall it. This sometimes is not possible. If the log is to
remain for any length of time at all without being cut into lumber do the
following things. Cover (not just coat) the ends of the log with a heavy coat
of the highest melting point tar or asphalt you can find.
Block the log up off the ground as high as possible, and give it a good
spraying or brushing with D. D. T. in a solution not affected easily by water.
The asphalt or tar keeps the ends of the log from checking and the D. D. T.
keeps insects from entering the log. Do not use paint of any kind to seal the
ends of the log, as ordinary paints (and even aluminum paint) will not
prevent checking on hickory. When the log is to be made into lumber, have
the sawer cut planks from it a full 21/2 inches thick. Have him cut the planks
with the taper of the trunk so that the grain in the planks will follow the grain
of the log as much as possible. This is not always the way lumber is sawed
and you may have to argue a bit with your log cutter to get it done. In cutting
a log, it is usually, just squared up and sawed into lumber. Consequently, the
saw will cut diagonally across the grain in much of the lumber. Now saw the
planks into 2 inch squares. Mark their butt ends and cover the ends heavily
with the highest melting point tar or asphalt you can get to prevent them from
checking as they dry.
The hickory now must be dried or seasoned. You can either air dry the
wood or both air dry and kiln dry it. Air drying hickory under moisture
conditions prevalent in the United States (except on a desert) will not reduce
the moisture content of the wood to less than 8%. In most states, it cannot be
reduced to less than 12% by air drying. This next statement is really
important. Hickory that has more than 7% moisture content when made up
into a fishing rod will swell or shrink with weather changes. Chances are
that it will warp or set

100

ROD CONSTRUCTION

very easily. For making handles on tools, which is really the most important
use for hickory, the wood first is air dried to 25% to 30% moisture content. It
then is scientifically kiln dried to 7% moisture content or less.
Your best bet is to store your hickory billets in your attic or garage. Do
not leave them outside to air dry under any circumstances. Rain may blow in
on them if they are covered with just a top shelter, or a dry wind may blow on
them for a day or two and honeycomb the wood. Stack the billets with blocks
between them. This will separate the billets from each other and there will be
a free passage of air around them. Make the blocks three inches in diameter
or more if possible. Now let the billets set for at least a year or longer. Then
write to the Forest Products Laboratory of Madison, Wisconsin, and ask them
for a drying schedule to reduce your hickory billets to 7% moisture content or
less. I could give you a recent one, but would rather you write to them,
yourself, as they are always developing short cuts and improvements. All
authentic information on wood drying comes from the Forest Products
Laboratory. After you have this information, contact a company that has a
scientific wood kiln; that is, one in which both the heat and humidity are
regulated accurately. Let them dry your billets. After they have been dried
down to 7% moisture content or less, they will stay this way for a long period
of time unless water is put on them. They will remain dry much longer than it
will take to make them up into rods. Once the wood is made up into rods and
properly finished, it will take on very little more moisture content.
There are a number of methods used to turn your billet into a round
tapered rod. Factories do it on a small doweling machine rebuilt to round and
taper the piece of wood at the same time.
The first thing to do to your billet is to square it down to the exact
diameter the butt of rod you are planning. In squaring down the billet, try to
take the same amount of wood off all sides. Use a saw, a plane or a planer to
square it down.

ROD CONSTRUCTION

101

what longer than the billet you are to plane. Bolt two blocks of wood a little
thicker than the billet between the side boards. Then put a loose board
between the side boards. This is called the planing box taper adjusting board.
Adjust it between the two side boards so that, at one end, it is set to the exact
diameter of the rod you intend to make
when measured from the top of the side boards. At the other end, the
adjusting board should be set to a depth the equivalent of the radius (not
diameter) of the billet plus the radius of the tip you desire. On a one inch
billet which you wish to taper to a one-fourth inch tip this depth would be 5/8
inches. Clamp the planing box taper adjusting board in place with one or two
C clamps and your bench vise.
Now mark the sides of your billet 1, 2, 3 and 4, putting side 1 on top and
numbering the others clockwise. Place the billet on top of the planing box
taper board with side 1 on top and with the butt end of the billet in the largest
space between the planing box taper adjusting board and the top of the side
boards. Plane the billet level with the side boards. Repeat this process with
side 2 turned to the top. This will give you a taper on two sides.
Now raise the planing box taper adjusting board to a depth which is the
exact diameter of tip you desire, making no change in the depth at the butt,
which is already to exact diameter. Return the billet to the top of the box and
plane sides 3 and 4 as you did sides one and two. This will result in a squared
up, straight tapered billet. If you desire the rod to be other than a straight
taper, make allowances for this as you plane the billet down. Use the top of
the side boards as a guide to make the rod heavier or lighter in the places you
desire.
Now hold the squared tapered billet in a grooved wood holder of any
kind on your work bench and plane the corners off. You can leave the rod 8
sided, or you can finish it off so that it makes a round rod. The 8 sided rod
can be made round by a number of methods. You can rub the rod lengthwise
with sandpaper with one hand, at the same time rotating the rod with your
other hand. Curved or flat plain scraper blades without handles are also good
to use in rounding the rod. Single edged razor blades and a broken piece of
glass can also be used. When the rod is round, sand it lengthwise with fine
sandpaper to make it perfectly smooth.
Some rod builders just hold the wood billet on their work bench with a
board nailed to the bench top to act as a stop. They then plane the billet
roughly to taper. Sometimes they clamp the butt end down with a C clamp.
When using such a method for most heavy salt water rods, begin to taper the
rod starting about two thirds of the way up on the billet, and taper it toward
the tip. When the third of the rod at the tip is about right, taper the other or
lower two thirds of the rod as you desire.
The male ferrule can be mounted on the billet before you begin to plane
it down or after you have the billet planed to the desired shape for the tip.
The later method is the one most often used. A weak point, if a conventional
type of ferrule is used, is the joint between the cap of the male ferrule and the
rod. You can select a larger sized ferrule than you would ordinarily use on
the rod and swell the rod sharply at this point so that it will take this larger
sized male ferrule. Thus the rod will gain added strength at this weak point.
As before mentioned, we have assumed that we are making a heavy tackle
class of salt water rod. Such rods have the female ferrule built into the reel
seat, and when you buy the reel seat, the male ferrule

ROD CONSTRUCTION

103

just a trace of lava stone on it. Now give the rod another coat of the warm
varnish and let it dry for several days. Generally speaking, three coats of
varnish are sufficient. More than three coats will have a tendency to slow
down the action of the rod. However, more may be added, if desired. After
the final coat has dried, a glossy finish will be the result. If this finish pleases
you, your rod is now ready for use. If you desire to tone down the finish to a
soft semi-gloss tone, rub it down with a light sprinkling of lava stone applied
with a damp felt pad. Wipe off the surplus of lava stone with a clean damp
rag upon completion of the rubbing.

CHAPTER XI
WOODS OTHER THAN BAMBOO USED FOR
ROD MAKING
I am taking the time for discussing the use of other woods besides
bamboos for rod making only as a matter of record, as none of them is equal
to bamboo nor should be considered any more for light and medium rods.
This applies to rods up to fifteen-sixteenth of an inch in diameter at the butt.
For heavy rods fifteen-sixteenths of an inch in diameter and larger hickory
works out well if properly dried, although bamboo rods well constructed are
superior to hickory even for these heavy rods.
HICKORY: True Hickory is a wood found only in the United States. We
have some over thirty-five different species. The finest quality of hickory for
rod making, are the types listed under solid wood rods.
The United States Forest Service rates hickory as the most shock
resistant wood in existence. Hickory has the quality which enables it to be
compressed or stretched and it will return quickly to its original form.
Hickory wood for rod making or for handle making on rods such as surf rods
may be air dried down to 8% moisture content. This can be done only in
states where the humidity is not over 50%. This will not produce the finest
rod, but it can be used with a reasonable chance that it will not warp badly. It
can also be scientifically kiln dried down to 7% moisture content and is more
suitable for rod work when this is done. Unless hickory is dried down to at
least 7 % moisture content it usually warps so easily and badly that it is not
too satisfactory for rod work.
DEGAME: Scientific name Calycaphyllum candidiassimum (Vahl) D.
C. Other trade names for this wood besides Degame are Degama in Cuba,
Lemond wood in Mexico, Lancewood in the United States and England and
Pau Mulato in Central America. This wood is found in Cuba, the West Indies,
Mexico, and the upper part of South America and Central America. Air dried
to 12% moisture content, a cubic foot weighs 50 to 53 pounds. It is a very
fine textured straight grained, strong wood. Some of it compares favorably in
quality with hard maple. Its heart wood color is variegated brown. The outer
sapwood is comparatively colorless. It is a denser wood than such woods as
hickory and dogwood. It makes fair trolling and casting rods but tends to set
easily.
BLACK PALM: Scientific name Astrocaryum Standleyanum (Bailey).
Other trade names for this wood are Arrow wood and Black Bamboo. This
wood is found in northern South America and in Central America. It is a form
of bamboo and has bamboo-like fibers. The wood is black to dark brown in
color with a spotting of beige and light tan. It is a very strong, tough wood.
The hard outer part of the logs is used to make casting and trolling rods. The
inner part of the log is more pithy, like bamboo, and is also used for rod
making, but it is not as strong as the outer part. The fibers of the wood are
coarse and tend to splinter when strained excessively as many bamboos do.
On occasion, rods made from black palm are wrapped with silk or nylon their
entire length to prevent any chance that the wood might spinter under heavy
strains. For fly rods, Black Palm is too heavy, but it does make fair trolling
and heavy bait casting rods and salt water

OTHER WOODS USED FOR ROD BUILDING

105

rods combined with hickory in laminated rods, it has been very successful.
Black Palm has long been the standard native Central American wood for
bows and arrow shafts, and it is excellent for these purposes. A life-long
friend of mine, Roland Lorenz with the United States Forestry Service, has
spent all of his life in Africa, Central and South America studying woods. He
has done a great deal of work with woods for both fishing rods and bows. He
always keeps me well informed on any new developments.
CHENAR WOOD: The scientific name is Platanus Orientalis. Other
trade names Lancewood, Plane Tree Wood. This tree is found in the far east.
It was extensively imported and planted in England in the seventeenth
century. It is known in England as the Plane tree. Our American Myrtle tree
is a tree of this type. Chenar Wood is not very fine grained but the wood is
fairly tough and hard. Chenar, air dried to 12% moisture content, weighs
from 32 to 45 pounds per cubic foot. The color varies greatly. It runs from
cream to pale yellows and from pale blue to purplish gray. It occasionally has
a reddish tinge. Chenar wood is not an especially good wood for rod making,
as it does not compress well and warps easily if not kiln dried. Its main use is
for expensive gunstocks.
BETHABARA: The scientific name is Family Begnoniaceae. Species
Leucoxylon Mart found in the Guianas of South America. Species
Phentaphyila found in the Guianas of South America and Brazil. Species
Serratifolia found in Central America.
Bethabara is a trade name copyrighted by M. A. Shipley, a manufacturer
of fishing rods, in Philadelphia. His copyright has been un-sustained. This
wood is also known by many other trade names such as Surinam in Dutch
Surinam, Pao D'Arco, in Brazil, also Greenheart, Ironwood, Iron tree, Bow
wood, Lapacho, Wasiba, and Washiba. In Mexico, the species found there is
known as Noibwood, Yellow guya-can. Bastard lignum-vitae.
This wood, when air dried to 12% moisture content, weighs from 54 to
71 pounds per cubic foot. The wood is fine to medium-fine in texture and
hard. The color of the wood is olive to reddish brown, and sometimes it is
beautifully streaked. It is a difficult wood to cut and splinters badly. It is of
no use for fly rods but does make fair trolling and bait casting rods. Its main
commercial use is for harbor piles, booms and breakwaters.
GREENHEART: The scientific name is Nectandra Rodioei Schomb.
Other trade names for this wood are Bibiru and Sipiri by natives. Demerara
Greenhearl by British commercial buyers, Groenhartboom in Holland and
Gruenholz, Gruenherzbaum and Bibirubaum in Germany. The wood, air
dried to 12% moisture content, weighs about 65 to 68 pounds per cubic foot.
The color of the heartwood varies from light to dark olive to nearly black
with veins of light and dark. The sapwood, or outerwood, is pale yellow to
greenish. Although the darker, or black heart wood, was once considered by
rod makers to be superior to the heart wood in other colors, this is not at all
true. The color of the heartwood does not affect its qualities in any way. The
Nectandra Rodioei species of Greenheart is found mostly, but not exclusively, in British Guinea, most of it along the Pomeroon, Cuyuni,
Mozaruni, Essequibo, Demerara, and Berbice rivers. British Guinea exporters
call their Greenheart Demerara Greenheart to distinguish it from other
Greenheart. It does not all come from the Demerara river valleys, however,
as might be supposed by the name.

106

OTHER WOODS USED FOR ROD BUILDING

Greenheart is very fine-textured, very heavy and strong. It has about


twice the strength of white oak, according to The Forest Products Laboratory
tests. It planes easily but turns very badly. Its main use is for underwater
piling in harbors, as it resists salt water rot very well. Greenheart is also
found in limited quantities in Surinam and, although at first thought to be a
different species, is identical to that found in British Guinea.
A great many woods are known to the trade as Greenheart that are not
the true Greenheart, although possessing, in most cases, very similar
qualities. One is Dahoma, scientific name Piptodena Africana, found on the
west coast of Africa. It is often called African Greenheart. The wood is
golden brown in color. Another called Jamaican Greenheart, scientific name
Ceanothus Chlorozylon, has heartwood yellowish-green in color and is heavy
and hard.
Fifty years ago, Greenheart was used a great deal in England and was
used somewhat in America and Canada for fly rods. Greenheart makes a
heavy, slow fly rod that will throw a wet fly fairly well. The wood is so
heavy and slow that false casting with it is nearly impossible. It is of no value
at all for dry fly rods nor present day rods used for wet flies. It makes a fairly
good light trolling rod. Hickory however, is superior for such purposes if
properly dried.
TRUE LANCEWOOD: The scientific name is Anonaceae Lanceo-lata
Baill. Also at times called Degame, Lemon Wood and Black Heart. Air dried
at 12% moisture content, it weighs about 62 pounds per cubic foot. It is
straight grained, very fine textured, strong and resilient. The sapwood is
lemon to yellow in color. The heart of the wood is very small and black. This
wood makes very good bows and fair trolling and bait casting rods. It is
found in northern South America and the West Indies. It is marketed in small
diameter poles. The sap-wood is all that is used for either rods or bows. In
England, Chenar wood is often called Lance wood and is substituted for it.
BEEFWOOD: The scientific name is Sapotaceae Mimusops and
Manilkara. Also known by the trade names, Bullet Wood, Horseflesh, Balata,
Massaranduba, Cow Tree, Red Lancewood. Air dried to 12% moisture
content, this wood weighs 55 to 75 pounds per cubic foot. It is found
throughout Central America and the northern part of South America. This
wood is a medium to dark reddish-brown in color. It has fine texture, the
grain is usually straight and the wood is very strong and resilient. However, it
is not as strong or resilient as hard maple or hickory. The dust of this wood
irritates the skin of most people. Beefwood makes fair trolling rods but
cannot be used for fly rods. Commercially, it is used to trim arrows and for
general construction work in the tropics.
SNAKEWOOD: The scientific name is Moraceae Piratinera Guian-ensis
and Brosimum. Also known by the trade name Letterwood, Air dried to 12%
moisture content, it weighs 80 to 90 pounds per cubic foot. The sapwood is
light and is not used. The heartwood is dark red-brown with dark markings.
The wood is firm and strong, usually with straight grain. It splits easily.
Occasionally, it is used to make the butts on trolling and casting rods. It is
also used for bows. At times it is confused with Black Palm Wood.
ASH: The common ash found in the United States is a strong, resilient
wood and was once widely used for butt sections on fly rods. If properly
dried down to 10% moisture content or less, it makes butt

OTHER WOODS USED FOR ROD BUILDING

107

sections that are superior to such wood as Greenheart, both as to durability


and action. It was a great favorite of early rod makers.
The myth that second growth ash is better than first growth is not at all
true. Both are identical, if grown uncrowded. Second growth timber
sometimes gets a better chance to grow uncrowded, and hence there are
many who prefer second growth timber. Today ash is used mostly for
baseball bats.
HARD MAPLE: At one time this wood was used somewhat for trolling
rods but not in recent years. It is used for handles on surf rods and salt water
rods and is fairly well suited to this purpose.

CHAPTER XII
A

BRIEF

GLASS FISHING RODS


HISTORY
OF
GLASS

RODS

The word Fiberglas has received a great deal of publicity. It is however


simply a trade mark for glass fibers registered by the Owens-Illinois Glass
Company. The word Fiberglas refers to nor does it mean any specific type of
glass or glass fibers.
Fine glass fibers were commercially unknown twenty years ago and
were developed only after a seven year research program started in 1931 by
the Owens-Illinois Glass Company. In 1935, Corning Glass Works also
began research and the staffs of the two companies exchanged technical data
of their progress to accelerate the development of this new material. Five
million dollars were expended by these two concerns in this seven year
period. The glass fibers or rovings and cloths now used in glass rod
manufacture were first developed in 1936 and 1937 but were not offered
commercially until 1938. In this year these two companies also joined to
form the Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corporation as it is known today. The
years 1939 and 1940 were spent mainly in developing mass production
processes and in improving their products. The outbreak of World War II
brought on huge demands for glass fiber products and soon 93% of all
production was being supplied for war purposes. The Korean war brought out
even more military uses of glass fibers. Helmets, bullet proof vests, flak
jackets, landing boats, gasoline tanks, airplanes, and containers for
parachuted items were made of glass fibers bonded together with plastic.
It was during World War II in 1944 that Dr. Arthur M. Howald,
technical director for the Plaskon Division of Libbey-Owens Ford Glass
Company, developed the idea of glass fiber fishing rods. During a fishing trip
in northern Michigan he broke the tip of his bamboo fly rod. Bamboo
replacement tips were nearly impossible to obtain so he fashioned one from
Plaskon Resin reinforced with glass fibers. This tip proved so successful that
he made a complete rod of glass fibers reinforced with resin. This was the
crude beginning of the glass fiber rods as we know them today. These first
glass fiber rods were actually very impractical. They absorbed moisture badly
and in humid areas broke like matches. The resin used to bond the glass
fibers would not stick to the glass and kept breaking away from the glass
fibers. Dr. Howald's first experimental knowledge was given to the Shakespeare Company who made the first commercial glass fiber rods. The young
Mr. Shakespeare sent me one of these first rods to try. I still have it as a
souvenir. These first rods had a balsa wood core with a woven sheath of glass
yarn or fibers, impregnated with resin. The final finish was a spiral wrap of
cellophane. At this time glass fiber rods were doomed to complete failure just
as glass fishing lines had failed before them and both for the same reason.
The products absorbed moisture and became brittle in humid climates and the
resin bonding them broke away from the glass. The famous Dupont company
now came to the rescue and are really the father of the glass rod. They
developed a chrome bath to give to the glass fibers that made them resist
moisture and that made the resins stick to them. Without the Dupont invention there would be no glass rods today.

GLASS FISHING RODS

109

Soon after this period all commercial rod builders begin turning
to glass fibers for rod construction and we now have over forty different concerns making glass fiber rods in the United States. These rods
are being used all over the world and at least one concern in Great
Britain has begun the manufacture of hollow glass fiber rods.
THE MAKING OF F I N E
GLASS FIBERS
Glass filaments or fibers measuring .00036 inches in diameter have
the maximum strength. They will resist temperatures up to 1,000
degrees F. They are perfectly round. Larger glass fibers become more
brittle as the diameter increases and do not have as great a tensile
strength. These larger diameter fibers of course are easier to manufacture and handle and are much cheaper. Glass cloth or yarn made
from these larger fibers are used on cheaper rods. Visually cloth or
yarn made from coarser fibers looks exactly the same as cloth or
yarn made from the more expensive finer fibers. As before mentioned
however such yarn or cloth is much more brittle and has far less
tensile strength.
Briefly this is how fine glass fibers are
made.
Clear glass marbles about the same size
we used to play marbles
with are dropped into a stoker above a
platinum floored oven. Platinum is used
for the oven floor as it is the only metal
that can withstand severe heat and not
close up the fine holes drilled in it. As the
marbles melt they are drawn through the
fine holes in the platinum. The filaments
formed by this drawing are like clear
spider webs. An operator gathers up these
fine fibers of glass and starts them on a
motor driven bobbin beneath the oven as
the illustration shows. The glass fibers on
the way from the oven to the bobbin are
sprayed with ordinary starch. The starch
acts as a binder and also makes them
visible. The fibers are then wound into
yarn and the yarn is wound onto a spool.
The spools of glass yarn are now put
in an oven and subjected to heat enough to
ba-ke out the starch. The yarn is then
given the Dupont chrome bath. This
invention gives the glass fibers a
permanent coat which tends to shed
moisture and most important of all makes
the resin when applied stick tightly to the
glass. As before mentioned without t h i s
Dupont chrome treatment glass fishing
rods would not be in use today.
The early glass rods made without
Dupont chrome treated glass fibers

110

GLASS FISHING RODS

proved to be dismal failures. They absorbed huge quantities of moisture and


became very brittle. The glass fibers separated from the binding resin and the
rods lost their strength as they were used. Just a

How fine glass fibers are made.


few years back a test of glass rods was made by a well known rod maker at
Cape Cod Massachusetts. The humid climate there caused the rods to break
like matches. This was typical of tests made in many parts of North America
during the period before the Dupont chrome bath invention.
GLASS

RODS

RESISTANT TO MOISTURE AND


WEATHER
Todays glass rods absorb from 4% to 6% of water in normal use. The
amount depends mostly on the type of binding resin used for the glass fibers.
These small percents of water absorption hurt glass rods in no way. Glass
rods submerged in water for 24 hours are not damaged in any way although it
is definitely a good practice to keep glass rods as dry as possible. Glass rods
made of inexpensive resins submerged in water for six months become
saturated with water and very brittle. They dry out easily however in a week's
time and again have about their normal action.
Glass rods made with best quality resins are little effected by six months
or six years submergion in water.
Glass rods will stand 70 degrees below zero and as hot as 275 degrees
Fahrenheit without damage of any kind. They cannot however stand a flame.
Flame makes them very brittle.
COMPARISON AND PREFERENCES FOR HOLLOW GLASS AND
SOLID GLASS RODS
Solid glass rods are stronger than hollow glass rods.
Solid glass rods are much heavier than hollow glass rods.
Solid glass rods have a much poorer action for casting of any kind than
hollow glass rods. For all practical fishing purposes hollow glass rods are
strong enough although they are not as strong as solid glass rods.
The preference for solid glass rods against hollow glass rods runs as
follows:

GLASS FISHING RODS

111

BAIT CASTING RODS.


5 feet standard bait casting rods. Preference in middle west is for the
solid glass rod. In the west, east, and south for the hollow glass rod. Solid
glass rod bait casting rods are of course much cheaper than the hollow glass.
Solid glass bait casting rods are satisfactory for trolling but not for good
casting.
FLY CASTING RODS.
It is impossible to make a satisfactory solid glass fly casting rod as they
are much too heavy. The preference is all for hollow glass fly rods.
SPINNING RODS.
It is impossible to make a saisfactory solid glass spinning rod as they
are much too heavy and lack action. The preference is all for hollow glass
spinning rods.
SALT WATER BOAT AND BAY RODS.
For boat and bay salt water rods under six feet solid glass rods are the
biggest seller. Six feet or over hollow glass rods are the biggest sellers.
SURF AND LIVE BAIT RODS.
All glass rods of these types are hollow glass as solid glass is unsatisfactory.
BIG GAME SALT WATER RODS.
The preference is for solid glass rods as strength is preferred to action.
DURABILITY

OF

GLASS

RODS

Both hollow and solid glass rods are made up of glass fibers bonded and
sealed in a usable unit by plastic or resin of some kind. Whether the glass rod
is hollow or solid it should be made up of from 66 to 72 percent of glass
fibers and the balance plastic or resin. The smaller diameter of the rod the
greater percentage of glass fibers is necessary to give the rod back bone.
Some cheap glass rods have as little as 35% glass fibers in them.
The glass fibers in glass rods have great elasticity and great strength.
Their fatigue life is almost endless. Talking about elasticity in glass I
remember one day I was visiting the world famous glass works at Val St.
Lambert in Belgium. In this glass works is made the finest quality glass in
the world. A number of the plant workmen are ardent fishermen and friends
of mine. One day, one of them showed me a set of table goblets that were 12
inches high. The bowl part of the goblets were supported by a fairly narrow
stem. He took the goblet and gave the bowl part a sharp blow. The bowl part
of the goblet swayed back and forth in a wide arc like it was mounted on a
reed in the wind yet the stem that it was swaying on was solid glass. It
proved to me beyond any doubt that flexible glass was a reality.
Now back to our glass rods. The plastic or resin that makes up the
balance of a glass rod is strong but has a definite fatigue life. Glass rods
either solid or hollow will take a permanent set if strained beyond the normal
limits of landing a fish. At the Sportsmen show in

112

GLASS FISHING RODS

New York in 1950 one glass rod manufacturer placed a heavy lead weight on
the tip of one of his glass rods and bent the rod nearly back to its hand grasp.
The rod was left in this position for the entire show which lasted a week.
After the show was over the manufacturer removed the lead weight. The rod
however stayed in its bent position. It had been permanently set. I have seen a
number of glass rods permanently set by fishermen horsing in a heavy fish.
All glass rods are susceptable to damage by flame as before stated. A match
flame held on a glass rod for any length of time will cause the rod to become
brittle at that point and break. Be careful while lighting pipes, cigarettes, or
cigars to keep the flame away from your glass rods.
VARIANCE IN GLASS RODS MADE OF
THE SAME MATERIALS
Both solid glass and hollow glass rods vary in strength and action even
when made of the same quality of materials and to the same measurements.
In hollow glass rods the human element is strongly present in their
manufacture which makes it impossible to make hollow glass rods exactly
alike. As you will see later on that the sanding of them is done by hand and it
alone causes variance in each rod made. Atmospheric changes at the time the
rods are made effect the resin the glass fibers are bonded with.
In solid glass rods the way the fibers are laid in the mold and the
grinding or sanding of the rods causes variance between each rod.
Atmospheric changes at the time the rods are made effect the resin the glass
fibers are bonded with.
Glass rods may some day reach the point where they have very
little variance. This is definitely possible but at this writing it takes a
great deal of careful hand work to make even uniformly good glass
rods. Unfortunately very few glass rods are made by careful hand
work today.
*
Edward R. Hewitt author of "A Trout and Salmon Fisherman for
Seventy-Five Years," in one of his letters to me some years back, wrote that
in his opinion glass rods would eventually be made under rigid hand and
scientific controls and be excellent rods. He wrote this at a time when glass
rods were entirely unsatisfactory and he well knew this as he had tried them.
Mr. Hewitt's opinion is always worth while considering on any fishing
subject.
THE

HOLLOW

GLASS

ROD

Generally speaking all hollow glass rods are constructed in basically the
same manner. They are made from uni-directional glass cloth. This cloth
must have ten longitudinal strands for every horizontal glass strand.
The quality, strength, and action of hollow glass rods varies greatly for
the following reasons:
1. Time involved to make them. Contrary to opinion a really good
hollow glass rod takes time to make well. Cheaper hollow glass rods are
made quickly, good hollow glass rods take four and five times the time to
manufacture than cheap hollow glass rods.

