Whitefish Press

Robert W. Crompton: Father of the Five Strip Bamboo Fly Rod

Robert D. Smith

NOTE: Only Domestic U.S. pre-orders can be guaranteed to be shipped before Christmas!


Softcover Trade Edition, 160 pages, 8.5" x 11", 100+ Color and Black-and-White Images


Robert W. Crompton was many things — artist, writer, advertising man, outdoorsman, fly fisherman — but we remember him best today as the father of the five strip bamboo fly rod. Noted bamboo rod maker and author Robert D. Smith has uncovered the fascinating history of this overlooked rod making genius, from his nineteenth century origins to the heights of his advertising career when his work was seen by millions of Americans to the accident that ended his career as an artist and propelled him into the world of fly rod making. The book is divided into four parts: the first reproducing all of his known writings on subjects from fly lines to camping; the second brings together all his rod making writings, including his unpublished rod making book; the third is a detailed biography of his life and career; and the fourth section covers his fly rods and fly rod taper designs. This book will be a revelation and will help modern readers understand how deeply influential Crompton was on both fly fishing and rod making.

This definitive biography and collection of his original writings (including his unpublished rod making manual) is the product of five years of labor. It includes dozens of color and black-and-white images, as well as all images reproduced from his original writings. It is a must for anyone interested in fly fishing and fly rod history, making bamboo fly rods.


“Robert Crompton, the subject of this book was the quintessential American of his time. Rob Smith shares some of the same curiosities as evidenced by his beautiful artistic photography and desire to push the envelope with regard to the five strip bamboo rod. In this book the questions he asks are answered by Crompton using his published articles and correspondence with other interested rod makers. Anyone setting out to involve themselves in any art or craft form should ask questions from someone who has good answers. Crompton gave selflessly to all who asked. I know this because it is the way I learned the mechanics of rod making and learned how to become a rod maker.”

-- Walt Carpenter


Title Page
Page 49
Page 169

Robert W. Crompton: Father of the Five Strip Bamboo Fly Rod
December 2017, Softcover
$44.95 Retail Price -- SPECIAL $39.95



 The Whitefish Press