The oldest of them are simple rods of willow and birch, still intact and bearing the delicate fish and turtle totems carved into them by the tribesmen of seven thousand years ago. The newest of them are carbon fiber and polyvinyl chloride, still intact and bearing the blazing Shimano and Spincaster totems printed on them by workmen (and women and children) seven thousand miles away.
Every fishing rod ever dropped overboard, through inexperience or carelessness, flung in frustration or thrown in fury, they all wait at the bottom of their lakes. Some for thousands of years, some for a handful of hours, they wait. Some with short lines of braided willow-heart fiber, some with thousands of feet of twenty pound test monofilament, they wait. With their hooks and barbs of antler, bone, iron and chromium steel, they wait.
One day, their Messiah will come, and on that day they will rise up to a glorious, triumphant paradise, where every lost fishing rod will shine and sing for the wonder of The Lord of All Fishing Rods, the One True Rod whose line will never tangle and whose hook will always set true.
And until that happy day, they wait in the cold waters of every lake in Michigan, growing in number, season by season.
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