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Establishing world beating greatness in bespoke fishing rods, Bill Oyster’s unique style has seen him conquer the angling world. Waterfront uncovers his amazing story of how one great idea ended in Presidential praise


F


inding the right niche in business is always going to be the hardest task when venturing into an already established market. Te real success


stories usually are the product of an educated interest in the field combined with a unique style. Founder of US based company, Oyster Bamboo Fly Rods, William ‘Bill’ Oyster utilised both these qualities to craft personally engraved fly fishing rods out of bamboo – making him the world’s only professional rod maker to do so. Speaking from his workshop in the mountainous town of Blue Ridge, Georgia, the angling virtuoso reflects on what gave him this ingenious idea, “I taught casting lessons before I ever made my first rod and have always had an interest in the dynamics of the cast. I was always intrigued by the traditional bamboo fly rod. For the American fly fisher, it’s sort of


50 waterfrontmagazines.co.uk


our samurai sword. In other words, it’s not just something very practical in its use, but it’s also an aesthetic representation of our sport.” With his interest rooted in bamboo, Oyster set on a crusade to master the craft. Vowing to create his own rod, he set out sourcing information from other successful bamboo rod makers. After many trials and errors, six months later, his first rod was complete – and a successful career was about to immerge. Troughout his studies Oyster realised he had to create something unique and new to make his products stand out above his rivals. He states, “Unlike many of my colleagues, I have no interest in reproducing traditional actions. I believe that casting and fishing styles


are evolving, and that the rod maker should keep pace. Secondly, and perhaps more obvious, are the cosmetics. I prefer to challenge my abilities by striving for perfection aesthetically.” In personalising his designs, Bill chose to


work closely with his growing number of customers to engrave bespoke rods to reflect not only the client’s desires, but also establish his own unique style. “My personal style is influenced heavily by the fine work being done on today’s best grade


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