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John Bokstrom - Rodmaker (Page 6)

Other aspects about John and his rodbuilding that must be considered outstanding: His old workshop was really something special that would make every self respecting rodmaker plain envious! Fully equipped with a precision lathe, milling machine, a host of self designed and made tools and and high precision gadgets, neat, clean, and tidy in a spacious basement. Not like my own, often messy workshop! Enough to write another article about.

Making gadgets always used to be one of his special interests. He once admitted that he enjoys making gadgets at least as much as making bamboo fly rods. His arsenal of beautifully machined tools reflects that passion as well as the numerous articles he already wrote to share them with other rodmakers.

Typical cork grip and reelseat design w. square cut thread on a Bokstrom flyrod
Typical cork grip and reelseat design w. square cut thread on a Bokstrom flyrod

I can remember one morning during my stay in 1992 when he checked my reactions towards the combination of seasoned bamboo culms and water. At that time, like many of us, I was a believer in well seasoned, bone-dry bamboo culms that should NEVER EVER be exposed to water again after being floated down the Sui river in China.

All right, ... believing is a more religious thing, so I got confronted with the (then) absolutely heretic concept of "soaking bamboo" before planing and straightening. Typical for John is not just talking about something, but demonstrating it. After letting me try for myself he asked me about what I thought and I had to admit that I liked what I saw. So since spring 1992 I am a confirmed "soaker" myself. Sometimes I thought about soaking my bamboo in single malt scotch whisky to drive any evil spirits out of it (the ones that keep the fish away from the fly), but that might possibly go a little bit too far.

Other techniques of his rodmaking artistry are the method he uses to straighten nodes. And of cause he made some special gizmos for that to ensure the desired results and quality. One especially outstanding and useful piece of gadgetry he made were a set of "training wheels" he made for his block planes and scrapers. He published an article on that in the Planing Form, issue #10.

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