Sometimes you need to share with others who will understand the things that get you excited. A week or so ago Stephen Boshoff, bamboo rod maker and innovative craftsman extraordinaire, called me and said he was sending me one of his rods to use and give him feedback. I had in fact seen the rod before and said then that when I grow up I would like to commission him to build me one and when my wife the exchequer would agree to releasing the appropriate funds. I of course consider it appropriate now, but if it’s the truth you are after, she and I can’t always reach consensus on what is a priority and what is not – for now anyway!
It’s not everyone’s idea of a small stream rod, but it grabs me – it is blonde, only 5ft, has a palm grip, invisible bindings and designed for a 3wt line – in my eyes, and for those tiny mountain streams in well hidden secret places I have discovered and have yet to discover, in a word, exquisite. Stephen named the rod after a Lilliputian stream we have fished together, the Didima that flows through a deep, wild, unspoiled gorge high in the mountains – it captures the pristine character and soul of that little crystalline stream that threads and picks its way among the ancient water-worn boulders, over pebbled runs and beneath over-hanging vegetation – a place of cherished memories, of trout and friendship.
I called Stephen to thank him for entrusting me with the care and use of the rod. Our conversation drifted around the virtues of bamboo over modern plastic rods, all the glitzy marketing and advertising for the must have new model that has some never before heard of technology and space age materials that profess to transfer energy for better presentations and longer casts and may even catch you more fish! He had this to say, “Our equipment should age with us … even if it gets a slight set or a nick or two. With our sets and nicks we become slower, wiser and hopefully more forgiving of our bad drifts and missed strikes. That little rod is part of an ongoing search to pair down; to level ’in touch’ with environs like the Didima and its breathtakingly beautiful little trout – why do we try and out-equip for these places? What more does one need than a tiny bamboo (except the canvas pack containing the coffee pot)? So what if the drifts on the little rod are short.”
Thank you Steve, I need say no more ………
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