114

GLASS FISHING RODS

Purchase the glass cloth in a bolt of the width you desire, depending of
course on the length of the rod you desire to make. The glass cloth is then run
directly from the bolt through a tank filled with a phenolic resin or in some
cases a phenolic resin mixed with some nylon. This phenolic resin may be
one of various types. Polyester resins are also used in the manufacture of
hollow glass rods. However they are not as satisfactory for hollow glass rods
as the phenolic resins. Polyester resins are however more satisfactory for
making solid glass rods than phenolic resins. The phenolic resins used for
glass rod work are the types requiring a heat cure. They also require a
catalyst to be mixed with them. A catalyst is simply a chemical that causes
the resin to harden.
In using a phenolic resin, the glass cloth after coming out of the tank as
shown in the illustration is run through an electric oven to heat treat and
temper the resin reducing its tackiness. This makes it possible to handle the
cloth. This heat treating time is from 8 to 12 minutes at a temperature of 260
degrees F.
The impregnated cloth is then laid on tables and with the use of steel
templates is cut into panels of a predetermined size for the making of specific
rods.

Top view of template on the impregnated glass cloth showing three


glass cloth panels already cut out.
The glass panels are then ready to be wrapped onto the steel mandrels.
The steel mandrels are made by carefully grinding steel rods to the desired
tapered on center less grinding machines. The steel mandrels in large sizes
are usually made from stainless steel highly polished. The smaller mandrels
for tips, etc., are made from high

Sealing the impregnated glass cloth to the


flat iron.

steel mandrel with a

carbon steel for maximum strength so they will not become bent and
damaged in handling from time to time. Each mandrel must have a notch in
its heavy end. This notch is used to pull out the steel man-

GLASS FISHING RODS

115

drel from the rod as you will presently see. The mandrels must be highly
polished for easy release of the wrapped glass cloth after curing.
Some manufacturers now take the steel mandrels and dip them into a
tank of the same resin as used on the glass cloth and are given the same heat
tempering treatment as the glass cloth. This actually practically cures the
resin and turns it from a liquid to a pliable,

Resin impregnated glass cloth is unrolled and rod pattern cut to


size.
slightly tacky film. One edge of the glass cloth is now sealed to the mandrel
with a common flat iron. The mandrel with the glass cloth attached to it is
then placed on the table of the wrapping or rolling machine and under heat
and pressure the glass cloth is wrapped around the steel mandrel. The
wrapping machine has heating units in the table and top plate. The heat
partially melts the resin as the mandrel is rolled through it wrapping the glass
cloth around it. The heat by partially melting the resin fuses the layers of
glass cloth together.

GLASS FISHING RODS

116

METAL.HEATIN& UNITS
GLASS
CLOTH
ATTACHED
TO
MANDREL

Wrapping or rolling machine.


Some manufacturers do not dip the steel mandrels in the resin and
partially cure the resin on them and then seal the cloth to the mandrel. They
simply position the steel mandrel on the glass cloth pattern and wrap the
glass cloth around the steel mandrel in the wrapping or rolling machine.

Tapered steel mandrel is positioned on glass cloth pattern before


being wrapped on wrapping machine.

GLASS FISHING RODS

117

When glass rods were first made


the resin impregnated glass cloth was
wrapped around the steel mandrel by
hand. It took from one to six persons to
wrap the glass cloth on a mandrel
depending upon the length of the rod.
W. Brandt

MOTOR

RHEOSTAT
FOOT AND BAR PEDAL

Spiral wrapping the rod with cellophane tape prior to curing


or baking, showing foot control.

Cellophane tape is wound on the mandrels wrapped with


glass cloth to hold the cloth tightly on the mandrel during
the oven cure. Here an operator guides the tape while the
machine turns rod at high speed.

118

GLASS FISHING RODS

Rods are hung on racks leading into the oven. Heat will
combine resin and glass permanently.
Goldsworthy, President of Industrial Plastics Corporation, Gardena,
California, several years back invented the wrapping machine for glass rods.
The mandrel covered with the glass cloth is then taken from the
wrapping table and a strip of cellophane tape is spiral wrapped the full length
of the mandrel to hold the glass cloth in place for the final

GLASS FISHING RODS


119
curing. This spiral wrap under slight pressure is achieved with
the use of an electric motor, chuck, and collet as illustrated.
The rods are then hung on racks preparatory to being put in
the baking ovens.

120

GLASS FISHING RODS

The rods are then put into the baking oven. The curing or baking times
may be varied slightly with varied temperatures. Four hours at 270 degrees F
is the average curing time. The rods are removed from the oven, and cooled
at room temperature.
From here on the procedure in different plants varies slightly. Some
plants remove the steel mandrel at this point others do not. It makes little
difference which way you do it. We will describe the rest of the opi-ration as
plants do it that do not remove the steel mandrel at this point.
The rods are now sanded. This sanding operation is done by chucking
the butt end of the steel mandrel, in a collet attached to an electric motor.
The cellophane tape is removed with the sand paper and the rod itself
perfectly smoothed. The rods are then hung on another rack and dipped into a
tank of the same resin as before the final finish.
The rods are again baked in an oven and when completely cured are
removed to cool.
The steel mandrels are removed by one of two methods.
Method No. One. By a hand operated machine as shown in the
illustration. The steel mandrels must have a notch in the large end that is
engaged with the teeth of the machine. The end of the rod is butted against a
block of steel so that when the lever is pulled back the mandrel is forced free.

TABLE TOP
Method number one removing mandrel from a hollow glass rod
Using method number two the steel mandrel is removed by grasping the
end of the steel mandrel in a chuck and mechanically pulling it out.
After the mandrels have been removed from the rod they still contain
pieces of resin. They must be perfectly smooth before they can be used again
so all resin on them must be carefully removed.

GLASS FISHING RODS

121

Method number two. Removing steel mandrel from a hollow


glass rod.
The finished rod blanks must now be carefully inspected for flaws. On
expensive hollow glass rods this is done by putting the rod on a deflection
board. On inexpensive hollow glass rods it is simply done by hand.
Special ferrules are mounted onto the glass rod blanks that require little
or no turning down of the rod to fit the ferrules. Ferrules are

122

GLASS FISHING RODS

Steel mandrels are cleaned for next batch of rods.


put on glass rod blanks with Silhower Ferrule cement or similar
cements requiring no heat to set.
When Silhower Ferrule cement or some similar cement is used to fasten
ferrule onto glass rod blanks you must use great care if you desire to remove
the ferrules. Heating a ferrule that has been cemented on with Silhower
Ferrule Cement will not soften the cement making it possible to remove the
ferrule. Heating the ferrule actually only makes it harder to get off. The only
way a ferrule can be removed after being cemented on with Silhower ferrule
cement is to carefully grind and pry it off.

GLASS FISHING RODS

123

Finished hollow glass rod blanks are flexed to detect possible flaws
and inspected for color.
FEATHER WEIGHT HOLLOW GLASS RODS
Extremely light weight bait casting and fly rods of hollow glass are now
being made. These feather weight rods are as light or lighter than bamboo for
their length. They are not durable. Stepping on them will crush them but they
have good action and are not tiring to use. They can be secured from Herter's.

GLASS FISHING RODS

125

Through the hole the mold is filled with resin. The mold is then placed in an
oven and baked or cured. Curing schedules may vary considerably with the
various types of polyester resins. The
manufacturer of the resins supplies
complete information on the handling
and curing time of their particular
resins. Secure them from them.
After the rod is cured it is
removed from the mold. It is then
ground to the desired taper on a center
less grinding machine. Inasmuch as the
blanks are solid they may be ground as
much as necessary with no loss of
strength per diameter. The rods are
given a coat of flexible lacquer to make
them smooth in appearance.
Method 2. This method is exactly
like method number one in all respects
except that the impression in the
mold is not made in a cylinder but in a
taper roughly similar to the taper
Glass fibers or rovings.
desired on the finished rod but somewhat larger. The glass fibers are then cut
to length or tailored to fit the tapered mold. After curing the rod is center less
ground as in method No. One.
ATMOSPHERIC

CHANGES

Atmospheric changes as before mentioned are the bug-a-boo of the glass


rod maker. The ideal way to make glass rods would be in an air conditioned
factory where humidity and heat remained constant. A small temperature or
humidity change seriously effects the setting action of the resin used. Good
glass rod makers watch this carefully to avoid poor rod curing that can ruin
rods that would otherwise be good. Atmospheric changes are not as bad as
when glass cloth was used that was not Dupont chrome treated but they still
are a serious problem.

CHAPTER XIII.
FRESH

WATER TOURNAMENT CASTING


SPECIFICATIONS
Fresh Water Tournament casting has become popular during the last few
years and a good rod maker must be familiar with what is required of
tournament rods so he can build them to suit these purposes exactly.
I herein list the various official tournament rules and events according
to the National Association of Anglers and Casting Clubs.
RULES GOVERNING EVENTS
Accuracy Bait 3/8 oz.5/8 oz.
RODUnrestricted. REELUnrestricted.
LINE3/8 oz.Line unrestricted.
5/8 oz.Line shall be caster's choice of the Association's official plug
line of either 4, 6 or 9 pound test.
TRACE3/8 oz.Unrestricted.
5/8 oz.It shall be permissible to use a loop or trace of any casting line
not to exceed three inches in length attached to the plug.
BAITOfficial plug adopted by the Association. Three-eighths (3/8)
ouncefive eighths (5/8) ounce.
TARGETSThere shall be five targets scattered at random on the
water, anchored at distances unknown to the caster. The target nearest to the
casting box shall be not nearer than forty (40) feet nor farther than forty-five
(45) feet. The target farthest from casting box shall be not farther than eighty
(80) feet nor nearer than seventy-five (75) feet. The remaining three targets
shall be placed at irregular intervals in the intervening space. The targets
shall not be bunched nor placed in line with each other.
CASTINGSingle-handed. Ten casts, two at each target are to be made
in the order and as directed by the Captain.
METHOD OF CASTING AND SCORINGThe plug shall fall within
or on the target, to be scored perfect. For each foot or fraction thereof the
plug falls without the target a demerit of one (1) shall be scored. In case of a
broken line, the cast will be scored where the plug falls, except that no cast
shall be scored unless the plug falls in front of the casting box. One hundred,
a score of ten perfect casts less the number of demerits shall constitute the
score.
After a caster steps into the box to cast, he shall be responsible for the
result, and shall take for his score whatever he makes. No fouls shall be
allowed unless caused by outside interference. In no case shall a caster be
given more than ten demerits, on any one cast.
DISTANCE BAIT
3/8 oz.5/8 oz.
RODUnrestricted. REELFree running without click, drag, brake spring
or abnor-

TOURNAMENT CASTING SPECIFICATIONS

127

mal device or adjustment which would tend to retard the movement of the
spool.
LINEUnrestricted.
TRACEUnrestricted.
BAITOfficial plug adopted by the Association. Three-eighths
(3/8) ouncefive eighths (5/8) ounce.
CASTINGSingle-handed. Five casts in turn, one cast at a time.
METHOD OF CASTING AND SCORINGThe casting shall be done
on the lawn. The length of cast shall be computed from the casting box to
point where the plug falls. Scores shall be the average of the three longest
casts, the longest cast to be made a matter of record. Should the line or leader
part after plug has left its starting position and before the cast is completed
by the plug coming to rest upon the ground, the cast shall be scored zero.
Each cast shall be verified by the Captain, Judges or assistants in the field for
breaking or parting of the line. The caster may break his line after Captain
has verified no breakage or parting of the line occurred after the caster
stepped into the casting box. After a caster steps into the box to make his
cast, he is responsible for the result and shall take for his score whatever
distance he makes. No allowances shall be made for breaking or other
accidents after he is ready to cast.
Casting shall be done from the casting box, and if contestant oversteps
the casting box in making his cast and before the plug falls to the ground,
there shall be deducted from the length of each such cast one foot for each
foot or fraction of a foot so over-stepped.
WET FLY ACCURACY
ROD LENGTHThe rod complete shall not exceed 91/2 feet in length.
ROD WEIGHTUnrestricted.
REELUnrestricted.
LINEUnrestricted, but it shall not be knotted, weighted, or marked to
indicate distances, nor fastened to the reel at the fifty-five foot mark.
LEADERThe leader shall be a single leader of natural or artificial gut
or gut substitute not less than six (6) feet in length.
FLYOfficial wet fly adopted by the Association. Only one fly shall be
attached to the leader. In case fly is lost it may be replaced with another
approved by the Captain.
TARGETSThere shall be five targets placed on the water in a straight
line at distances of 35-40-45-50-55 feet from the casting box to the center of
the target.
CASTINGSingle-handed. Ten casts, two at each target.
TIMECaster shall complete score within five (5) minutes. Time starts
at first drop of fly on water. No time out shall be allowed for replacing a fly
or for any accident, except in case of outside interference. A penalty of five
(5) demerits shall be scored for each minute or fraction of minute over time.
METHOD OF CASTING AND SCORINGCaster shall start with the
fly in either hand and with no length of line or leader extending

128

TOURNAMENT CASTING SPECIFICATIONS

beyond the length of the rod. The line shall be extended to the first target by
stripping. Then, when ready, caster shall call "score" and cast at the first 25
ft.) target and follow with a second cast at the same target. Caster shall then
strip line and cast at the second (40 ft.) target and again follow with a second
cast at that target. A like procedure shall be followed in casting the three
remaining targets in order, or until ten casts shall have been made. No false
casts shall be permitted between targets. A penalty of two (2) demerits shall
be scored for each false cast.
In order that caster shall properly strip line between targets caster shall
not hold in either hand loose line of such length that stripping is unnecessary,
nor shall caster measure the line by stripping along the rod. A penalty of two
(2) demerits shall be scored for each improper strip.
In case of outside interference or less of fly when casting at a target, at
any time after calling "score," caster shall work out to the point where the
outside interference or loss of fly occurred, call "score," and proceed as
heretofore provided.
In case of outside interference or loss of fly when changing from target
to target, caster shall work out to the target preceding the one at which the
outside interference or loss of fly occurred, call "score", cast at the target next
in order and proceed as heretofore provided.
No cast shall be scored without a fly. Judges shall notify a caster
whenever they notice a fly is off.
The fly shall fall within or on the target to be scored 'perfect" (0). For
each foot or fraction thereof the fly falls without the target, a demerit of one
(1) shall be scored. One hundred, a score of ten "perfect" casts, less the
number of demerits, shall constitute the final score. In no case shall more
than ten demerits be scored on one cast, except that demerits for penalties
shall be additional.
Penalty Demerits
Overtime.......................................................................... 5
False Cast ........................................................................ 2
Improper Strip ................................................................ 2
DRY FLY ACCURACY
ROD LENGTHThe rod complete shall not exceed 9 V2 feet in length.
ROD WEIGHTUnrestricted.
REELUnrestricted.
LINEUnrestricted, but shall not be marked to indicate distances nor
fastened to the reel at the fifty foot mark.
LEADERThe leader shall be a single leader of natural or artificial gut
or gut substitute not less than six (6) feet in length.
FLYOfficial dry fly adopted by the Association. The fly shall not be
oiled or treated. Only one fly shall be attached to leader. A fly may be
changed or a lost fly replaced at any time by a fly approved by the Captain.
TARGETSThere shall be five targets scattered at random on the
water, anchored at distances unknown to the caster. The target

TOURNAMENT CASTING SPECIFICATIONS

129

nearest to the casting box shall be not nearer than twenty (20) feet nor farther
than twenty-five (25) feet. The target farthest from the casting box shall be
not farther than fifty (50) feet nor nearer than forty-five (45) feet. The
remaining three targets shall be placed at irregular intervals in the intervening
space. The targets shall not be bunched nor placed in line with each other.
CASTINGSingle-handed. Ten (10) casts at targets are to be made in
the order and as directed by the Captain.
TIMECaster shall complete score within eight (8) minutes. Time
starts when caster steps into the casting box. No time out shall be allowed for
replacing a fly or for any accident, except in case of outside interference. A
penalty of five (5) demerits shall be scored for each minute or fraction of
minute over time.
METHOD OF CASTING AND SCORINGCaster shall start with the
fly in either hand and with no length of line or leader extending beyond the
length of the rod. The line shall be extended to the respective targets by
stripping. In general, stripping shall be done while the fly is in the air. After
starting, caster shall be permitted to hold any loose line in either hand. Caster
shall lift line and leader from the water. No stripping or pulling of line or
leader on the water shall be permitted unless rod is in motion retrieving fly. A
penalty of two (2) demerits shall be scored for each such improper strip or
pull.
Whenever the fly strikes the water in front of the caster on a forward
cast, it shall be scored a cast. The fly shall float and be left floating a few
seconds, then the judges shall call "score" and the line may be retrieved. A
penalty of two (2) demerits shall be scored for each time the line is
improperly retrieved before the judges call "score."
Should the fly fail to float, or sink and rise to the surface, before the
judges call "score," it shall be scored a "sunken fly." A penalty of five (5)
demerits shall be scored for each "sunken fly."
Should the line, leader or fly strike the water on a retrieve, it shall not be
scored a cast but a "tick." A penalty of five (5) demerits shall be scored for
each "tick."
Caster shall not allow the fly to dangle and be blown over a target
before dropping a fly. A penalty of two (2) demerits shall be scored for each
such improper cast.
No cast shall be scored without a fly. The judges shall notify caster
whenever they notice a fly is off.
The fly shall fall within or on the target to be scored "perfect" (0). For
each foot or fraction thereof the fly falls without the target, a demerit of one
(1) shall be scored. One hundred, a score of ten "perfect" casts, less the
number of demerits, shall constitute the final score. In no case shall more
than ten demerits be scored on any one cast, except that demerits for penalties
shall be additional.
Penalty Demerits
Overtime ..........................................................................5
Improper Strip or Pull .....................................................2
Sunken Fly ....................................................................2
Improper Retrieve ............................................................2
Tick ..................................................................................5
Improper Cast................................... ...............................2

130

TOURNAMENT CASTING SPECIFICATIONS

TROUT FLY DISTANCE


Single-Handed
ROD LENGTHThe rod complete shall not exceed ten feet in length.
ROD WEIGHTIf 9 feet or less, the weight shall be unrestricted. If
over 9 feet, the maximum weight shall be 5 ounces.
REELUnrestricted or none at all.
LINELine shall be not less than 50 feet in length from point of taper
to holding line, said portion of line shall not weigh more than 1 ounces.
LEADERThe leader shall be a single leader of natural or artificial gut
or gut substitute, and not less than six nor more than twelve feet in length.
FLYOfficial distance fly as adopted by the Association. Only one fly
shall be used. It shall be tied at the end of the leader with no portion of leader
extending beyond the single fly.
CASTINGSingle-handed, overhead.
TIMEFive (5) minutes after caster calls "score."
SALMON FLY DISTANCE
Two-Handed
ROD LENGTHThe rod complete shall not exceed fifteen (15) feet in
length.
ROD WEIGHTUnrestricted.
REELUnrestricted or none at all.
LINEUnrestricted.
LEADERThe leader shall be of natural or artificial gut or gut
substitute and not less than six (6) feet in length, nor more than two (2) feet
longer than the rod. This leader may be single, double or treble, separately or
in combination.
FLYOfficial salmon fly as adopted by the Association. Only one fly
shall be used. It shall be tied at the end of the leader with no portion of leader
extending beyond the single fly.
CASTINGTwo-handed, overhead.
TIMESeven (7) minutes after caster calls "score."
TROUT FLY DISTANCE Single-Handed and
SALMON FLY DISTANCE Two-Handed
METHOD OF CASTING AND SCORINGCaster shall stand upon the
platform and make his casts on the water parallel with the measuring line.
The length of cast shall be measured from the platform to the point reached
by the fly. Should any caster lose the fly, he or his assistant may replace it
with another one. No cast shall be scored without a fly. The judges shall
notify caster whenever they notice fly is off. No time shall be allowed for
replacing fly, or any other accident, except in case of outside interference.
Scores shall be the average of

TOURNAMENT CASTING SPECIFICATIONS

131

the three longest casts, the longest cast to be a matter of record. Rod butts
shall not be placed in the sleeve nor fastened to the wrist, arm or clothing.
The penalty for violation of this rule shall be disqualification.
TENDEROne assistant shall be allowed on platform with caster to
tend line and generally assist caster.
MEASURING LINESee Rules Governing Equipment.
SKISH BAIT
RODUnrestricted.
REELShall be of standard manufacture as regularly supplied by their
makers, and sold by them through their regular channels, and fitted with
level-winding device. No additions of any description shall be allowed.
LINEShall be of strength test not less than nine pounds, and each
contestant shall submit his line for official test before casting in any
recognized event, which shall consist of lifting any official 9-pound weight
with it from the ground or platform. (This makes eligible for use the NAACC
official 9-pound test tournament line easily identified by its alternate red and
white braid.)
PLUGNo plug shall weigh in excess of 5/8 ounces. The official
NAACC plug is recommended.
CASTINGSingle-handed only.
SCORINGThree casts at each of ten targets will be scored as follows:
Five points for a perfect on the first cast. Three points for a perfect on the
second cast. Two points for a perfect on the third cast. If plug falls on or
within the target the cast shall be scored "perfect". If plug falls outside the
target, it will be scored "zero." No fouls shall be allowed except for outside
interference.
TARGETSTen targets consisting of ten not to exceed thirty-inch
rings, scattered at random, shall be anchored at unknown distances to the
caster. (Clubs having at their immediate disposal but five targets may rotate
casters from targets one to five.) No target shall be at a distance greater than
eighty feet, or at a distance less than forty feet from the casting point.
METHOD OF CASTINGFree style unless otherwise specified. Caster
will rotate casting at targets from one to ten, and as caster moves to next
casting position, next caster will take the position vacated. Each target has its
own casting point thereby allowing ten players to be casting at ten different
targets at the same time. (Clubs having at their immediate disposal but five
targets may rotate contestants from targets one to five, and again from one to
five, provided that target numbers one and five are set at different distances.)
No caster shall vacate his position until caster occupying next position shall
have completed his third cast.
SKISH FLY
RODLINEREELLEADERFLYOf standard manufacture as
regularly supplied by their makers, and sold by them through their

132

TOURNAMENT CASTING SPECIFICATIONS

regular channels. Leader and fly unrestricted, but same outfit shall be used
throughout all events unless broken.
(A) 1st ROUNDDRY FLYTime Limit2 Minutes.
TO BEGINCaster must start with 'fly' in hand and no slack line. Judge
calls order of 'rings' and Caster measures and casts to 'first' designate 'ring'
only.
"Time" begins and 'First Try' scored when called by Judge as FLY
'drops' or 'ticks' on surface (water, floor, or ground).
THREE CASTS to be made at each of the 'five rings' in order as
determined by the Judge.
NOTEWhen Third (3rd) Cast has been made at the fifth (5th) and last
ring, fly remains at ring as next cast is to ROLL CAST from that position to
First Ring or Roll Cast Round.
One or more 'false casts' MUST be made between each score or 'lay' of
the fly.
TO SCOREOnly 'PERFECT CASTS' landing IN or ON 'rings' score.
On each 'ring', score FIVE (5) POINTS for 'PERFECTS' on 'FIRST
TRY'. Score THREE (3) POINTS for 'PERFECTS' on 'SECOND TRY'.
Score TWO (2) POINTS for 'PERFECTS' on 'THIRD TRY'. Possible TEN
(10) POINTS for each 'ring'.
'Fly' must rest on water until Judge calls the 'score'. 'Ticks', 'Sunken Fly',
and 'Rules Violations', Judge may count as casts. 'Time' goes on in case of
'breaks', 'lost fly', etc. Any unnecessary delays in the opinion of the Judge
warrants disqualification of the caster.
POSSIBLE SCORE50 Points.
(B) 2nd ROUNDROLL OR SWITCH CASTTime Limit1
Minutes.
TO BEGIN(Fly is resting at 'last ring' where Dry Fly was finished.)
Caster 'roll casts' from 'last ring' of Dry Fly to 'first ring' at left until a
'PERFECT' is scored, then proceeds to 'second ring' and so on in order until
'PERFECTS' have been scored on each of the 'five rings'. Make as many of
the five rings as possible. If all five rings are made in 1 minutes or less your
Total Score is 25 points.
"TIME" begins when 'fly' drops on surface (water, floor, or ground).
TO SCOREEach "PERFECT" scores FIVE (5) POINTS. Fly need not
float.
POSSIBLE SCORE25 Points.
(C) 3rd ROUNDWET FLYTime Limit1 Minutes.
TO BEGINCaster must start with 'fly' in hand and no slack line.
Extend line and measure to first 'ring' on left only.
"TIME" begins as 'fly' contacts the surface as a 'Measuring Cast'. Then
take two more Casts to Score a 3 and 2 if made. 'Fly' Must remain where it
drops until Judge calls score. 'Ticks' and 'false casts' count as a 'try'.
TWO (2) CASTS in succession without 'false casts' to be made

TOURNAMENT CASTING SPECIFICATIONS

133

at each of the 'five rings' in order from left to right, stripping necessary line to
reach each 'ring'.
TO SCOREOnly, 'PERFECT CASTS' landing IN or ON 'rings' score.
On each 'ring' score THREE (3) POINTS for 'PERFECTS' on 'FIRST TRY'.
Score TWO (2) POINTS for 'PERFECTS' on 'SECOND TRY'. Possible
FIVE (5) POINTS for each 'ring'. Fly need not float.
Possible Score25 points.
A PERFECT SCORE OF 100 POINTS is possible in the SKISH FLY
GAME.
CASTING BOXCasting shall be done from a marked four foot
square.
RULES

GOVERNING

EQUIPMENT Standards of

Weights and Measurements


All measurements shall be in feet and inches and all weights determined
by avoirdupois weight on standard beam scales. Spring balance scales shall
not be permitted.
All tackle restricted under the NAACC rules as regards weights or
measurements shall be weighed, measured, and sealed by the official
Weighmaster. All tackle shall be weighed by the avoirdupois standard, 437
Vz grains to the ounce.
Official Casting Plugs
In all bait casting events the plugs used shall be the official casting plugs
adopted by the Association. In National tournaments they shall not be given
out or sold to casters until the caster is registered Each plug shall bear an
easily discernible distinguishing mark or color known only to the National
Tournament Committee up to the time of distribution.
oz. Distance oz. metal capped wood plug
oz. Accuracy oz. tenite plug
oz. Distance oz. tenite plug
oz. Accuracy oz. tenite plug
oz. Distance oz. aluminum plug
oz Distance oz. aluminum plug
Targets
Targets may be constructed of wood, aluminum, rubber or other suitable
material. They shall be perfect circle rings with an outside diameter of thirty
inches and an inside diameter of not less than twenty-seven inches with an
open center and shall float not more than seven-eighths of an inch above the
surface of the water. The targets shall be colored one each red, white, blue,
green and yellow. Wet fly targets may be all one color.
Flies
Flies shall conform to requirements and not exceed sizes specified.
Those used in any event shall be uniform.
The official dry fly shall be size 10 with an orange body, yellow hackle
and white wings, tied in approved dry fly style.

134

TOURNAMENT CASTING SPECIFICATIONS

The official wet fly shall be size 6 with a white body and red hackle,
tied in approved wingless wet fly style.
The official salmon fly shall be size 0 with a yellow body and hackle
and white wings, tied in approved wet fly style.
The official distance fly shall be size 10 with a white body and hackle
and red wings, tied in approved wet fly style.
Platform
The surface of any casting platforms or the level at any casting point,
where the event is cast on the water, shall not be more than eighteen (18)
inches above the water line. In all events cast on the lawn, casting shall be
done from ground level.
Casting Box
In all accuracy events, the casting box shall be a marked four foot
square within which the caster is required to remain during the time he is
casting.
Distance Fly Measuring Line
This may be either a series of floats strung on a line or a floating board,
but shall accurately indicate the points of distance in feet from the casting
point on platform, beginning at eighty (80) feet and extending to at least one
hundred and eighty (180) feet. Each five (5) feet shall have a distinguishing
float or mark

CHAPTER XIV
SALT WATER TACKLE SPECIFICATIONS
SALT WATER GLASS ROD DEFLECTION TESTS
The official adaption of glass rods by all salt water clubs and the
judging of them by the deflection system needs some explaining.
It was decided by the majority of the clubs that glass rods should be
judged by the deflection system. The stiffest glass rods on the market were
tested and they were used as a gauge for the minimum of deflection
permitted. For fresh water casting a stiff rod is desired but for salt water
trolling as done by the clubs a stiff rod is not at all desirable. Glass rods with
the minimum deflections that the clubs specified are actually much too stiff
for club fishing. They place too much strain on the fisherman and not enough
strain on the fish. In buying a rod for club registration get one in the class
you desire but with much more deflection than the minimum.
60
Illustration shows how to test a glass
rod for deflection. Place the rod in a
vise or holder. Tie the weight to the top
of the rod so that there is just one inch
of cord between the tip of the rod and
the weight. The measurement X gives
you the deflection of the rod.
The following chart lists the minimum deflection in inches permited and
also lists the deflection a glass rod should have to permit the best fishing.
Never under any circumstances buy glass rod with the minimum deflection
as they are practically worthless for fishing.

SALT WATER ROD SPECIFICATIONS BY THE


TUNA CLUB OF AVALON, SANTA CATALINA
ISLAND, CALIFORNIA
This world famous club was founded in 1898 and is one of the world's
most noted and respected fishing clubs.

136

SALT WATER TACKLE SPECIFICATIONS

The following are their rod specifications and must be exactly followed
by rod makers selling rods to their members.
Tackle Specifications
The following tackle specifications and rules are the result of fifty years
experience. Strict adherence to both the spirit and letter of these rules is
vitally necessary in order that the Tuna Club may maintain the high standards
set by its founders and retain the enviable reputation it now enjoys. In
fairness to all, involuntary infractions of these rules can be no more condoned
than can willful violations. Members should be sure that they understand the
rules and that their tackle complies with the specifications. The underlying
spirit of angling should be that it is a sport in which the skill of the angler is
pitted against the instinct and strength of the fish and that the latter is entitled
to an even chance for his life.
1. The word Tackle shall be defined as consisting of rod, reel,
line, leader, hooks and harness.
2. HEAVY TACKLEThe rod shall consist of butt, of any
material, and tip, which shall be of wood, cane, glass or synthetic
material and the rod shall not be shorter than 6 feet 9 inches over all.
Tip shall not be less than 5 feet in length and wood or cane tips qual
ifying by weight shall weigh not more than 16 ounces. Glass or syn
thetic tips shall not be over 5 feet 6 inches in length. Wood or cane tips
may qualify by weight and/or by deflection and glass or synthetic
tips must qualify by deflection. Tips qualifying by deflection shall de
flect not less than 11 inches with 10 pound weight. Deflection to be
measured from a point on tip in horizontal position 60 inches from
shoulder of ferrule (securely clamped) to a horizontal line from the
same point on the tip after weight has been added. Line shall not
exceed standard 24 thread linen line and shall have a maximum break
ing strain when dry of not to exceed 66 pounds.
3. LIGHT TACKLEThe rod shall consist of butt, of any mater
ial, and tip, which shall be of wood, cane, glass or synthetic material,
and the rod shall not be shorter than 6 feet over all. Tip shall not be
less than 5 feet in length and wood or cane tips qualifying by weight
shall weigh not more than 6 ounces. Glass or synthetic tips shall not
be over 5 feet 6 inches in length. Wood or cane tips may qualify by
weight and/or by deflection and glass or synthetic tips must qualify
by deflection. Tips qualifying by deflection shall deflect not less than
16 inches with 3 pound weight. Deflection to be measured as explained
for HEAVY TACKLE. Line shall not exceed standard 9 thread linen
line and shall have a maximum breaking strain when dry of not to
exceed 26 pounds.
4. THREE-SIX TACKLEThe rod shall consist of butt, of any
material, and tip, which shall be of wood, cane, glass or synthetic
material, and the rod shall not be shorter than 6 feet over all. Tip
shall not be less than 5 feet in length and wood or cane tips qualifying
by weight shall weigh not more than 4 ounces. Glass or synthetic tips
shall not be over 5 feet 6 inches in length. Wood or cane tips may
qualify by weight and/or by deflection and glass or synthetic tips
must qualify by deflection. Tips qualifying by deflection shall deflect
not less than 17 inches with 2 pound weight. Deflection to be measured
as explained for HEAVY TACKLE. Line shall not exceed standard 6
thread linen line and shall have a maximum breaking strain when
dry of not to exceed 16 pounds.

SALT WATER TACKLE SPECIFICATIONS

137

5. THREE-THREAD TACKLEThe Rod shall consist of butt,


of any material, and tip, which shall be of wood, cane, glass or syn
thetic material, and the rod shall not be shorter than 6 feet over all.
Tip shall not be less than 5 feet in length. Glass or synthetic tips shall
not be over 5 feet 6 inches in length. Tips must qualify by deflection
and shall deflect not less than 17 inches with 1 pound weight. Deflec
tion to be measured as explained for HEAVY TACKLE. Line shall not
exceed standard 3 thread linen line and shall have a maximum break
ing strain when dry of not to exceed 8 pounds.
6. Leaders shall not exceed 15 feet in length. Double line, not
to exceed 15 feet in length, may be attached to leader. When fishing
in other waters, the length of leader and double line shall be governed
by International Game Fish Association rules.
7. By length of rod over all is meant with tip fully seated in
butt. By length of tip is meant from shoulder of ferrule to outer end
of tip.
8. Hand Grips may be put on tips as denned and limited above in
tackle specifications for Heavy TackleLIGHT TACKLETHREE
-SIX TACKLETHREE THREAD TACKLEprovided they are
wound on or otherwise put on for the purpose of providing a hand
grip for the angler and not used to strengthen or reinforce the tip
against breakage. Attention is called to the specifications regarding the
weight of tips. This will be interpreted that even though the tip may
have been qualified and marked before the catch the rod must still
qualify at the time of the catch and check of tackle may be required
upon request of any officer of the Club or member of the Tackle
Committee or if protest is filed within time limit specified in Rule 3
of Tournament Rules. In event that angler has added a hand grip, as
provided herein, he will be permitted to remove it and the weight of
the hand grip shall be excluded when weighing the tip. All hand grips
thus removed must be exhibited with the rod from which the same
were removed in the event that a protest is filed in accordance with
Rule 3 of Tournament Rules or if check is required by any officer of
the Club or member of the Tackle Committee. On tips qualifying by
weight care must be exercised that changes in the usual mountings
after tip has been determined to qualify
(such as substitution of a
roller tip for a lighter tip formerly on the rod tip) do not change
the weight sufficiently to disqualify it at the time of catch.
Each rod weighed in shall be qualified in the lightest class applicable
thereto, and shall not be eligible for any other classification.
Game Fish, as defined by the Club, are: Tuna, Marlin and Broad-bill
Swordfish, Black Sea Bass, Yellowtail, White Sea Bass, Albacore. and
Dolphin.
Regulation Light and Three-Six tackles had their origin at Catalina in
1906 and 1908, respectively.
ROD

SPECIFICATIONS OF THE TYEE CLUB


OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, TYEE POINT
CAMPBELL RIVER
The famous Tyee Club was founded in 1924 and is now justly famous in
all parts of the world. The Tyee Club was: organized for fishing the world
famous Tyee Salmon of the Pacific Coast. "Tyee" is the Indian name for
these salmon. These great game fish, the largest

138

SALT WATER TACKLE SPECIFICATIONS

of the genus "Oncorhynchus", or Pacific salmon, are caught in other waters in


British Columbia other than those that the Tyee Club governs. In general,
however, they are taken in such deep water that it requires heavy sinkers to
get down to them; hence light tackle, as the Tyee Club demands, cannot be
used. In the Tyee Club waters on Discovery Passage, just off the mouth of
Campbell River, these wonderful fish can be caught trolling at depths of only
10 to 20 feet. These salmon usually run from 30 to 75 pounds in weight and
are strong, clever fighters.
The Tyee Club has two different trolling rod specifications for two
different classes of awards. They also make awards for Coho salmon caught
on flies or a fly with a spinner not more than one and three sixteenths of an
inch long, but they have no definite specifications on the rods to be used.
The first trolling rod specifications is the standard one used by the Tyee
Club and it is called the Light Tackle Rod Specification by the Tyee Club. It
is as follows:
"1. Rods may be of wood, wood with steel center or tubular steel or
fiberglas; but solid steel rods must not be used.
"2. No rod may be less than six feet long over all, but there is no limit as
to length, although very long rods are unwieldy and make gaffing of a fish
difficult.
"3. Before use in Club competition all rods must be tested and conform
to the following bending test. Colored transfers bearing the word "Approved
Tyee Club of British Columbia" will be issued and must be affixed to all rods
which meet club specifications.
"Facilities for testing rods are available at the club house, Campbell
River and at Wilson and Lenfesty, Victoria, B. C.
Tyee Club Rod Bending Chart
"Rods supported at a point 12 inches from the butt and having a onepound weight attached to the tip ring, must bend from the horizontal to
conform to the following chart, according to the length of rod:
Rods 6 feet long must show a vertical deflection of 6 inches.
Rods 6 feet long must show a vertical deflection of 8 inches.
Rods 7 feet long must show a vertical deflection of 10 inches.
Rods 7 feet long must show a vertical deflection of 13 inches.
Rods 8 feet long must show a vertical deflection of 16 inches.
Rods 8 feet long must show a vertical deflection of 19 inches.
Rods 9 feet long must show a vertical deflection of 22 inches.
Rods 9 feet long must show a vertical deflection of 25 inches.
Rods 10 feet long must show a vertical deflection of 28 inches.
Rods 10 feet long must show a vertical deflection of 31 inches.
Rods 11 feet long must show a vertical deflection of 34 inches.
Rods 11 feet long must show a vertical deflection of 37 inches.
Rods 12 feet long must show a vertical deflection of 40 inches.
"Rods of greater length than 12 feet must show an additional vertical
deflection of 3 inches for each additional 6 inches of length."
"4. The length of line is unlimited, but no line having a breaking strain
when dry of more than 25 pounds may be used. The use of metal lines will
not be permitted.

SALT WATER TACKLE SPECIFICATIONS


"5.
"6.
used.

139

Wire leaders limited to six feet in length are allowed.


No regulations regarding type of lure, but only one hook may be

TYEE CLUB SPECIFICATIONS FOR THREE SIX TACKLE CLASS


This three six tackle class is open only to Tyee Club members who hold
at least three of the regular Light Tackle or Standard Class award buttons.
You will note that the Tyee Club specifications for Three Six Tackle are
not the same as that, for example, of the Tuna Club.
"1. Rod to be of wood or cane, with the usual mountings and shall
consist of butt and tip (butt may be of metal) and shall be not shorter than six
feet over all. Butt to be minimum of 12 inches in length. Tip to be minimum
of 60 inches in length when fully seated in butt. Weight of entire rod shall not
exceed 6 ounces. Line shall not exceed standard 6 thread linen line and shall
have a maximum breaking strain when dry of not to exceed 18 pounds. For
purpose of weighing, it is permissable to remove the rubber butt cap or
button, the forward removable hand grip, and the reel seat reel bands, if of
the removable type.
"2. Reels of any type may be used."
ROD

SPECIFICTIONS OF THE BRITISH TUNNY


CLUB
Rod length shall not be less than 6 feet 6 inches over all, consisting of
top and butt; the top shall not weigh more than 44 ounces and be not less
than 4 feet 6 inches in length. Length of line shall be unlimited and the last
20 feet may be doubled. Trace shall not exceed 20 feet.
SPECIFICATIONS OF THE BAY OF ISLANDS
SWORDFISH AND MAKO SHARK CLUB OF
RUSSELL, NEW ZEALAND
No restrictions regards rod. The line used must not be more than a 39
thread, with breaking strain of 2 pounds, dry, per thread. The trace cannot be
more than 30 feet long.
SPECIFICATIONS OF THE ROD
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA
TACKLE

AND

REEL CLUB,

SPECIFICATIONS

FLY CASTING TACKLEAll one-handed rods and single actions


and/or automatic fly reels, designed specifically for fly casting, will be
eligible. Level leaders may not exceed 15 pounds breaking strength, and in
the case of tapered leaders the tippet thereof may not exceed 15 pounds
breaking strength. Lure must be artificial and made specifically for flycasting (exception: pork rind permitted) and must be

140

SALT WATER TACKLE SPECIFICATIONS

cast and retrieved in orthodox manner. Leader and/or tippet shall be of nonmetallic material. The butt on a fly rod may not extend more than two inches
below the reel seat.
Trolling of lures will disqualify catch.
SPINNING TACKLEAll rods and reels designed specifically for
spinning and for casting artificial spinning lures shall be eligible, with the
following provisions:
Rods shall not be less than six feet in length, grip and reel seat included.
The grip with reel seat may not be more than sixteen inches in length.
Reels must operate suspended under the rod handle and attached thereto.
The axis of the spool shall point toward the rod tip at all times and be so
fixed.
Lines may be of any material, not exceeding eight pounds manufacturer's stated breaking strength. The leader, tippet, or doubled line (loop),
used singly or combined, may not exceed eighteen inches.
Lures must be artificial (exception: pork rind permitted) and must be
cast and retrieved in orthodox manner. Trolling of lure will disqualify catch.
PLUG CASTING TACKLEAll rods and reels designed specifically
for casting artificial lures or baits will be eligible, with these provisions:
That no rod, tip or butt sections complete shall measure less than five
feet in overall length, with a maximum butt length of twelve inches; that the
line shall not exceed 6-thread lines of 50's lea weight, 15-pound nylon or 18pound silk.
The trace and double line combined shall not exceed the length of the
rop tip.
Lures must be artificial (exception: pork rind permitted) and must be
cast and retrieved in orthodox manner.
The use of star-drag casting reels is prohibited; but use of "cub" drag
handle is permitted.
Trolling of lure will disqualify catch.
4-6 TACKLEThere shall be no restrictions as to butt length. The tip
shall weigh not more than four (4) ounces (in case of roller top refer to Rule
20), nor shall it be less than five feet in length when fully seated in butt. Line
shall not exceed 6-Thread linen of 50's lea weight, or synthetic lines of
comparable strength.
6-9 TACKLEThere shall be no restrictions as to butt length. The tip
shall weigh not more than six (6) ounces (in case of roller top refer to Rule
20), nor shall it be less than five feet in length when fully seated in butt. Line
shall not exceed 9-thread linen of 50's lea weight, or synthetic lines of
comparable strength.
GENERAL MISCELLANEOUSThis Division shall be divided into 3thread, 6-thread, 9-thread, 12-thread, 15-thread, 18-thread, 24-thread, 39thread and 54-thread classes. There shall be no restrictions as to reel and
harness, butt lengths or tip weights unless otherwise noted in these Rules. It is
expressly provided, however, that no tip measuring less than 5 feet when
fully seated in butt, shall be considered legal, and that, in no instance, shall
line be of greater strength than 50's lea linen or synthetic lines of comparable
strength.

SALT WATER TACKLE SPECIFICATIONS


ROLLER

141

TOPS

Roller tops are permissable on all rods except fly, Spinning and PlugCasting Rods, and members will not be penalized for the additional weight
resulting from the use of such tops.
If roller top is attached to the rod, an exchange allowance of 68 grains is
allowed for a 4-ounce tip, and 133 grains for a 6-ounce tip.
All rod tips, except those used in Fly, Spinning and Plug Casting, must
measure at least five feet when fully seated in the butt.
DOUBLE

CRANK

REELS

The use of double crank reels for any type of fishing is strictly
prohibited. This rule is considered to mean handles on opposing sides of the
reel.
SPECIFICATIONS OF THE SAILFISH CLUB
FLORIDA, PALM BEACH, FLORIDA

OF

Tip of the rod must not be less than 5 feet in length. The tip cannot
weigh over 6 ounces. The butt cannot be over 20 inches in length. No weight
limitations on the butt. The line cannot be over a 12 thread. The wire leader
cannot be over 12 feet long.
VAN CAMPEN HEILNER SALT WATER
TACKLE SPECIFICATIONS
Wherever salt water fish are caught in a sporting manner, Van Campen
Heilner is known and liked. He fishes for the love of it, not to break records.
His book "Salt Water Fishing", published by The Penn Publishing Company,
Philadelphia, is the most enjoyable book I have ever read on the subject, and
I am not saying this because he is a friend of mine. In this famous book Van,
has set up his own salt water tackle specifications and they are well worth
noting.
Fish from
Tackle not heavier than Tuna Club Standard, of
Avalon, California
1 to 99 lbs.
Three Six.
100 to 199 lbs.
Light Tackle.
200 to 499 lbs.
Heavy Tackle.
500 lbs. and up
Super-Heavy Tackle, which means nothing barred except
crotch holds, biting, wire lines and harpoons.
Van says about these regulations in his book, "The author feels that the
above classes would do away with all the controversy and bickering which
does so much to spoil one of the grandest sports in the world. If the various
anglers who are concentrating on big game fishing more and more every year
would care to adopt this as standard he would be very happy and gratified. If
not, they know what they can do with it."

142

SALT WATER TACKLE SPECIFICATIONS

BEACH HAVEN TUNA CLUB, TACKLE


SPECIFICATIONS BEACH HAVEN,
NEW JERSEY
Light Tackle Class or 6/12 class: You will note that this club's light
tackle class specifies a heavier line than the usual salt water light tackle class.
Tip cannot be shorter than five feet and cannot weigh more than 6 ounces.
Butt cannot be over 18 inches long. The over all length of the rod cannot be
less than 6 feet long. Line cannot be heavier than standard 12 thread line.
Medium Tackle Class or 10/15 class: Tip cannot be shorter than five feet
and cannot weigh more than 10 ounces. The overall length of the rod cannot
be shorter than 6 feet 9 inches. Lines cannot be heavier than standard 15
thread line.
Heavy Tackle: Tip cannot be less than 5 feet in length and cannot weigh
more than 16 ounces. The overall length of the rod cannot be less than 6 feet
9 inches. The line cannot be heavier than standard 24 thread line.
SPECIFICATIONS OF THE
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TUNA CLUB,
LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA
3/6 Class: Tip cannot be less than 60 inches long and cannot weigh over
4 ounces. Butt can be any length or weight. Line cannot be heavier than six
thread line with a maximum dry test of 16 pounds.
Light Tackle Class: Tip cannot be less than 60 inches long and cannot
weigh over 6 ounces. Butt can be any length or weight. Line cannot be
heavier than 9 thread line with a maximum dry breaking test of 26 pounds.
Medium Tackle Class: Tip cannot be less than 60 inches long and
cannot weigh over 10 ounces. Butt can be any length or weight. Line cannot
be heavier than 15 thread with a maximum dry test of 42 pounds.
Heavy Tackle Class: Tip cannot be less than 60 inches long and cannot
weigh over 24 ounces. Butt can be any length or weight. Line cannot be
heavier than 24 thread with a maximum dry breaking test of 66 pounds.
TACKLE SPECIFICATIONS OF THE MARLIN
CLUB, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
3/6 Tackle Class: Note that these three six tackle specifications are
considerably different from those of the Tuna Club of Avalon, California.
Rod can be of wood or glass and is to have the usual mountings. Usual
mountings actually mean nothing. Any kind of mountings can be used on
rods for this club. The butt and tip cannot be less than 6 feet in length overall. The butt must be 12 inches long, exactly. Butt can be made of metal. The
weight of the entire rod cannot be over 6 ounces. The line cannot be heavier
than the standard six thread linen line with a maximum dry breaking strain of
not more than 16 pounds.

