Double Haul History

Double Haul History

Andy Dear | Monday, 3 October 2022

Over the years, I have written several Front Pages that detailed the series of interviews I did for RodMaker Magazine. Recently I was going through some old reference material that was sent to me by Press Powell of Powell Fly Rods that I thought may be of interest to all of you.

  Press was a wonderful guy. Not only did his outgoing personality and sense of humor make for a GREAT interview, but his family also had a 100-year history in the rod business, and believe me when I say he was enthusiastic about sharing it. Including Press, there were three generations of Powells involved in rodmaking, and fortunately they all shared a keen interest in the literary tradition of fly fishing and rod making. In preparation for our interview, Press provided me with a stack of personal documents and historical reference materials regarding his family's involvement in fly fishing, that he so generously allowed me to keep permanently for my archives. One of these is a formal letter written to me by him that provides some expanded details some of the materials he provided.

  To be honest, I had completely forgotten that I had some of these materials in my collection, but I am glad I ran across them...there are some real gems in there. One, in particular, is a wonderful old article that details a casting competition and gives some insight into the early use of the double haul. Additionally Press's letter to me gives even more insight as to the origins of the double haul. I have included a copy of the letter for historical reference where Press states;

"Relative to the double haul, according to my dad and grandfather, a tournament caster by the name of Jack Sparks of Waco, Tx. was the first to use it. Dad's brother Buddy, was the first to use it to increase dramatically the casting distance in tournaments. Unfortunately, Buddy Powell was killed in an auto accident before he was able to break 200 feet in Steelhead Distance."



  Unfortunately, there is no reference to the name of the publication or the year that the clippings were published, other than a small header that states the price at " five cents per copy". Regardless, I felt this was very important piece of fly casting history that needed to be shared, and I am eternally greatful that Press thought enough of me, and our friendship to allow me to keep them in my posession permanently.

  Unfortunately Press lost his battle with colon cancer on March 11th, 2004, shortly after our interview ran. He was a great man, that became a good friend in the relatively short time that I had the privelege of getting to know him.

Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy,