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A Fly Rod Is A Lot Like...

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A fly rod is a lot like an obstacle we may run into in life.  It starts off in pieces, barely recognizable.  Chunks of wood lying in the back corner of the shop, cork rings scattered on the bench, thread on the rack... you get the idea.  These components will not come together themselves.  The wood won't crawl out of the corner, jump onto the miter saw to size itself and then center itself on the lathe so that the "friendly" chisels can turn it down.  The cork rings won't ream themselves out while the two part epoxy performs a magical mixing dance in a 2 ounce cup.  The tip top won't glue itself inline with the spline, the guides won't self locate and the thread wraps won't spiral around the guide feet securely locking them in place.

All of these things take time & effort on behalf of the rod builder.  They must try to see the finished product before they begin construction.  The builder must gather the necessary components and begin to systematically join them together in such a way that they begin to look discernible.  Wood must be formed, epoxy must be applied & thread must be wrapped around the guide feet to secure them to the blank.  These things must be done with patience.  They must be done with purpose.  They must be done with proficiency.  

So too, the issues of life often look like a jumbled mess of components that can never be controlled.  The bills are due and there is no money in the account... the boss is angry and you seem to be his/her scapegoat... the work keeps piling up and there is no end in sight.  Sometimes, they are so small & confusing that they are difficult to even recognize as factors in the equation.  Maybe a cold shoulder, rolled eyes or stolen mail.  These problems normally won't solve themselves.  Just as builders, we must take action.  Sometimes extra communication is in order.  Sometimes less communication needs to occur.  Sometimes another job needs to be found or more hours need to be worked.  Sometimes less hours need to be worked so our families can see us a little more.

The beauty of it is... only the builder can really know what is needed in order to transform components into their finished product.  A little help can be found from those who have built rods before, but remember - those who try to help have never worked with the cork rings that are sitting on the builder's bench and they do not share the builders vision.  No one has and no one really can.  We're all individuals with specific problems that dictate singular solutions.

Rod building can not be left alone to the "Professionals" or the "Artists" any more than the issues of our lives can. We have to get a little dirty. We have to recognize a finished product as we scan over the individual components of our lives. We have to know that we are capable of pushing through the difficult times and coming out the other side stronger, wiser and even a little happier.  With a little time, patience and understanding the rods we build (and the problems we encounter) can be transformed into powerful tools of an increasing beauty.

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