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Fishing Bamboo [Paperback]

John Gierach
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 1 2001
There's a lot of interest in bamboo rods, or at least curiosity about them. They've been around since before the Civil War and for much of that time almost all fly rods - cheap, expensive, and in between - were made of split bamboo. They're a large part of the tradition and mythology of fly fishing, but some fishermen are surprised to learn that they're as alive and well now as they've ever been. In fact, some of the split bamboo rods being built today are among the best ever made.

Think of Fishing Bamboo as an introduction to bamboo rods and to the subculture of people who make, buy, sell, collect, and fish with them.


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Product Description

From Amazon

Whether you're interested in fishing or collecting bamboo fly-rods--or you simply enjoy good outdoors writing--you'll find it all in this paean to the slightly arcane world of the bamboo enthusiast. There's enough information here for those in need of an overview, including chapters on the history of bamboo rod-building, the master craftsmen of the past, and types of rods, plus the usual assortment of folksy wisdom and well-turned phrases that one expects from the author of Trout Bum and Sex, Death and Fly-fishing. Appendixes include listings of current manufacturers and dealers of bamboo fly-rods. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

A fascinating book that explaints what the excitement is all about. -- W.D. Wetherell, author of Vermont River

If Mark Twain were alive and a modern-day fly fisherman, he still would be hard put to top Gierach." -- Sports Illustrated

With the deftness of a surgeon, John Gierach thoroughly succeeds in a delicate operation--removing the mystery surrounding bamboo fly rods. -- Dave Hughes, author of Reading the Water

