I fished the other day with my buddy who was just giddy to show me the new bamboo rod he bought for a mere $1500 (what a deal!). He even let me fish it. I thought it was pretty. And heavy. And flimsy. I cast sloppy loops half the distance I can with my graphite (which he fished with ease), and made mushy roll-cast plops left and right … I even hooked a fish, and spent 10 minutes worrying (as I could not control the trout) that I was about the splinter my pal’s new heirloom. “How did you like it?” he asked as we switched back. “A wonderful bamboo experience,” I answered.

Half the performance, triple the price … bamboo makes as much functional sense to me as would a reprise of silk fly lines or the Edsel. But then I say to myself, “Hey wait a minute … I hunt with a recurve bow … like to shoot a blackpowder shotgun … tie my own flies. If it’s all about performance and results, we’d be worm-dunkers, instead of masochistic flyfishers. Hmmm.”

Aw, dang … Now I want a bamboo rod. I’ve been bamboo-zled.