Monday 13 June 2022

Old mans Cane?

 Recently on Facebook there was an interesting link to a piece by Simon Cooper.

Saying why do we pretend cane fly rods are any good.? I am sure that the post was targeted at getting a reaction but it does ask a sensible question ,  After all whey would we use craftsmanship and feel rather than technology and the latest space age tech. Why would we not take advantage of progress?  I think the answer has to be for me because sometimes they are best,  for sure carbon fibre does indeed provide a wonderful material for fly rods I have several, actually many  , but there are a few reasons why I still love the bamboo. The judgment is not one based on science and pure performance rather the it is down to qualitative and not quantitative factors. For example as much as I have a nice powerful and comfortable German car that will cruise all day long at the limit and do everything I want if I had a lottery win at some point I would find a nice classic sports car to have a run round the country lanes on a warm summers evening. I suppose I could have indulged in something like it now but truth is I like fly rods a lot more than cars ,well  its a similar analogy for cane rods they do the same as carbon but I think in a more leisurely and classy way ,  by the way I am new to cane its only the last 6 or 7 years when I have started to gain the habit ,  

Practically for cane  small stream rods 7ft 6 inch and less seems to me the sweet spot for getting the most out of the material. The little extra weight of cane to some extent works the rod its self, roll casting is a dream with a silk line and close range casting is easy . Lets be honest how many times have you met people with short modern carbon rods who are having to  overline the rods to get the thing to load at short ranges ,  That is where Cane works best. 

This is by usual standards on my streams a nice open pool but you are constantly surrounded by trees usually with a high bank behind you and nothing is manicured there are lots of things waiting to grab the fly .  The rod is a six foot three weight and the silk line is perfect ,  roll casting and tight loops when required come easily. Also forget the rods did I mention stealth?. Stealth doesn`t come easy for me. A little overweight, well over 60 and someone who spends most days behind a desk.  But if you aren`t stealthy the fish will not play ball.  

Below is a typical problem the fish will be at the tail of the faster water around the corner to the right ,  trouble is when you get to that little archway its a left handed roll cast to fish only 15 ft away. The silk line doesn`t cause so much surface disturbance as plastic and is perfect for the job  .  

Another thing now I admit that cane can be broken ,  I actually had one of the tips replaced after slipping on the bank and landing on this very rod a few years ago ,  Chas the builder told me I was a clumsy fellow , I think it was fellow I am sure it began with an F, anyway he ordered me a new tip from Chapmans ,  but by and large i find that cane is no more breakable with sensible use.  In fact if you clatter a branch on the back cast I would say cane is more robust than carbon . 

The result of my crap looking left handed roll cast was this little chap.  Not saying I couldnt have caught it with a carbon rod but wouldn`t have done it with as much class, I guess what I am trying to say with all of this is ok if you fish the ressies or big lakes and wide open rivers you will stick with Carbon and wouldn`t argue.  When I fish the Ure its Carbon all the way , but at the moment only because my longest cane is 7ft 6 inch .  

The picture below tells no other story than this pool normally produces a fish or two if you are lucky. If you can extract a fish near the downstream end of the tree roots and hustle it away quietly you can sometimes get another right at the upstream end ,  On that day I hooked a small fish at the bottom and it shook the hook as it cartwheeled up the run.  I would call it a pool but size wise its more like a bath tub. 

To really appreciate Cane I think you need to fly fish a while , probably 20 years plus.  Perhaps slow down a bit and get rid of all that youthful energy and the need to catch more and bigger fish.  Then start to enjoy the finer things in life.  These days I drink less wine but I drink finer wine there is I am sure a link there ,  Perhaps I need to ditch the plastic cool box and get a wicker hamper and a proper picnic set as well perhaps some nice preserves and cured meats  now instead of the crisps and sandwiches.  I don`t think I could do the full Peter Arfield and actually dress period style. So I shall continue to look as elegant as an unopened Arab Dustbin to quote the great Spike Milligan.  Seriously if you are fishing small streams try a cane rod.  You wont regret it...

1 comment:

Bill Trussell said...

This post is why I like fly fishing so much because one doesn't have to land monster fish using a lightweight fly rod to enjoy the sport. To me, fly fishermen fishing the light cane fly rod is at another level. A level that puts the fishermen on a small stream trying to make an impossible cast to a trout that can detect your every move in the water. I wish I were at that level, using the roll cast. Great post ---thanks for sharing

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