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late rod makers and live ones, hobby rod makers and full time ones, swelled butts vs. not swelled, hand planed vs. machines, etc., etc.
Here in the last part of the world I'm thinking: Hey guys we are making Bamboo come alive!!!
BUT, I think that now is our time. We learned a lot from the late gentlemen that began our passion. That time when rivers were full of wild trout never will come again. We can do noth- ing to take the 2003 year to the 30th, 40th or 50th. But perhaps we can take the post and do our work. Perhaps we have to leave those gentlemen to rest in peace and do our work. I think that those who can do it can get their names into the bamboo history, because of the results of ones own work, own designs, and own improvements. I think that many can make it. With a little of mad- ness, some tests and errors... some new, NEW, N E W thinking can put our names in the books.
In my personal life, Mr. Garri- son is Mr. Garrison; a Payne rod is only, and thank God, a lovely Payne Rod. From my adolescence I always preferred an original Ford than a Por- sche copy. Those original antique rods, why do I call a Garrison an antique? Because in the last 30 years many, many changes were made in every point you want to talk about. Only the passions still live and all the original rods sometimes aren't compatible with today's fishing. But we, the rod maker can support the passion continuity by making bamboo rods to be fished. It’s difficult I know, with the big market of graphite rods, titanium with the "you break and we give a new one" "lifetime
warranty"... Bamboo lovers had to spend 60% of the price in marketing, telling the market that the rods are good and making many fish- ermen believe this. But bamboo is still alive. We can make it. We can make a new Bamboo age. A lot of people are leaning towards natural products. Perhaps we can help by showing that bamboo rods are not just for professional fisher- man, princesses, etc. We have to design new tapers, new actions, using new mate- rials, and new bamboo. We have to test everything to help our dreams come true.
Those great gentlemen that began with this art made a great work, great pieces of history and this will point to us the way that now we have to follow. I'll respect those gentlemen in the same way I respect my grandfather and my father. But one day God decided that my grand- father had to go. Then I took the past and with all my learning I began my own life. The same will happen when my father has to go. That doesn't mean that I have to live the same lives they did.
I love antique fishing rods, but I'm a rod maker and I feel that I have to do my work. I don't like to take credit from Mr. Garrison, Mr. Payne. Mr. Gil- lum, Mr. Edwards, Mr. Leonard, Mr. Howell... I feel as an artist, sure I can learn from the styles of the masters, but never try to copy any piece of work.
I don't know if you can under-
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“But Bamboo is still alive. “