Following the history of the wood rod is to follow the history of the sport. Experts can tell approximately how old a rod is by the hardware on it. The reel was not used in Europe until about the 1640's or 50's. The best indicator of a rod's age is the ferrules the rod has. While delving into the development of the ferrule is too much to discuss here & a topic for another article, I'll just say that ferrules began as crudely made, poorly designed components & developed into the highly engineered pieces of hardware they are today. In fact, the first multi-piece rods were lashed together with rope or cord.
As I mentioned in Part I, many different types of wood have been used through the years to make fly rods. As technology advanced anglers access to different woods grew & they naturally tried these woods in their rods. Here, then, some of the woods that fly rods have been made from:
Learning about wood fly rods & how they were used is fascinating. It's a large subject that can't be fully covered in these short overviews here. For anyone interested in learning more I suggest these books to get you started:
1.) "The Complete Angler" by Izaak Walton
2.) "The Colonial Angler's Manual of Flyfishing & Flytying" by Ken Reinard.