Tuesday, November 21, 2006

rodmakers: heed thee advice

From Colonel Robert Venerables as found in his tome, The Experienced Angler or Angling Improved Being a General Discourse of Angling; Imparting many of the aptest wayes and choicest Experiments for the taking of most sorts of Fish in Pond or River. (now that's a title!)

In Autumn, when the leaves are almost or altogether fallen, which is usually about the Winter solstice, the sap being then in the root; which about the middle of January begins to ascend again, and then the time is past to provide yourself with stocks or tops: you need not be so exactly curious for your stocks as the tops, though I wish you to choose the neatest taper-grown you can for stocks, but let your tops be the most neat rush-grown shoots you can get, straight and smooth; and if for the ground rod, near or full two yards long, the reason for that length shall be given presently; and if for the fly, of what length you please, because you must either choose them to fit the stock, or the stock to fit them in a most exact proportion; neither do they need to be so very much taper-grown as those for the ground, for if your rod be not most exactly proportionable, as well as slender, it will neither cast well, strike readily, or ply and bend equally, which will very much endanger your line. When you have fitted yourself with tops and stocks, for all must be gathered in one season, if any of them be crooked, bind them all together, and they will keep one another straight; or lay them on some even-boarded floor, with a weight on the crooked parts, or else bind them close to some straight staff or pole; but before you do this you must bathe them all, save the very top, in a gentle fire.

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