My Favorite Light Rod
Now 70+ years old, with a bad back and other ailments, it seems appropriate I tell you about my favorite fly rod...
Did you ever follow the works of a gentleman named Wulff - Lee Wulff - to be specific. Of course you have ... Master Angler, Master Fly Caster, Master of the Atlantic Salmon, and, perhaps more germane to this discussion, Master of Little Rods. Lee's choice was little in length but not necessarily weight. By the way, it's said he could fly cast bare handed about 40-feet.
I've always thought there was Magic in little rods ... There are also disadvantages I suppose, but the Magic is more important. Somehow or other, the modern fly fisher has become ingrained with the notion that a rod has to be 9-feet in length (or there abouts) to be worth a damn. The truth is that Lee Wulff threw a 6 to 6.5-foot rod 80-feet in his pursuit of his favorite fish, the Atlantic Salmon.
In the Spring of 1963, I returned from my first tour in Paradise, better known to you as Vietnam. In 1963 no one in this Country knew where the hell it was or, for that matter, what was going on in Paradise. I would suppose that I close to being a basket case in those days.
I did some solitude in and about the Tampa area and one day stumbled into a small fishing shop called Betts. Seems the then owner was into fly fishing, and there, on a rack, stood this itty-bitty fly rod. It was made of fiberglass and was exactly 6-feet in length.
I did just exactly what you would do: I performed the ritual "wiggle test." The rod wasn't fancy -- an amber blank, a slender cork grip wrapped very much like the old Orvis bamboos, and an aluminum downlocking reel seat. It felt like a feather...
After lot of palaver, the then owner and I ventured outside and proceeded to cast the little rod. Suffice it to say that I bought the little 2-piece jewel for about 30 bucks ... Of course, $30.00 in 1963 wasn't what we could call cheap.
After all these years, the little rod still casts like it did those many years ago. Many of my clients have had the opportunity of throwing it and each of the lucky have praised it, most offering money far beyond its original cost.
My hope is that each of you can find a favorite rod that you are attached to as I am to mine.