Kiyoshi established Campanella for manufacturing graphite rods and added lineup of bamboo rods later. The only homework he left behind was fiberglass rods. In 2020 spring, Fagus started manufacturing fiberglass rod. The only other maker I know who makes fiberglass fly rods all by themselves (design, blueprint and manufacture) in Japan is Campanella which Kiyoshi founded and was succeeded by Hiroki Ishikawa.
Kiyoshi has finally accomplished the grand slam of fly rod building (graphite, bamboo, and fiberglass rod) after his retirement (I may have to say his “first” retirement). Kiyoshi and Yuta told me that it took almost a half year to find the exact prepreg (their term for a fiberglass sheet) which they needed. “Forest Bum”, the lighter color rod on the next page, is medium, and “Fine Loop”, the darker one, is a medium slow action glass rod. Both rods are surprisingly smooth. These rods do not use a normal prepreg that has cross fiber (like cotton shirts), but use only the prepreg that has fibers running only one direction (butt to top). This is why these rods are not fat, but slim like graphite rods. These glass rods shook me and have changed my thinking about fly rods. I had believed bamboo was the best material for light fly rods for a long time, but I realized it is not true after I tried these rods. There is no best material for fly rods, only good bamboo rods, good graphite rods, and good glass rods. It is that simple. I have to confess that I started thinking to change the title and contents of this book after casting these rods.
*This article was extracted from “Mostly Bamboo” by courtesy of the author.