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October 25, 2016
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Those sweet grass rods

Bamboo rods are too heavy? An average 8-foot, 6-inch rod will weigh within 4.25 and 4.75 ounces. That is fine for me, but too much rod for Barbara Ann. Dennis Menscer, the fine rod builder from Hancock, NY, just delivered a perfect rod for the little lady. Dennis built an 8-foot, 6-inch rod for her that, on the scales of the Roanoke PO, weighs only 3.5 ounces. This rod is “hollow built” and comes with a cork reel seat and two sliding bands. She recently had a chance to fly fish this rod for the first time on the Elm Fork. Barb remarked that the rod casts a line with no effort at all. She also reminded me that Dennis had built this rod for her. Older bamboo rods were built by the legends of yesteryear. The young rod builders of today do not have to take a back seat to anyone. If you haven’t cast one of the rods they are now building ,you are missing one of the great pleasures of life. Oh yes, grass rods? Bamboo, Arundinaria amabilis, is classified as being a grass, not a wood.

[A sharp-eyed reader caught an error in the attribution of “Goodbye to a River” in my May 12 column. The author is John Graves.]