All the bad weather we have been having this month – I haven’t been out to sea once in March – has allowed me to concentrate on my rod making, which is difficult but rewarding. I am lucky I have a good sensei, who is patient, if stern, and a good teacher. The shirogisu (whiting) rod I started last year should be ready in a month or so, just in time for the Tokyo Bay whiting season. At the moment the rod is in the lacquering stage, using traditional Japanese urushi (wood lacquer).
Left: my teacher displaying some of the different types of Japanese bamboo, and explaining their various uses. Fibreglass or baleen is also sometimes used for the rod tip. Right: straightening the bamboo, by heating it over a fire and bending it into place.