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So, Who is This Nunley Guy?


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Being fairly new to the rodmaking bizness I am as they say too young to know much of Nunley except by reputation, whether earned or not. Matter of fact, from what little I have heard I have little desire for hero worship or emulation.

Until yesterday I felt kind of smug in that my worst moment with bamboo was no more than the equivalent of a paper cut, and only once. But last night that all changed. I had the last of my Varathane 900 stored in a 1/2 pint canning jar. Found the screw top ring a little snug when trying to open it, so out came the channel locks. Just as the thought crossed my mind that I was applying too much pressure the jar shattered.

I have done worse jobs filleting fish. Laid it open from the palm around the joint of the index finger, about 2 1/2" long and 3/4" or more deep. Bleeding like the proverbial stuck pig.

Wrapped it up with 5 folded paper towels held on with 4 large rubber bands off I went to the emergency room. After getting compliments on my impromptu first aid skills I watched the face of the young lady as she unwrapped the mess. The reaction on her face told me everything. People don't often make a face like she did. She quickly wrapped it back and called for the doctor.

The doc says it was only meat and hard to believe it didn't involve more. Only took sixteen stitches and $425 (so far). Kinda hurts as I write this too.

Good news was that the doc and I largely fish the same rivers. Had a very nice conversation as he sewed me up. He insisted that I bring in a couple of my latest rods with me when I come in for the follow up visit in a couple of days. I may have actually gotten another hooked on becoming a builder. If so that will be my second convert in my brief career.

Sorry for the long post. Can't believe how long this is taking to type. Since I work mostly with my hands I have some time on my hands for a few days.

I know one incident doesn't qualify to join the hall of fame, but lookout Nunley cause I'm gaining on ya!  (Steve Shelton)

    "MR." Nunley is one who some of us can only aspire to! Besides the fact that the guy knows his rodmaking sh*t, his injuries, in the performance of his duties, places him on a high shelf indeed. It's something some of us could work a lifetime to attain. Consider him like Gretsky. We all score an injury from time to time but the leading scorer is always out of reach, if just barely. I'm working hard to catch him, but it will be hard for me to touch the varnish shower, bleeding head, insults from significant other, and pearls of wisdom in general.

    Still, my friend, you are on the way, but the hall of fame is something to be worked hard on AND with diligence!

    BTW...did you know that boiling varnish is one of the best cures for burned flesh? Found that out the hard way. Did you know that if you lay your thumb open in a particular place with a splitting froe, you will never feel anything (like smacking your thumb with a hammer) again even though you can move the thumb here and there as you wish? Still your friends will stand and laugh at you until they have to go outside to catch their breath. You, like me, should keep a bottle of superglue on the bench simply to glue open flesh back together.

    We owe MR. Nunley a huge debt in his willingness to share first aid tips, how to deal with women after such an accident (and in general), and how to have the grace to find something less dangerous to do for a while (like running a bar!) while still being loved by fellow rodmakers. Yes, he's Bob Gretsky sometimes known as Bob Nunley and other names that won't be repeated here! Search the archives if they're still available, Bob is legendary. More than that, he's freaking inspirational, someone to draw strength from. Certainly if he can live through the crap he has written about I can live through my puny crap!  (Mike Shay)

      You forgot the book! Anyone can suffer from one of lifes little challenges.  Surviving enough of them to compile a book is another matter altogether.  (Larry Blan)

        Surviving enough of them to compile a book is another matter altogether.

        No, surviving them and REMEMBERING them to compile a book is another matter! Let alone finding a bunch of boys to buy the damn book! OK, I'll fess up. I forgot about the book, but I'm busy killing brain cells at the moment. Will they NEVER end?  (Mike Shay)

      And here I thought his name was Ratbert Numbley.  He did look mahvelous in that tin hat Doc Shaffer presented him at the 2000 SRG!  (Mark Wendt)

      He also in partnership with Peter McKean revolutionized splitting cane.  (Tony Young)

      2 things

      1. I still like Nunley’s snake rod, you forgot that one

      2. My package arrived today..Thanks again..now I got to fish it.

      PS: You can keep the Bamboo shavings, I got enough of them all over the house.  (Bill Bixler)

        Ahhh...the snake rod!

        See!...more than one man can possibly remember! It takes the entire list to remember everything that Mr. Nunley has accomplished! Glad you got the package! Go fish it and have some fun!  (Mike Shay)

          The story about the wax bullet still cracks me up.  And the night possum hunt was a scream!  Robert, you need a new book out.  Surely you've had some interesting adventures minding the bar!  (Mark Wendt)

    Ah the infamous MR Nunley;

    Pick up a copy of his book "Extreme Rodmaking" a bottle or two of your favorite beverage, sit back relax and read it. Preferably away from anyone else as they will have you committed for laughing uncontrollably out loud.

    I'm  snickering  just thinking about it,  guess it's time for a reread!!  (Pete Van Schaack)

      I understand you've garnered a chapter in his new book.  The chapter is titled, "How to Innoculate Against Disease, Using Bamboo."  (Mark Wendt)

      You are absolutely right....It is time for a reread. Now I got to go find it.  (Bill Bixler)

        We must remember that MR. NUNLEY never has an accident.  His misfortunes are always multiple and escalating.  That is his rare charm.  He never bangs his thumb with the hammer.  He bangs his thumb with the hammer, drops the hammer on his big toe., jumps away from the hammer and trips over his shoelace and falls to the floor pulling the shelf full of assorted paint cans after him.  (Ralph Moon)

          Having never met Mr. Nunley, but reading about him for several years, I can imagine exactly what he must look like.  Everyone here in the south (at least us older folks) can recall the Lil' Abner comic strip.  There was an unlucky character named Joe Bl&t@f#s*k (don't know why Windows insisted insisted on trying to make that into a URL).  Joe was a scrawny little fellow in a ragged black hat who walked around with a thundercloud over his head, continually pouring rain on him.  Everything he touched turned to s***.   Is that what Nunley looks like?  (Carey Mitchell)

            ROFL! If it is possible to view someone who looks like he could have played any number of positions in the NFL, that isn't a bad description!! Most of us have to tip our heads back a bit to talk to Bob.  :)

            Most of his tales end up successfully, it's just that they might fork off a bit before they get there.  (Larry Blan)

              Glad that you added that "Most" in there!

              ROFL!  (Todd Talsma)

                Nunley...  Nunley...  Hmm, I don't recall the name.  There was this one fellow that I remember a few years back.  Went by the name Rodent Numbley.  That ring a bell?  (Jason Swan)

                BTW, Extreme Flyfishing is a good read.  I keep my copy in the bathroom where I can really enjoy it. 

                Sir Numbley is neither little, nor scrawny.  First time I shook his hand, my hand disappeared in his.  He's a pretty big dude.  The kinda guy you want on your side in a bar fight...   ;-)  (Mark Wendt)

              I stopped reading the bit about Lil Abner the first time I saw it because I though you had it right but you got the wrong cartoon guy, the guy you want *IS* Lil Abner.

              Actually Bob's the kind of bloke you want on your side any time any place.  (Tony Young)

          You could say Mumbly has events.  (Tony Young)

        Sheesh,  I keep mine right in between the rodmaking books. That way, the what to do and the what not to do are both handy! Some time back, I was doing something, exactly what it was slips my mind right now, but I had a very quick flash of Bob's lathe attacking him, so I stopped and took another course of action. All that, and public service too!  :)   (Larry Blan)

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