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Old 06-06-2007, 03:09 AM
Nooksack Mac Nooksack Mac is offline
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Thumbs up Book of the bamboo builders

Casting a Spell: The Bamboo Fly Rod and the American Pursuit of Perfection, by George Black. 235 pages; Random House; 2006

This book is a fascinating, if somewhat somber, history of the great, or good, men who turned the split bamboo fly rod into an iconic totem of American sport. It is in no way a how-to-do-it manual. Rather, it's an accounting of the waxing, waning, serial resignation, reorganization, branding, deaths, and reemergence of individuals, families, companies and crews, of which the reconstituting of the Winston bamboo shop into Sweetgrass Rods is just the latest iteration. The lesson seems to be that it's practically impossible to do better than eake out a modest living as a bamboo rod builder; still less to do it for a lifetime. Strangely, these very different men didn't seem to worship at the alter of bamboo rods, theirs or their peers; but all were determined to keep improving their craft (never call it an art).
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