Fly fishing tackle: rods

The wild and wonderful variety of kit we have in our fly fishing tackle is a very long way from the simple bamboo and pole of yesteryear.

In the West, fly fishing rods were principally made of wood. But wood is heavy, so having long rods to reach the spots where the  fish may be was invariably a tricky proposition. In the East, particularly Japan, wood density wasn’t so much of an issue. This was a country where bamboo rods were king. Bamboo is a very light material which could make very long, flexible rods, without anglers having to worry themselves about rod weight. Fly fishing remained pure in Japan, as fishermen did not need to seek alternative materials to bamboo.

But in the West, anglers tackled the tricky problem of rod weight by devising running line systems. This involved using shorter rods and longer lines. Over time this led to the development of reels and shorter rods. Although even now you can chose an (expensive) bamboo rod as part of your fly fishing tackle, since the ancient material is becoming fashionable once again.

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