Bamboo Tips - Contributors - Schlicht, Frank

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In as much as I have been posting here occasionally for the better part of a year now, and Harry recently made a request for a bio from those of us who have never submitted something, here goes.

I caught my first fish in the Ozarks of Missouri when I was 4 1/2 years old and have been hooked ever since. I am now a septuagenerian and have been retired since 1998. I was raised in Central Texas, and received my PhD in Marine Zoology from Texas A&M University in 1969. I worked as a marine biologist for the then Texas Game and Fish Commission for 15 months in the coastal bend area of the Texas coast before pursuing my graduate degrees. The rest of my career was working for the utility industry supervising numerous major research projects on the impacts of their operations on the environment, especially the power plants discharging condenser cooling water into the waters of the state.

I bought my first fly rod, which I still have, in 1952; an old Art Howald process hollow fiberglass rod.

Through the years, I have made each of my six sons a bait casting rod, a spinning rod for one, flyrods (graphite) for each of them and for the wives of two of them. I have also built several for my self and one for my late wife, as well as a couple of friends. I had two really outstanding mentors when I started working with graphite, from whom I learned a great deal about such things as guides and guide spacing, working with thread, turning cork handles etc. Not long after buying an old Delta 12" X 42" wood lathe, I started turning reel seat inserts. I have since added a compound slide to this lathe so I can turn a better insert.

Very shortly after losing my father-in-law, my mother-in-law gave me all of his fishing tackle, to be passed on to my sons, his only grandsons. Among his tackle were two Montague "Mt. Tom" bamboo rods; both missing their tip sections and one also missing the mid-section. I have wanted to build a bamboo rod for myself for years, but just never seemed to have the time. After much rumination, I finally concluded that undertaking the task of refurbishing the two old Montys should give me a good introduction to working with bamboo. So, about three years ago, I started down that road of no return. I was able to return the Montys to a fishable condition. During the interim I have refurbished about 18 bamboo rods, and am presently working on restoration of a Heddon #10 and a #20.

I am presently in the process of splitting bamboo for my first rod; a nodeless build; the length and taper for which I have not yet settled on. Bought materials early this evening to make my scarfing block, and am anxiously looking forward to planing and gluing.

I live in Katy, Texas. For the benefit of those who have never heard of the place, Houston is our biggest suburb and lies on the eastern edge of town.

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