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Stories about Shuksan Rods, etc.

Visits to 'Shuksan Rod Co.'

Jimmy Watts


I make Shuksan split-cane flyrods out of my home in Bellingham, looking from a window over little Lost Creek.  I’m up before 5 most mornings, and coffee is always on.


I love books, write a fair amount, and still listen to music on a record player. My rods are a culmination of experiences and an expression of my relationship with fire and water.

For over 20 years I’ve been a fireman in downtown Seattle with some of the best friends you can imagine.  We do our job, more or less, the same way it’s always been done, minus the horses. For a while I was a medic, and for a few years assigned to Rescue Co. 1, where we did our best work with SCUBA tanks on. In what seems like a lifetime ago I was a surf lifeguard on the beach in Santa Cruz.

To date, I’ve done the Ironman triathlon six times, first when I was 19 years old and most recently at age 43, and I’ll do it again. I’m slower than I once was, and that’s fine.  To get lost on a trail run, far from pavement and way up in the mountains, is my idea of a heaven and there are no priests at the churches I pray in tho occasionally, I run with a pack rod.

I’ve always thought being kind goes a long way and that being tough is a function of endurance and both are a requisite to happiness. And there is plenty of bulls**t travelling on every frequency, both as personalities and information, call it out everytime you see it. It’s now more important than ever.

Generally I’ve found it’s better to be last in line.

My most favorite thing in the whole wide world is this along with everything and everyone I’ve ever loved, I love them all for life-


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