Sunday, May 19, 2013

Blue Collar Bamboo

Gentle On Ingrained Muscle Memory
as cheap as a bottom end modern rod
.. We're not much of a gear junkie. We fish anything that gets the job done. We're embarrassed when conversations turn to the latest and greatest. We have so little to add.
.. The fancy materials continue to proliferate. The weights and actions and lengths, and designs seem to fascinate so many folks today that we're plumb out of the loop when the conversations turn.
.. We dusted off this old piece of bamboo in front of one of the "wise ones" in the neighborhood. The reaction was a bit much. It seems that we should be impressed that this old stick has in it's genealogy some names that grab others deep in their ichthio-id.
.. This old whip hearkens back to the Cross Rod Company, by way of Wes Jordan and Paul H. Young. Golly - Gee - Whizz, all of that and it catches fish too.
.. It's a post-war model, (probably late 40's,) that we picked up cheap in Pocatello, Idaho during the transition to fiberglass, (about '64 or '65.) It's been fished ever since - fancy names be damned. It caught a lot of fish on the Portnueff River back then. The South Fork too.
.. The little 7 1/2' rod sings with a six or seven weight line and feels just fine to us, given the way we cast. Either from a boat or from the bank it hits the water most of the time. And catches fish too.
.. The wise-one was quite taken aback at the thought that we found the great hoary divot in the handle, (we've been told to say 'grip',) was a bit grotesque. He explained that the divot was in fact a bit of fly fishing controversy and that the great names had all claimed it at one time or another. Wow that too and it catches fish?
.. The tip-tops are blued like a cheap gun. It has a cute pinkish reel seat and the cork handle, (oops - again,) has nifty blood grooves carved into it every so often. Probably helps to catch fish.
.. This stick sold for $9 or $10, (as much as $16 later in it's production,) and was considered a mid-grade rod. We have since fished it in over 20 states: and will fish it in one more come Thanksgiving time. It'll catch some fish too.
.. In keeping with it's blue collar heritage we're going to paint it with some shoe polish to get rid of the very twinkly finish. Dark cordovan or black should do the trick. Maybe we'll use some flat green acrylic left over from the patio table. There's a smidgen left in a spray can around here somewhere. It should still catch fish.
.. We might just sand it down to get rid of the writing and the black spots that look like candle burns, and paint it with some brown and green and black splotches so it's camouflaged a mite better than it is now.
.. And, certainly adding a fancy red or blue rubber handle, (oops - grip,) will dress it up. And, for sure, get rid of the divot in the handle - that should make it look pretty snazzy too. It may catch more fish if it gets all fixed up.
.. Maybe after we get it all customized we can sell it on eBay for the same price that it fetched when new. We'll take it to the Firehole River on Opening Day in Yellowstone National Park next weekend. Perhaps there is an unsuspecting buyer to be found there.

South Bend History, ===> LINK
The 209, ===> LINK
Comficient Controversy, ===> LINK
Big and revered names, ===> LINK