Welcome
Welcome to the Trout Dancer Rod Company's web site.  Come in, look around, and
make yourself at home.
Getting Started
My name is Jesse Conner and I am the rod maker at the Trout Dancer Rod Company.  I
made my first split bamboo fly rod a few years ago, and I started on the second one
before the varnish was dry.  I was initiated into the craft by Monty Kirby of the Hazel
Creek Rod Company.  I couldn't have asked for a more patient teacher.  
My rods are split, beveled, and planed by hand.  I don't know that this makes a
difference, but I feel that it does.  If you get bitten by the bamboo bug, you will find that
feel is a big part of being bamboozled.  
A Bit Of History
Split bamboo rods were being made before Hiram Leonard became involved, but he is
generally considered the "Grandfather" of the split bamboo rod.  This is because so
many of the great makers have links to his shop.  I'm not going to list them because I
would accidentally leave someone out.  Some of today's great rod makers can be
traced back to Mr. Leonard's shop.
Sometime around the turn of the last century tonkin cane came to the surface as the
material of choice.  This species was chosen because of the density of power fibers,
straightness of the culm, and distance between nodes (rings).  As luck would have it,
the best only grows in one valley in China.
With the introduction of fiberglass and graphite, many of the production bamboo rod
makers have disappeared.  The majority of bamboo rod makers today are small
operations.  This fact, along with improved glues and varnishes, and the availability of
information has greatly raised the bar on quality.  Not to take anything away from the
great makers in the past, but the rods being made today are the best ever.
Trout Dancer Rod Company
Trout Dancer Fly Rods