Bamboo Tips - Contributors - St Clair, Mike

< Home < Contributors < St Clair, Mike

I got to fish once as a child, when I was 13 an uncle took me to Pismo Beach and gave me an old Zebco spincast rod and reel and a tiny little tackle box. I caught a 1 lb. mackerel. We threw it out. About 15 years later, I tried again and caught a few bluegills with a buddy in Apache Lake, AZ. Loved doing it, but wasn't very good at it.

Finally, as I reached the age of 34 or so, my best friend took me up to the Sierras, near Kernville. He taught me to use ultra-lite gear and I learned to really fish for the first time ever. I was hooked. Eventually, I was lucky enough to join a bass club that held monthly tourneys and the "boater" (boat owner) shared the points earned with his "non-boater". This gave them the incentive to TEACH you the tricks they used and you learned TONS of methods and condition reading that you'd spend years learning on your own. I even won a few tournaments before I sold MY boat and graduated to fly fishing.

As my sciatica began to effect my mobility on the rivers, I spent more and more time rebuilding old bamboo rods. Started with my grandfather's cheap Japanese production rod. I found some old rods at yard sales and "antique" shops and auctions, and rebuilt them as well. As I learned more about them, I picked up books and contacted Bill Carter, in MA, about building a blank for me. We hit it off as friends and I went back to meet him and learn some of his methods. He gave me some tools to get started making my own rods and I eventually decided the MHM was on my list of tools to buy. Bill is one of  the nicest people you could ever meet and has helped me in many ways over the years.

My cousin's husband, Chris Hynes, and I jokingly mentioned forming a "company" where I could start making rods. It still hasn't earned enough for a profit,  but it pays for shows, ads, web and supplies.

Though I didn't find the list until about 2005, I've learned immeasurably from it, and it's members. It's much more friendly in atmosphere than the "big boards" to me. I like the quirky posters as much as the straight talkers, and, for the most part, love the humor that gets bandied about.

Rodmaking in So. Cal. (Riverside) is sometimes a little lonely, but the list brings people from S. Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the "continent" right into your locale. I've had the good fortune to meet several other CA makers, including Larry Tusoni, Tom Key (the oldest newbie here), and all the folks attending the Eastern Sierra Gatherings... and the great pleasure to help newer builders like Pete Emmel along their way.

I guess my biggest claim to fame is having a name that's "almost" the same as Mike Sinclair... you don't know how many times suppliers have confirmed my address in Kentucky... LOL or started talking about "those parts I asked about last time..." when I have NO idea what they're talking about.

If my eyesight holds out, I hope to be building for a long time to come. I can't wait to retire from this "art director" position and do something that doesn't have deadlines and deadheads connected to it. I also hope to someday have the time to visit all of you at the gatherings around the country that I've not been able to attend up to now.

Site Design by: Talsma Web Creations

Tips Home - What's New - Tips - Articles - Tutorials - Contraptions - Contributors - Search Site - Contact Us - Taper Archives
Christmas Missives - Chat Room - Photo Galleries - Line Conversions - The Journey - Extreme Rodmaking - Rodmaker's Pictures - Donate - Store