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Fly Rods Galore

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Fly Rods Galore
By:  George W. Barnes

Since 1731 George Barnes has been the only family member born outside the area near Harpeswell, Maine.  At times, he's felt like the proverbial black sheep.  To make matters worse, George even chose a career away from the sea.  An inspection of family records will show that George's role models were sailors, fishermen, yacht skippers and boat builders.  Although he didn't take his livelihood from the sea, Barnes takes price in the fact that he inherited the traditional skills of his ancestors.  The quality of George's craftsmanship is reflected in the precision, function and beauty of a Barnes split bamboo fly rod.

In lieu of life associated with the sea, George chose a technical education, majoring in civil engineering at the University of Maine.  After graduation, he spent the next 35 years working in virtually every technical position in the field of civil engineering.  George started as a "rodman" and ended up president and CEO of the firm.  During that time, his list of accomplishments grew to include:  chairman, treasurer and president of the American Consulting Engineers Council, headquartered in Washington DC.  While president of the ACEC, George led the firs US technology exchange mission to China.  He then went on to serve as treasurer of the National Construction Industry Council.

In the early 1970's, George became interested in making bamboo fly rods.  His interest came at a time when the average guy just didn't attempt making his own split cane fly rod!  When told by a leading manufacturer that rodmaking couldn't be done at home, George rose to the challenge.  Bach then, there wasn't much information on the subject, so after mastering the idiosyncrasies of romaking "at home," George wrote his first book.  In How To Make Bamboo Fly Rods, George explained, in simple, concise terms, his procedures and early construction theories.  Many current rodmakers credit Barnes with contributing to a rebirth of bamboo fly rods.  George's early work is reproduced in Book One of this volume.  Book Two, entitled Fly Rods Galore, is the sequel, and presents 25 years of changes in the rodmakers' art.  Book Two is filled with innovative theories, helpful tips and interesting sidelights and ideas not found elsewhere.  Certainly George Barnes' thoughts and theories will generate opposing viewpoints, both from novice as well as contemporary master craftsmen.

Table of Contents:

Book One


Book Two

Chapter      Subject   Chapter      Subject
  Introduction     Preface
I The Planing Block - Key to Rod Building   I Making Planing Forms
II Hand Tools and Equipment   II Roughing Forms
III Making, Sharpening and Tuning a Scraper   III Preparing a Nodeless Strip
IV Making Special Tools and Aids   IV Rough Planing the Strips
V Obtaining Materials   V Setting the Planing Form
VI Selecting a Rod   VI Final Planing of Strips
VII Splitting, Rough Shaping and Straightening   VII Binders
VIII Planing, Scraping and Sanding Strips   VIII Adhesives
IX Heat Treating   IX Gluing Up the Blanks
X Assembling and Gluing Strips   X Getting Ready to Varnish the Blanks
XI Final Shaping, Scraping, Sanding and Turning Ferrule Seats   XI Varnishing the Blanks
XII Assembling Reel Seat, Ferrules, Tiptop, Grip and Winding Check   XII Final Steps
XIII Varnishing   XIII Making Cork Grips
XIV Winding Snake Guides, Keeper and Ferrules   XIV Making Reel Seats and Ferrules
XV Color Preservative and Final Varnish   XV Plane Irons and Sharpening
XVI Frequently Asked Questions   XVI Heat Treating Ovens
XVII The Ultimate Test   XVII Rod Cases
      XVIII Miscellaneous Tools and Jigs
      XIX Designing Your Own Tapers
      XX Power Fiber Mythology

"If you have ever experienced the thrill of catching a fish on a fly you tied yourself, reflected that your skill in understanding and imitating the patterns of nature had made it possible for you to outwit a wily adversary, then you may have the beginning of an understanding of the thrill of making the catch with a fly rod made with your own two hands."

- George W. Barnes, Harpeswell, Maine - 1977

"On the second cast, I had them both, one on the end fly and the other on a dropper.  They were two beautiful sixteen inch brook trout.  Such memories are worth all the bamboo cuts, nicks and splinters.  If you want to make your own bamboo fly rod, do it.  If you possess a normal amount of skill, the only thing stopping you is you."

- George W. Barnes, Harpeswell, Maine - 2002

"Fly Rods Galore, a first of its kind, combines the classic approach of George's original work with what's new, fresh and unique in the contemporary world of split bamboo rodmaking.  Two books in one, a then and now journey into the challenging world of rodmaking."

- Ron Barch / editor, The Planing Form

ISBN # 0-9657663-7-3

Price:  $49.95

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