Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thursday Review: Jordan the Rodmaker by William H. Jordan

Thursday Review: Jordan the Rodmaker by William H. Jordan

It is very rare when we get the opportunity to hear the inside story about one of our fishing tackle legends. But this is exactly what we get with William H. Jordan's new book Jordan the Rodmaker: A Biography of Wesley D. Jordan at Cross - South Bend - Orvis. Wes Jordan needs no introduction to anyone who has done any serious fly angling. Maker of incredible (and ahead of their time) fly rods from 1921-1926 at Cross Rod & Tackle at Lynn, MA, he moved to South Bend, Indiana and set up the rod shop for South Bend Tackle Company, which he ran until 1938, producing upwards of 5000 rods per week. In 1939 he moved to Manchester, Vermont and joined a moribund Charles Orvis Company as one of just three employees. He rebuilt the rod shop, revolutionized the rodmaking world with his impregnated rods, and set Orvis on the path to becoming the giant it is today. He retired after over four decades as the most celebrated rodmaker in the country.

Bill Jordan is Wes Jordan's son, and in this book he gives us unique insight into his father's life and career. Complete with dozens of family photos, this book will give the reader clear insight into the history of Cross, South Bend, and Orvis, including their internal workings, their innovations, and sometimes their conflicts. Refreshing and engaging, you'll see a side to Wes you never knew existed, as well as a reminder of why he is considered one of the greatest rodmakers alive.

I've rarely enjoyed working on a book more than this one. It is a truly delightful work and one that will stand as the definitive biography of Wes Jordan for the indefinite future.

This hardcover with dust jacket is 200 pages, with color photos, and a high-quality Smyth-sewn binding. It is $49.95 and only 600 copies of the hardcover will ever be printed. More information including ordering info can be found by Clicking Here.

A signed and numbered Limited Edition Hardcover with Slipcase (and additional matching signed-and-numbered copy of Bill Jordan's speech about his father given recently at the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum) is available for $99.95. More information can be found by Clicking Here.

-- Dr. Todd

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