Let me tell you a little about a rod builder named Joy Dunlap. Joy may be the oldest living, active rod builder. Heâ€™s 89 now and has some trouble with arthritis and other ailments, but heâ€™s still â€œat the benchâ€ as often as heâ€™s able. He began building way back in the early 1940â€™s and has been involved in all aspects of the craft right on up to the present moment in time.
Joy probably created more notoriety for the â€œRobertâ€™s Wrapâ€ (spiral wrap) than any other custom rod builder over the years. No, he didnâ€™t invent it, but he did popularize it. Heâ€™s built on cane (made his own blanks), steel, glass and graphite. There isnâ€™t much about custom rod building that Joy hasnâ€™t had a finger in at one point or another.
Yesterday I opened the mail to find a package from Joy. Inside were several articles covering a wide range of rod building topics. Some on history, others on techniques. These will be appearing in several near future issues of RodMaker.
As the â€œold timersâ€ of the craft are getting on in years itâ€™s important to remember that much of what rod builders are doing today, has been built on the shoulders of Joyâ€™s generation. Iâ€™m glad heâ€™s still around and â€œat the benchâ€ as much as he can be these days.