SALT WATER TACKLE SPECIFICATIONS

143

Light Tackle Class: Rod must be made of wood or glass and is to have
the usual mountings. "Usual mountings" actually means nothing. Any kind of
mountings can be used on rods for this club. The butt and tip cannot be less
than 6 feet in length over all. The butt cannot be over 14 inches long. The tip
cannot be less than 5 feet long and cannot weigh more than 6 ounces. The
line cannot be heavier than standard 9 thread linen line with a dry breaking
test of not over 26 pounds.
Heavy Tackle: Rod must be made of wood or glass and is to have the
usual mountings. Usual mountings actually means nothing. Any kind of
mountings can be used on rods for this club. The butt and tip cannot be less
than 6 feet 9 inches in length over all. The tip cannot be less than 5 feet long
and cannot weigh more than 16 ounces. The line cannot be heavier than the
standard linen 24 thread line with a maximum dry breaking strain of 66
pounds.
ATLANTIC TUNA CLUB, TACKLE SPECIFICATIONS BLOCK ISLAND, RHODE ISLAND
3/6 Class: Note that these three six tackle specifications are considerably
different from those of the Tuna Club of Avalon, California. They also differ
because of the line specifications from any other 3/6 specifications. Rod must
be made of wood or glass and is to have the usual mountings. The butt and
tip cannot be less than 6 feet in length over-all. The butt must be 12 inches
long exactly. Butt can be made of metal. The weight of the entire rod cannot
be over 6 ounces. The line cannot be heavier than 6 threads of 50 lea linen.
Light Tackle Class: Rod must be made of wood or glass. The butt and
tip cannot be shorter than 6 feet in length over-all. The tip cannot be less than
5 feet in length and cannot weigh over 6 ounces. The butt cannot be over 18
inches long. The line cannot be heavier than standard 9 thread line.
Tuna and Swordfish Class: The rod must be made of wood or glass. The
butt and tip cannot be shorter than 6 feet 9 inches in length overall. The tip
cannot be less than 5 feet in length and cannot weigh more than 16 ounces.
The line cannot be heavier than standard 24 thread line.
Heavy Class Tuna and Swordfish: Same specifications as above but the
line can be as heavy as 36 thread.
PALM BEACH
TACKLE SPECIFICATIONS

ANGLERS CLUB,
PALM BEACH, FLORIDA

Sailfish Class: Tip of rod cannot be less than 5 feet long and cannot
weigh more than 6 ounces. No regulations regarding the butt. The line cannot
be heavier than standard 12 thread line.
Heavy Tackle Class: The tip cannot be less than 5 feet long and cannot
weigh more than 16 ounces. Butt cannot be over 22 inches long. Line cannot
be over standard 21 thread.
3/6 Class: Same as the 3/6 specifications of the Tuna Club, Avalon,
California.
6/9 Class: Same as the Light Tackle specifications of the Tuna Club,
Avalon, California.

144

SALT WATER TACKLE SPECIFICATIONS

Extra Heavy Tackle Class: To be used on grouper, tuna and marlin. Tip
cannot weigh more than 24 ounces. Butt cannot be longer than 21 inches. No
heavier line than standard 36 thread line can be used.
TACKLE SPECFICATIONS OF THE ATLANTIC
CITY TUNA CLUB, ATLANTIC CITY,
NEW JERSEY
3/6 Tackle Class: The length of the rod is to be 6 feet over all. The entire
rod cannot weigh more than 6 ounces. The line cannot be heavier than
standard 6 thread line.
Light Tackle Class: The over all length of the rod cannot be less than 64
inches. The tip cannot be less than 5 feet long and the tip cannot weigh more
than 9 ounces. The butt cannot be more than 18 inches long. The line cannot
be heavier than standard 9 thread line.
Medium Tackle Class: The over all length of the rod cannot be less than
68 inches. The tip cannot be less than 5 feet long and the tip cannot weigh
more than 12 ounces. The butt cannot be longer than 20 inches. The line
cannot be heavier than standard 15 thread line.
Heavy Tackle Class: The over all length of the rod cannot be less than
72 inches. The length of the tip cannot be less than 5 feet and the tip cannot
weigh more than 16 ounces. The length of the butt cannot be more than 22
inches. The line cannot be heavier than standard 24 thread line.
THREE

SIX TACKLE CLASS SALT WATER RODS

This is the lightest club specification rod with the exception, of course,
of some salt water fly rods and fresh water bait casting rods used on occasion
by some clubs for salt water fishing.
The "three" means three thread line or lighter must be used with this rod
and the "six" means that the entire rod cannot weigh more than 6 ounces. This
is a pretty light rod for the purposes for which it is used. These rods are used
for fishing from private or rented boats in which one or, in some cases, two
people are fishing simultaneously. The number of three six fishermen is
small, since this type of fishing, in general, is expensive and cannot be
afforded by the large majority of salt water fishermen.

Three-Six Tackle Class Bamboo Salt Water Rod


In 1907, Thomas Me. D. Potter set up some three-six tackle specifications. Variations of these are still the most widely used today. Mr. Potter
also started the Three-Six Club. This club now has become a part of the Tuna
Club of Avalon, California. Mr. Potter caught a 31 pound Tuna on three-six
equipment in 1926. All three-six tackle class specifications are not alike,
although they all are similar. Before

SALT WATER TACKLE SPECIFICATIONS

145

you build a three-six rod for a customer, be sure to check his club rules. In
order to keep a three-six rod from weighing not more than 6 ounces over all,
it must be carefully made, particularly if it is to be of any use for the fish
most often caught on these rods.
The grip should have a rubber button on the end so that the angler can
rest the button against his stomach or hold it in a leather belt socket. The end
of the grip or butt where the rubber button goes should have a "ridge" or welt
so that the rubber button will firmly stick on. If you do not make such a welt
on the end of the grip, glue the rubber button on with Silhower ferrule
cement. Three six rods are never used in metal type chair sockets as Heavy
and Extra Heavy Class tackle rods are.
The grip proper can be built up on a section of glued bamboo strips, a
section of glass tubing, or an aluminum tubing. Use much the same method
as described on such grips under bait casting rods. Cork rings or light weight
wood can be used to make the grip proper. The
grip can also be made of n
aluminum tube of a diameter
over which your reel seat will
fit tightly. Use the lightest
reel seat you can secure.
Three-six rod grip made from an
Glue the reel seat to the tube
aluminum tube and wrapped with
with Silhower ferrule cement
heavy linen fishing line
Wrap the grip surface of the
aluminum tube with heavy linen cord, fishing line, split-rattan or light split
willow. The female ferrule can be mounted in the end of the tube in many
different ways. You can turn out an aluminum sleeve on a metal lathe and
glue it into the front end of the aluminum tube with Silhower ferrule cement.
Have this tube made so that the male ferrule will fit into it, thus eliminating
the use of a conventional female ferrule altogether. You can also take a conventional female ferrule and glue a hard wood plug in the rear end with
Silhower ferrule cement. Then make a wooden plug for the front end of the
aluminum tube. Drill a hole in the wooden plug into which the female ferrule
will just barely fit, and glue it in place with Silhower ferrule cement. Pin it in
also, if you desire. Glue a rubber button onto the end of the grip with silhower
ferrule cement. Three Six class rods do not have a front grip for the simple
reason that it adds too much weight to them.
If you make the tip from bamboo use the same methods for making the
split bamboo tip for three six rods as has been described for making sections
for fly rods. The strips are planed, as far as possible, in one groove on the V
block; then they are moved to the next groove for planing the remainder of
the strip. Whether you use a bamboo or glass tip. Locate the guide positions
by the same method as described for doing this in the section on Heavy
Tackle Class rods.
Three-six rods are made by the conventional split-bamboo methods or
by laminating or are made of glass. Three-Six rods as well as Nine-six and
24-16 and 36-24 Salt Water rods, must be capable of taking a 90 degree bend.
That is, the tip must be capable of pointing with the line under strain. The
guides of a three-six rod must be mounted opposite the stiffest side.
Determine the stiff side by the same method as described for so doing on fly
rods.

146

SALT WATER TACKLE SPECIFICATIONS


LIGHT

TACKLE CLASS SALT WATER RODS


OR NINE-SIX RODS
Light Tackle Class and Nine-Six rods are the same. The "nine" means
that 9 thread line must be used with the rod and the "six" means that the tip
of the rod must not weigh more than 6 ounces. This is a greatly different rod
than a three-six rod and presents an entirely different problem to build. The
entire three-six rod can only weigh 6 ounces but on a nine-six rod the tip can
weigh up to six ounces. There are no weight limitations on the grip or butt, so
it can be made as heavy and comfortable as possible.

Light Tackle Class or Nine-Six Class Bamboo Salt Water Rod


On Nine-Six rods make the grip or butt (both mean the same) as sturdy
as possible. Use a reel seat which is as heavy and sturdy as you can buy. Salt
water reels are heavy and ruin a light weight reel seat in short order. Put a
double grip on the butt of the rod. A double grip is essential on salt water
trolling rods and is only left off the three-six rod, as before mentioned, to
save weight. The double grip on a Nine-Six rod, however, must be part of the
grip or butt. It must not be put on the tip of the rod, as all the weight allowed
must be used to add strength to the tip. A nine-six rod should have a rubber
button on the end which can be held against the stomach or held in a leather
belt socket. A metal butt cap can be put on the end of the grip which will
allow the rod to be used with a metal socket on fishing chairs. On nine-six
rods, this is more or less frowned upon by most fishermen in this class.
Do not buy a reel seat for nine-six rods that is a combination reel seat
and female ferrule. On these rods, the female ferrule must be entirely
separate from the reel seat. Make the lower large grip preferably from
hickory. Turn it on a lathe. Turn the front end of it to fit up half way into the
reel seat. Glue it into the reel seat as described under surf rods; that is, by the
'slit end and screw method". On the rear end of this grip where the rubber
button is to go, either turn a little round ridge on the extreme end or mount a
metal cap on which has a round welt. This is necessary in order to hold the
rubber button securely to the grip. You can also glue the rubber button to the
grip with Silhower ferrule cement, and it is on the rod for good. Turn another
piece of hickory to form the front grip and to fit half way into the reel seat.
Drill a hole in the front end of the front grip that will just fit your female
ferrule. Glue a small wood plug in the extreme rear end of your female
ferrule, then glue the female ferrule into the hole in the front grip. Put a grip
check or metal band of some kind around the front of the front grip. Do not
use aluminum, as salt water affects it adversely. Now glue the rear end of the
front grip into the front end of the reel seat with Silhower ferrule cement.
Now finish the grips. First give them a saturating coat of Herter's Silicone
Dry Fly Oil. Let this dry for a week. Then give the grip a coat of warmed rod
varnish. Warm it by placing the can of rod varnish in a can of hot water. Let
it dry 48 hours, and then give the grips another

SALT WATER TACKLE SPECIFICATIONS

147

coat. Let it dry again for 48 hours. Rub the varnish down nearly to the wood
with fine emery paper. Then give the grips another coat of warmed rod
varnish and let them dry another 48 hours. Now rub the rod varnish down
with a little lava stone on a wet piece of an old felt hat. Wipe the excess lava
stone off with a clean rag and give the grip a final coat of rod varnish. Both
grips on the rod may be "Checkered" just as your gun stock is checkered.
You can borrow a set of checkering tools from a gunsmith and do this
yourself, or you can have it done by a gunsmith. Give the grips another coat
of rod varnish after they have been checkered. Do not attempt to checker
grips unless they have been previously varnished. Both grips can also be
wrapped with heavy linen fishing line or any heavy cord. Start wrapping the
cord or line by carefully crossing it over on itself for a number of turns, or
drill a small hole into the grip, and cement the end into the hole. Begin the
windings at the front of the grips, and wind them toward the rear. In case you
are putting windings on a grip that is bulged or swelled in design, it is best to
wind up to the thickest part of the grip, and then to cut off the cord or line,
poke the end under the windings or tie it down securely. Then start at the
other end of the grip, wind up to this point and do the same thing. This is
done to prevent the windings from coming loose when wound over a swelled
part of the rod. After the windings are finished, give them a saturating coat of
rod varnish. Let the rod varnish dry 48 hours. If you want the grips rough
leave them with this one coat. If you want the grips smooth, keep adding
coats of rod varnish until the cord or linen is completely filled with rod
varnish. Make the tip for the rod of split bamboo, as described for Three-Six
Tackle Class rods, and put the finish on as described for finishing splitbamboo fly rods. Find the guide position by the same method as described for
so doing on heavy Tackle Class Rods.
Light Tackle Class rods are made by the conventional split bamboo
methods or by laminating, or of glass.
Light Tackle Class rods must be capable of taking a 90 degree bend
under heavy strain.
The guides on a nine-six rod must be mounted on the side opposite the
stiffest side of the rod. Determine this side by the method described for fly
rods.
HEAVY TACKLE CLASS, EXTRA HEAVY
TACKLE CLASS OR 24-16 TACKLE CLASS AND
36-24 TACKLE CLASS OF SALT WATER RODS
Heavy Tackle Class is the same as 24-16 tackle class. The "24" means
that 24 thread line or lighter must be used, and the "16" means that the rod tip
cannot weigh over 16 ounces. There are no regulations on the weight of the
butt or grip.

148

SALT WATER TACKLE SPECIFICATIONS

Extra Heavy Tackle Class or 36-24 Tackle Class mean the same thing.
The "36" means that 36 thread line or lighter must be used with the rod. The
"24" means that the tip must not weigh more than 24 ounces.
There are not many Heavy Tackle Class fishermen and still fewer of the
Extra Heavy Tackle Class. The reason for this is that the expense involved in
these classes of fishing is so high that a very limited number of men can
afford it. To enjoy this kind of fishing you either must have a power boat of
your own equipped with a fishing chair or rent one.
I will describe the making of a Heavy Tackle Class Salt Water Rod. An
Extra Heavy Tackle Class Salt water rod is identical to this Heavy Tackle
Class rod except, of course, that it is made with a heavier tip. There are no
weight regulations on the grip or butt, so make it sturdy throughout. Use the
sturdiest reel seat possible to buy, and buy one that is a combination reel seat
and female ferrule. Make the grip proper, of hickory. Turn it on a lathe and
turn the front end to fit into the reel seat. Mount the grip into the reel seat by
the "slit and screw" method described under surf rods.
Heavy Tackle Class rods are used with metal-type sockets in fishing
chairs. The metal sockets in these chairs are not all of the same type, which is
unfortunate but true.

Illustration shows the butt caps or butt ends of Heavy Tackle and Extra
Heavy Tackle Rods made to fit the various metal chair sockets. The "tapered"
butt end is also made in a slotted version. The "tapered" butt end is also
incorrectly called "gimbal" type at times. The word gimbal actually means a
contrivance for allowing a suspended object to tip freely in all directions
which, of course, applies to all of these types of butt caps or ends and not to
just one.
Ask your customer if he has his own boat with of course, his own fishing
chair equipped with special metal socket. If he does, make the end of the butt
to fit the socket. The best way is to make a butt cap on a metal lathe of
stainless steel or monel. Make it of brass or bronze if the other two are not
available. Make them hollow so they can be fitted onto the end of the hockory
butt or grip. Glue them on with Silhower ferrule cement and pin them with a
good sturdy pin of the same metal from which they are made. If your
customer does not have his own boat and intends to use his rod on many
different boats with different types of sockets in the chairs, put the straight
slotted type of butt cap on his rod as this will fit any type of metal socket. The
grip proper can be finished in any manner previously described. It can be just
varnished., it can be checkered or it can be wrapped with cord or linen fishing

SALT WATER TACKLE SPECIFICATIONS

149

line. I have described the various methods for doing this under the Light
Tackle Class Rod.
The tip of the rod is built of split bamboo or glass. If made of bamboo it
can be single built or double built. A great many of these rods are double
built as it is hard to get bamboo with thick enough walls to single build them.
Putting the guides on these rods must be done carefully, as the position
of the guides is very important to the action of the rod. The strain on the line
is imparted to the rod through the guides. It is always better on these Heavy
Tackle Class rods to have too many guides than too few. To locate the best
guide positions and the correct number of guides to use on the rod, first
mount a reel on the rod and attach at least 5 guides with heavy rubber bands
in the positions you guess to be right. Thread the line through the guides and
fasten the line to some stationary object near floor level. Now pull back on
the rod just as if you were pulling against a heavy fish. Watch the line. It
should follow the curve of the rod in a nice smooth arc. If it does not, shift
the guides around until it does. Add guides to help the arc of the line if
necessary. The more tip action or bend the rod has, the more guides you will
need in such areas. When the guides are satisfactorily placed, mark their
position on the rod with a pencil and remove them. Then put them back on
again one at a time, winding them on in the proper positions. The front grip
on Heavy Tackle Class rods and Extra Heavy Tackle Class rods is put on the
tip as the illustration shows. It can be made by just winding this area with
heavy linen fishing line or a heavy cord. Do not make it any larger or thicker
than absolutely necessary, as it will add more weight to the tip. You want all
the weight possible reserved for the bamboo in the tip. Double guides, or
guides on each side of the rod, are not used, as they add too much weight to
the tip. If the tip is made of bamboo, the strips for the tip are planed as
described for planing the strips for a three-six rod.
Both Heavy and extra Heavy Tackle Class rods must be capable of
taking a 90 degree bend under strain. The guides on these rods must be
mounted opposite the stiff side of the rods. Instructions for finding the stiffest
side of the rod are given under guides.
PIER

AND

OPEN BOAT OR BARGE SALT


WATER RODS
"Pier" and "Open Boat" or "Barge Rod" is a rod for fishing from a pier
or from a large open party boat or barge that carries numerous

fishermen. Salt water fishermen that fish in these manners make up by far the
largest number of salt water fishermen. The rods used vary a good deal but in
general the rod specifications given under Pier

150

SALT WATER TACKLE SPECIFICATIONS

and Open Boat or Barge rod in the rod specification section will be
satisfactory. You can vary them if necessary to fit local conditions.
In pier, open boat, or barge fishing a great variety of fish are caught and
a rod has to be made so it will handle to some extent at least all of these
different fish. Croaker, yellowfin, weakfish, fluke, snappers, salt water
sheephead, pollack, cod, halibut, eels, black fish, ling, kingfish, porgy, sea
bass, whiting, sand dab, barracuda and many others are all caught on such
rods.
Whether you fish from a pier, open party boat or barge it is fine sport
and you are nearly sure of coming home with some fish that
will really be choice eating. The
Montauk Fisherman's Special of
the Long Island Railroad will
carry a thousand fishermen a day
and over to Montauk, Long
Island to get on the open boats
when it is rumored they are
bitin'. 45,0d0 to 50,000 a season
now is not unheard of. There are
dozens and dozens of such
places up and down both the east
and west coast, the southern
coast, and of course on the Texas
coast.
Construct your pier and
open boat rods with split
bamboo tips or laminated tips or
glass. Follow instructions given
for this on other rods.
Make
your pier and
open boat rods sturdy. Use a
good sturdy reel seat and
comfortable
double grips.
PROPER

METHOD OF TAKING APART A ROD


WITH TIGHT FERRULES
Grasp the rod as illustration shows. Be sure that your knees are tightly
together as the illustration shows. Then put straight directional pressure on
the rod by moving your knees outward pressing them against your arms.
ODDITY
A casting lure has been thrown farther than any man has ever hit a base
ball! "Primo" Livenais cast the standard tournament surf casting lure 660 feet
and three inches to establish a world's record. That is over 220 yards! It
would be a long shot even for a deer hunter!
The rod was made by Lew Stoner, west coast rod maker. Stoner is one
of the good bamboo rod makers in the world today.
FISH WEIGHING FORMULA
Many times, when fishing, you desire to check the weight of a fish and
have no scales with you. The following formula is very accur-

SALT WATER TACKLE SPECIFICATIONS

151

ate on all types of fish, with


the exception of really flat
fish such as halibut.
Multiply the square of
the girth A in inches by the
length B in inches and divide
by 800.
Take the measurements
as follows: The girth at the
thickest
point and the length from the point of the lower jaw to the crotch of
the tail.
For example: A fish measures 38 inches in girth and 59 inches in
length. 38x38 equals 1,444 and 59x1444 equals 85,196. 85,196 divided
by 800 equals 106.49 or 106 V2 pounds. This formula, incidentally, is
used to verify reports on record fish in most cases.

WORLD RECORD SALT WATER CATCHES

153

ALBACORE
All-Tackle69 lbs., St. Helena, Atlantic Ocean, April 7, 1956, P.
Allen. 12 pound Line Test39 lbs., 8 oz., Balboa, Calif., July 23, 1958, Dr.
R. S. Rubaum. 20 pound Line Test55 lbs., 8 oz., Catalina, Calif., 1927, W.
C. De Mille. 30 pound Line Test66 lbs., 4 oz., Catalina, Calif., 1912, F.
Kelly. 50 pound Line Test32 lbs. 8 oz., San Diego, Calif., July 12, 1958,
T. A. Horner. 80 pound Line Test22 lbs., San Juan, P. R., Aug. 1, 1959,
Cy Welch.
AMBERJACK
All-Tackle120 lbs., 8 oz., Kona, Hawaii, Oct. 25, 1955, C. W.
McAlpin. 12 pound Line Test70 lbs., Pinas Bay, Panama, Dec. 29, 1956,
Wilbert Horborn. 20 pound Line Test78 lbs., N. Key Largo, Fla., William
Marshall. 30 pound Line Test93 lbs., Pinas Bay, Panama, March 4, 1957,
Edward S. Corlett, III. 50 pound Line Test112 lbs., Palm Beach, Fla.,
March 22, 1958, R. E. Morrison. 80 pound Line Test119 lbs. 8 oz., Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil, Jan. 13, 1952, C. Mello E. Cunha.
BARRACUDA
All-Tackle103 lbs., 4 oz., West End Bahamas, 1932, C. E. Benet. 12
pound Line Test42 lbs. 10 oz., Key Largo, Fla., Oct. 19, 1959, Bill
Moeser. 20 pound Line Test58 lbs., 4 oz., Craig, Fla., May 11, 1946, B. L.
Clark. 30 pound Line Test44 lbs., 12 oz., Lagos, Nigeria, June 18, 1951, J.
N. Zarpas. 50 pound Line Test83 lbs., Lagos, Nigeria, Jan. 13, 1952, K. J.
Hackett.
CALIFORNIA BLACK SEA BASS
All-Tackle514 lbs., San Clemente, Calif., Aug. 29, 1955, J. Patterson.
12 pound Line Test112 lbs., 8 oz., San Francisco Island, Mexico, June 12,
1957, D. B. Rosenthal. 20 pound Line Test247 lbs., Coronado Islands,
Mexico, June 7, 1957, James Kawooka. 30 pound Line Test306 lbs.,
Catalina, Calif., Sept. 4, 1933, S. Bagby. 50 pound Line Test366 lbs.,
Anocopa Is., Calif., Sept. 1, 1956, H. J. Tolson. 80 pound Line Test483
lbs., Coronado Is., Mexico, May 22, 1951, R. E. De Graff.
CALIFORNIA WHITE SEA BASS
All-Tackle83 lbs., 12 oz., San Felipe, Mexico, March 31, 1953, L. C.
Baumgardner. 12 pound Line Test65 lbs., Ensenado, Mexico, July 8, 1955,
C. J. Aronis. 20 pound Line Test72 lbs. Catalina, Calif., Aug. 13, 1958,
Dr. Charles Dorshkind. 50 pound Line Test 77 lbs., 4 oz., San Diego,
Calif., April 8, 1950, H. P. Bledsoe.
CHANNEL BASS
All-Tackle83 lbs., Cape Charles, Va., Aug. 5, 1949, Zack Waters, Jr.
12 pound Line Test60 lbs., 8 oz., Kill Devil Hills, N. C, Oct. 24, 1954, A.
Clark, Jr. 20 pound Line Test62 lbs., Cape Hatteras, N. C, Nov. 3, 1958,
John Twachtman. 30 pound Line Test69 lbs., 8 oz., Cape Hatteras, N. C,
Nov. 16, 1958, Jean Browning.
GIANT SEA BASS
All-Tackle551 lbs., Galveston Bay, Texas, June 29, 1937, G.
Pangarakis. 12 pound Line Test105 lbs., Florida Bay, Fla., May 9, 1954, J.
D. Pappas, Jr. 20 pound Line Test186 lbs., 4 oz., Marathon, Fla., May 15,
1955, R. H. Martin. 30 pound Line Test277 lbs., Perlos Is., Panama, Mar.
1, 1957, Edward W. Gorham. 50 pound Line Test 369 lbs., Marathon, Fla.,
April 25, 1956, C. F. Mann. 130 pound Line Test389 lbs., Marathon, Fla.,
May 8, 1955, R. H. Martin.
SEA BASS
All-Tackle8 lbs., Nantucket Sound, Mass., May 13, 1951, H. R.
Rider. 12 pound Line Test2 lbs., 12 oz., Black Is., Rhode Island, July 12,
1957, E. C. Shanks. 20 pound Line Test6 lbs., 1 oz., Sea-bright, New
Jersey, July 13, 1958, William Young. 30 pound Line Test3 lbs., 9 oz.,
Cape Canaveral, Fla., July 5, 1958, J. B. Johnson, Jr.
STRIPED BASS
All-Tackle73 lbs., Vineyard Sound, Mass., Aug. 17, 1913, C. B.
Church. 12 pound Line Test61 lbs., 10 oz., Black Island, R. I., July

