Pickard Rod Company Bamboo Fly Rods

John Pickard

John Pickard, as the previous two builders, grew up hunting and fishing Michigan. His grandfather was the head caretaker/guide of the famous Rainbow Lodge on the banks of Michigan’s AuSable River. Through him, John learned to fish the famed AuSable waters using bamboo rods built by Heddon, Dickerson and Young. It was here he began repairing bamboo rods and learning about their construction. Stationed in Alaska and Montana while serving in the military, John was able to fish both of these states quality waters almost every weekend, and in doing so built up a significant experience in what it takes to make a quality fishing instrument. During this time he also continued to sharpen his skills as a rod restorer.

In the early 1990’s John began exploring building rods on his own. Demand grew and his reputation, such that in 1997 he struck out on his own and became a full time rod builder. A life of mechanical tinkering gave him the skills to create several innovative pieces of equipment to aid his work; most notable is a milling machine that works to a tolerance of .0005”. His rods are influenced by the rods he grew up with, classic Dickerson and Young tapers, but improved into better rod designs by an enviable innate sixth sense. John’s rods cast wonderfully and fish masterfully. A Pickard rod celebrates the Michigan heritage as few others can. In 2008 a circle was completed when John purchased the entire L. L. Dickerson rod shop from Jim Schaaf in California and brought it back to Michigan. He now proudly builds Dickerson rods on the original Dickerson equipment, with an understanding forged over the years of working; he is able to replicate these famed rods indistinguishable from the original in looks and function. If one is seeking a Dickerson rod without the $5-8,000 cost of a scarce original, John can build one using the Dickerson equipment, Dickerson ferrules using Dickerson’s nickel silver tubing, Dickerson’s original walnut for the reel seat and Dickerson’s pre-embargo cane, working from the original Dickerson taper book and mill guides. One would question going anywhere else to have a Dickerson taper rod built for them. No other builder in the world can exactly replicate a L. L. Dickerson fly rod as can John Pickard.

704: 7’0” 2/2 4 wt. The Paul Young Princess taper so highly spoken of by Ernie Schwiebert. No weenie rod, many twenty inch plus fish are caught each year with these rods. Recently noted as an inclusion in a number of top ten all time best rod lists on several forum pages.

725: 7'2" 2/2 4/5 wt. The Paul Young Driggs taper. A "go to" work anywhere taper.

761510: 7’6” 3/2 5 wt. Lyle Dickerson’s famed taper. Short cased and portable. As good a seven and a half foot 3-piece rod taper as any ever designed.

7613: 7'6" 2/2 5 wt. Lyle Dickerson oft written about little powerhouse of a rod.

765: 7’6” 2/2 5 wt. The Paul Young Perfectionist. Acclaimed as one of the finest rod tapers ever conceived.

8013: 8’0” 2/2 5 wt. Lyle Dickerson’s be-all end-all, eight foot five weight.

Pickard Rod Company: $1,850.00 In stock

All rods are built from hand selected Tonkin cane, spilt and milled to exact tapers. They are fitted out with nickel silver ferrules and reel seat hardware and the toughest guides and strippers manufactured. All come with two tips, in a cloth bag, in a brass-capped metal tube with a Wanigas labeled tube sheath.


SALES: We accept MasterCard, Discover and Visa, PayPal, money orders and cash for payment of items. Credit card and PayPal purchases will have a 3% surcharge added All items sold on line or via mail are subject to State of Michigan state sales tax of 6%. Items sold at shows are subject to the local state’s prevailing sales tax.

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