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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any bamboo rod makers out there?
Anybody interested in taking part in a bamboo rod making forum?

Bamboo is making a bit of a comeback and more people are getting into building/making split cane bamboo fly rods. There are a couple of forums in the US but none I know about that are based in Canada. Maybe it's time there was because we number probably close to 20 or 25 makers in B.C. and probably that many again in Alberta. That's a guess based on attendance at the bamboo rod builders conference at Merritt at the end of April this year.

Or

If there is anybody out there interested in starting or learning how then maybe this forum could fill that need?
 

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I'd like to learn how to build bamboo rods, but I've never built a rod period, and my budget is bare bones since I'm still a student for another year, but gott start somewhere I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Hi btree, and thanks for the response. I don't know if there is going to be enough interest in this topic to keep it going here but I suppose we can give it some time to see if it builds. I'm in Nanaimo too and I know of only one other builder in Nanaimo and one in Parksville. If this shows signs of taking off a bit I might be able to encourage those two and perhaps a few others I know on the mainland.

If, or when you are interested in getting going you could let me know and perhaps we could get together so I can introduce you to some of the tools and equipment that are necessary. In the meantime you may want to start reading up on the subject and if so, you can find two books at the VIRL. (library) Wayne Cattanach and the one by Garrison and Carmichael.

As far as cost goes, if you decide to build your own equipment as many bamboo rod builders do, it doesn't have to cost all that much. Maybe $100 or $200 but it does require a lot of devotion to learning how to do it. A split cane rod is not build in days, rather it usually takes months even after you are all tooled up and ready to go. Not to scare you away of course but just to say that it's certainly not a weekend project.

Don.
 

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I've heard that you can also get ready to make kits which you can put together in a few evenings infront of the TV with very little equipment required if you can wrap thread tightly and evenly by hand - a buddy of mind got one from Japan and it works fine for him.

I understand that planing the sections of the blank from scratch would certainly be a labour of love...I'm not sure which way I'm leaning. Next year when I'm done school I'll be able to invest the time and money. But I'm keen to learn!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've heard that you can also get ready to make kits which you can put together in a few evenings infront of the TV with very little equipment required if you can wrap thread tightly and evenly by hand - a buddy of mind got one from Japan and it works fine for him.

I understand that planing the sections of the blank from scratch would certainly be a labour of love...I'm not sure which way I'm leaning. Next year when I'm done school I'll be able to invest the time and money. But I'm keen to learn!
Yes, you can certainly buy bamboo blanks, the same as you can buy graphite blanks, then finish the rod yourself. If you're interested in bamboo rod building some time in the future I would recommend one of the books that I mentioned above for a start to understand what's involved.

Cheers, Don.
 

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Some time ago (years) I became interested in bamboo rods and thought I may try to build one for myself. In order to gain a better understanding of what is involved in the construction I purchased the Garrison book!!!!. Very informative but rather daunting, the man was a perfectionist. However at that time I could not find anyone locally to talk to about some simpler construction methods or indeed how to go about putting together the required forms and tools and the proper use of said equipment. I decided that it was too much for my skill level at the time ( I had at that time made some rods using glass and graphite blanks) In the end I purchased two rods that caught my fancy, a Hardy Koh-i-noor 8ft 9ins #7wt and a CM Gatley The ELF 7ft 6ins #4-5wt and use them when the urge strikes, the Gatley is certainley an enjoyable little rod to cast. Definatley a different feel than modern fast action rods. If this post generates interest I would be interested in attending any info meetings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Some time ago (years) I became interested in bamboo rods and thought I may try to build one for myself. In order to gain a better understanding of what is involved in the construction I purchased the Garrison book!!!!. Very informative but rather daunting, the man was a perfectionist. However at that time I could not find anyone locally to talk to about some simpler construction methods or indeed how to go about putting together the required forms and tools and the proper use of said equipment. I decided that it was too much for my skill level at the time ( I had at that time made some rods using glass and graphite blanks) In the end I purchased two rods that caught my fancy, a Hardy Koh-i-noor 8ft 9ins #7wt and a CM Gatley The ELF 7ft 6ins #4-5wt and use them when the urge strikes, the Gatley is certainley an enjoyable little rod to cast. Definatley a different feel than modern fast action rods. If this post generates interest I would be interested in attending any info meetings.
Yes no doubt, the Garrison book is a little daunting to read completely cold to the craft. I read it first too but I was lucky to have a real pro with twenty years experience show me a few of the procedures to start out 2 years ago and 4 rods ago. When the person who I learned from passed it on to me he did so in the interest of expanding the craft (art) and of getting more people into building bamboo. That's my interest too, in part, and also to trade ideas with those who are already involved. If you have an interest in taking your reading of Garrison a little further let me know and we can perhaps get together.

You may also want to get hold of the Wayne Cattanach book from the library if you are going to pursue it further.

The Hardy and the Gatley! Nice stuff!
 

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Sorry to take this a bit off-topic, but I've read that with modern materials there's little difference between graphite and bamboo. Is this true? Could someone please highlight the differences? The pro's and con's of each? (Well, I think I'm aware of graphite's properties, just not in comparison to bamboo)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have an antique bamboo rod that has a wooden case and a little compartment for flies. Its has like 20 peices. Also im scared to use it i dont want to damage it.
Interesting! But it's hard to do anything with so little information. You could have something worthwhile or it could be a cheap Japanese rod from the 70's or 80's that is worthless. Can you post some pictures? Are there any names on the rod or is there a sticker on the rod or the case to identify it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I read somwhere that bamboo is the ultimate fly rod but im not sure of that because were i read that they wer lessing them.
In some respects bamboo could be considered the ultimate flyrod but in some respects graphite could be too. Graphite in the right hands will probably cast further and is definitely lighter but bamboo in the right hands can be casted further than most people can cast graphite. Bamboo is not plastic and bamboo has a feel of it's own and an action of it's own. I'm no expert on bamboo or graphite but I feel that bamboo gives me a feel that no other material can provide. And also, isn't it just a nice thing to look at as well as being faithrul to the roots and heritage of fly fishing? I think every individual will have to try both themselves and make their own decision.

If you have to go out and buy a quality bamboo rod for $1000 or more, most people won't unless they have already been convinced. Building one yourself is something different and in my opinion one can surpass commercial quality very quickly when building his/her own. Within a very few rods at least. I think the whole process if too labour intensive for commercial enterprises to put their heart into the job and still sell for something less than $1000. You can easily spend $3000 or $4000 if you're into doing that and you have the money to throw at the sport.

These are my opinions only of course.
 

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Heres the fly rod PIcs. It converts into a spin caster. It has 1 spin set and I 3 fly rods all colour coded bindings. I think its for all 3 action. I put 2 together and the other set was missing the atatchment piece so i ddnt do it. Iv got 4 or 5 tips for it. the colours are red, green and orange on the binds and on the spin caster the eyelits r different. but very small still. when i felt the action of it it sure felt nice. BUt im never going to use it because its old ald and dont want to damage it. heres the pics



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and i also found these in the box

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Heres the fly rod PIcs. It converts into a spin caster. It has 1 spin set and I 3 fly rods all colour coded bindings. I think its for all 3 action. I put 2 together and the other set was missing the atatchment piece so i ddnt do it. Iv got 4 or 5 tips for it. the colours are red, green and orange on the binds and on the spin caster the eyelits r different. but very small still. when i felt the action of it it sure felt nice. BUt im never going to use it because its old ald and dont want to damage it. heres the pics
Sorry, but I'm almost certain that it's a Japanese made rod of very poor quality. Somewhere on all that equipment there should be a made in Japan label I would think. Also, there are stickers showing in the pictures and the names on the stickers would quickly tell you. I would suggest you either give me the names or do a Google search yourself for the I.d.'s.

As for using them, I wouldn't hesitate for fear of damaging something of high value. Good rods don't come apart from use but the cheap Japanese imitations do. The Japanese repros weren't made of the proper cane to begin with and so aren't very strong. If you want to keep them intact as a collector's item of little value then perhaps you should not try any of them out. If they're what I think they are then getting anymore than $50-$100 for them would be unlikely. Bamboo rod collectors wouldn't be interested but someone who collects memorabilia perhaps would be.

If you identify them by the names on the stickers you could probably find the same thing on Ebay and that would give you an idea of the value.

On the other hand, they're nice to look at and hang onto just for the age of the whole lot of parts, lines, equipment, and rod sections.
 

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I looked pretty hard for a sticker I never saw one, not even an indication of one wer it cd b worn off. where do u see the stickers perhaps i overlooked them ? and I never saw a made in japan indication although I agree its highly possible. there were probably more of them floating around then others
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I looked pretty hard for a sticker I never saw one, not even an indication of one wer it cd b worn off. where do u see the stickers perhaps i overlooked them ? and I never saw a made in japan indication although I agree its highly possible. there were probably more of them floating around then others
What I thought was a sticker but could be just a signature wrap is about 2 or 3 inches up from the cork grip. Here's a link to a Japanese fly rod on Ebay for you to compare to see if there is any similarities. The cork grip and reel seat looks fairly similar to me but may not be. http://cgi.ebay.com/Bamboo-8ft-Comb...tingGoods_FishingAcces_RL&hash=item27b3a26ab0

The biggest indication of it being one of the Japanese rods is the box. I have a box that one came in which is made of the same materials with the same sort of hinges. The one I have isn't as elaborate and doesn't have the partitions and places for the assorted equipment. I have never heard of or seen a quality bamboo rod come in a box like that and especially not with that equipment included.

I wouldn't be afraid to give it a try on the water. If it works then fine and if it falls apart then it's not a big loss. On the other hand, just keep it on display for something cool to look at and speculate on.
 

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Peter McVey at Corbett Lake near Merritt has been building bamboo rods for decades and would probably be a great resource for questions you may have. Corbett lake has a website, so you can probably contact him through it.
 
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