Split-Cane Rods—Bamboo Treasures

By Rolf Baginski

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This splendid new book by Rolf Baginski was printed, in its original 2005 edition, in German -- the language of Rolf ’s home country. Its intended audience was the central European fly-fishing community, but also aimed at the thousands of bamboo rod lovers everywhere. That first edition proved to be exactly what was needed, for never before had the rich tradition of bamboo rod-making been presented for European fly-fishers, and never before had the European community  been treated to a detailed overview of its own makers.

Quickly, Baginski recognized that English-speaking readers, too, wanted his information, and began arrangements for this most recent, English edition. Rolf ’s text alternates gracefully between researched information and personal stories of the various makers, using an array of color photos throughout this 300-page book. With a rich tapestry of graphics, paintings and reproductions of old tackle catalogs, Baginski presents this unique, historical view of bamboo rods from the “other side of the pond.”

But Split-Cane Rods isn’t about just the past. The fever for amateur, bamboo rod-making has now taken hold in Europe as surely as in North America, with more than a hundred participants from nearly every country on the Continent attending the annual gatherings. Baginski remains intensely involved with this more recent European movement, and was a primary organizer for the October 2007 International rod-makers gathering, held in Waischenfeld, Germany.

Of equal importance to Baginski’s interest in the history of European and American rod builders, his Split-Cane Rods also presents a complete photo-essay of his specialized, building techniques, including charts of his own tapers as well as those from some of the best makers in Europe.
An amateur maker for more than 25 years, Baginski became a fulltime professional in 1999 – continuing to write for several magazines and conducting rod-making classes every year. Few people in Europe today are as familiar with both the history of bamboo rod-making and its many players.

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