Purchasing a Rod
Now it is the same way in regard to rods — you may pay a high price for a name, a fine finish, and the knowledge that the rod was made by hand, for many of us cannot tell handwork from machine work in any way except by the price. Say for instance we buy a fine handmade split bamboo rod, made of the most carefully selected stock, one that bends perfectly, has just the right action, and all that, and we lay out twenty-five or thirty hard earned dollars for it; the chances are that we have paid more than the rod is worth to us, perhaps more than its intrinsic value, and certainly more than a poor man should put into a rod. One costing eight dollars (these figures as well as others given are only approximate and for purpose of illustrating) would have done just as well for actual fishing, and unless we are rod critics we would never find anything wrong with it. It would cast perfectly, for fishing purposes at least, would balance nicely, and to all purposes would be first class. But, then, if we go too low we get something that it is not policy to buy, a rod with the strips sawed out and not selected; as a result the grain runs across the stick in many places; the wood is female bamboo, always inferior to the male stock; there will be knots close together on two or three strips, in places; the ferrules are of the cheap kind, light and nickel plated; the joints do not line up well; one joint bends too much for another; it is poorly wrapped; and other faults will appear if we look far enough. Perhaps this rod has only cost two dollars, but it is not cheap at that price.
The idea is that good work and good materials are bound to cost a certain amount more than poor work and poor quality goods The best, not necessarily the best finished, is always cheapest in the long run, but the cheapest is never the best, either in start or finish, and both start and finish are usually close together. Now nobody hesitates to buy a repeating rifle for hunting big game for a few weeks in the fall, paying say fifteen or twenty dollars, perhaps more, for it. In addition he has to frequently pay for a license for hunting, which i9 seldom required of resident anglers, and even non-residents are not charged as much for a fishing license as for a license to hunt big game. Yet he cheerfully pays this sum for his little hunt each fall, sometimes only every second season, and yet he hesitates to put fifteen or twenty dollars into a- fishing outfit that can be used on any available occasion during the entire spring, summer, and fall, a fishing kit that will give you more real sport and more for the money invested than any big game hunting outfit. Again you will pay even more than this for a shotgun, and don't expect to get a reasonably satisfactory shotgun for much less than twenty dollars, yet you hesitate to pay half that amount for a fishing rod. 1 think this inconsistency can be explained by the fact that there are so many cheap rods and reels offered for sale that those who have not studied the subject imagine that they can get a first-class article for a very low price, and also by the fact that many do not know what a good rod should be.
Brooks, Lake. The Science of Fishing. Columbus, OH: A.R. Harding, 1912. Print.
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