BLTC Press Titles


available for Kindle at Amazon.com


Novalis Including Hymns to the Night

Novalis, George MacDonald, Thomas Carlyle


The Souls of Black Folk

W. E. B. DuBois


The Revolt of the Netherlands

Friedrich Schiller


Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll


A concise treatise on the art of angling [etc.]

by Thomas Best

Excerpt:

And wafts her prey from the defenceless shores:

The watchful halcyons to the reeds repair,

And from their haunts the scaly captives hear:

Sharp her'ns and corm'rants too their tribes oppress,

A harass'd race, peculiar in distress:

Nor can the muse enumerate their foes,

Such is their fate, so various are their woes.

CHAP. II.

The best Manner of making and causing Rods, s Lines, Hooks, Sfc.

THE best time to provide stocks is in the winter solstice, when the trees have shed their leaves, and the sap is in their roots; for after January the sap ascends again into the trunk and branches, at which time it is improper to gather stocks or tops. As for the stocks, they should be lower grown, and the tops the best rush ground shoots that can be got; not knotty, but proportionable and slender, for if otherwise they will never cast nor strike so well, and the line, by reason of their unpliableness, must be much endangered. Now when both stock and top are gathered in one season, and as straight as possible to be got, bathe them over a gentle fire, and never use them till they are well seasoned, which will be in one year and four month, but longer keeping them will make them better: and for preserving them whenma"de into rods, both from rotting and being worm-eaten, rub them, over thrice a year with sallad or linseed oil; if they are bored,, pour in either of the oils, and let them soak therewith for twenty-four hours, then pour it out again, and it will preserve them from the least injury. In general the length of the rod is to be determined by the breadth of the river you angle in; but a long rod is always of more use than one too short, provided it is truly made: one of about five yards and a half long you will experimentally find to be quite sufficient. When you have taken your stocks and tops from the place that you put them in for seasoning (where they must have remained sixteen months at least), match them together in just proportion, and let the rod consist of five or six pieces; if you ferrule it, observe that they fit with the greatest nicety, and in such a manner as when put all together they may not wriggle in the least, but be in proportion and strength as if the whole rod were but one piece. If you bind them together, it must be with thread strongly waxed, having first cut the pieces with a slope or slant that they may join each other with the greatest exactness, and then spread a thin layer of shoemaker's wax over the slants, or a glue which I have set down in the arcana for the angler's use: afterwards you must cut about six inches off the top of the rod, and in its place whip on a smooth, round, and taper piece of whalebone, and at the top of that a strong loop of horse-hair: then the whole will be completed, and thus made will always ply with a true bent to the hand. Your fly-rods may be made in the same manner; but note, must be much more pliant than the others, and more taper from stock to top. It is of service to them to lay by some time before you use them.

Your top for the running line must be always gentle, that the fish may the more insensibly rum away with the bait, and not be checked by its being too stiff.

For all fishes that bite tenderly, a rod made of cane, reed, or bamboo, is the best, only be careful when you chuse such a one, that it will strike well, and that the medium between the ferrule and the joint that goes in is not cut too fine; for if it is, when you strike a good fish, it is ten to one you will lose some part of your rod, your line, and of course the fish; a misfortune that has often happened to me, before I was acquainted with the above rule.

A general rod is one which serves for trolling, dibbing, and the ground: for the former purpose small brass rings must be whipped all the way up it, at about a foot distance, for the trolling-line to run through; it may likewise be bored in the stock to hold the tops you are not using. That which, you use for the troll must be strong, and have a ring on the top whipped on with apiece of quill to prevent the line being cut, when the voracious pike runs off with your bait to his hold; one of the others must not be so stiff, which will serve for carps, tenches, &c.; and the other fine and elastic for dace and roach fishing. These kind of rods, which are called bag-rods, and go up in a small compass, are to be had at all the fishing-tackle shops in London, more particularly in Crooked-lane, near the Monument; Fleetstreet; Bell-yard; also an excellent shop facing Southampton-street, Strand.


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