While I don't believe the split cane rod was first built in Deutschland, it is indisputable that Germany had some talented early rodsmiths. One of the rodmakers mentioned in Wilhelm Bischoff's Anleitung zur Argel-Fischerei, or Introduction to Rod Fishing (1882) was H. Hildebrand.
Now, thanks to our German friend Frank Luchsinger, we get the very rare treat of seeing a true 1880s German made split bamboo fly rod. It is a 3 piece, two tip rod and it is a real beauty. It is marked "H. Hildebrand, Muenchen" on the butt. Of course, that is the German spelling of Munich.
I hope you enjoy these pictures. Any attempt to find more information on H. Hildebrand is difficult, it seems that you would have to visit Munich and physically go through Church, City, and regional records.
Indeed. Perhaps an enterprising German historian will undertake just such a project! In the meantime, enjoy a rare treat:
Thanks so much to Frank Luchsinger for sharing this with me and with all of us. What an amazing rod!
UPDATE: Frank writes: "Bottom 37", Mid 36", tip 35" Total put together 103" Weight is not stated but its heavy, probably a salmon rod."
-- Dr. Todd