154

WORLD RECORD SALT WATER CATCHES

3, 1956, L. A. Garceau. 20 pound Line Test59 lbs., Pt. Judith, R. I., Oct.
22, 1958, Antonio Bartolomucci. 30 pound Line Test57 lbs., 8 oz.,
Narragansett Bay, R. I., July 1, 1959, Barbara Craig. 80 pound Line Test56
lbs., Sandy Hook, N. J., June 7, 1955, Mrs. H. J. Sar-noski.
BLACKFISH OR TAUTOG
All-Tackle21 lbs., 6 oz., Cape May, N. J., June 12, 1954, R. N.
Sheafer. 12 pound Line Test12 lbs., Block Island, R. I., Oct. 18,
1952, D. V. Marshall. 20 pound Line Test21 lbs., Jamestown Island,
R. I., Nov. 6, 1954, C. W. Sundquist. 50 pound Line Test20 lbs. 14
oz., Newport, R. I., Oct. 20, 1955, W. R. Peckham.
BLUEFISH
All-Tackle24 lbs., 3 oz., San Miguel, Azores, Aug. 27, 1953, M. A.
da Silva Veloso. 20 pound Line Test17 lbs., 8V2 oz., Long Island Beach,
N. Y., June 6, 1959, Jack Ellis. 30 pound Line Test21 lbs., Woods Hole,
Mass., Oct. 22, 1957, Roland W. Scannel. 50 pound Line Test19 lbs.,
Nantucket, Mass., Sept. 25, 1958, S. W. Smith. 80 pound Line Test15 lbs.,
8 oz., Cape Cod, Mass., Sept. 29, 1957, Mrs. Jean Drury.
BONEFISH
All-Tackle18 lbs., 2 oz., Mana, Kauai, Hawaii, Oct. 14, 1954, Wm.
Badua. 12 pound Line Test15 lbs., Bimini, Bahamas, Feb. 7,
1953, Sam Snead. 20 pound Line Test14 lbs., Bermuda, Dec. 29,
1950, Dr. H. R. Becker. 30 pound Line Test15 lbs., Pot Cay, Ba
hamas, Nov. 24, 1957, Charles E. Daniels. 50 pound Line Test17 lbs.
8 oz., Oahu, T. H., Aug. 23, 1952, Jack Yoshida.
OCEANIC BONITO
All-Tackle39 lbs., 15 oz., Walker Cay, Bahamas, Jan. 21, 1952, F.
Drowley. 12 pound Line Test23 lbs., 7 oz., Oahu, Hawaii, Aug. 10, 1958,
R. Kagihara. 20 pound Line Test32 lbs., 8 oz., San Juan, P. R., May 23,
1959, Juan Casellas, Jr. 30 pound Line Test31 lbs., 3 oz., San Juan, P. R.,
July 16, 1955, A. Naveira. 80 pound Line Test 31 lbs. 8 oz., Miami Beach,
Fla., Jan. 8, 1949, R. Lindquist.
COBIA
All-Tackle102 lbs., Cape Charles, Va., July 3, 1938, J. E. Stans-bury.
12 pound Line Test70 lbs., Gulf of Mexico, Texas, May 13,
1955, H. A. Norris, Jr. 20 pound Line Test81 lbs., Chesapeake Bay,
Va., June 27, 1955, F. M. Tyler. 30 pound Line Test78 lbs. 12 oz.,
Panama City Beach, Fla., April 10, 1959, Jim Sullivan. 50 pound
Line Test99 lbs. Chesapeake Bay, Va., July 24, 1948, R. B. Frost,
Jr. 80 pound Line Test97 lbs., Oregon Inlet, N. C, June 4, 1952,
Mary W. Black.
COD
All-Tackle72 lbs., Rockport, Mass., Aug. 22, 1958, E. E. Belek. 12
pound Line Test55 lbs., Plum Island, Mass., July 6, 1958, W. C. Dunn. 20
pound Line Test30 lbs. 4 oz., Pt. Judith, R. I., Nov. 8, 1958, John B.
Coffey. 30 pound Line Test37 lbs., 8 oz., Balmar, N. J., Oct. 18, 1958,
Oscar S. Pokorley.
DOLPHIN
All-Tackle76 lbs., Acapulco, Mexico, Sept. 24, 1957, R. B. Stotsbery. 12 pound Line Test52 lbs., 13 oz., La Paz, Mexico, May 31,
1956, Mrs. W. G. Krieger. 20 pound Line Test52 lbs., Bimini, Ba
hamas, June 2, 1951, G. A. Bass. 30 pound Line Test59 lbs., 8 oz.,
Bimini, Bahamas, March 21, 1957, Irving Devine. 80 pound Line Test
75 lbs., 8 oz., Mafia Channel, East Africa, Dec. 10, 1950, A. ConanDoyle.
SUMMER FLOUNDER
All Tackle20 lbs. 7 oz., Long Island, N. Y., July 8, 1957, Mrs. M.
Fredricksen. 12 pound Line Test16 lbs., Beavertail, R. I., Aug. 14, 1958,
C. Martorelli. 20 pound Line Test20 lbs., Long Island, N. Y., Sept. 7,
1948, F. H. Kessel. 30 pound Line Test20 lbs., 2 oz., Montauk, N. Y.,
Sept. 20, 1958, G. F. Schwinzer.

WORLD RECORD SALT WATER CATCHES

155

BLACK DRUM
All-Tackle94 lbs., 4 oz., Cape Charles, Virginia, April 28, 1957,
James Lee Johnson. 12 pound Line Test68 lbs., Canova Beach, Fla.,
March 3, 1958, G. Miller. 20 pound Line Test70 lbs., Great Egg Harbor,
N. J., Aug. 23, 1952, P. Bessor. 30 pound Line Test92 lbs., Cambridge,
Maryland, Aug. 27, 1955, James Aaron.
KINGFISH
All-Tackle77 lbs., Bimini, Bahamas, May 12, 1957, Clinton Oiney
Potts. 12 pound Line Test52 lbs., 4 oz., Miami, Fla., April 13, 1958,H.
Marin.
30 pound Line Test58 lbs., Palm Beach, Fla., April
25, 1955, G. E. Mole. 50 pound Line Test71 lbs., Bimini, Bahamas,
June 24, 1956, B. E. Stratton. 80 pound Line Test70 lbs., 8 oz.,
Bimini, Bahamas, Mar. 5, 1947, R. C. B. Morton.
BLACK MARLIN
All-Tackle 1560 lbs., Cabo Blanco, Peru, Aug. 4, 1953, Alfred C.
Glassell, Jr. 12 pound Line Test158 lbs., 7 oz., Mazatlan, Mexico, May 9,
1953, D. B. Rosenthal. 20 pound Line Test235 lbs., Las Cruces, Mexico,
May 8, 1956, J. F. Leopold. 30 pound Line Test 552 lbs., La Plata Island,
Ecuador, July 3, 1953, Mrs. W. G. Krieger. 50 pound Line Test501 lbs.,
Acapulco, Mexico, June 25, 1952, Mrs. M. Wetherby. 80 pound Line Test
834 lbs., Cabo Blanco, Peru, Aug. 19, 1954, B. E. Devers.
BLUE MARLIN
All-Tackle780 lbs., San Juan, P. R., July 1, 1959, Eric Widdow-son.
12 pound Line Test130 lbs., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., June 8, 1959, John
Latrobe. 20 pound Line Test401 lbs., Bimini, Bahamas, June 9, 1959,P. J.
Serrales, Jr.
30 pound Line Test480 lbs., Bimini, Ba
hamas, July 23, 1949, G. A. Lyon, Sr. 50 pound Line Test521 lbs.,
San Juan, P. R., Oct. 13, 1959, Juan Casellas, Jr.
PACIFIC BLUE MARLIN
All-Tackle1002 lbs., Honolulu, Hawaii. Nov. 13, 1954, George L.
Parker, Jr. 30 pound Line Test150 lbs., Pinas Bay, Panama, Sept. 18, 1959,
J. Lee Cuddy. 50 pound Line Test217 lbs., 12 oz., Oahu, Hawaii, Sept. 16,
1959, Roger Martin. 80 pound Line Test 444 lbs., Kona, Hawaii, Aug. 29,
1959, George Woller.
SILVER MARLIN
All-Tackle911 lbs., Kana, Hawaii, Nov. 16, 1957, Dale Scott. 20
pound Line Test44 lbs., Acapulco, Mexico, Oct. 31, 1949, Dr. Phil
Carboy. 50 pound Line Test209 lbs., Pinas Bay, Panama, March 17, 1954,
S. L. Tarian. 80 pound Line Test466 lbs., Cocas Pt., Panama, Nov. 28,
1958, Paul M. Fletcher.
STRIPED MARLIN
All-Tackle692 lbs., Balboa, Calif., Aug. 18, 1931, A. Hamann. 12
pound Line Test227 lbs., 8 oz., Las Cruces, Mexico, June 21, 1956, R. M.
Anderson. 20 pound Line Test331 lbs., Cape Brett, New Zealand, March
16, 1954, C. Harold Hopkins. 30 pound Line Test425 lbs., Tocopilla,
Chile, May 8, 1941, S. K. Farrington, Jr. 50 pound Line Test402 lbs.,
Tocopilla, Chile, Oct. 13, 1940, W. E. S. Tuker.
WHITE MARLIN
All-Tackle161 lbs., Miami Beach, Fla., March 20, 1938, L. F.
Hooper. 12 pound Line Test122 lbs., Bimini, Bahamas, March 30, 1953,
Dorothy A. Curtice. 20 pound Line Test120 lbs., 8 oz., Bimini, Bahamas,
April 25, 1953, G. O. Wiggni- 30 pound Line Test130 lbs., 4 oz., Bimini,
Bahamas, April 18, 1959, Leonard Hendrix. 50 pound Line Test159 lbs., 8
oz., Pampano Beach, Fla., April 25, 1953, W. E. Johnson.
PERMIT
All-Tackle42 lbs., 4 oz., Boca Grande, Fla., Sept. 11, 1953, R. H.
Martin. 20 pound Line Test41 lbs., Islamorado, Fla., April 18,

156

WORLD RECORD SALT WATER CATCHES

1951, E. J. Arnold. 30 pound Line Test39 lbs., 8 oz., Bimini, Bahamas,


March 3, 1947, E. T. Ragsdale. 50 pound Line Test40 lbs., 4 oz., Juno
Beach, Fla., Sept. 22, 1951, O. Booker. 80 pound Line Test34 lbs., 8 oz.,
Naples, Fla., Feb. 1, 1951, R. R. Channel.
POLLACK
All-Tackle40 lbs., Rockport, Mass., Aug. 18, 1958, W. Church, Jr. 12
pound Line Test24 lbs., 7 oz., Race Point, R. I., April 24, 1954, A. Borino.
20 pound Line Test27 lbs., Blanche, N. S., Aug. 25, 1954, Cecil Griffith.
30 pound Line Test36 lbs., Montauk, N. Y., May 28, 1957, William E.
Davis.
ROOSTER FISH
All-Tackle100 lbs., Cabo Blanco, Peru, Jan. 12, 1954, M. Barrenechea. 12 pound Line Test50 lbs., Loreto, Mexico, Sept. 6, 1954, M.
Levy, Jr. 20 pound Line Test48 lbs., Las Cruees, Mexico, May 22, 1958,
Mrs. D. R. Erickson. 30 pound Line Test76 lbs. Acapulco, Mexico, Feb.
16, 1958, R. G. Wolff. 50 pound Line Test85 lbs., 2 oz., La Paz, Mexico,
Nov. 24, 1956, Mrs. Esther Carle. 80 pound Line Test77 lbs., La Paz,
Mexico, Nov. 21, 1957, G. W. Chambers.
ATLANTIC SAILFISH
All-Tackle123 lbs., Walker Cay, Bahamas, April 25, 1950, H. Teetor.
12 pound Line Test83 lbs., 6 oz., Carayaco, Venezuela, July 17, 1958, C.
Iturriza Guillen. 20 pound Line Test78 lbs., Guanto, Venezuela, Oct. 23,
1948, Mrs. F. J. Woodsmall. 30 pound Line Test92 lbs., 8 oz., Miami, Fla.,
May 14, 1958, B. T. Fitzpatrick. 80 pound Line Test106 lbs., Miami
Beach, Fla., 1929, W. Bonnell.
PACIFIC SAILFISH
All-Tackle221 lbs., Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos Island Feb. 12,
1947, C. W. Stewart. 12 pound Line Test159 lbs., Pinas Bay, Panama, July
23, 1957, J. Frank Baxter. 20 pound Line Test 158 lbs., Santa Cruz Island,
Galapagos, March 4, 1955, A. Hall. 30 pound Line Test198 lbs., La Paz,
Mexico, Aug. 23, 1957, Charles Kelly. 80 pound Line Test198 lbs.,
Mazatlan, Mexico, Nov. 10, 1954, G. H. Anglen.
SAWFISH
All-Tackle736 lbs., Galveston, Texas, Sept. 4, 1938, G. Pan-garakis.
12 pound Line Test40 lbs., Islamorada, Fla., May 6, 1959, Ernest R.
Braun, Jr., 50 pound Line Test268 lbs., 4 oz., Fort Amador, Canal Zone,
Oct. 22, 1959, Jack Wagner.
BLUE SHARK
All-Tackle334 lbs., Montauk, N. Y., Aug. 27, 1958, J. Ducie-wicz. 12
pound Line Test169 lbs., Montauk, New York, June 24, 1959, James F.
Baldwin. 20 pound Line Test218 lbs., 2 oz., Montauk, N. Y., July 22,
1958, M. B. Mittleman. 30 pound Line Test284 lbs., 8 oz., Montauk, N.
Y., Aug. 11, 1959, Jacqueline Mittleman. 80 pound Line Test144 lbs., 8
oz., Looe, England, July 30, 1959, Patricia Mc-Kim.
MAKO SHARK
All-Tackle1,000 lbs., Mayor Island, New Zealand, March 14, 1943,
B. D. H. Ross. 12 pound Line Test261 lbs., 11 oz., Montauk, N. Y., Oct. 1,
1953, C. R. Mayer. 20 pound Line Test242 lbs., 12 oz., Montauk, L. I.,
New York, July 12, 1958, M. G. Mittleman. 30 pound Line Test322 lbs.,
Elbreon, N. J., Aug. 25, 1952, W. J. Mahan. 50 pound Line Test683 lbs.,
12 oz., Montauk, L. I., New York, Aug. 10, 1956, R. P. Alex. 80 pound Line
Test745 lbs., Shin-necock Inlet, N. Y., Oct. 8, 1946, H. Hinrichs.
MAN EATER OR WHITE SHARK
All-Tackle2536 lbs., Denial Bay, Australia, April 11, 1955, A. Dean.
12 pound Line Test66 lbs., Acapulco, Mexico, Oct. 26, 1951, Dr. Phil
Corboy. 20 pound Line Test1068 lbs., Cape Moretin, Aus-

WORLD RECORD SALT WATER CATCHES

157

tralia, June 18, 1957, Robert Dyer. 30 pound Line Test1053 Cape
Moreton, Australia, June 13, 1957, Robert Dyer. 50 pound Line Test 1876
lbs., Cape Moreton, Australia, Aug. 6, 1955, R. Dyer. 80
pound Line Test2071 lbs., Cape Donnington, Australia, Jan. 9, 1952, J.
Veitch.
PORBEAGLE SHARK
All-Tackle271 lbs., Looe, Cornwall, England, Aug. 18, 1957, Mrs.
Hetty Eathorne. 12 pound Line Test66 lbs., Montauk, N. Y., June 8, 1958,
M. H. Merrill. 20 pound Line Test81 lbs., 14 oz., Montauk, L. I., New
York, June 8, 1956, H. Edelman. 80 pound Line Test260 lbs., Durban,
South Africa, Feb. 5, 1949, J. L. Daniel.
THRESHER SHARK
All-Tackle922 lbs., Bay of Islands, New Zealand, March 21, 1937, W.
W. Dowding. 12 pound Line Test92 lbs., 8 oz., Long Beach, Calif., Dec.
12, 1959, D. F. Marsh. 20 pound Line Test81 lbs., 8 oz., Santa Cruz,
Calif., Aug. 2, 1958, E. G. Volpe. 30 pound Line Test 145 lbs,
Simonstown, S. Africa, April 6, 1953, R. W. Wack. 50 pound Line Test
338 lbs., Port Stephens, Australia, Mar. 2, 1957, G. Partridge. 80 pound Line
Test315 lbs., Manly, Australia, Aug. 24, 1958, C. L. Downie.
TIGER SHARK
All-Tackle1422 lbs., Cape Moreton, Australia, July 20, 1958, J. H.
Robinson. 20 pound Line Test341 lbs., Cape Moreton, Australia, July 6,
1957, Robert Dyer. 30 pound Line Test362 lbs., Cape Moreton, Australia,
July 6, 1957, Robert Dyer. 50 pound Line Test 1018 lbs., Cape Moreton,
Australia, June 12, 1957, Robert Dyer. 80 pound Line Test1305 lbs.,
Coogee Wide, Sidney, Australia, May 17, 1959, Samuel Jamieson.
SNOOK OR ROBALO
All-Tackle50 lbs. 8 oz., Gatun Spillway, Panama, Jan. 2, 1944, J. W.
Anderson. 12 pound Line Test 37 lbs., Boynton Black, Fla., June 18,
1959, Durling Drake. 20 pound Line Test37 lbs., Palm Beach, Fla., April
28, 1958, J. J. McDonald. 30 pound Line Test43 lbs., Lake Worth, Fla.,
May 18, 1952, L. K. Spencer. 50 pound Line Test49 lbs., 8 oz., Marco,
Fla., June 13, 1926, L. S. Caine. 80 pound Line Test37 lbs., Lake Worth,
Fla., July 28, 1959, James P. Nora.
SWORDFISH
All-Tackle1182 lbs., Iquique, Chile, May 7, 1953, L. Marron. 30
pound Line Test365 lbs., Catalina, Calif., 1928, L. W. Jump. 50 pound
Line Test444 lbs., Pompano Beach, Fla., April 27, 1951, F. J. Fleming. 80
pound Line Test722 lbs., Iquique, Chile, June 7, 1954, Mrs. L. Marron.
TARPON
All-Tackle283 lbs., Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela, March 19, 1956, M.
Salazar. 12 pound Line Test144 lbs., Marathon, Fla., May 19, 1955, A. L.
Mackie. 20 pound Line Test158 lbs., 8 oz., New Orleans, La., Aug. 23,
1958, J. J. Lincoln. 50 pound Line Test242 lbs., 4 oz., Cienoga Ayapel,
Colombia, Jan. 7, 1955, A. Salazar. 80 pound Line Test214 lbs., 12 oz.,
Lagos, Nigeria, Jan. 26, 1953, J. N. Zarpas.
ALLISON OR YELLOWFIN TUNA
All-Tackle265 lbs., Makua, Hawaii, July 31, 1937, J. W. Harvey. 12
pound Line Test51 lbs., 14 oz., Bermuda, Dec. 29, 1957, R. J. Gibbons. 20
pound Line Test145 lbs., Sydney, Australia, April 4, 1959, Robert Dyer.
30 pound Line Test185 lbs., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Nov. 29, 1957, Frank R.
King. 50 pound Line Test198 lbs., Arrecifes, Venezuela, July 29, 1956, F.
Benarroch. 80 pound Line Test265 lbs., Makua, Hawaii, July 31, 1937, J.
W. Harvey.

158

WORLD RECORD SALT WATER CATCHES

ATLANTIC BIG EYED TUNA


All-Tackle209 lbs., 6 oz., Madeira, Spain, Sept. 24, 1954, A. A. Dos
Dantos Ribeiro. 20 pound. Line Test46 lbs., N. Key Largo, Fla., Jan. 17,
1959, Dorothea Dean. 50 pound Line Test167 lbs., Miami Beach, Fla., Jan.
18, 1957, Jerry Mills. 80 pound Line Test155 lbs. 8 oz., St. Helena,
Atlantic Ocean, Aug. 1, 1957, Trevor G. Derry.
PACIFIC BIG EYED TUNA
All-Tackle435 lbs., Cabo Blanco, Peru, April 17, 1957, Dr. Russel V.
A. Lee. 20 pound Line Test27 lbs., Cabo Blanco, Peru, Aug. 13, 1955,
Mrs. O. Owings. 30 pound Line Test13 lbs., Cabo Blanca, Peru, tie Jan.
24, 1959, Mrs. Thomas Sherwood and Jan. 21, 1959, Beulah Laidlow. 50
pound Line Test41 lbs., Cabo Blanco, Peru, Sept. 12, 1958, D. J. S.
Marten. 80 pound Line Test335 lbs., Cabo Blanco, Peru, Mar. 25, 1953,
Mrs. Wendell Anderson, Jr.
BLACKFIN TUNA
All-Tackle44 lbs., 8 oz., Capetown, South Africa, Jan. 27, 1957, G. B.
Mercario. 12 pound Line Test29 lbs., 12 oz., Hout Bay, South Africa, Jan.
6, 1957, H. S. Newman. 20 pound Line Test 25 lbs., 8 oz., Bermuda, Aug.
30, 1958, G. H. Becker, Jr. 30 pound Line Test27 lbs., 8 oz., Bermuda,
Aug. 13, 1958, E. R. Field. 50 pound Line Test27 lbs., Bermuda, June 8,
1958, J. De Coute. 80 pound Line Test37 lbs., Capetown, South Africa,
Jan. 27, 1957, F. D. Derman.
BLUEFIN TUNA
All-Tackle977 lbs., St. Ann Bay, Nova Scotia, Sept. 4, 1950, D. Mel.
Hodgson. 12 pound Line Test52 lbs., 8 oz., Mt. Greenly, Sydney,
Australia, Feb. 24, 1953, G. R. Cowell. 20 pound Line Test 114 lbs., 8 oz.,
Montauk, N. Y., July 25, 1959, Mundy I. Peale. 30 pound Line Test145
lbs., 8 oz., Catalina, Calif., Sept. 1, 1919, J. W. Jump. 50 pound Line Test
518 lbs., Bimini, Bahamas, May 13, 1950, Mrs. G. A. Bass. 80 pound Line
Test880 lbs., Wedgeport, Nova Scotia, Sept. 14, 1941, J. Carpenter.
WAHOO
All-Tackle136 lbs., East Boynton Inlet, Fla., April 8, 1955, R. J.
Geyer.
12 pound Line Test64 lbs., 8 oz., Exuma, Bahamas, April
12,1958, Mrs. Anne Archbold.
20 pound Line Test67 lbs., 8 oz.,
Miami Beach, Fla., Dec. 11, 1935, J. Dunham. 30 pound Line Test
85 lbs., Exuma, Bahamas, Feb. 6, 1956, E. A. Wanklyn. 50 pound
Line Test100 lbs., Fowey Rock, Fla., June 20, 1956, G. Weiss.
WEAKFISH
All-Tackle17 lbs., 8 oz., Mullica River, N. J., Sept. 30, 1944, A.
Weisbecker, Jr. 12 pound Line Test9 lbs., 3% oz., Ocean City, Md., May
26, 1954, R. Gilbert. 20 pound Line Test8 lbs., 12 oz., Ocean City, Md.,
June 2, 1951, P. V. Mumford. 30 pound Line Test 10 lbs., 10 oz., Fire
Island Light, N. Y., Sept. 20, 1951, J. E. Bailey.
SPOTTED WEAKFISH
All-Tackle15 lbs., 3 oz., Ft. Pierce, Fla., Jan. 13, 1949, C. W.
Hubbard. 12 pound Line Test13 lbs., 4 oz., Cocoa, Fla., March
13,1957, R. L. Fink. 20 pound Line Tes1^-13 lbs., 12 oz., Vero
Beach, Fla., March 11, 1957, W. Miller Shaw, Jr. 30 pound Line Test
14 lbs., Lake Worth, Fla., Feb. 9, 1946, R. N. Rose.
YELLOWTAIL
All-Tackle105 lbs., 12% oz., Topolobampo, Mexico, April 30, 1955,
M. A. Yant. 12 pound Line Test40 lbs., Bayley*s Beach, New Zealand,
Aug. 4, 1957, L. G. Skudder. 20 pound Line Test57% lbs., Catalina, Calif,
1915, E. G. Hauser. 30 pound Line Test62 lbs., 8 oz., La Jolla, Calif., June
6, 1953, G. L. Willett. 80 pound Line Test90 lbs., La Paz, Mexico, June
25, 1948, F. Hickey.

