Bamboo Tips - Contributors - Brannick, Vince

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We've had some email exchanges over time, but I, like you, often wonder who I'm talking with. I think yours is a fine idea to somehow, get folks a bit more acquainted with each other. My recollection is that sometime ago, there was a thread on the Classic Rods Forum that a number of people introduced themselves. My only participation at that time, was to offer a resume of a friend from the rodmakers list, who it seemed to me, to be deserving of some notice for his contributions.

A brief personal history is that (coming up on age 87), I was born and attended schools in the Jersey City, NJ  environs, until my parents located in, first North Jersey, and then in upstate New York where I was eventually graduated from High school in 1940. For early employment, my work was as a woodsman on a large local estate. At the outset of WW II, and with two sons born to my wife and I, my employment was in a defense manufacturing facility before and after two years in the USNR as a Patrol Bomber air crewman. During the post service years, I was afforded the opportunity to learn an aspect of the toolmaker trade through an apprenticeship program that lasted four years. After a total of 25 years in that endeavor, my next adventure was into the field of education. In 1967, the necessary requirements were met, and I became a teacher in a small city high school. Retirement came after 20 years in that capacity. Incidentally, another son, two daughters, 10 grandchildren, seven great grandchildren, and one great great grandchild have been added to the list.

My story isn't much different than many of the contributors on this list, but it may be of some interest to those recently venturing into the realm of the bamboo rod reconnaissance. The natural progression was from bamboo rod to fiberglass, and then back to bamboo. This came about, due primarily to swapping an old double barrel shotgun (with a homemade stock), for an old South Bend (Bass action) bamboo rod, with one short tip. "I'd really like to know how to make another tip for this rod" was on my mind for a long time. Then, at Christmas time in 1977, my wife, no doubt tired of hearing my constant dissertations on the need for some 'good' information, surprised me with an early copy of the Garrison/Carmichael book. A good (great) source indeed.

At the time, I was employed in a small city highschool, as a teacher of mechanical technology for students preparing for advancement into mechanical engineering at the post secondary level, and machine shop practice for those interested in gainful employment in manufacturing facilities. An ideal situation, in that many of the facets of building a fly rod and/or producing the tools to do so, was inherent in the teaching assignments. As a result of conversations with 'friends and acquaintances', I transited from wanting to build a single tip for the old South Bend rod, to wanting to go the whole nine yards, and build a complete bamboo fly rod from scratch. The first thing, of course, was to acquire the tools and material(s).

An early excursion to the Charles Demarest warehouse in New Jersey on the wrong day (Columbus Day, 1978) proved fruitless, but subsequently, through several communications with those good people, three 12' 'poles' were delivered to my school address. Cost $5.00 each,  plus  shipping  charge  of  $15.00 ~ $30.00 total. Imagine my dismay at such an expense when Garrison had previously bought culms for twenty eights cents each.

My history of rod building is one of trial(s) and error(s), such as is part and parcel of everyone's experience. Having read many of the incidents of failures, and successes of others, I'm prone to believe that I really haven't much (if anything) to report. Still learning.

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