Bamboo Tips - Contributors - Wagner, John

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Hi, my name is John Wagner, and I have been on the list for probably 4 or 5 years.  I live in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, but hopefully in the next year or so will be moving to somewhere in Oneida county, WI.  I started flyfishing in earnest about 6 years ago.  I had an acquaintance who has a friend who makes cane rods in the Chicago area and he showed me his favorite rod and let me cast it.  I knew immediately that I needed to have bamboo rods, many cane rods.  I thought building them would be impossible after reading Garrison, but knew there was no other way for me to start fishing cane.  My acquaintance said if I could build a canoe, I could build a bamboo rod.  I would probably disagree now, after 6 rods, but it got me off my butt.  Besides providing infinite ideas, and the concept that the right way to build a rod is however it works best for you, getting me off my butt is really how this list is most valuable to me.  I have completed 5 rods and fished with them in Wisconsin, California, Alaska, Colorado and Wyoming.  I do lurk too much, and I should chime in more often.

I am currently trying to tool up to make quad rods, even though I should really be working on making better hex rods.  I have no desire to make rods for sale, but I would like to be able to make rods that are nice enough to give as gifts to folks, or provide for raffles.   I tend to spend as much time yet trying to figure out my process, as I am a process person, as I do actually making shavings.  There is a graveyard of half-completed and shabbily assembled but functional tools and jigs in my basement.  I am beginning to understand that I probably always will be that way, and that finding that "perfect" process will never happen.  But it's part of the fun for me.  And catching a fish on a fly you tied, a rod you created, with tools you built is really intoxicating.

If you are lurking or planning and worrying, JUST START MAKING SHAVINGS! You will make mistakes, you'll make stuff you're embarrassed of, you will have to start over many times. You will learn and get better as you go, but only if you start.

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