CHAPTER XVI.
SELLING FISHING TACKLE
The average person erroneously believes that fishing tackle, including
fishing rods, carry an enormous mark-up or profit for the maker. He buys a
rod for $10.00 and thinks "My, but I'd like to sell this rod for $10.00 a crack.
The guy making these rods certainly must be on easy street." This is usually
far from true.
Here is the true discount set-up or profit break-down on fishing rods.
First the manufacturer has to give the jobber at least a discount of 50% plus
10% from the list or retail price of the rod. This brings the price that the
manufacturer gets for the rod down to $4.50. Out of this he has to pay office
and plant overhead and advertising costs, which will run 50c a rod and over.
If he has a factory representative or a salesman sell the jobber the rods, he
must pay the representative 10% of the $4.50 he receives for each rod. This is
45c. $4.50 less 45c and 50c is $3.55. Labor and material must still be
deducted from the $3.55. The jobber, in turn, sells the rod to a regular
hardware or retail store for as little as 33 % off from the list or retail price,
to exclusive sporting goods stores at 40 % off and to his largest accounts at
50% off. Large chain stores and large mail order houses, demand 50% and
10% off from the manufacturer, just as the jobber does.
There are three ways to sell fishing rods; first, to the jobber or large
chain store or mail order house, giving them the big discount and the large
profit; second, to the retail stores with less discount but, of course, with more
selling expense, plus risk of poor credit; third, direct to the fisherman,
himself, through the mails on a cash or C. O. D. basis.
By any of these methods, it is anything but an easy job, and a volume
cannot be built up in less than several year's time, at best. There is no get rich
quick method in the rod building business, as many have learned through sad
experience.
Do not expect miracles from a few advertisements in outdoor
magazines. Unless you have a really remarkable value to offer, such ads will
rarely pay their cost. To make magazine ads pay, you must first have an
illustrated catalog or circular ready to mail out when you receive inquiries
from your ad. It should contain as many types of rods as possible so that,
regardless of the various types of rods preferred in different localities, you
have some rods to offer them. Do not try to concentrate on only one or two
rods, as your chances of success are small. Always list both high and low
priced items. The low priced rods give you volume and help reduce your
overhead. The high priced rods eventually will bring you perhaps as much
volume, but it is harder to build up volume in the high priced rod field. In
starting out, try the classified ads in outdoor magazines, and have a good
folder or catalog to send out upon inquiry. This is the most inexpensive way
to get started, and it is the best way to pick up the tricks of the trade. It is not
only pure foolishness, but also a waste, to spend money on advertising and
then have only a cheap unimpressive folder to send out.
There are really only two big things necessary to build up a going rod
making concern. The first is a willingness to put in long hours yourself for at
least several years, with little compensation, in order to get the business
started. The second is to use whatever money the

160

SELLING FISHING TACKLE

business makes to enlarge and build it up. Take just as little out of the
business as you possibly can for as many years as possible. If you do not
follow this latter rule your business will never grow rapidly. Someone else,
who is willing to give up things in order to build up his business for the
future, will get started and prove too strong in competition against you.
A further word relative to selling retail stores. This is an expensive and
dangerous undertaking. What always surprises the beginner in business is
that only a small percentage of merchants pay their bills promptly, a large per
cent of them not at all or over a very long period of time.
Stores that are at all questionable must be dealt with on a cash on
delivery basis. Unless you have a Dunn and Bradstreet credit book which
shows the stores that pay their bills and those which must be shipped C. O.
D., you are bound to be ruined by slow and poor credit.
Success in the rod business, or any other business for that matter, is, as
our famous Thomas Edison once truly said, "One per cent inspiration and
ninety-nine per cent perspiration."
Have rod work done on a piece work basis when ever possible so that
your costs can be accurately figured.

CHAPTER X V I I .
TESTED

S P E C F IC A T IO N S
FOR
BAM BOO RODS

SPLIT

162

TESTED SPECIFICATIONS FOR BAMBOO RODS

TESTED SPECIFICATIONS FOR BAMBOO RODS

163

6 FOOT2 PIECE6 STRIP


(counting detachable handle.)
Measurements taken from a Heddon Rod Model, courtesy of Don E.
West.

164

TESTED SPECIFICATIONS FOR BAMBOO RODS

Butt Section 12 inch


detachable handle
Tip Section
Tip section is to be 61 inches long including seated male ferrule. The extra
inch will be lost when rod is jointed.

STIFF

ACTION

CASTING

ROD 6 FOOT2

PIECE5 STRIP
This is an excellent rod for all around plug casting and highly
recommended.

TESTED SPECIFICATIONS FOR BAMBOO RODS


HAROLD C. HOLLIS CASTING ROD
OUNCE AND 1/4 OUNCE PLUGS
BASS FISHING

FOR
FOR

165
3/8

6 FOOT 2 INCHES2 PIECE6 STRIP


Courtesy of H. C. Hollis, noted author. This rod was made by Mr.
Hollis.
Rod can be made with or without detachable handle. On the rod of Mr.
Hollis, the cork grip and reel seat are 9 inches long, and the cork grip,
alone, is 4 inches long.
Measurements are given for the rod with undetachable handle; that is,
the bamboo runs down through the grip and reel seat.
Butt Section
Butt section is to be 37.50 inches long including the empty seat of the
female ferrule. The bamboo will be only 36.50 inches long. The extra inch
will be gained by the empty seat of the female ferrule.
end
6"
1'
I'
2'
2'
36.50"
.219
.219
.219
.139
.130^
.125
.117
(15/64 female ferrule)
Tip Section
Tip section is to be 37.50 inches long.
nd
3"
8"
1' 2"
1' 8"
2' 2"
2' 8" 37.50"
.117
.103
.090
.085
.074
.065 .053
.047
(15/64 male ferrule)
(6/64 top)
Line recommended: 4 pound test. With this rod, such a line will take
any fresh water bass if properly handled. A heavier line can be used with the
rod if desired.
If detachable handles are desired on any of the above listed rods with
undetachable handles, measure the detachable handle and cut that distance,
minus one inch, off the butt of the rod. For example, if the detachable handle
measures 10 inches cut off 9 inches off the butt of the rod. The extra inch is
to allow for the seating of the male ferrule that must be attached to the butt of
the bamboo.

FLY RODS
BASS BUG OR STREAMER FLY ROD
9 FOOT3 PIECE6 STRIP
Can be made lighter by making Butt Section hollow.
Butt Section
Butt section is to be 36.583 inches long including the empty seat of the
female ferrule. The bamboo will be only 35.583 inches long. The extra inch
will be gained by the empty seat of the female ferrule.
end
6"
1'
1'
2'
2'
35.583"
.204
.204
.204
.180
.172
.1641/2
.156
(20/64 female ferrule)
Middle Section
Middle section is to be 36.583 inches long including the empty seat of
the female ferrule. The bamboo will be only 35.833 inches

166

TESTED SPECIFICATIONS FOR BAMBOO RODS

long. The extra 3/4 inch will be gained by the empty seat of the female ferrule.
end
6"
1'
1'
2'
2'
35.833"
.156
.154
.149
.141
.126
.118
.110
(20/64 male ferrule)
(14/64 female ferrule)
Tip Section
Tip section is to be 36.583 inches long.
end
.6"
1'
l'
.110
.094
.086
.079
(14/64 male ferrule)

2'
.071

2'
.055

36.583"
.047
(-6/64 top)

BASS BUG STREAMER AND SALMON


DRY FLY ROD CANADIAN MODEL
9 FOOT3 PIECE6 STRIP
Butt Section
Butt section is to be 36.583 inches long including the empty seat of the
female ferrule. The bamboo will only be 35.583 inches long. The extra inch
will be gained by the empty seat of the female ferrule.

Middle Section
Middle section is to be 36.583 inches long including the empty seat of
the female ferrule. The bamboo will be only 35.833 inches long. The extra
3/4 inch will be gained by the empty seat of the female ferrule.

DOUBLE

GRIP

SALMON

DRY

FLY

ROD

11 FOOT3 PIECE6 STRIP


Butt Section
Butt section is to be 44 inches long including the empty seat of
the female ferrule. The bamboo will be only 43.50 inches long. The
extra inch will be gained by the empty seat of the female ferrule,
end
7"
13"
19"
25"
31"
37"
43.50"
.230
.230
.230
.230
.222
.212
.200
.188
(24/64 female ferrule)
Middle Section
Middle section is to be 44 inches long including the empty seat of the
female ferrule. The bamboo will be only 43.50 inches long.

TESTED SPECIFICATIONS FOR BAMBOO RODS

167

The extra inch will be gained by the empty seat of the female ferrule.
end
7"
13"
19"
25"
31"
37"
43.50"
.188
.185
.180
.174
.164
.154
.144
.133
(24/64 male ferrule)
(17/64 female ferrule)
Tip Section
Tip section is to be 44 inches long.
end
7"
13"
19"
25"
31"
37"
.133
.129
.123
.113
.102
.091
.080
(17/64 male ferrule)
(9/64
The above rod is to be equipped with two seven inch cork
with a 3/4 inch reel seat between the two grips.
CROSS

BASS

BUG

R O DS T I F F

LIGHT

44"
.070
top)
grips

ACTION

81/2 FOOT3 PIECE6 STRIP


These measurements are by the courtesy of Harold C. Hollis,
famed fishing author and without question one of the greatest fishermen America has ever had. This is his favorite bass rod and, coming
from him, it means something. This rod is also excellent for dry fly
fishing.
Butt Section
Butt section is to be 34.583 inches long including the empty seat
of the female ferrule. The bamboo will be only 33.583 inches long.
The extra inch will be gained by the empty seat of the female ferrule.
end
5"
10"
16"
22"
28"
33.583"
.183
.183
.168
.153
.150
.145
.141
(18/64 female ferrule)
Middle Section
Middle section is to be 34.583 inches long including the empty
seat of the female ferrule. The bamboo will be only 33.833 inches
long. The extra 3/4 inch will be gained by the empty seat of the
female ferrule.
end
5"
10"
16"
22"
28"
33.833"
.141
.139
.129
.127
.121
.114
.110
(18/64 male ferrule)
(14/64 female ferrule)
Tip Section
Tip section is to be 34.583 inches long.
end
5"
10"
16"
22"
28"
34.583"
.110
.086
.075
.069
.061
.048
.039
(14/64 male ferrule)
(5/64 top)
Rod has a stripping guide on butt section 19 inches from the
cork grip and four snake guides on the middle section spaced 11, 9,
71/2, 71/2 inches center to center starting from the stripping guide
with rod assembled. Tip has 5 snake guides spaced from the last
guide on middle section with rod assembled 7 1/2, 6 1/4, 6 1/4, 5 7/8, and 5 1/2
inches.
Cork grip on this rod is 8 inches long. Rod will handle an HDH
line or heavier.

168

T E S T E D S P E C IF IC A T IO N S F O R B A M B O O R O D S
BASS

BUG
OR
STREAM ER
FLY
VERY
S T IF F
A C T IO N

ROD

9 F O O T 3 P IE C E 5 S T R IP
B u tt S e c tio n
B u tt s e c tio n is t o b e 3 6 .5 8 3 in c h e s lo n g in c lu d in g th e e m p t y s e a t
o f t h e f e m a l e f e r r u le . T h e b a m b o o w i l l b e o n l y 3 5 .5 8 3 i n c h e s l o n g .
T h e e x tr a in c h w ill b e g a in e d b y th e e m p t y s e a t o f th e fe m a le fe r r u le .
end
6"
1'
11/2'
2'
2 1 /z'
3 5 .5 8 3 "
.202
.202
.202
.178
.170
.162
.149
(1 9 /6 4 f e m a le f e rru le )
M i d d l e S e c t io n
M id d le s e c tio n is to b e 3 6 .5 8 3 in c h e s lo n g in c lu d in g th e e m p ty
s e a t o f th e fe m a le fe rru le . T h e b a m b o o w ill b e o n ly 3 5 .8 3 3 in c h e s
lo n g . T h e e x tr a 3 /4 i n c h w il l b e g a in e d b y t h e e m p t y s e a t o f th e f e m a l e
ferru le.
end
6"
1'
1 1 /2 '
2'
21/2"
3 5 .8 3 3 "
.149
.147
.139
.139
.131
.116
.102
(1 9 /6 4 m a le ferru le)
(1 3 /6 4 f e m a le f erru le)
T ip S e c tio n
T ip s e c tio n is to b e 3 6 .5 8 3 in c h e s lo n g .
end
6"
1'
1 1 /2 '
2'
.102
.092
.084
.069
.061
(1 3 /6 4 m a le fe rru le )

BASS

BUG

ROD

S T I F F

2 1 /2 '
.053

3 6 .5 8 3 "
.047
(6 /6 4 to p )

A C T IO N

9 F O O T 3 P IE C E 5 S T R IP W e igh s
a p p r o x i m a t e l y 6 o u n c e s w i t h H e r t e r 's a c c e s s o r i e s .
B u tt S e c tio n
B u tt s e c tio n is to b e 3 6 .5 8 3 in c h e s lo n g in c lu d in g th e e m p ty s e a t
o f th e fe m a le fe rru le . T h e b a m b o o w ill b e o n ly 3 5 .5 8 3 in c h e s lo n g .
T h e e x tra in c h w ill b e g a in e d b y th e e m p ty s e a t o f th e f e m a le f e rru le ,
end
6"
1'
11/2
2'
2 1 /2'
3 5 .5 8 3 "
.190
.190
.190
.190
.185
.176
.164
(2 1 /6 4 fe m a le fe rru le )
M i d d l e S e c t io n
M id d le s e c tio n is to b e 3 6 .5 8 3 in c h e s lo n g in c lu d in g th e e m p ty
se a t o f th e fe m a le fe rru le . T h e b a m b o o w ill b e o n ly 3 5 .8 3 3 in c h e s
lo n g . T h e e x tra 3 /4 in c h w ill b e g a in e d b y th e e m p ty s e a t o f th e
fe m a le ferru le.
end
6"
1'
1 1 /2 '
2'
2 1 /2 '
3 5 .8 3 3 "
.164
.152
.144
.135
.127
.119
.109
(2 1 /6 4 m a le f e rru le )
(1 4 /6 4 f e m a le f e rru le )
T ip S e c tio n
T ip s e c tio n is to b e 3 6 .5 8 3 in c h e s lo n g .
end
6"
1'
l1/2
2'
.109
.100
.088
.076
.065
(1 4 /6 4 m a le ferru le)

21/2'
.055

3 6 .5 8 3 "
.0 47
(6 /6 4 to p )

T E S T E D S P E C IF IC A T IO N S F O R B A M B O O R O D S
DRY

FLY

ROD

S T IF F

169

A C T IO N

9 F O O T 3 P IE C E 5 S T R IP
B u tt S e c tio n
B u tt s e c tio n is to b e 3 6 .5 8 3 in c h e s lo n g in c lu d in g th e e m p t y s e a t o f
th e f e m a le f e r r u l e . T h e b a m b o o w i l l b e o n l y 3 5 . 5 8 3 i n c h e s l o n g . T h e
e x tr a in c h w ill b e g a in e d b y th e e m p t y s e a t o f th e f e m a le f e r r u le .
end
6"
1'
1 1 /2 '
2'
21/2
35.58 3 "
.201
.201
.193
.169
.161
.154
.149
( 1 9 /6 4 f e m a le f e r r u le )
M id d le S e c tio n
M i d d l e s e c t i o n i s to b e 3 6 .5 8 3 i n c h e s l o n g i n c l u d i n g t h e
se a t o f th e fe m a le fe rru le . T h e b a m b o o w ill b e o n ly 3 5 .8 3 3
lo n g . T h e e x tra 3 /4 in c h w ill b e g a in e d b y th e e m p ty se a t
f e m a le f e r r u le .
end
6"
1'
1 1 /2 '
2'
2 1 /2 '
.149
.138
.130
.123
.115
.107
(1 9 /6 4 m a le fe rru le )
(1 2 /6 4 fe m a le
T ip S e c tio n T ip
s e c tio n is to b e 3 6 .5 8 3 in c h e s lo n g .
en d
6"
1'
1 1 /2 '
2'
.094
.083
.076
.068
.052
(1 2 /6 4 m a le fe r ru le )

L IG H T

S T IF F

DRY

FLY

2 1 /2 '
.042

e m p ty
in c h e s
o f th e
35 .8 33 "
.094
fe r ru le )

36 .5 83 "
.039
( 5 /6 4 to p )

ROD

9 F O O T 3 P IE C E 6 S T R IP
B u tt S e c tio n
B u tt s e c tio n is to b e 3 6 .5 8 3 in c h e s lo n g in c lu d in g th e e m p t y s e a t o f
th e f e m a le f e r r u l e . T h e b a m b o o w i l l b e o n l y 3 5 .5 8 3 i n c h e s l o n g . T h e
e x tr a in c h w ill b e g a in e d b y th e e m p t y s e a t o f th e f e m a le f e r r u le .
en d
5 1 /2 "
1 1 1 /2 "
1 7 1 /2 "
2 3 1 /2 "
2 9 1 /2 "
3 5 .5 8 3 "
.173
.173
.173
.172
.166
.153
.142
(1 8 /6 4 fe m a le fe rru le )
M id d le S e c tio n
M i d d le s e c ti o n i s t o b e 3 6 . 5 8 3 i n c h e s lo n g in c l u d in g th e e m p t y s e a t
o f th e fe m a le fe rru le . T h e b a m b o o w ill b e o n ly 3 5 .8 3 3 in c h e s lo n g . T h e
e x t r a 3 / 4 i n c h e s w i l l b e g a i n e d b y t h e e m p t y s e a t o f th e fe m a le f e rr u le .
end
5 3/4"
113 /4 "
1 7 1 /2 "
2 3 1 /2 "
2 9 3 /4 "
3 5 .8 3 3 "
.142
.139
.136
.129
.116
.104
.094
(1 8/6 4 m ale ferrule)
(1 2/6 4 fe m ale ferru le)
T ip S e ctio n T ip
s e c tio n is to b e 3 6 .5 8 3 in c h e s lo n g .
end
6 1 /2 "
1 2 1 /2 "
1 8 1 /2 "
2 4 1 /2 "
.094
.090
.085
.077
.067
(1 2 /6 4 m ale ferru le)

3 0 1 /2 "
.050

3 6 .5 8 3 "
.039
(5 /6 4 to p )

170

TESTED SPECIFICATIONS FOR BAMBOO RODS


L IG H T

S T IF F

DRY

FLY

ROD

8 F O O T 3 P IE C E 6 S T R IP
B u tt S e c tio n
B u tt s e c tio n is to b e 3 4 .5 8 3 in c h e s lo n g in c lu d in g th e e m p t y s e a t o f
th e f e m a le f e r r u l e . T h e b a m b o o w i ll b e o n l y 3 3 .5 8 3 in c h e s l o n g . T h e
e x tr a in c h w ill b e g a in e d b y th e e m p t y s e a t o f th e f e m a le f e r ru le .
end
4 1 /2 "
9"
15"
21"
27"
33.583"
.162
.162
.162
.161
.154
.140
.133
( 1 7 /6 4 f e m a le f e r r u le )
M id d le S e c tio n
M id d le s e c ti o n is to b e 3 4 . 5 8 3 in c h e s lo n g in c lu d in g t h e e m p t y s e a t
o f t h e f e m a l e f e r r u le . T h e b a m b o o w i l l b e o n l y 3 3 . 8 3 3 i n c h e s l o n g .
T h e e x t r a 3 / 4 i n c h w i l l b e g a i n e d b y t h e e m p t y s e a t o f t h e fe m a le
fe r ru le .
end
4 3/4"
15 1 /4 "
2 1 1/ 4 "
2 7 1 /4 "
3 3 .8 3 3 "
9 1 /4 "
.133
.132
.128
.123
.114
.103
.086
(1 7 /6 4 m a le fe rru le )
(1 1 /6 4 f e m a le fe r ru le )
T ip S e c tio n T ip
s e c tio n is to b e 3 4 .5 8 3 in c h e s lo n g .
end
5"
1 0 1 /2 "
1 6 1 /2 "
2 2 1 /2 "
.086
.084
.080
.078
.064
(1 1 /6 4 m a le fe rru le )

CROSS

DRY

FLY

28 1 /2 "
.050

34.5 83 "
.039
(5 /6 4 to p )

ROD 8

F O O T 3 P IE C E 6 S T R IP
T h e s e m e a s u r e m e n t s a r e b y t h e c o u r te s y o f H a r o l d C . H o l l i s ,
f a m e d f i s h e r m a n a n d a u th o r . T h i s i s h i s f a v o r i te d r y f l y r o d .
B u tt S e c tio n
B u tt s e c tio n is to b e 3 2 .5 8 3 in c h e s lo n g in c lu d in g th e e m p t y s e a t o f
th e f e m a le f e r r u l e . T h e b a m b o o w i ll b e o n l y 3 1 .5 8 3 in c h e s l o n g . T h e
e x tr a in c h w ill b e g a in e d b y th e e m p t y s e a t o f th e f e m a le f e r ru le .
en d
5"
10"
15"
20"
26"
31.583"
.191
.191
.164
.144
.124
.122
.117
(1 5 /6 4 f e m a le fe r ru le )
M id d le S e c tio n
M id d le s e c t io n i s to b e 3 2 . 5 8 3 in c h e s lo n g in c lu d in g t h e e m p t y s e a t
o f t h e f e m a l e f e r r u le . T h e b a m b o o w i l l b e o n l y 3 1 . 8 3 3 in c h e s l o n g .
T h e e x t r a 3 / 4 i n c h w i l l b e g a i n e d b y t h e e m p t y s e a t o f t h e fe m a le
fe r ru le .
en d
5"
10"
.117
.115
.111
( 1 5 /6 4 m a le f e r ru le )

15"
.106

20"
.106

T ip S e c tio n T ip
s e c tio n is to b e 3 2 .5 8 3 in c h e s lo n g .
en d
5"
10"
15"
20"
.065
.056
.048
.086
.078
( 1 1 /6 4 m a le f e r ru le )

26"
31.833 "
.095
.086
( 1 1 /6 4 f e m a le f e r r u l e )

26"
.042

32.583 "
.039
(5 /6 4 to p )

TESTED SPECIFICATIONS FOR BAMBOO RODS

171

On the rod with a 6 inch grip, guides are spaced as follows. If rod is
made with a 7 inch grip deduct 1 inch from measurements.
Butt guide 19 inches from the end of grip.
Middle section: 4 snake guides, guides 9, 7, 7 and 7 inches from
center to center from butt guide with rod assembled.
Tip: 4 snake guides, guides 7, 7, 7 and 6 inches from center to
center from last guide on middle section with rod assembled.
LIGHT,

STIFF, DRY

FLY

ROD

8 FOOT3 PIECE6 STRIP


Butt Section
Butt section is to be 32.583 inches long including the empty seat
of the female ferrule. The bamboo will be only 31.583 inches long.
The extra inch will be gained by the empty seat of the female ferrule,
end
7"
13"
19"
25"
31.583"
.154
.154
.154
.150
.142
.125
(16/64 female ferrule)
Middle Section
Middle section is to be 32.583 inches long including the empty seat of
the female ferrule. The bamboo will be only 31.833 inches long. The extra
3/4 inch will be gained by the empty seat of the female ferrule.
end
6"
ll3/4"
16"'
21"
26"
31.833"
.125
.124
.119
.117
.100
.086
.078
(16/64 male ferrule)
(10/64 female ferrule)
Tip Section
Tip section is to be 32.583 inches long.
end
4"
9"
14"
20"
26"
34.583"
.078
.078
.074
.066
.056
.045
.031
(10/64 male ferrule)
(4/64 top)
MEDIUM ACTION DRY FLY

ROD

8 FOOT3 PIECE6 STRIP


These measurements were taken from a model of Heddon's Deluxe
Peerless Dry Fly Rod. Line recommended is either a level E or double
tapered HDH.
Butt Section
Butt section is to be 34.583 inches long including the empty seat
of the female ferrule. The bamboo will be only 33.583 inches long.
The extra inch will be gained by the empty seat of the female ferrule,
end
5"
10"
16"
22"
28"
33.583"
.170
.170
.170
.163
.153
.146
.141
(18/64 female ferrule)
Middle Section
Middle section is to be 34.583 inches long including the empty seat of
the female ferrule. The bamboo will be only 33.833 inches long. The extra
3/4 inch will be gained by the empty seat of the female ferrule.

