My name is Scott Nilsson and I have fly fished since 1972. As many of you, know, this sport can reward an individual in a variety of ways. As does a river, the rewards of fly fishing change in many ways over the years and always offer different opportunities. In my case, this sport gave it’s greatest gift by allowing me to make new friends and offering me the opportunity to grow through experimentation. I no longer center my attention on catching the biggest fish, most fish, nor anymore, do I frequently visit blue ribbon waters. I have decided that I do not want to be somewhere doing something I love and having it ruined competing with hundreds of people who subscribe to dozens of fly fishing magazines and buy nearly every item advertised within them that claim to employ the latest technology that will help catch fish. This includes fly rods. I enjoy enticing trout with new fly patterns, studying special circumstances which make trout take a fly and most importantly, maximizing my pleasure while out on the water. That’s where my discovery of the bamboo fly rod has been the most pleasurable event in fly my fishing life, scenery not withstanding. It was this discovery that led me to build bamboo fly rods.
I graduated from the University of California with a degree in economics in 1970. I had never been satisfied working in the corporate world with which this background could provide. I sought a more meaningful contribution that would leave a legacy on my behalf to others. This would satisfy my desire to fulfill the long burning creative desire I had within me.
I now am a bamboo fly rod maker. Thanks to the encouragement of a retired fish biologist friend of mine, I pursued this endeavor. I also owe many thanks to the encouraging and non selfish help that I received from numerous bamboo fly rod craftsmen that have already achieved the fame that I will someday have.
I have concentrated on making bamboo fly rods, that first of all, are pleasures to cast, and can be proud to be owned by their recipients Cosmetically my rods are excellent, but I do not concentrate on cosmetic appointments such as engravings, inlays and the like. I feel that these appointments, although having superb aesthetic value, tend to create a fear within their owner to put such a fly rod to practical use.
I would be proud to make a bamboo fly rod for you. You will find that doing business with me is a straight forward experience with an emphasis
on cooperation as well as a spirit of honest interchange to make sure you get what you want in choosing a beautiful and functional bamboo fly rod.
Expensive? Relatively speaking, yes, however, you do not buy a quality bamboo fly rod from a shelf or catalogue.
It is hand crafted for you, personally, with your name on it and, with my help, is built to your specifications. It is a
fly rod that you can treasure , have fun with, be proud of, and will provide a lifetime of enjoyment.
In addition, this meaningful fishing instrument can be passed down in your family for generations.
I cannot, for the life of me, understand the misconceptions out there about bamboo fly rods. 90 percent of the critics I have talked with have never cast a well made split cane rod. They attribute their dislikes to their experiences with rods that are absolutely inferior to the kind of bamboo fly rod I am talking about. Unfortunately for them, They close their minds, and in fact, even get hostile, about accepting the opportunity to try the kind of rod I make. I have been told that my rods nearly cast themselves. When attending seminars I hear comments such as "they will break" I have had far more failures with graphite rods personally. Most folks equate bamboo fly rods with the ones their fathers or grandfathers owned. Many of these were mass produced, incorrectly heat treated, and inferior glues and ferrules were used in their production, thus failure in these rods was common place. In addition, many of them cast like pool cues because of their length and weight. The finer rods made today are a different breed. They are light, responsive, and durable. They have a feel that cannot be described. That feel is mostly detected in the way a split cane rod loads and in the pressure felt on the forward cast. The accuracy is exceptional. Some of the finest certified casting instructors will often give one of their difficult students a bamboo fly rod to get them on track because they can feel the loading, which is so detectable in a good bamboo fly rod. If your back cast is poor, your forward cast will be poor as well.
Another belief of the misled, is that bamboo fly rods are toys and only to be taken out fishing occasionally to have a little fun with. This belief is a bit right because those who are uninformed mention fun. This is the key word. Bamboo fly rods are great fun and when I have fun, I want more of it. Don’t you? Toys? Yes, they could be called toys, however more suitable words would be a beautiful tool for the precise pursuit of fish.
The best advice I could give, if you want to take fly fishing to another level, is to keep an open mind and ask questions from a competent bamboo fly rod builder. That is to say, one that has built at least 50 to 100 bamboo fly rods and understands tapers to the extent that he understands how to manipulate those tapers in order to arrive at a rod that acts as you wish. There are some builders out there that simply download tapers from the Internet and try to fit those tapers to their customers needs. Also, beware of purchasing bamboo fly rods offered by folks who sell Chinese rods from fancy web sites. They won't tell you up front that the rods are from China. Periodically I will purchase some imported blanks and supplies to check and see how this competition from China is progressing. Recently I have seen products on the Internet (eBay) that advertise their products to be as good as those produced by domestic builders. I have purchased some of these products to check their quality. Believe me, they are very mediocre. Blanks advertised as straight and well heat treated are neither. Agate guides have wrong sizing and extremely thick and irregular feet. Ferrules advertised as fitting well do not and their sizing is wrong. Cap and band sets that look good in pictures really look like they came out of a Cracker Jack box when you receive them. Products from China are improving, however I would say that they are at least 10 or 12 years from catching up with domestic products. If possible, the better choice would be to visit or speak with a quality builder. Discuss with him your requirements and choose a rod that suits your style