Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Alexander Grant

photo from Jock Scotts book "Fine and Far Off"
Alexander Grant was born in Carrbridge, Scotland. As a youth he was an enthusiastic fiddle player. He started making his own fiddles as a boy and this lead to a passion for working with various woods.

His passion for fishing soon lead him to making his own rods out of Greenheart wood (Ocotea Radiaei). This wood came from South America. His rods where known as "The Grant Vibration Rod" because he used a tuning fork in finishing the rod to find a certain pitch such as a fiddle. The rods were first built with a constant taper. He eventually invented the spliced joint which allowed the rod to flex along its entire length. He apparently corresponded with Albert Einstein, while making his rod and line, (square plaid silk) , and even designed his own tools to make his rods.

In 1895 he took his rods to London to show them and there he made a 56 yard cast on the River Thames at Kingston. This was not his longest cast. His longest cast took place in a competition on the River Ness. He switch cast 65 yards of line. He did not shoot any line, he picked up the entire line in one cast.He only made rods for around 10 years, the demand was so great he sold the company to Playfair and one of the first things they did was put cork on the handle, something he never would have done.