172

TESTED SPECIFICATIONS FOR BAMBOO RODS

end
5"
.141
.131
(18/64 male ferrule)

10"
.125

16"
.118

Tip Section
Tip section is to be 34.583 inches long.
end
5"
10"
16"
.094
.082
.075
.063
(12/64 male ferrule)

22"
.106

22"
.058

28"
33.833"
.100
.094
(12/64 female ferrule)

28"
.048

34.583"
.039
(5/64 top)

CROSS

SYLPH MODEL LIGHT DRY FLY ROD


7 FOOT2 PIECE6 STRIP
These measurements are by the courtesy of Harold C. Hollis, famed
fisherman and author. This is his favorite light fly rod.
Butt Section
Butt section is to be 42.873 inches long, including the empty seat of the
female ferrule. The bamboo will be only 41.873 inches long. The extra inch
will be gained by the empty seat of the female ferrule.
end
7"
13"
19"
25"
31"
36" 41.873"
.155
.155
.143
.135
.125
.117
.108
.102
(13/64 female ferrule)
Tip 'Section Tip
section is to be 42.873 inches long.
end
7"
13"
19"
25"
31"
36" 42.873"
.102
.089
.079
.068
.057
.047
.043
.039
(13/64 male ferrule)
(5/64 top)
Total length of reel seat and cork grip is 8 inches.
We recommend however, a seven inch cork grip on this rod.
HDH line recommended for this rod even though you may think it too
heavy.
Guides: Butt section, 1 stripping guide 29 inches from the end of the
rod and one snake guide 10 inches from the stripping guide.
Tip Section, 5 snake guides 9, 77/8, 7, 7 and 6 inches center to
center from the snake guide on butt section when rod is assembled.
LIGHT

DRY

FLY

ROD 8

FOOT2 PIECE5 STRIP


Weighs 4 ounces with Herter's accessories. Recommend either a
level E line or double tapered HEH.
Butt Section
Butt section is to be 48.50 inches long including the empty seat of the
female ferrule. The bamboo will be only 47.50 inches long. The extra inch
will be gained by the empty seat of the female ferrule.
end
6"
1'
1'
2'
2'
3'
3' 47.50"
.159
.159
.159
.154
.154
.145
.137
.128
.117
(15/64 female ferrule)

T E S T E D S P E C IF IC A T IO N S F O R B A M B O O R O D S
T ip S e c tio n
T ip s e c tio n is to b e 4 8 .5 0 in c h e s lo n g .
end
6"
1'
1 '
2'
2 '
.117
.112
.100
.092
.080
.072
( 1 5 /6 4 m a le fe r ru le )

E N G L IS H

AND
DRY

3'
.060

C A N A D IA N
FLY
ROD

173

3 ' 4 8 .5 0 "
.052
.040
( 5 /6 4 to p )

MODEL

1 0 F O O T 3 P IE C E 6 S T R IP
( B u t t s h o u ld b e m a d e h o llo w )
B u tt S e c tio n
B u tt s e c tio n i s to b e 4 0 .5 8 3 in c h e s lo n g in c lu d in g th e e m p t y s e a t
o f th e f e m a l e f e r r u le . T h e b a m b o o w i l l b e o n l y 3 9 .5 8 3 i n c h e s lo n g .
T h e e x tr a in c h w ill b e g a in e d b y th e e m p ty s e a t o f th e f e m a le fe r r u le .
en d
4"
8"
16"
22"
28"
3 4 " 3 9 .5 8 3 "
.204
.204
.204
.204
.204
.188
.180
.172
( 2 2 /6 4 f e m a le f e r r u le )
M id d le S e c tio n
M id d le s e c tio n is to b e 4 0 .5 8 3 in c h e s lo n g in c lu d in g th e e m p ty s e a t
o f th e f e m a le f e r r u le . T h e b a m b o o w i l l b e o n l y 3 9 .8 3 3 i n c h e s lo n g .
T h e e x t r a 3 /4 i n c h w i l l b e g a i n e d b y t h e e m p t y s e a t o f th e f e m a le
fe rr u le .
end
4"
8"
16"
22"
28"
34"
39.833"
.172
.164
.157
.149
.141
.133
.126
.110
(2 2 /6 4 m a le fe rru le )
(1 4 /6 4 fe m a le fe rru le )
T ip S e c tio n T ip
s e c tio n is to b e 4 0 .5 8 3 in c h e s lo n g .
end
4"
8"
16"
22"
.110
.102
.094
.086
.079
(1 4 /6 4 m a le fe rru le )

C R O M P T O N 'S T W O

P I E C E

28"
.063

DRY

3 4 " 4 0.5 8 3 "


.055
.047
( 6 /6 4 to p )

FLY

RODS

A ll s e c tio n s o f a ll fo u r ro d s a re in te rc h a n g e a b le a s th e fe rru le
is th e s a m e o n a ll ro d s . If a ll fo u r ro d s a re b u ilt, a c tu a lly y o u w ill
h a v e s ix te e n d iffe re n t ro d s . T h e s e a re th e o rig in a l R . W . C ro m p to n
ro d s p e c ific a tio n s fo r th e e ig h t fo o t fiv e s trip tw o p ie c e d r y fly ro d
a s g i v e n to G e o r g e L e o n a r d H e r t e r p e r s o n a l l y b y M r . C r o m p to n .
L is te d in fo u r d iffe re n t w e ig h ts to s u it a n y s p e c ia l in d iv id u a l re q u ire m e n ts .
8 F O O T 5 S T R IP T W O P IE C E D R Y F L Y R O D
R e g u la r W e ig h t
B u tt S e c tio n
B u tt s e c tio n is to b e 4 8 .3 7 5 in c h e s lo n g in c lu d in g th e e m p t y s e a t
o f th e fe m a le fe rru le . T h e b a m b o o w ill b e o n ly 4 7 .6 2 5 in c h e s lo n g .

178

TESTED SPECIFICATIONS FOR BAMBOO RODS

T E S T E D S P E C IF IC A T IO N S F O R B A M B O O R O D S

179

184

TESTED SPECIFICATIONS FOR BAMBOO RODS

FERRULE AND ROD MEASUREMENTS


Below are listed the equivalents of sixty fourths and thousandths for
exact ferrule measurements and top inside diameter measurements. In buying
ferrules the rod diameter should be the same measurement as the ferrule
measurement. Remember the ferrule measurement is the outside diameter of
the center of the male ferrule on conventional ferrules. Swiss type ferrules are
measured on the inside diameter of the cap ends. In buying tops the rods
should be the same diameter as the inside measurement of the top.
4th
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21

thousandths
.0156
.0312
.0469
.0625
.0781
.0937
.1094
.125
.141
.156
.172
.188
.203
.219
.234
.250
.266
.281
.297
.312
.328

Equivalents
64th
thousandths 64th
22
.344
43
23
.359
44
24
.375
45
25
.391
46
26
.406
47
27
.422
48
28
.438
49
29
.453
50
30
.469
51
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42

.484
.500
.516
.531
.547
.563
.578
.594
.609
.625
.6406
.6562

52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64

thousandths
.6719
.6875
.7031
.7187
.7344
.750
.7656
.7812
.7969
.8125
.8281
.8437
.8594
.875
.8906
.9062
.9219
.9375
.9531
.9687
.9844
1.000

CHAPTER XVIII
PLASTIC TUBE FLIES AND STREAMERS
FOR FLY FISHING AND SPINNING
The plastic tube flies and streamers are one of the great advances in fly
fishing and spinning. These plastic tube flies and streamers are made by the
following method.
Take a piece of rigid tubing about three thirty seconds of an inch in
diameter and as long as you desire the fly or streamer body.

Grayling and Lake Trout taken on tube flies in Clarence Lake,


Alaska by J. P. Herter.
Take a small nail and heat it hot but not red hot. Stick the point of it into each
end of the plastic tube and spin it around flaring out each end. Put one end
of the tubing in your fly tying vise. Dress what-

ever fly or streamer pattern you desire on the plastic tubing starting at the
head end first. After the fly or streamer is dressed remove the plastic tube
from the vise and wrap a head onto the streamer or fly in the area that you
used to hold the plastic tube in the vise while you dressed the fly or streamer.
Now take a treble, double or single hook whatever you prefer of the size
desired. Put it in your fly tying vise and wrap a tinsel body onto its shank and
a few turns of soft

186

SECRETS OF PROFESSIONAL FISHERMEN

hackle at the head of the hook. Tie a suitable length of nylon leader material
into the eye of the hook and slip the leader material through the hole in the
plastic tube. Make a loop in the end of the nylon to attach your leader to.
Plastic tube flies and streamers are best for the following reasons.
1. The fly or streamer moves around slightly on the nylon leader
material giving them much more life than conventionally tied flies
and streamers.
2. The hook is concealed much better than on conventional flies
and streamers.
3. You .can tie larger flies or streamers without the weight of a
long shanked hook.
For spinning or trolling in place of a plastic tube use a small diameter
copper or brass tube to add a little weight for better spin casting or trolling.
JACQUES P. HERTER FLY FISHING SPINNING
WOUNDED MINNOW STREAMERS

AND

These famous streamers are entirely different than any others. First you
make a wire form as the illustration shows. Have an eye on each end. Put a
treble, double or single hook in the rear eye and close the eye. For spinning
use a steel or brass form as you can use

the added weight, for fly fishing use an aluminum form so that the streamers
will not be too hard to handle. Take a piece of nylon leader material about six
inches long so that it is easy to handle and tie it onto the treble or double
hook right behind the eye. Run the nylon up through the eye of the hook and
up through the eye in the wire form. Run the nylon down back through the
eye in the hook and back up through the eye in the wire form three or four
times or until the hook will stand out straight in back of the wire form
without falling downward or sagging even a little bit. Now tie the nylon
tightly down to the wire form shank, directly behind the wire form's rear eye.
We will tie for an example the famous Tusma wounded minnow
streamer invented by Jacques P. Herter. This is one of the most effective
streamers ever made.
Begin at the rear by wrapping narrow gold tinsel around the shank of the
hook. Put two turns of blue hen neck hackle around the head of the hook. Tie
off the head with black tying thread. Wrap the body of the streamer spirally
with white, and blue and black medium sized chenille up three fourths of the
length of the body and tie off. The last one fourth of the body make of
medium size orange red fluor-

SECRETS OF PROFESSIONAL FISHERMEN

187

escent chenille. The wing make of black bear hair on top with medium blue
deer tail hair on the sides and white deer tail hair on the bottom. All hairs tied
on sparsely. Head black tying thread. Now take the streamer and put a slight
bend in the shank of the wire form. Test the streamer in water. Keep bending
the wire form shank until the streamer has a slow roll when retrieved. The
slow roll imitates the slow roll of a wounded or dying minnow.
This Jacques P. Herter wounded minnow streamer will outfish any
streamer made in the world by a wide margin. Fish will strike a rolling
streamer when they will not touch a conventional one.
JACQUES FANCY BLUEGILL BREAM FLY

OR
This fly has proven itself as the most consistently effective bluegill or bream
fly ever made and is widely used from Texas to Minnesota for these fine fish.
For their weight and size there are no fish that pull harder or fight longer than
a bluegill. They are a real fine sporting
fish and a great fish for the fly fisherman.
For eating there is no fish in the world
that surpasses them not even the famed
walleyed pike. Their flesh is very firm
and has a delicate clean taste that simply
can-not be bettered.
Jacques P. Herter invented this
famous bluegill fly. Here is the original
pattern.
Head: Black tying thread.
Hackle: Red soft maribou taken from the
base of a large rooster neck hackle. It must be tied on in small sparse
bunches. Body: Yellow fluorescent chenille.
Tail: A wisp of red soft maribou from the base of a large rooster neck
hackle.
In fly fishing for bluegill? use as much care as possible. If you are
fishing near weed beds or lily pads get in a position behind the beds or pads
so that you do not disturb the bluegills and cast over the beds or pads into
clear water pockets.
Remember in the afternoon the large male bluegills bite the best.
THE FABULOUS JOHN'S JOKE WET FLY
T. V. Sandys Wunsch is a retired officer of the Royal Canadian
Mounted Police and lives at present at Duncan, British Columbia, Canada.
He is member in good
standing of the Fly Fisher's Club of
^ ^-"~"
London, England. I would say withs<f}s:" 1gr~~
out question that he is Canada's most
j&tS^'^^^
outstanding present day fly fisherman by a long, long, ways.
*"%$*
In February 1946, he created a
^fc^'^H
fly to imitate salmon eggs and called it
John's Joke. In any area where trout of
any kind or any other fish feed on salmon
eggs this fly unques-

188

SECRETS OF PROFESSIONAL FISHERMEN

tionably is the best one to use. Fish it wet and leave it tumble down stream. If
there is a trout or salmon egg eating fish in the area you will get him.
Although this fly was made for trout fishing it is one of the most effective
flies ever made for bluegills or bream in the afternoon and for crappies in the
evening.
Head: Red tying thread.
Hackle: White hen neck and sparse.
Body: Made round like a salmon egg cloister and made of red
fluorescent chenille. For swift streams use, put a little lead wire under the
body to sink it well.
Tail: Orange rooster neck hackle fibers.
WET TROUT AND PANFISH FLY TRICK
Sad but true ninety percent of our stream trout are hatchery raised. They
are always fed some liver in the hatchery and never forget the smell and taste
of liver. As a bait for stream trout liver is excellent. A piece of liver rubbed
on wet flies will make stream trout take them when they would not touch the
fly without the liver smell. A pound or two of ground up liver thrown into a
pool as chum will get every trout in the pool in a feeding mood. They then
will take most any wet fly or nymph with a liver odor dropped into the pool.
Although bluegills and crappies are not at all familiar with liver they too
will strike wet flies that have been rubbed on a piece of liver and ground
liver scattered over an area will concentrate them in the area quickly and
hold them there.
HOW TO USE FLY ROD CORK AND FOAM
PLASTIC BUGS FOR SPINNING
I learned this wonderful trick from Jacques P. Herter fishing "green
trout" as the natives call black bass in parts of Alabama. We

were spinning for bass on a small Alabama backwater and not having

SECRETS OF PROFESSIONAL FISHERMEN

189

too much luck. Surface lures that we could cast were too large for the tastes
of the bass that day. They would sometimes follow them or nose them but
would not take them. Jacques put on a medium sized fly rod cork popper and
pressed a carpet tack into its bottom to give it weight enough to cast. Almost
at once he had a nice fat bass and limited out in a short time. I have since
used this practical trick many times. A thumb tack or carpet tack or even a
small nail works well. Just press it up into the cork or foam plastic fly rod
bug and you can cast the bug with your spinning outfit. The bug with a tack
in it does not of course ride quite as high as normally but this seems in most
cases to add to its fish getting qualities rather than to detract from them.
FLUORESCENT RED ORANGE BAIT HOOKS
Red orange enameled fluorescent bait hooks will produce five fish to
one over nickel, gold or bronze hooks. The red orange color can be seen for
great distances and together with the bait on them fish tend to associate the
red orange fluorescent color with blood and it makes them strike.
Orange red fluorescent enameled hooks work wonders on stream trout,
salmon, crappies, walleyed pike, northern pike and muskies. In salt water
fishing they produce unbelievably well on such fish as striped bass, snook,
yellowtail, sea trout, sea bass, tarpon, tuna, etc.
HOW

TO MAKE ALL
FISHING PLUGS
MANY TIMES MORE EFFECTIVE
Take a small piece of copper or brass wire and make an eye from it like
the illustration shows. Take some Silhower ferrule cement or Dupont
Household cement and cement the eye to the back of the

plug about in the "gill" region. Tie a piece of wool yarn as long as the
distance from the eye to the end of the plug into the eye. For lake trout,
steelhead, stream trout, and salmon and sea trout use

190

SECRETS OF PROFESSIONAL FISHERMEN

orange red fluorescent wool yarn. For walleyed pike, northern pike, crappies,
black bass, use orange or purple wool yarn. For striped bass, yellowtail,
snook tarpon, use red or purple wool yarn.
The wool yarn fluttering from the gill area gives the impression that the
lure is bleeding badly and it will make fish strike when they definitely would
not strike the lure without the blood like wool yarn fluttering from it.
Using a Lucky Martin plug Jacques P. Herter with red fluorescent yarn
trailing from its back broke all catch records on salmon out of Seattle,
Washington and all catch records on sea bass, snapper, and grouper out of
Mazatlan, Mexico. George L. Herter has caught and released as many as 28
good black bass out of Reelfoot Lake, Tennessee in one morning with the
wool yarn trick.
JACQUES

P.

HERTER TROLL

This is undoubtedly the most effective trolling system ever devised.


Works perfectly on fresh water fish as well as on salt water fish. It

goes back to the proven principal that the thing that makes fish strike more
than anything else is jealousy. George L. Herter spent nearly two years
underwater studying fish. He found that jealousy would make fish strike
whether they were hungry or not. He watched fish as they stared at a lure or
bait. The fish had no intention of striking the lure or bait at all. Another fish
would make an accidental move toward the lure or bait and without hesitation
the fish that had had no intention of sriking it would strike at once.
With this in mind Jacques P. Herter invented the Jacques P. Herter troll.
To make one proceed as follows. Take a length of suitable stainless steel
leader wire anywhere from three to six feet long depending upon the size of
fish that you are after. Put a ball bearing swivel and snap at each end. With a
piece of chalk mark the leader in equal sections. Clamp a lead split shot onto
each mark. Now take lengths of stainless steel leader wire from three to
twelve inches long depending upon the size of the lures that you will use.
Make an open loop eye in one end and put a swivel in it and close the loop
eye. Make an open loop eye in the other end and put it around the leader shaft
just ahead of a split shot and close the loop loosely around the leader wire.
Put a similar piece of wire ahead of each split shot. Now attach a small length
of nylon leader material to each swivel on the end of the wires and attach a
plastic plug in a suitable size to the end of the nylon. Have the nylon the
proper length so that the plugs will not tangle when trolled. Use plugs that are
about one third smaller in length than the lure or bait that you use at the end
of the main leader. For crappies, black bass, walleyed pike, northern pike,
muskies, fly rod size plugs are excellent on the droppers. For salmon, use
medium sized plugs on the droppers. For sailfish, marlin, sea bass, etc., use
standard sized casting plugs on the droppers. Remove the

SECRETS OF PROFESSIONAL FISHERMEN

191

hooks from the plugs on the droppers if it is illegal in the area that you are
fishing in to fish with more than one lure on a line with hooks, otherwise
leave the hooks on the plugs. Thinfish, Lazy Ivers, and Pike Minnows all
work very well on this troll. Best colors are red orange fluorescent, purple,
silver or gold scale finish.
This famous troll makes the fish think that your main lure is chasing a
school of minnows and fish will strike the large bait or lure at the rear of the
leader to prevent it from getting at the minnows it is chasing.
The Jacques P. Herter troll works so well that it should be used with
discretion.
PORK

RIND TRICK FOR CASTING,


SPINNING AND TROLLING
Undoubtedly one of the greatest fishing tricks of all time is the use of
cloth or natural pork rind ahead of a fishing lure or bait. It gives the
impression that the lure is chasing the bait and nothing

makes a fish strike like jealousy. I have spent as much as the most part of two
years or better under water studying fish and have found definitely that fish
will strike from jealousy more than from anything else. I have watched
countless times as a school of fish stared at a lure going by or a bait dangling
in front of them and never make a move for it. None of the fish would even
seem excited about the lure or bait. Suddenly one fish would make a slight
move in the direction of the bait or lure often just by accident. Immediately
several fish would rush in and strike the lure or bait to make sure that the fish
that moved did not get it. Whether the fish had full stomachs or not, made no
difference at all. Jealousy of another fish getting the lure or bait would make
them strike without hesitation.
In order to make fish jealous and to make them strike under all
conditions you must have your lure chasing a bait or baits.
In spinning take a cloth preferably, or pig hide pork rind in spinning size
and make a small hole in it with a pin or nail and thread your line through the
hole, then tie on your leader and put your lure on the end of your leader. Do
not put your line through the regular slot that comes in a cloth or pig skin
pork rind as the slot is so large that it will allow the pork rind to slip over
your leader and down to your lure. The pork rind must be at least six inches
ahead of your lure and preferably 12 inches.
In bait casting put the pork rind on in the same way and use a spinning
size pork rind also.
In trolling put at least one pork rind just ahead of your leader. If you
take and put six or more pork rinds on your line about twelve inches apart
ahead of your leader, you will have fabulous trolling with such a troller. The
pork rinds give the impression that your lure is

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SECRETS OF PROFESSIONAL FISHERMEN

madly chasing after a whole school of minnows. To attach pork rinds to your
line put three small holes in the head of your pork rind with a needle or sharp
nail in a lengthwise position and weave your line through the three holes. Do
not tie the pork rind to your line with knots as knots greatly weaken your
line.
This pork rind trick works on fresh water fish such as crappies, black bass,
perch, walleyed pike, muskies, northern pike, white perch, stream trout, lake
trout and on salt water fish such as salmon, striped bass, snook, sea trout, sea
bass, yellowtail, tuna, sailfish and marlin.
Vary the size of the pork rind with the size of lure that you use but
always keep the pork rind about half the size of your lure or smaller.
HOW TO MAKE JIGS FROM
REGULAR FISHING SPOONS
Jigging simply means putting a line with a jig on it
over the side of your boat to the proper depth and
moving it up and down leaving it settle back, or jiggling
it up and down.
In salt water jigging, is an excellent way to take
haddock, cod, red snapper, bass of all kinds and perch,
etc. In fresh water jigging in open water from a boat or
through the ice works very well for such fish as
pickerel, northern pike, walleyed pike, and perch.
You can make excellent jigs from any metal spoon
or wobbler. Simply remove the hook from the rear and
mount it at the front. Put a piece of purple, orange,
yellow or red cloth onto the wire or ring holding the
hook or a piece of red fish gill, a piece of bird skin, a
strip of red animal flesh, etc. all work well. The color
purple usually attracts fish more than any other color by
far.

BEST WALLEYED PIKE FALL LURE


In the fall of the year walleyed pike come into shallow water to feed. A
small fly rod size thinfish or Lazy Iver cast and retrieved near the bottom will
get these fish to strike everytime. Best colors are orange, red fluorescent or
purple.
FROG SKIN MAKES EXCELLENT PORK
RIND
The skin taken from the hind legs of a frog makes a very fine active
pork rind and is much more effective than pork rind made from pig skin.

SECRETS OF PROFESSIONAL FISHERMEN

193

RUBBER LINE INSERT MOST EFFECTIVE FOR TROLLING


The West Coast commercial salmon trollers developed and proved that
the rubber line insert was by far the best method for trolling and boating the
most fish. The line inserts they use are 18 inches long and

about 6/16 of an inch in diameter. They take fish of over one hundred and
fifty pounds with no trouble at all. The rubber line insert has a swivel on one
end and a snap on the other. Put it about 25 to 100 feet ahead of your line.
Simply fasten your line to each end of it.
A rubber trolling line insert has just enough stretch and pull back to set
hooks perfectly and solidly and once a fish is hooked he just cannot get a
solid direct pull. This makes the hook hold well. Until you have used a
rubber insert for trolling you cannot imagine how really effective they are. A
three sixteenths inch rubber leader is plenty strong for walleyed pike, lake
trout and northern pike. Even walleyed pike with their horney mouth can't
throw a hook with a rubber insert in your line. The 6/16 inch in diameter
holds sailfish and mar-lin with no trouble at all and lets you land them on
featherweight lines.
THE MAGIC COMMERCIAL FISHERMAN'S PLUG RING
Commercial salmon trollers have to make a living trolling for salmon.
They spend their entire life studying how to troll. They have
developed trolling tricks that no
one but them knows. My old
friend Harry W. Hodge of Delfin
Cove, Alaska has been a salmon
troller all of his life and has
developed the finest trolling
techniques that I have ever seen.
Plugs as well as spoons are
used by commercial salmon fishermen. The action of a plug or spoon is a
very serious matter to them. The commercial trollers have proven that a plug
or spoon must have just the right action to really boat fish. Years of testing
have shown them just exactly what the right fish getting action of a plug or
spoon has to be to produce at maximum.
On all plugs they take a split ring and put it in the front line eyelet of the
plug. They then snap their leader to the split ring. The split ring allows the
plug to have perfect free movement and hence perfect action. If you just snap
your leader directly to the plug the plug does not have free movement and
has poor action. This split ring on the front line eyelet makes all the
difference from catching a lot of fish and not catching many fish. Be sure to
try it on all plugs for troll-

194

SECRETS OF PROFESSIONAL FISHERMEN

ing, casting or spinning. Lets your plugs have even a freer action than
fastening your line directly to them with no leader at all.
Incidentally the best producing plug for salmon is the clear red
fluorescent large size Lazy Abner and the best producing spoon the Barbary
Coast, according to Harry W. Hodge and he is certainly right.
KEEPING BRASS SPOONS FROM
TARNISHING IN SALT WATER
Brass and copper spoons are by far the most effective for salt water use
but are often not used because they quickly tarnish in salt
water. The electrolysis of salt
water causes them to tarnish. To
stop this tarnishing take a piece of
plain iron stove pipe wire and
make a ring of it around the ring
that holds your hook to the spoon.
This iron ring will stop the tarnishing of the spoons entirely. This is an old
Alaskan and west coast commercial salmon troller trick and you will find all
commercial trollers doing this.
USE WOODEN PAIL TO KEEP SALT WATER
SPOONS FROM TARNISHING
In using spoons for salt water trolling always use spoons that are half
gold or brass colored and half nickel or silver colored or all gold or brass
colored. Commercial fishing records of the past 50 years have proved the
gold and nickel or all gold spoons the most effective for salt water use by far.
One good method to keep spoons from tarnishing when used in salt
water is to keep them in a wooden or plastic bucket of sea water when not in
use. If you put them in a galvanized pail they will tarnish immediately or if
you put them in fresh water they will tarnish.
STRING OF BAT MINNOWS TRICK FOR
TROLLING
This trick originated in Newfoundland for taking tuna but works
wonders on all fresh or salt water fish that you troll for. Take ten or more bait
minnows. Take a large sewing needle and a length

of fishing line from three to twenty feet long depending upon the size of the
minnows that you are using. Sew the minnows to the line by the lips. Sew
them through the lips at least four times so that they will remain in position
on the line. Space them so that there

SECRETS OF PROFESSIONAL FISHERMEN

195

is a gap between their bodies of at least three to twelve inches depending


upon the size of the minnows. Put a metal wire lure spreader onto your line.
Run one line off from your spreader with your plug, spoon or bait on it. Run
the string of bait minnows off from the other end of the spreader so that it is
about four feet ahead of your lure or bait. Be sure that the lure or bait is at
least twice as large as your bait minnows. This gives the impression that the
lure is chasing a whole school of minnows.
In salt water fishing for such fish as tuna, sailfish, marlin, etc. where
your lure is fished relatively close to the boat run a separate line out behind
the boat with the bait minnows sewed onto it and run your lure or bait on a
separate line. You can see your lure or bait from the boat and adjust the line
with the minnows on it so that they are off to the side a bit and the right
distance ahead of your lure or bait.
TRICK ON HOW TO FISH STEELHEAD OR
RAINBOW TROUT WITH SALMON EGGS
Tie a regular salmon egg hook onto your leader. Now tie a small loop in
your leader right above the eye of the hook. Take a small tassel of orange red
fluorescent yarn about a half inch long and put it in the loop and tighten the
loop on it. Now put your salmon egg or eggs on the hook. The combination
of the little orange red fluorescent wool yarn tassel and the salmon eggs
works much better than just the salmon eggs alone.
LIVER AN EXCELLENT ALL AROUND
FRESH AND SALT WATER BAIT
The liver of such domesticated animals as pigs, cows, and sheep and the
liver of birds and wild animals makes exceptionally fine bait for both salt and
fresh water fish.
Barracuda bite very well on about a two inch chunk of liver on a hook.
Red snappers, striped bass, snook, all strike readily at strips of liver baited on
a nook like a worm or bunch of worms.
Black bass, stream trout, bluegills, northern pike all hit strips of liver
very well. Cut the liver into worm like strips or in pork rind like strips.
In winter fishing through the ice for bluegills and trout they hit liver
many times when they will take nothing else.
USING GROUND LIVER TO CHUM BLACK BASS
Two or three pounds of ground liver will concentrate black bass in an
area and will make them bite any fly or streamer that has been rubbed in liver
and has a liver odor. Just scatter the liver over areas that bass are known to
inhabit.
ATTRACTING

FISH TO AN AREA WITH


GROUND LIVER
In winter fishing through the ice or spearing through the ice hang a cloth
sack of finely ground liver down through the hole in the ice. It will attract
every fish in the area to your spot.
In summer still fishing for such fish as crappies, bluegills, catfish, black
bass, hang a cloth sack with several pounds of ground liver in it over the side
of the boat. It will attract every fish in the area.

