Article - General

One Rod Angling

By Tony, added on 10/10/2009

A rod needs to be long, and as light as possible. John Judy in his 1994 book on line control 'Slack Line Strategies for Fly Fishing' makes it clear a six inch extension in rod length pretty well doubles a rod's usefulness. Yet switching from nine foot six inches to ten feet was too much for this burly man and he said his new ten footer was an 'arm breaker'. Unlike Americans, the British have always used longer rods because they have never been afraid to use both hands. They need the greater reach perhaps because their rivers have been heavily fished for many centuries.

About the end of the 19th century English rod-makers came up with three piece eleven foot cane rods that could be used with either one or two hands. They called them 'Avon' rods. As there are probably half a dozen rivers with this name in England, they became popular. In 1904 with one of these rods F.K.Wallis cast one and a half drachms (a little over an eighth of an ounce) 235 feet, a bit over 78 yards. He used a very free running centre-pin reel and his position in history became assured. Allcock's made a special rod in his honour called the Wallis Wizard and also the great Aerial reel.

Now, rods similar to the old Wizard are being made in America. In four pieces and made of graphite they are called 'switch' rods. These rods are intended for steelhead fishing but are incredibly versatile and are the way of the future. Anglers no longer need to imitate golfers and have, to quote Churchill, 'a set of implements singularly ill adapted for the purpose'. We can go back to one rod again and I use one of these very light 'switch' rods and an Aerial reel for all my fishing. In this environmentally challenged century it is good to have a such an effective tool.

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