Bernie Cohen

Esteemed rod builder Bernie Cohen passed away yesterday. The news came as a bit of a shock to me because it’s only been a few weeks since I received the letter below:




A little note to let you know that after almost 2 years of battling cancer I’m free of that dreaded disease. The last 3 scans showed the cancer was gone.  

The Chemo worked but left me very weak. I went fishing last week for the first time in 2 years and the party boat threw a party for me. But it wore me out.

I read your web site daily and it picks me up because there is so much good stuff there. I must tell you that when I read your comments or explanations I have to laugh because I keep shaking my head in agreement and I say to myself that I don’t know anyone beside my self who knows that.  I keep saying to myself I agree with all your comments and I don’t always do that with others.  Your knowledge about this craft is second to none. I mean that.

I truly appreciate all you have done for me and look forward to finally attending the Expo in February. It is something that I have wanted to do more than anything else in rod building.




We both thought that this was going to be the year that Bernie was finally going to make it to the Expo. Obviously, that won’t happen now, but it won’t diminish the outstanding work Bernie did over the years nor his tireless efforts to instruct any rod builder who asked for his help. Bernie was one of those guys who’ve made a real difference in the rod building craft. He’ll be missed.


Tom Kirkman




  1. glenn evans on November 30, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Bernie was a good friend of mine and he will be missed greatly! His rods were masterpieces. I am lucky to be able to say he was my friend and will always be remembered.

  2. PhilH. on November 30, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    I did not know him personally but only through his great articles in the Rodmaker magazine. Sorry to hear about him passing.