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SECRETS OF PROFESSIONAL FISHERMEN


WINTER

ICE
FISHING FLIES RUBBED
LIVER WORK WELL

IN

In winter fishing through the ice flies rubbed in liver will take crappies
and bluegills very well.
SPORTSMAN SHOW TROUT POND TRICK
In wet fly fishing and nymph fishing rub sliced liver on the flies and
nymphs. Trout as well as panfish will strike them savagely when they will
not go near them without the liver smell. Rubbing wet flies and nymphs in
liver is in many cases the sole reason most guides and old time fishermen can
so readily outfish novice fishermen.
At sportsmen's shows where they have artificial ponds of trout to catch
with flies if you rub liver on the flies you can catch them as fast as you put
the fly in the water. Without the liver smell these fish will rarely take a fly at
all.
SOY BEAN MEAL WILL ATTRACT FISH
TO AN AREA
To attract fish with soy bean meal proceed as follows. Take a sack of
soy bean meal in any size from twenty five to one hundred pounds. Be sure
that the sack is a gunny sack. If a tight woven sack, punch a few holes in it
with a lead pencil. Tie a heavy rock onto the end of the sack and sink it in the
area that you desire to fish in. Soy bean meal is very light and floats, it takes
a real heavy rock to sink it. After twenty four hours start fishing the area. The
soy bean meal will gradually seep out of the sack and attract small feed fish
and insects which will in turn attract larger fish. Crappies, bluegills,
blackbass, walleyed pike, northern pike, striped bass and stream trout will
congregate in the area of the sack.
MAKING

FALSE

HATCH

Jacques P. Herter and I were fishing brook trout in French Canada one
summer. I was having very poor luck and Jacques was taking all the fish he
wanted everyday. The streams were small and medium in size and the trout
had been pretty well worked over. We were both fishing separate streams and
did not see each other until we returned at night to our small motel. I was
having such bad luck that I finally went over to the stream Jacques was
fishing on to watch him fish. I sneaked up on him and learned how to really
make a false hatch. Jacques would locate a pool that he knew held some fish.
He would carefully walk up stream a hundred feet and scatter the entire
surface of the water with mixed natural colors of wild duck breast feathers.
Then he would quickly go down to the pool and wait for the feathers to
arrive. When the feathers came to the pool he began tapping the water rapidly
with a nymph. After about five or six taps he would let it sink and a trout
would hit it everytime. I watched him for several hours then went back to our
motel and waited for him to come in. When he came in I told him he better
get me a supply of wild duck breast feathers for the next day too. It turned
out he had gotten them from a pillow that belonged to one of the many very
beautiful girls in the area. I am too old to go to such ends to catch trout.

SECRETS OF PROFESSIONAL FISHERMEN

197

USING UNDERWATER LIGHTS TO


ATTRACT FISH
Nearly all fresh water game fish as well as saltwater fish are attracted by
underwater lights. Yellow, orange, and red lights work like magic. White
lights not at all or very poorly. In order to get light under water you must use
a gas and waterproof type of electric light fixture such as used in showers or
in paint spray booths. The cord letting the light down into the water must be
waterproof rubberized cord and all connections to the fixture must be
carefully covered with waterproof rubber tape. You can use batteries or a
small generator for the power source in your boat.
Japanese commercial fishermen now use underwater colored lights
almost entirely to attract and congregate salt water fish of all kinds including
salmon in areas for netting.
Colored lights quickly concentrate such fresh water fish as walleyed
pike, black bass, northern pike, crappies, bluegills, perch, stream trout and
lake trout and practically all salt water fish including tarpon, yellowtail,
striped bass, grouper, snook, sailfish and marlin.
SURE TRICK FOR CATCHING WALLEYED
PIKE AND NORTHERN PIKE FISHING
THROUGH THE ICE IN THE WINTER
This young fellow has a twelve pound walleyed pike taken by the blood
flag method through four feet of ice.
I learned this method of taking walleyed pike or so called yellow pike in
Saskatchewan
during
the
winter, fishing through four
feet of ice. In winter fishing
through the ice the water under
the ice is of course very cold.
This extremely cold water
slows up the action of fish as
well as their digestive system.
A minnow eaten by a fish may
lay in a fish's stomach for
weeks without digesting in real
cold water. Hence you have to
have a lure that will really
incite a fish to bite during very
cold weather. The blood flag
method just never misses in
winter fishing for such fish as
walleyed pike and northern pike. Here is how it is done. Take a piece of light
weight cotton percale cloth in orange color. Cut a small tapered piece off
from it about two inches long and a fourth of an inch wide at its widest point.
Take orange or red thread and with a needle put the thread through the widest
end of the flag. Then sew the thread through the front of the large top fin or
dorsal fin of a suitable minnow and tie the thread ends together. Leave about
a half inch of thread between the fin and the orange flag. Hook the minnow
as you desire and lower it to the right fishing depth. Weight the line so that
your bobber barely floats. This way as soon as you get the

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SECRETS OF PROFESSIONAL FISHERMEN

slightest bite on the minnow you will notice it. The orange flag trailing off
the side of the minnow as it swims around gives the fish the impression that
the minnow is wounded and they will strike it when they would not even pay
any attention to a minnow without the orange flag.
WHEN

THE

ICE BEGINS TO LEAVE


IN THE SPRING

LAKES

When the ice begins to thaw out of the shallow bays of lakes in bluegill
areas you will have wonderful fishing for them with wet flies or worms. Get
your boat or canoe out into the bays just as soon as there is enough open
water to float it.
In lakes with rainbow trout you will catch rainbows in the first open
patch of water you can get your boat or canoe into. In Alaska I have had
some wonderful rainbow fishing in small strips of open water between the
ice in ice bound lakes.
FIRST DAY LAKES FREEZE
OVER YOU
CAN
TAKE BASS AND BLUEGILLS
WITHOUT FISHING
In countries where lakes freeze over solidly, the first day the lake
freezes over changes the water temperature quite suddenly. Some bass and
bluegills caught in shallow water will float on their sides for a day right up
against the ice. Take a hatchet or an ice chisel and chop a hole just ahead of
them. Reach in the hole and grab them. We used to do this in Minnesota to
lay in an early winter supply of fish for eating.
THE ONLY LAKE IN THE WORLD WHERE
YOU CAN CATCH THEGOLD FIN TROUT
If you ever have an opportunity to go to Alaska be sure to take the time
to catch some of their gold fin trout. They are the best
eating trout to be found in the world. About half way between Anchorage
and Soldatna right on a good
highway is a small little lake
right alongside of the road. As
you approach the lake there is a
log cabin style of restaurant on
one end of the little lake. Just
back of the restaurant a small
stream runs out of the lake and
there is a small fairy story like
cabin right on the edge of the
stream. If you are a nice serious
fisherman the proprietor of the
restaurant will rent you the log
cabin. If you are just out for a
few days with some gal he
won't rent you the cabin. The lake and the stream are both full of gold fin
trout and they are the only lake and stream in the world that has them. Gold
fins do not

SECRETS OF PROFESSIONAL FISHERMEN

199

run too large but are great scrappers. Wet flies or tiny spoons are all you need
to take them. They also take spent wing dry flies very well. You can take a
fine mess of gold fins right out of the stream and into the cabin in less than
ten minutes and have them frying on the stove before they stop wiggling.
This is one of the world's most beautiful spots and I have seen a lot of them
on all continents.
Jacques P. Herter and I went there for a day's fishing and stayed a week.
JANUARY AND FEBRUARY BEST FOR
STEELHEAD IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
The months of January and February are by far the best for Steelhead in
British Columbia, Canada. The weather is cold but the fishing fantastically
good and well worth the inconvenience.
FRESH WATER CLAM EXCELLENT
BLUEGILL AND BREAM BAIT
If bluegills or bream will not take flies, which is rarely the case, use the
following bait. Go along a sandy beach early in the morning and you will see
lines in the sand under the water. These are fresh water clam trails. Follow a
line until it disappears then dig down in the sand and you will have a fresh
water clam. Open it up and cut out a small worm like piece from the yellow
tough part of the clam. Use the piece for bluegill bait. Keep it vibrating
slightly on your hook. Pieces of clam will catch more bluegills winter or
summer than red worms, grubs worms or angle worms.
For winter fishing through the ice freeze clams in your deep freezer in
the summer. Thaw them out in the winter when you want to use them.
CANNED

SHRIMP

AS

BAIT

Canned shrimp are anything but cheap but do make excellent bait for
both fresh and salt water fish. Buy the smallest kind and in broken pieces if
possible as the broken ones are less expensive and work just as well. Winter
fishing through ice use small pieces of canned shrimp for bluegills, perch,
whitefish and walleyed pike, black bass and trout.
In salt water fishing canned shrimp are very good for almost all bottom
and rock fish.
It is a good idea to keep a can of canned shrimp in your tackle box so
that if fresh baits are not available you can always use the canned shrimp.
TAKING

RAINBOWS AND DOLLY VARDENS ON


SALMON EGG CLUSTERS

If at all possible use fresh or frozen salmon eggs as they will catch ten
fish to one over canned salmon eggs. Use a treble hook instead of a single
hook if allowed in your state. A treble hook holds the egg cluster much better
than a single hook. Take a piece of orange red fluorescent yarn and tie it onto
your line just above the egg cluster. Trim off the ends of the yarn so that they
are about an inch long.

200

SECRETS OF PROFESSIONAL FISHERMEN

STEELHEADERS SALMON EGG CLUSTER TIE


GOOD FOR ALL SOFT BAITS
This method of tying on salmon egg clusters or soft baits requires the
use of a hook with one or more slices on the shank to hold the main knot in
place keeping it from sliding toward the eye of the hook.

1. Take a small piece of old scrap line or twine and lay it on top
of the hook shank.
2. Wrap your leader material around the hook shank and scrap
line and then pull the end of the leader material through the loops
of leader material with the piece of scrap line.
3. Now thread your salmon egg cluster or soft bait onto the hook
and put some of it in the loop and pull the loop up holding the bait
in place.
USING

SNAKES

AND BIRDS
TROUT

TO

CATCH

Take two or three dead snakes and wire their tails together. Hang them
up from a branch or stick over a pool in a trout stream. If you can not find
snakes to kill shoot some black birds and wire their feet together and hang
them up over a pool, they work just as well. Blow flies will soon lay their
eggs in the snakes or birds and the eggs will turn into maggots. The maggots
will start dropping off into the water and the trout will collect to feed on
them. Go up toward the pool after about three days and quietly drop an
imitation maggot into the pool on a light leader and small hook. You will
catch any trout in the area. Do not get close enough to the pool so that the
trout can see you.
SECRET OF BULLHEAD AND CATFISH
COMMERCIAL FISHERMEN
Get a piece of old fashioned black stick type licorice candy. Cut off
pieces of it a half to an inch long and put it on your hook like a worm. It will
catch bullheads much better than other baits. Used with other baits such as
worms, etc., it also greatly increases your bullhead catch. For catfish use a
one inch piece of licorice on your hook plus your other bait. The licorice will
increase your catfish catch about ten times. This is an old bullhead and
catfish secret of commercial fishermen and the first time ever published.
NYLON

STOCKING

CHUMMER

For both fresh and salt water fishing an old nylon stocking filled with a
can or two of cat food or ground up fish entrails works very well. Hang the
stocking over the side of the boat down in the water at the proper depth. The
water will dissolve the chum steadily giving

SECRETS OF PROFESSIONAL FISHERMEN

201

you a good chum slick. Works wonders on such salt water fish as blues, and
weakfish and on fresh water fish such as crappies, bluegills and perch.
BEST

LIVE CHUM FOR


SALT WATER
FISH, SUCH AS TUNA
The best live chum for salt water fish when fishing from a boat for
albacore and other tuna is anchovies. They tend to stay close to the hull of the
boat and do not swim away thus bringing the fish in close to the boat and
keeping them in close.
HOW

TO

CATCH

ALBACORE

AT

NIGHT

West coast albacore are one of the few salt water fish that like to feed in
the beams of an artificial flood light at night. You can easily locate feeding
schools of Albacore at night with a flood light on your boat. Go right up to
the school and hold the flood light on the school and chum them with live
anchovies. You can catch them all night long if you want to.
LOCATING

FISHING

SPOTS BY

NIGHT

Black bass fishing is often better at night than during the day. Crappies
and walleyed pike are also good biters after dark. Bullheads and catfish bite
very well at night. Finding just the right spot to fish at night can be difficult.
Stick a mirror or piece of Scotch fluorescent tape to a tree or rock in line with
a good spot that you have located in the daytime. Anchor out corked bottles
with fluorescent tape on them in the areas you desire to fish in at night. You
can spot the mirrors and fluorescent tape easily at night with your flashlight.
In weed bed casting for black bass you can mark the outline of the weed beds
with anchored corked bottles with fluorscent tape on them and work them
just as accurately at night as in the daytime.
SECRET

COMMERCIAL FISHERMAN
TO HOOK MINNOWS

WAY

In fishing all over the world I have seen minnows hooked in about all parts of
their anatomy from the lips to the tail fin. In most areas minnows are usually
hooked through some part of the back. Hooking a
minnow through any part of the back gives the
minnow a tremendous shock as all of these back
muscles are right near the sensitive back bone. How
would you like to move with a hook in the muscle
near your back bone? A minnow hooked through
the back stays in a live minnow position but is not
active for too long a time. Every move it makes is a jolt to its nervous
system. I learned how to hook a minnow to really make fish strike on
commercial fishing boats fishing Albacore tuna off from the West coast.
Here is how it is done. A school of tuna is located. Then live anchovies are
thrown overboard to chum the school in close to the boat. When the albacore
first come in they take feathered jigs readily but as time goes on the school
will not take feathered jigs well and live anchovies have to be used to make
them strike. The fishermen have experimented for generations on the
best ways to

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SECRETS OF PROFESSIONAL FISHERMEN

hook minnows to make the tuna bite the most. Every possible hooking
position has been thoroughly tried. The one minnow hooking position that
they have proven that catches fish much better than any other is as follows.
Hook the minnow lightly under the hard plate just behind the minnow's gill.
This does not hurt any of the fish's swimming muscles nor affect its nervous
system. The hook being on one side of the minnow's body throws the
minnow off balance and he swims like a crippled minnow but swims with
great activity as its strength and nervous system are unaffected. Fish will
always strike a crippled minnow first. Fish will pass up a hundred live active
minnows in order to hit a crippled one. I have tried this proven method of
hooking minnows on bass, trout, perch, crappies, walleyed pike, northern
pike, muskies, lake trout, sailfish, and marlin and it always works by far the
best.
I remember one winter day in Minnesota, Jacques and I were fishing
walleyed pike on Mille Lac lake through the ice. We both caught the limit as
fast as we could get our minnows down toward the bottom. There were
actually dozens of fishermen all around us and not one of them caught more
than one or two fish. All we were doing different was to hook the minnow
under the hard area just behind their gills.
In Florida on sailfish Jacques set a world's record of 16 sailfish in one
day simply hooking a bait fish as described and leaving it swim around the
boat as the boat drifted. This method of hooking minnows is one of the
greatest fishing tricks.
ALL COMMERCIAL FISHERMEN USE
ELECTRICAL FATHOM METERS OR DEPTH
FINDERS. THEY ARE A MUST FOR THE
SERIOUS AMATEUR FISHERMAN TOO.
Fishing is no longer an inexpensive sport. It pays to have an electronic
depth finder as it will easily double your catch in either fresh or salt water.
Use the depth finder to tell you what kind of bottom you are over and
whether it is flat, dished out or sloped. Do not particularly try to use the
depth finder to locate fish. If you locate areas that fish like to inhabit the fish
will be there. The only part of a fish that will return the signal of a depth
finder is the fish's bladder.
Fish tend to be on sharp slopes, in holes, or gullies, around sunken boats
or obstacles and in shallow areas surrounded by deep areas. Pompano,
flounder and whiting for example move into flats at high tide and go back to
the edges of channels at low tide. Halibut and sole like a flat surrounded by
some deep water. Black bass love to hang in a hole or gully near a weed bed.
Walleyed pike are found on the slope of a flat surrounded by deep water.
With a depth finder you can easily find just where to fish.
I remember one spring Jacques P. Herter and I were hunting brown bear
up on the Alaskan peninsula. Jacques killed two nice ones on my license and
one on his as I was taking pictures and did not care to hunt. We went back to
Anchorage and rested up a few days and visited friends. We decided to do a
little bottom fishing so we drove down to Seward to fish for halibut and sole.
In the fiord at Seward is one shallow flat about two hundred feet square four
or five miles out. You never could find this flat except with a depth finder.
We quickly located the flat with a depth finder. We fished with clams and
caught halibut and sole as fast as we could get our

SECRETS OF PROFESSIONAL FISHERMEN

203

lines down. We had some nice halibut up to seventy five pounds. When we
went back to Seward we found we were the only ones that had brought in a
decent catch and we were the only ones with a depth finder. The halibut
turned out to be very prime but the sole were all wormy and we had to throw
them away.
HOW TO TIE LEAD SHOT OR EARED
SINKERS ON A LEADER SO THEY CANNOT
SNAG
In fishing salmon eggs, worms,
doughbaits, clams, etc., on the
bottom, sinker snagging can be quite
a problem. To eliminate this tie your
hook to your nylon leader material
then tie a loop in the other end with a
simple double overhand knot but
leave a five or six inch strand. On
this strand put on your split shot or
eared sinkers. If the sinkers catch on
a snag as you pull on the line they
simply
will slip off from the nylon leader material.
EMERGENCY

CLEANING

OF

FISHING REELS

Many times a fishing reel will get sand in it or need a quick re-oiling or
greasing. You often do not have the time or place to take the reel apart and
wash it in a bowl of gasoline which should be done. You can just remove the
side plates and squirt the gears and bearings and inside as much as possible
with lighter fluid. The lighter fluid will dissolve out the grease and oil and
float out the dirt. Then take Kleenix and wipe out the reel as much as possible
and reoil and grease it.
HOW TO KEEP FISH OR MINNOWS ALIVE
WHILE TRANSPORTING THEM OR IN BAIT
TANKS
You often want to transport minnows in your car or keep bait minnows
alive in boat bait tanks or catch fish and transport them to your own private
pond for stocking or for stocking other lakes or streams. Here is a very easy
way to keep them alive during the transportation process.
Take an old automotive tire tube and fill it with air. Open the valve
slightly and put a piece of rubber syphon hose over the valve and into the
bucket or tank that you have your fish in. The air going into the water will
give the fish oxygen. When the inner tube is empty simply pump it up again
with a tire pump. Actually one filling of the inner tube will last for hours. For
short trips a bicycle inner tube will serve the purpose.

204

SECRETS OF PROFESSIONAL FISHERMEN


PRECAUTIONS

IN

KEEPING

MINNOWS

Always use a plastic foam minnow bucket and a foam cover on it. The
plastic foam minnow bucket keeps the temperature of the water even.
Minnows cannot stand sudden changes in temperatures.
Never use chemically treated water on minnows such as chlorinated
water. Chlorinated water will kill minnows.
The cooler the water the less oxygen minnows need. Keep the water in
your foam minnow bucket as cool as possible at all times.
A thermos jug with cold water in it makes an excellent minnow bucket.
CARRYING

A WALKING STICK
WATER STREAMS

FOR

FAST

When fishing streams with a very fast current be sure to make a stout
walking stick from the limb of a good tree. Use it to brace yourself against
the current as you fish and to feel your way along on the rocky bottom
carefully so that you do not run into any holes or pockets. A swift stream can
knock you over and drown you in a matter of seconds.
For example in British Columbia fishing steelhead in the winter you can
run into some very bad swift water that requires all of your skill to stay in it
and keep right side up.
WEAR POLAROID GLASSES FOR SHALLOW WATER FISHING
Guides and professional fishermen have long used Polaroid glasses to
spot fish in shallow rivers and lakes. If you can locate a fish it is much easier
of course to get him to strike than when you do not know his exact position.
With Polaroid glasses you can see right down into the water and see the fish.
With just your eyes or ordinary glasses the reflections on the surface of the
water prevent you from seeing down into the water very well.
Using polaroid glasses to locate fish has been kept a jealously guarded
secret by guides and professional fishermen. Polaroid glasses worn over your
regular glasses or of course just alone work equally well.
I will never forget one trip with Jacques P. Herter fishing Atlantic
Salmon in New England. Atlantic salmon in New England are not at all
plentiful. Jacques was catching and releasing them one right after the other.
The other fishermen on the stream just could not figure out how he was doing
it. They tried to copy the fly he was using but to no avail, they still could take
no fish. Jacques of course had on a pair of polaroid glasses and would go
along the stream until he saw a fish and then put his fly practically in the
fish's mouth enough times so that it would bite it to get rid of it.
NEVER USE LEADED GASOLINE IN OUTBOARD MOTORS
Lead compounds are used to control the rate of combustion in modern
high compression automobile engines. This same leaded gasoline causes
quick fouling of the spark plugs and piston wear when

SECRETS OF PROFESSIONAL FISHERMEN

205

used in outboard motors which are only two cycle not four cycle motors like
automobile motors.
Always use unleaded gasoline in outboard motors.
Always use oil to mix with the gasoline that contains no detergents or
inhibitors of any kind. These too will ruin your outboard motor.
EMERGENCY ANCHOR IN HEAVY WIND
If you get caught out in a heavy blow and your one anchor still allows
your boat to swing dangerously downwind do as follows. Take your minnow
bucket and tie it onto a rope or doubled fishing line and leave it out about
twenty feet at the other end of the boat. The bucket will stop the dangerous
swinging of your boat to a great degree.
MOVING YOUR BOAT INTO POSITION TO
HOOK ONTO YOUR CAR'S HITCH
It is quite a job to pull your boat into position to hook onto your car's
hitch if you have a large boat. If you have a well built child's wagon however
it is no problem at all. Mount a hitch ball on a three

fourths inch plywood platform with two by fours on edge for the platform
supports. Put the platform in the wagon and attach the trailer hitch to the ball
on the platform. You can then pull the boat and trailer around very easily and
hook it onto your car hitch with no trouble at all.
GET PASSENGERS IN THE BOTTOM
OF SMALL BOATS IN ROUGH WEATHER
If you get caught out in a small boat with passengers in rough weather
have them sit in the bottom of the boat. The more of the

206

SECRETS OF PROFESSIONAL FISHERMEN

load weight in the bottom of the boat the more stable the boat rides and the
harder it is to tip the boat over or to have it take on some water.
WEIGHTED BARBED WIRE KEEPS
POACHERS OFF FROM SPAWNING BEDS
Every sportsman's club should make a project of putting coils of heavily
weighted barbed wire over part of the spawning beds of such fish as bass,
bluegills and crappies. If you can keep fishermen off from fishing on part of
the spawning beds you will aways have a lake full of fish. Nothing is as
effective as weighted barbed wire. After poachers know that the weighted
wire is on the spawning beds they will stop taking the fish off from their
nests. Stops illegal netters also.
FISH TIRE OF SEEING THE
SAME ARTIFICIAL LURES
Both fresh and salt water fish in heavily fished areas see the same lures
many times. Many of the larger older fish get so that they will not even
bother to look at these frequently seen lures. Try lures that are not used in the
area at all and you stand a far better chance of getting some really large old
fish.
MAKE

UNDERWATER BRUSH PILES FOR


SURE FISHING SPOTS
Sunken brush piles in both lakes and rivers not only make good spots to
fish but actually increase the fish population of lakes and rivers. Small fish
go into the brush piles to protect themselves from large fish. Underwater,
nymphs and larvae and algae thrive in the brush piles feeding the small fish.
Large fish congregate in the areas of brush piles hoping that the small fish
will come out. The large fish are easily caught in such concentrations. When
the small fish in the brush piles get large they come out and wait for small
fish to come out and can easily be caught. Works in a continuous cycle.
To sink brush piles twist wire to the branches of the brush and put old
pieces of iron or cement or rocks onto the end of the wire. Brush does not rot
out quickly underwater and a good underwater brush pile will last for over
twenty years.
Christmas trees make very good underwater brush piles and should be
saved for this worthy purpose.