In an ever changing world, technological advancements drive most modern industries. In the world of fly fishing these advancements have been vital to achieving some of the highest-performing gear in history. Through research, development, material evolution and innovative fabrication techniques, fly rods have become faster, stronger, and more sensitive. But with all these advancements, the true nature of fly fishing remains fundamentally unchanged; the act of pursuing a targeted fish, presenting a fly, and successfully landing it can be accomplished in more than one way. Some anglers have transcended the “need for speed” and have returned to traditional methods of fishing a bamboo fly rod.
Bamboo fly rods were used by anglers dating back to the early 1800’s, and by the middle of the century were the rod of choice for many early anglers due to their strength and sensitivity. In the 1950’s new materials became available and anglers began to make the technological transition away from bamboo. Fortunately that transition came after years of development and craftsmanship of bamboo rods, which had allowed for them to reach a state of near perfection. Skills passed down for generations resulted in some truly amazing functional pieces of art. The blending of bamboo, metal and cork has been refined over the years at the crossroads of aesthetics and performance. Today, modern tooling, resins and material sourcing have all contributed to the epitome of bamboo rod construction. In the hands of a master craftsman with years of experience, the result is some of the best performing, jaw droppingly beautiful rods in fly fishing history.
Thomas & Thomas master craftsmen Troy Jaques has perfected the art of bamboo fly rod construction. Selecting only the finest materials and components, his work is the ultimate blend of aesthetics and functionality. As delicate as his creations may appear, they are meant to be fished, whether in a small mountain creek or hunting GT in the Seychelles. Troy has spent years honing his craft, at the same time seeking out innovative ways of providing anglers with the perfect tool for the task at hand. There is no better example of this than his development of the Sextant bamboo series. Built for the salt, with powerful, fast action tapers, the rods rewrite a page from history, when adventurous anglers were exploring new frontiers in fly fishing. Thomas & Thomas is proud to have been invited to contribute a Sextant 12wt to the permanent collection of the American Fly Fishing Museum, in Manchester, Vermont - a model that has landed Tarpon, GT, Sailfish and White Marlin.