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Discussion Starter #1
Hello
Hope this time finds everyone safe and healthy. I have been listening to a few podcasts that delve into NW steelhead and being a two handed fisherman I am interested in learning more about the evolution of the double handed rod on this side of the Atlantic. Can anyone recommend a book or internet source that goes into some detail about this subject? I have Trey Combs book which gives some details but am looking for more.
Any and all help is greatly appreciated

Mark
 

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Hello
Hope this time finds everyone safe and healthy. I have been listening to a few podcasts that delve into NW steelhead and being a two handed fisherman I am interested in learning more about the evolution of the double handed rod on this side of the Atlantic. Can anyone recommend a book or internet source that goes into some detail about this subject? I have Trey Combs book which gives some details but am looking for more.
Any and all help is greatly appreciated

Mark
A good place to start:

A couple of North American individual names and rod manufacturers will stand out here ...

Among the most prominent names to research will be Jimmy Green, and Mike & Denise Maxwell.

Among the earliest North American rod companies (for research) utilizing composite tubes for fishing rods (including two handed fly rods) would be Fenwick, and later on ... Sage.

An interesting interview with Jimmy Green here: Jim Green <> Good place to start for Mr. Green

A pod cast with Denise Maxwell: https://anchoredoutdoors.com/a-history-of-the-spey-rod/ <> A history of what Mike called the “Spey” rod

Meiz
 

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flytie09
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There are several interviews of folks I've listened to that sheds some light on the history of the two handed rod in North America that both April Vokey (Anchored) and Dave Stewart (The Wet Fly Swing) have done.

https://anchoredoutdoors.com/anchored-podcast/
https://wetflyswing.com/show/

Early folks that were part of the modern development of two handers were George Cook, Kerry Burkheimer, Randall Kauffman, John Hazel, Jimmy Green, Denise and Mike Maxwell, Harry Lemire, Mike Kinney and Bob Strobel (among many others).

This is a good interview of Mike Maxwell - Mike Maxwell: Lessons from the First Speyfisher | The Caddis Fly: Oregon Fly Fishing Blog.

The one on April's site of his wife Denise Maxwell, is for members only and I couldn't access. Here is one I could find - https://www.maxwellsteelheadguides.net/the-gilly-30-years-later/

Going back earlier..... Roderick Haig Brown was using bamboo double handers in Canada in the 40s-50s. And John S Benn may be the earliest, dating back to the late 1800s and the Eel River in California. Both men drawing from their knowledge of two handed salmon rods and Atlantic Salmon back when they lived in the UK.

John Shewey and Trey Combs in their various books have both documented the early history. John dedicated an entire chapter to John S. Benn in his Classic Steelhead Flies book.

https://books.google.com/books?id=yUIaBgAAQBAJ&pg=PA11&lpg=PA11&dq=john+s+benn&source=bl&ots=S69esIXzUr&sig=ACfU3U30xgqHz3VtWcuMMR2FoMCRXehUdA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiF4dryq9LpAhWIGTQIHaKmBmYQ6AEwAHoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=john s benn&f=false

There are discussions on here also that might help you piece it all together Fenwick, Lamiglass, Orvis......- https://www.speypages.com/speyclave/59-rods/398488-history-orvis-two-handers-before-sage-2.html

I'm not an expert....nor did I actively participate with any of these folks unfortunately......but it's what I've discovered on the subject. It's all quite amazing the inter-connectedness of it all. Seems like it was almost fate or inevitable. Their hard work and passion brought all of these folks together and I thank all of them, past and present.
 

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Bamboo Rod Maker
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Early two handed rods in North America were used a lot on the Atlantic salmon rivers in the east. Check the history of such companies as Leonard, Payne, F. E. Thomas, Montague to name a few. These companies all made two handed rods from 10' to 16' in length. Most of them began business in the late 1800s to the early 1900s.

Those old rods had some real class with their intermediate wraps. sometimes numbering in the hundreds to their reel seats that looked like fine jewelry. I love these old rods. I also really enjoy doing repairs and restorations on them.

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hello

Apologies for this being late, but I wanted to thank everyone for the great suggestions on this topic.

Best,

Emel
 

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Don't forget Jim Rusher who in the mid 1980's started fishing a 2 hander on the Salmon River N.Y. It was Jim that introduce me to 2 HD rods and at that time THE Spey rod maker in the USA was Diamondback Rods in Vt. I still have my 1st rod from them ,a 10/11 16' monster that can still rocket a ton of double taper line today. Only trouble is it's a 3 piece rod . I should really try a modern big grain head on it !
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Don't forget Jim Rusher who in the mid 1980's started fishing a 2 hander on the Salmon River N.Y. It was Jim that introduce me to 2 HD rods and at that time THE Spey rod maker in the USA was Diamondback Rods in Vt. I still have my 1st rod from them ,a 10/11 16' monster that can still rocket a ton of double taper line today. Only trouble is it's a 3 piece rod . I should really try a modern big grain head on it !
Being that the Salmon River is one of my "home " rivers I'm surprised I never heard that. Interesting even though I have heard of Jim Rusher. Thanks for the info.

Emel
 
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