I saw this link to a video of bamboo rod builder and historian Jeff Hatton on the Oregon Fly Fishing Blog. Some interesting stuff. Jeff says the introduction of cork handles in the past century is the worst thing rod builders have ever done since it reduces the feel of the rod, and since so much about fishing is feel, from casting to detecting strikes he regards this as a setback in rod design. He builds what look like beautiful and I’m sure expensive pieces using a large diameter wood handle, which he says results in a fast action bamboo rod. Gets me thinking about all the choices we have in rods and how something like this would work for catching brookies on small streams. Even more fascinating are some of the old rods he has in his collection. A ten minute video, well worth watching.