passing on rod building to my kids
I found a great deal on first quality IM-6 blanks at far below wholesale so I picked up two 9 ft. 5 weights for my sons, ages 11 1/2 and nearly 16. This past weekend I started teaching them how to build a rod from a blank and have both of them now building their first rods.
The 11 1/2 year old things it is very cool that he can make his own rod with the thread color of his choice. He did all the handle work himself with me simply watching and offering guidance. He measured the guide spacing this evening and has half the guides taped in placed. He wants to have his rod finished so he can go fishing with it and show it off to his friends. Tomorrow he will be taught how to make guide wraps and start wrapping the rod.
The nearly 16 year old has his reel seat and grip on, has the guides measures and taped in place, and started to wrap the butt section.
My 11 1/2 year old chose teal thread for his, and the nearly 16 year old chose fire engine red thread for his. They both want me to write the rod length and line size in thread along with their names like I have done on some of my own rods. The younger one says that way it makes for a special rod of his own that nobody else has like it.
The only problem with teaching them how to do this is the younger one is already talking about getting a heavier line blank so he can have a "bass rod" too. Thankfully, he is not asking for top quality nickle silver reel seats, yet. Although he did ask about a T&T 2-hander blank's price so he can make one of them for himself. I'm creating a monster, but I love it.
That's awesome! They are lucky guys. They'll always treasure these rods, perhaps their own boys will too.
My father, who is now 78 and still actively fly fishes for trout, smallmouth bass, and largemouth bass in Northeastern Pennsylvania, taught me how to fly fish when I was 5 years old. He also taught me how to wrap new guides on a rod because back in the early and mid 1960's only the best rods were using chrome plated snakes and tips of fly rods so they would wear out through grooving every few years and need to be replaced.
I'm simply passing on to my kids the simple pleasures of fishing with a fly, tying flies, and building rods. As my father told me growing up (I have since said the same thing to my two boys and daughter, who is no grown with kids of her own), "Teach your kids to enjoy the outdoors and the pursuit of fly fishing and its various arts and skills, and they will never take the earth's resources for granted. And they will also have a lifetime to pursue this sport that always provides wonderment and awe of nature."
My daughter quit fishing at age 12 because it wasn't cool for girls to fly fish has been recently talking about maybe having Nora and I teach her son Ezra (age 2 1/2) how to fly fish when he is about 5. She then went into a reverie about how she used to fly fish when she was a kid.
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