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lauxier 01-06-2008 04:13 PM

bamboo and technology
today,I had a coversation with my hi-tech friend greg,about fly-rods---he does not not use bamboo---he is strictly a graphite man--he laid out the rules of modern fly-fishing for me ,and argued against bamboo fly-rods as opposed to graphite--he was not wrong--he said
1)bamboo is too expensive(the orvis helois is 700 plus dollarsthat is pretty expensive grahite))
2)they are not much in windy conditions,the fast action graphites are much better when weather is a problem( I agree)
3)they are heavy compared to the newer grapites(true,but an ounce or two does not bother me)
4)bamboo is structurally weak compared to graphite,bamboo is easily stressed to the point of splitting every time you get a larger fish on the line(sorry ,I did not buy any of that--a bamboo rod's strength lies in the in the strands of the plant itself,when bamboo is condoned by a rod builder as acceptable for rod building,then the rodbuilder places his reputation on that rod to perform as well as any other rod in it's class.
5)their parabolic action hinders casting because their rod tip is not stable,it flutters at the end of a cast,making the cast lose energy (I do not know what Greg was talking about---maybe you can help)
6)You can buy yourself a top graphite rod immediately---no waiting 6 months(that is right----but--the wait is half the fun of it)
There is no arguing with technology,Greg is mostly right,I would not argue with him---because I know,sure as I am sitting here,that one day,sooner or later,Greg will drift to bamboo,not because it is a superior way of fishing but because we get hi-tech'ed out--we want to get back to fishing ,"in the natural".

DrewDelashmit 01-06-2008 06:36 PM

Greg is largely correct that graphite will out perform bamboo as a material. I have however cast some current graphite rods made by reputable manufacturers that make bamboo feel like a revolutionary material.

The biggest case for bamboo is about the experience and the situation. A good bamboo rod has a soul that most graphite rods lack. They are a pleasure to use on small streams casting small CDC dries at rising trout. I have also used them to throw double nymph/wet rigs and they are more than adequate. I don't suggest using one to try and subdue a large tarpon in windy conditions.

In some situations there is just no more enjoyable rod to use than a finely crafted bamboo rod. That is the great thing about the industry today, as consumers we have a wide variety of choices in gear, whether we want the fastest graphite rods, a slower fiberglass stick or a high dollar bamboo, the choices are almost endless and appeal to everyone's tastes.


Troutman 01-06-2008 11:33 PM

Lauxier, I finally got to try out my new/old boo rod today. It was fantastic! Sure it won't throw 90 ft into a wind or feel like a feather in my hand, but it does have something special. It just felt right to be on the water with it, the rod has a history. It started out as a plant growing somewhere in China. probably hand cut by a farmer and sold to an exporter. purchased by the rod company as a culm and hand made into a fine fishing instrument by someone several decades ago. I don't know who the original owner was, and I wonder what streams the rod has tossed a fly across. How many fish were hooked and fought on the rod?
How many years did it sit unused till I received it? I'll never know all these answers but I can tell you that it has found a new home with me for many years to come. Pretty sappy huh?

Grumpy 01-06-2008 11:46 PM

I've got to disagree with #2, i cast a tweaked 290 awhile back that loved pushing 90' of fly line, still kicking myself in the rear for not buying that rod, then again, it would dance up close & flutter a fly like a butterfly, yep, still kicking myself in the butt, it was less than my new Helios:frown:


lauxier 01-08-2008 01:18 PM

1)Drew--soul is the correct word I could not think of,when I wrote the above thread,because bamboo once lived and grew,so bamboo is soulful,in fact in about 1968 I remember reading a review in Rolling Stone magazine on the Beach Boy's new album " Pet Sounds"the guy said it was a monumental album because it was so soulful(he was right Pet Sounds is considered one of the best rock albums ever recorded)(if you are stressed give it a listen,relaxation is but a few notes away)which is the same thing you could say about fly-fishing---get on a stream--sound of the water--the cast--you kind of get zen'd out it brings relaxation and before long you are addicted--so---one day---if Alex Trebeck--raises the cover over the statement--bamboo and Brian Wilson----you would reply--What is fly-fishing and "Pet Sounds"--the catagory was connections---you just won yourself some money---I'm sure you will be a better person for reading this reply--I promise not to do it again--Thanks

stiknstring 01-11-2008 06:42 PM

There are a lot of misconceptions of bamboo fly rods. People are often surprised at what they learn about bamboo once they get into it. Most of what they think they knew ends up being wrong.

Dances with Trout 01-22-2008 07:02 PM

Troutman, I have a Tonka Prince that I bought this year. It is a nice little rod and I have enjoyed it thoroughly. I also just started fly fishing this year. I am having the time of my life. I am currently making a hand planed split bamboo 4wt 7' rod. I have several hours to go, but it has been a great project. I am eager to get the rod finished so I can fish with it.

God Bless,

Troutman 01-23-2008 11:55 AM

DWT, I like the prince for dry flies and small poppers. Its not as slow and smooth as my glass rods, but fun to fish with. I settled on a 444 peach DT6wt line for it.
Just started fly fishing and already building boo rods for yourself? That pretty impressive. Did you take Stan Smartt's class or just decide to learn it on your own through books? Bet you'll want to have it ready by March and the Quill Gordon hatches in the park.

Dances with Trout 01-23-2008 10:47 PM

I basically took Stan's class. He is a great friend. I finished wrapping the guides on the butt section on Monday. I hope to wrap the tip section on Friday night and Saturday so I am getting close.
I definitely don't want to miss the Quill Gordon hatch in March.

God Bless,

Paducahmichael 03-06-2008 01:27 AM

Technology of bamboo vs graphite......

Put the tip of a bamboo rod on the floor and step on it.

Repeat with a graphite rod.

Then take the bamboo rod fishing and use the butt from the graphite for a tomato stake. (the graphite tip will be too far gone for a stake.)

Mike Clark LOVES to do this little demo to convince the "bamboo is fragile" crowd.

Newer isn't always better.

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