Written by: Todd Larson
It is very rare when we get the opportunity to hear the inside story about one of the great fishing-tackle legends. But this is exactly what we get with William H. Jordan’s new book Jordan the Rodmaker: A Biography of Wesley D. Jordan at Cross – South Bend – Orvis. Wes Jordan needs no introduction to anyone who has done any serious fly angling. Maker of incredible (and ahead-of- their-time) fly rods from 1921-1926 at Cross Rod & Tackle at Lynn, MA, Wes Jordan moved to South Bend, Indiana and set up the rod shop for South Bend Tackle Company, which he ran until 1938, producing upwards of 5,000 rods per week. In 1939 he moved to Manchester, Vermont and joined the struggling Charles Orvis Company as one of just three employees. He rebuilt the rod shop, revolutionized the rodmaking world with his impregnated rods, and set Orvis on the path to becoming what it is today. He retired after more than four decades as the most celebrated rodmaker in the country.
Bill Jordan is Wes Jordan’s son, and in this book he gives us unique insight into his father’s life and career. Complete with dozens of family photos, this book will give the reader clear insight into the history of Cross, South Bend, and Orvis, including their internal workings, their innovations, and sometimes their conflicts. Refreshing and engaging, you’ll see a side to Wes Jordan you never knew existed, as well as a reminder of why he is considered one of the greatest rodmakers of the last century.
This hardcover with dust jacket is 200 pages, with color photos. Only 600 copies of the hardcover edition ($49.95) will ever be printed. A signed and numbered Limited Edition Hardcover ($99.95) with Slipcase (and additional matching signed-and-numbered copy of Bill Jordan’s speech about his father given recently at the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum) is also available.