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yonder 09-06-2012 03:44 PM

bamboo for smoky mountains
Does anyone have any advise on a bamboo taper for smoky mountain streams???? Anything from bradley's fork to the little river....high or low elevation.....any length...any maker.....any price......mainly interested in the taper.....please chime in........:smile:

Varmitcounty 09-09-2012 02:39 PM

Yonder, I am currently writing an article for Southern Trout Magazine on this very subject. Should be sending it in to the editor this week and it will hopefully be in the next issue. If I am fishing in the GSMNP you can be certain that I will be fishing a bamboo rod. I build my own and have built smokies rods for others in everything from an 8' 6wt to a 6ft 2 wt for the park. If you want to get more info, feel free to contact me at

Let me know what you have in mind and I can hopefully provide some direction for you.


Breck 09-09-2012 08:44 PM


Did you get my email reference W. Babb and the above question?


flyred06 11-15-2012 09:51 PM

I fish bamboo in the smokies some myself. Walter Babb built mine about 5 years ago and did an awesome job. there is something very romantic and magical about cane and the mountains. I would recommend a 4 or 5 wt in a canerod. They are great for dryfly fishing in the mountains.

Breck 11-15-2012 09:58 PM


I pick mine up shortly. I pass his house on the way to Lenoir City where I work and get to visit with Walter often. I never take seeing him for granted. Did you know he grew up as a kid in Lenoir City?

I'd love to see your rod as you pass by. He was installing my ferules and starting to polish. Maybe one more week till finished.

Let me know.


flyred06 11-15-2012 10:02 PM

what taper did you go with? leonard, payne ? I got him to build mine off the dry fly special rods he has but made it in a six weight. flamed the cane and went with the agate ferruls

Breck 11-15-2012 10:17 PM

Leonard, 4 wt.. 8 months in the waiting. Like waiting for 9 months on a child!!! Well worth the wait though. I've been able to watch it grow from split stage through finish!! Amazing Craftsmanship!! I am proud to keep it American , Local and I walk the same paths he has fished before me.


flyred06 11-15-2012 10:21 PM

amen. and he is an awesome fly tier also. of course i know you have seen his tying room

Breck 11-15-2012 10:31 PM

You should put down a deposit ASAP for the new rod. Has 8 in front and working.

My rod will be fished as my goto rod above all others. Not on the shelf but to a blue line every time I fish!!


gjbu 11-16-2012 06:37 PM

Hopefully mine is next he said it should be ready around first of year. I went and spent a couple of hours casting his rods. Hardest part was deciding which one. They all cast great. I finally decided on 7'3" 5 weight. Can't wait to get my hands on it. If Walter Babb ever gives you advice take it. The day I spent with him I told him I was headed backpacking the next weekend. He told me where he thought would be good and I went and had the best day of my life. If I had the money I would have had him make 2 rods.

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