Solid Wood Trout Fly Rods
Solid Wood Trout Fly Rods
Rods for trout fly-fishing are also made of the solid woods bethabara, greenheart and lancewood, and of steel. The steel rods, very good rods for certain purposes are most emphatically of no use in fly-casting. The action of the rods is very harsh, while at the same time they are lacking in the elastic whip that puts out the flies lightly and far. Moreover, they are heavy. One way to describe the inherent unfitness of the steel rod for fly-casting is to say that it is too metallic. The "gentle turn of the wrist" used in striking the small trout of our mountain streams, no matter how carefully done, with a steel rod results in a brutal snap that many times tears the hook away from the fish. On no account get a steel rod for fly-fishing. They are very good and handy rods for certain purposes and their proper uses will be mentioned later.
Of the solid wood rods, bethabara, greenheart and lancewood, it may be said that rods well made from any of these materials are good rods, although they suffer in comparison with the split-bamboo. Not every man, however, can afford the latter. It is an axiom that it is much better to pay a certain price for a solid wood rod, thereby getting the best quality rod of that particular material, than to pay the same price for a split-bamboo which for the same amount can only be obtained-in a poor grade. The fact that solid wood rods of the best quality, and in other grades in proportion, are much cheaper than the split-bamboo rods does not by any means imply that they are essentially "cheap" rods. The making of a split-bamboo rod, requiring as it does for the best rods careful selection of material and the very highest skill in the maker, very naturally results in a comparatively high price. Rods of solid wood are by their very nature easier rods to make, and in most cases satisfactory material is easier to obtain. Rods of any of these materials are heavier for any given length than the split-bamboo rods.
Of the solid wood rods lancewood rods are the most common. This material is not quite the equal of greenheart. Bethabara is the best. In England, where heavier fly-rods are commonly used, greenheart is the most general rod material, taking precedence over split-bamboo. Bethabara is an excellent material, rods made from it being very handsome, and having in a satisfactory degree the essential rod qualities. The wood is of dark color and takes on a fine natural finish. Selected bethabara is sometimes called noibwood. Bethabara rods are not very common in the tackle shops although many rods are made from this material by amateurs. Lancewood is the most easily obtainable rod material and has over greenheart and bethabara the advantage of lightness, although not in a very decided degree. Lancewood rods are apt to be too whippy and rather slow in action. It should be remembered that I am now speaking of fly-rods purely. For some purposes the solid wood rods are preferable to split-bamboo.
Camp, Samuel Granger. Fishing Kits and Equipment,. New York: Outing Pub., 1910. Print.
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