Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday Review: My New Book Forgotten Fly Rods

Thursday Review: My New Book Forgotten Fly Rods

This is not a review as much as it is a short blurb about the release of my latest book, Forgotten Fly Rods: Overlooked and Underappreciated American Fishing Rod Makers which just arrived this Monday. It is a book I really, really enjoyed working on and it I think it is a very informative work and a good read, too. It takes a sort of radical approach, in that the book is more about the rodmakers and their craft than a dissection of the rods itself. It is a nice hardcover with dust jacket and is limited to just 150 copies. It would make a great gift and I think will hold its value awfully well, as all bamboo rod hardcover books do.


We know a good deal about many of the major American rod makers, ranging from Hiram Leonard to Eustis W. Edwards to Lyle Dickerson. But high end fly rod makers like these are just the tip (and a glorious one at that) of the iceberg. From the earliest days of American rod making in the 1830s to the immediate post-World War II era, hundreds if not thousands of men made their living in part or in whole as rod makers. We have documented histories of less than 10% of them. This book is an effort to resurrect the stories of rod makers that span the range of American fishing tackle history, from the beginnings to the 1960s.

Meticulously researched and documented, Forgotten Fly Rods brings to light a number of heretofore unknown rodsmiths including Morgan L. Marshall, Clarence Huntley, Nathan Harrington, Amasa Ward, George Miner, and Andrew Kull. It offers, for the first time, detailed histories of a number of rodsmiths whose stories have been misrepresented or incomplete, such as Will H. Cruttenden, George Morgan, Alonzo Fowler, and Roy F.B. Shaver. And it offers new interpretations and information on known rod makers, including Benjamin Welch, John Conroy, and Thaddeus Norris.

The story of the American fishing rod is much more than just split bamboo, and it goes far beyond just high end fly rods. The stories of these overlooked and underappreciated American rod makers will help us to better understand and appreciate the origins and development of the American fishing rod, and as such should prove of interest to fishing historians, rod collectors, and any anglers inquisitive about how the rod in their hands came into being.

192 Pages + 135 B&W Images + 332 Endnotes + 13 rodmakers = 1 great story of forgotten rods and their makers.

Forgotten Fly Rods is available by Clicking Here or sending $54.95 (for U.S. orders only) to: The Whitefish Press, 4240 Minmor Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45217.

-- Dr. Todd

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