Tim Aaron, Bamboo Fishing Rods

Return to Meet the Artisan

Tim Aaron
Tim Aaron remembers his first fly fishing rod, the thrill of never wanting to put it down. He wants people to have that same feeling when they fish with one of his handmade bamboo rods. Aaron is as passionate about putting his heart and soul into his custom creations as he is about fishing. Each precision-made rod is crafted, one at a time, and is as functional as it is beautiful—a favorite rod at the river, and a work of art destined to become a family heirloom.

How long did it take you to become an expert?
Making rods (or anything for that matter) is a constant learning process. I don’t view myself as an expert – and I doubt that I ever will. Every rod I make is an opportunity to learn something new. At the end of the day, I know how I want my rods to perform and what I want them to look like. A rod does not leave my shop unless I achieve those goals. If I am an expert in anything it is in the ability to recognize my own mistakes and having the patience to fix them.

How many hours do you spend making each item?
I don’t really keep track of time that closely – but I’d guess each rod takes about 40-60 hours. Just depends on whether everything goes as planned.

Is there any one person who has bought/used any of your products that makes you especially proud?
My father-in-law doesn’t fly fish – but he is an avid fisherman. I made a spinning rod for him, and watching him fish with it is pretty awesome. For that matter, anytime I see someone fishing with one of my rods – I feel quite honored. I spend hours and hours in the shop on each rod – and while I don’t name them, I do get somewhat attached to each rod, and it’s bittersweet to send them off. But when I see the rods out on the water, being put to the test, and performing just how I wanted them to – it’s pretty special.

In what ways are handmade goods better than those that are mass-produced?
I don’t think handmade goods are necessarily better than something that is mass produced. In my opinion, the difference lies in attention to detail. When someone crafts something with their hands, and puts their name on it – that item is a representation of the maker. As a maker – I don’t want my name on something that I’m not proud of – and that means I have to be a perfectionist. I don’t think you typically get that level of product ownership when something rolls off an assembly line.

Visit Tim’s Website