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Splitting Cane: Conversations with Bamboo Rodmakers Hardcover – August 10, 2002


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"It's about time someone wrote a book about bamboo fly rods, not as works of art or as elements of an ongoing tradition (although they can certainly be that) but as the fishing tools they were always meant to be. And Ed was just the guy to do it. He understands and appreciates the romance and heritage behind these rods, but he's also a practical fisherman who-first and foremost-expects a fly rod to cast well. This is the best kind of book: one that grew naturally out of the author's interest, knowledge, and enthusiasm." (John Gierach 2002-07-01)

"Reading each chapter of Splitting Cane is much like opening a rod tube containing a fine bamboo rod. The rod and its maker come to life with the removal of the cap and the turn of each page. This book and the rod have been holding their breath, just waiting to be opened." (A.K.. Best 2002-07-01)

About the Author

Ed Engle lives in Colorado, where he guides and instructs fly fishers on the South Platte River. His website is www.edengleflyfishing.com.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Stackpole Books (August 10, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811700089
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811700085
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,891 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Usually what I read is research , technical or history related.
Pamela J. Bryant
I did love the book though, and couldn't put it down till I read every single page!
Rod Builder
This book has been criticized as just another publication by the John Gierach gang.
Former Rater

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Former Rater on April 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This latest book on the wonders of the hand-crafted Bamboo Fly Rod and their makers is a survey of 17 (counting the Jenkins father & son team as two) men and their craft.

Ed Engle, a Colorado fly fishing guide for more than 30 years, has collected his conversations with these craftsmen. Then he includes a description of a trip to China to the only source of the "Tonkin" Bamboo. This is a book that can, largely, be told by its cover. . . and it reveals a few truths about an esoteric art as practiced by a few of the current craftsmen. It is not intended to be the definitive survey nor is it an unbiased critical review - it is what it says it is - a record of conversations between the author and some rodmakers he knows and a discussion of some of the rods, including the practice and the art of casting them.

This book has been criticized as just another publication by the John Gierach gang. It is true that the book covers rodmaker Mike Clark and his "John Gierach- A.K. Best" taper rod and Gierach wrote the introduction, but that's hardly a negative; I'd assume that the critic would have said the same of members of The Algonquin Roundtable . . . That said, Engle's writing style is his own and he derives nothing from Gierach's prose style.

Another critic remarks that there has been prior publication of some of these interviews. For this reviewer, it matters not one whit that some of the chapters are collected from other publications. The prior publications are obscure and it is unlikely that many of the readers will have had access to them.

This is a delightful insight into the worlds of a few people who make hand-made fly rods that sell for $900.00 and up (way, way up in some cases).
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. Rios on May 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Do you fish with a bamboo rod? Good, what you don't? Then you neeed to read this book about fantastic "living" bamboo rod makers. Ed does a good job of getting into the minds and work of bamboo rod makers and it doesn't hurt that he is good friends with Mike Clark. By the way Mike's rods are soooo expensive these days, if you could get one. I do understand that they are sweet though. Anyway, if you read this book and don't fish with a bamboo rod, you will be by the end of the book, whether through osmosis or the real thing.

You can't pick up books like this and never read anything else like it. After you buy this book you better think about a new bookcase for all your other "new" bamboo rod books.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this book to be quite informative and has helped me narrow down the rod maker that i will buy from.

Thanks for the smooth transaction.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ed knows what he's talking about: the rod features, insight into the builder's experience and how the rods cast. There is some care of rod info too.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great book if you are at all interested in bamboo fly rods and the craftsmen who create them, highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm really not much of a reader. Usually what I read is research , technical or history related. This is well written,I have another new favorite author. I've been rebuilding bamboo fly rods, for a while, and I find this work truly inspirational. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in split bamboo fly rods and fishing them. Prompt delivery time doesn't hurt either. Thank you for a good experience, Again. Sincerely Dave
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By Randy Kadish on November 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Though I don't build fly rods I found this book fascinating. It tells many techniques and stories behind today's great fly-rod builders. It's inspiring to know that we are probably living in the Golden Age of bamboo fly rods, and that many craftsmen are still pursuing excellence. Now one of my goals is to one day own a modern bamboo masterpiece.
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