After a great day out at sea on Saturday, I had a quite pleasant shirogisu dinner with the mem-sahib in the evening, then on Sunday I headed off for another session of traditional Japanese rod building. This time was probably the hardest I have done so far, as it involved not just a lot of concentration but also a modicum of physical strength. The joint (in this case only one) of the two parts of the rod must be sanded into shape to fit each other exactly; one over-zealous swipe with the file that takes off too much bamboo from the inner surface of the joint and the rod is ruined. After a good few hours, and slightly detaching the nail from my right thumb, I just about managed to get the two to fit together.
The rod is slowly beginning to take shape. The next stage is to lacquer the rest of the rod, which my teacher warns me is the hardest part yet (although he says that about every stage). Hopefully this will be completed by next week; after the remaining bare bamboo is completely lacquered the rod is straightened once more over a fire, then the reel seat and guides are wrapped on. In June I am chartering a shirogisu fishing boat – with tenpura lunch – with my usual fishing buddies so hopefully the rod will be complete in time for that day.