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January 2007
Issue 26

Power Fibers is published in Adobe Acrobat format. To view the magazine, you must download the Adobe Acrobat Reader. You can get it here.

To get this issue, order the 2007 Issue CD on the “Backissue CDs” page.

The January, 2007 issue of Power Fibers contains:

Hollowing a Different Way

A few months back I was reading a new The Planing Form newsletter Issue #98 March/April 2006 and came across an article by Wolfram Schott of Germany on a European rod maker Sigurd Vangen from the 1940’s that used a “magic star” form of hollowing...

Flies With a Past: Carrie Stevens and the Gray Ghost

When you think of the Gray Ghost streamer pattern only one name comes to mind and that is Carrie Stevens, the originator of this pattern. This is the first fly I learned to tie, but not one I recommend to the beginner because of how complicated the tie is. The reason I learned this one first is because my Dad had been given a fly tying kit that was put out by Alex Rogan that not only gave you the materials...


The Bridge Pool

I emerged from my car catching the faint, but pleasant odor of burning leaves hanging on the chill of the early morning air. While pulling on my waders and vest my gaze became lost as I tried to glimpse the muted, but brightening canvas of fall colors. It was still early enough that the rising sun couldn’t fully penetrate the heavy swirling and rising fog that still lined the river. I reached into the back seat of the car for the metal rod tube and uncased the bamboo fly rod. As it slid from the tube I was greeted with the faint, but comforting smell of varnish and I thought back...

Book Excerpt: Split and Glued by Vincent C. Marinaro

I can recall my first conversation with Vince Marinaro on the subject of bamboo fly rods. It was the summer of 1973. Unschooled and new to the topic, I was very much surprised to learn that an amateur could actually construct his own split-bamboo fly rod. Surely, there would be satisfaction in such a project, but my assumption was that one's results could hardly measure up to those of a professional maker. “Not so,” said Vince, happy, I'm certain, with the opportunity to hold forth on the merits of going it alone. “Once you learn what you're doing, you can build a rod....

All Cork Reel Seat

First I will thank Todd for the possibility to write an article of my way of building an all cork reel seat.

Why an all cork reel seat? I am a weight fetishist and a wooden spacer, which looks of course very nice, is too heavy for my rod building spirit. Let me explain why.

My finest and lightest rod is the Midge 692, 6’9” for a line size 2/3. This rod weighs....

Handmill Corner: Building Rods with the Morgan Hand Mill

The Morgan Hand Mill is a hand tool that offers an alternative to a plane and planing form for producing strips for bamboo fly rods. It is a bit like a planing form arranged inside out. Rather than dropping the strip into a groove in the planing form and planing material from the single exposed surface, the Morgan Mill holds the strip enamel side down and removes material simultaneously from the two exposed surfaces. Two replaceable carbide cutters held at a fixed angle do the cutting. The fixed angle between the cutters reduces the likelihood of producing strips with unequal angles. Strips can be prepared....


Classic Taper: Weber Henshall HandKraft 3500

The Weber Life-Like Fly Company has a history as American as apple pie. John C. Frost, a Stevens Point, Wisconsin man, learned flyfishing in the East and brought his tackle to Wisconsin in the late 19th century. He was not a fly tyer and soon ran out of flies. He found it necessary to order them from England, which was in many ways unsatisfactory.

His daughter, Carrie, taught herself to tie flies, and by 1896 she was tying flies professionally. This initiated an industry, which prospered in Stevens Point, Wisconsin for 90 years. The Weber Life-Like Fly Company founded....


Book Review: Rod Crafting

Jeff Hatton has made an important contribution to the collective record of bamboo rodmaking, providing a much fuller portrait gallery of cane rods than any other publication to date in his lavishly illustrated book, Rod Crafting.

Rod Crafting offers a representative record in photographs with accompanying descriptions of bamboo fishing and fly rods, organized chronologically....


Flaming a Culm, An Alternative Approach

There are various ways of heat-treating bamboo, one of the traditional ways is to use an oven, but most kitchen ovens aren’t large enough to accommodate the length of the sections of some bamboo rods.

One way to heat treat a culm is to use a torch and flame it, running the flame along the outside of a culm until a fairly even brown tone is achieved. This method works fine if a brown toned rod is desired. If a light yellow or blond....


Low Cost Scarfing Block

Some years ago I purchased a metal scarfing block to make nodeless rods. To date I have yet to make one. I thought I could also use this block to repair rods if need be. When I needed to scarf a couple of tip sections, I found the gap in the block was too wide for me to use (photo 1). I made a quick and dirty scarf block....


Book Review: Oregon Bamboo

Joe Beelart began writing Oregon Bamboo about three years ago with the idea of providing a sort of annotated checklist of bamboo rod builders located in Oregon. Books like this are very useful, and examples such as Dick Spurr’s Classic Bamboo Rodmakers or the Johnsons’ Fiberglass Fly Rods are indispensable references.

In the course of three years, however, Joe’ project grew in size and complexity. The result is a book that documents the whole current bamboo rod “scene” in Oregon, with rod builders at center stage, but all the other crafts....


Product Review: Jeff Wagner Binder

This article is primarily about the Wagner binder- a wonderful tool that I purchased recently. But it is also about what I learned in the process of using it. This is a tool that works, and it taught me something. But before getting into that, here’s a bit of history on my “binder journey.”

My first binder was a homemade Garrison. I have very limited metalworking capacity in my shop, so it was pretty crude and never worked right. As I would turn the wobbly homemade crank....


RodDNA Workshop: The “Golden” 30 Feet, Part II

The last article emphasized the need to use a common line to cast length for analyzing all of your rods and made the case for that length to be 30 feet. Since then I have had a number of discussions concerning this topic. In addition, John Shaner of Cortland Line Company gave a very informative talk at the 2006 Catskill Rodmakers Gathering. A lot of what John said backed up this case for 30 feet of line length. One of the interesting statistics he gave was that over 90% of all line sold by them are Weight Forward (WF) and approximately 7-8% are Double Taper (DT). He also explained that the front of both WF and DT lines they make are essentially identical until a WF tapers down to the running line, which happens at approximately....

Todd Talsma, Editor - 8412 N Maple Ct  Zeeland  MI 49464  (616) 970-1601
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