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good book for all who love flyfishing March 19 1998
Format:Hardcover
Well, i`m a bamboo rodbuilder and also a bookseller. I think Gierach wrote a very good book, for rodbuilders ( also not profs) and for all who like to flyfishing. He tells in short words the history of "bamboo rods" and workmanship. Gierach tells the difference betwen bamboo and "plastic" ( he means graphite rods). Shure, this book has mabye a touch of "golden age", but don`t we all need and live with dreams? Look at the funny,new catalogs of the modern angling industrie - every page a "dream" - and most time not reality! Bamboo rod makers don`t produce for a "mass market", and often work in small places like garages behind her house, an this over decades. And some "big names" are still alive, like the growing numbers of her customers. Yes, this book is sometimes poetic and has no glossy images, but some fine etchings - think thats we call "feeling" - and flyfishing with bamboo is just feeling! Second - books about bamboo rodbuilders are seldom and quick out of stock, this past and present. I think this book will be soon a "Classic".
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4.0 out of 5 stars one of his best April 29 2000
Format:Hardcover
My favorite John Gierach book happens to be whichever one I am reading at the time, and this one is a welcome addition to the list...Anyone who reads his books knows he prefers bamboo rods to all others, and this book is attempt to put why into words. It offers a brief history of bamboo rod and somewhat less than comprensive list of current makers of them. (But geez.. try and find the magazine he mentions on your local newstand though! ) No it is not a large detailed book nor will it allow the rank beginner to go out and build himself (or herself) a bamboo rod. (At least I would not want to try it on Gierach's book alone). But what it is is a wonderful, very readable book on a often forgotten piece of fishing equipment that every angler should try once. Like upland hunting with a fine double, fly fishing with a bamboo rod just "feels right". Its an "unexplainable" and no one comes closer to explaining it that John Gierach....
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4.0 out of 5 stars good introduction to bamboo March 17 2000
Format:Hardcover
Very readable, as you would expect from gierech.... but also very short. I got the impression he knocked this one out over a cup of coffee. Having said that, it's fired me with the enthusiasm to fish bamboo in the uk. The fillers at the end on bamboo rod builders & dealers are not as complete as a quick search on the net will provide... which is probably exactly what he did.
Worth reading because his enthusiasm & philosophy shines through... but expect to finish reading it in a couple of hours!
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Hardcover
John Gierach writes what I like to read, quick and clever(not cute). There is a lot of good stuff in this book, but I would have liked to see real pictures of the old rods and a description of the building process. I'm thinking that what this book really is is a public explanation of a passion that really needs no justification. Either that or the rent is due. For some guys it's motorcycles or guitars or cars. For John it's bamboo(never cane) rods. Thanks John.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars one of his best April 29 2000
By goodoldmac - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
My favorite John Gierach book happens to be whichever one I am reading at the time, and this one is a welcome addition to the list...Anyone who reads his books knows he prefers bamboo rods to all others, and this book is attempt to put why into words. It offers a brief history of bamboo rod and somewhat less than comprensive list of current makers of them. (But geez.. try and find the magazine he mentions on your local newstand though! ) No it is not a large detailed book nor will it allow the rank beginner to go out and build himself (or herself) a bamboo rod. (At least I would not want to try it on Gierach's book alone). But what it is is a wonderful, very readable book on a often forgotten piece of fishing equipment that every angler should try once. Like upland hunting with a fine double, fly fishing with a bamboo rod just "feels right". Its an "unexplainable" and no one comes closer to explaining it that John Gierach....
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good book for all who love flyfishing March 19 1998
By gespliesst@bluewin.ch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Well, i`m a bamboo rodbuilder and also a bookseller. I think Gierach wrote a very good book, for rodbuilders ( also not profs) and for all who like to flyfishing. He tells in short words the history of "bamboo rods" and workmanship. Gierach tells the difference betwen bamboo and "plastic" ( he means graphite rods). Shure, this book has mabye a touch of "golden age", but don`t we all need and live with dreams? Look at the funny,new catalogs of the modern angling industrie - every page a "dream" - and most time not reality! Bamboo rod makers don`t produce for a "mass market", and often work in small places like garages behind her house, an this over decades. And some "big names" are still alive, like the growing numbers of her customers. Yes, this book is sometimes poetic and has no glossy images, but some fine etchings - think thats we call "feeling" - and flyfishing with bamboo is just feeling! Second - books about bamboo rodbuilders are seldom and quick out of stock, this past and present. I think this book will be soon a "Classic".
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, inspiring, not as much information as I would lik Dec 29 1997
By Lescaster - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
John Gierach writes what I like to read, quick and clever(not cute). There is a lot of good stuff in this book, but I would have liked to see real pictures of the old rods and a description of the building process. I'm thinking that what this book really is is a public explanation of a passion that really needs no justification. Either that or the rent is due. For some guys it's motorcycles or guitars or cars. For John it's bamboo(never cane) rods. Thanks John.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Nice Read From a Passionate Expert Oct. 18 2006
By John Beowulf - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I must say that I was not looking forward to reading this book as I had heard it was dry and lifeless.

Well, true enough. It is really not a typical "Gierach" book full of interesting stories and insight about the fly fishing life.

However, it is a very readable book about the story of the bamboo fly rod and I must say, it is full of interesting history and personal insight. For example, Gierach points out that you can feel a bamboo rod load on the back cast which is something that is difficult to feel with graphite. He is right and I had never noticed that before. His gift is to be able to identify those subtle points in life that we don't normally notice easily. Now I let my bamboo load up before the cast.

I may be biased though, with this whole bamboo stuff because I just won't buy anything else now. Graphite is great and it gets the job done but it is like comparing finger painting to a monet hanging on the wall.

-John
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good introduction to bamboo March 17 2000
By R J Revell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Very readable, as you would expect from gierech.... but also very short. I got the impression he knocked this one out over a cup of coffee. Having said that, it's fired me with the enthusiasm to fish bamboo in the uk. The fillers at the end on bamboo rod builders & dealers are not as complete as a quick search on the net will provide... which is probably exactly what he did.
Worth reading because his enthusiasm & philosophy shines through... but expect to finish reading it in a couple of hours!
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