Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Day 9 - Fly Rod Perfection

He measured Harry from shoulder to finger, then wrist to elbow, shouder to floor, knee to armpit and round his head. As he measured, he said, "Every Ollivander wand has a core of a powerful magical substance, Mr. Potter. We use unicorn hairs, phoenix tail feathers, and the heartstrings of dragons. No two Ollivander wands are the same, just as no two unicorns, dragons, or phoenixes are quite the same. And of course, you will never get such good results with another wizard's wand."
--"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone", by J. K. Rowling

The current book that I am reading is George Black's "Casting a Spell: The Bamboo Fly Rod and the American Pursuit of Perfection". It's a historical book on the bamboo fly rod in the United States. The premise of the book is that craftmakers are constantly seeking perfection in their work and are continually tinkering with the rod somehow trying to make it better. The author seems to be fascinated with the Eustis Edwards and even claims that Edwards found perfection with his aptly name "Pefection" fly rod series. I hesitate to agree with this declaration. While the rod itself might be perfectly made, the question is pefect for who?

I am of the mindset, like J. K. Rowling's character of Mr. Ollivander that no two rods are the same and that furthermore no two anglers are the same. Even identical twins will have different casting styles that will influence their choice of fly rods. This is because, each of us is a unique individual that chooses to walk through life at a certain rhythm. That rhythm is then played out as a physical manifestion in our casting style, much like our handwriting.

I personally seem to prefer rods with a more moderate casting style. I like to feel the flex in my hand when I lift the line off the water. My cast has a slower speed to it, which I've been told is more akin to the styles of European rods. American rods tend to have faster, tighter tips that allow the rocket like loops for distance casting. My loop seems to be more C-shaped then than U-shaped.

No matter how you cast, wide and slow or closed and fast, the important thing in my mind is that you picked up the rod. For if you picked up the rod, chances are you might be fishing.

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