"Sometimes, you just need to go downstairs and waggle a rod..."

Monday, December 18, 2017


I didn't really plan for this to happen, and to be honest, before a couple of weeks ago, I never had the slightest inclination that it ever would happen. But it has, and it's kind of exciting. Yup, I have made a huge splash, and gotten my first bamboo fly rod. Instead of saying "I got my first bamboo fly rod", I should say that it got me. You see, I didn't go out and shop for this rod, doing my usual research and finding just the right rod to fit my needs. No. I won it in a bucket raffle at my Trout Unlimited Chapter's Annual Holiday Banquet. So, really, all I did was drop my very last raffle ticket in a bucket, and now I have become a Bamboo Rod Owner. In some ways I feel that is a title that is far too lofty for me. I don't smoke a pipe or even own a tweed jacket...

The rod I won is a beautiful little 6'6" 2/3wt quad (4-sided) rod built by the late John Irgens of Rice Lake, Wisconsin. I had never heard of Mr. Irgens before the night of the Banquet, and upon searching the internet, it seems as though there is not much info about him or his rods anywhere. I found some brief mentioning of him on an internet forum that is dedicated to bamboo rods, but not very much. But I guess it doesn't matter if the world knows about John Irgens, because I can attest that he made a fine bamboo fly rod. The craftsmanship seems to be first rate. And the rod is truly a beauty. But even better than that, it casts very nicely, too.
Isn't that a cool little cork grip?

The weather was very nice this afternoon, so I took it out on the lawn/snow for the first time and gave it a good test. Being a fiberglass fan, I thought I would be ready for the slowness of the bamboo, but it took me a little while to get the timing down. It is slowwwww. Once I did, I was able to get very accurate 40' casts out, but it really felt good at about 25-30'. I think it will be a great rod for some of my favorite brook trout streams around here, and I will happily test it out on some bluegills in the local lakes this summer, too. In some ways, I am happy it's the middle of winter and everything is too frozen to fish right now. It gives me some time to go out and buy a tweed jacket!