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Thread: Favorite Bamboo Rods?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default so many rods, so much fun

    There is a pretty good maker in Marysville, Stan Smart who use to teach bamboo rod making and would be a good source to contact about casting some rods and seeing what you like. They guys at Little river may know how to get hold of him.
    Like another poster said, Harry Boyd is an excellent rod maker and very helpful in rod choices.
    I am a bamboo hobbyist rod maker and yes, fishing bamboo is delightful for me. Some things you may want to consider:
    1-Bamboo is a different rod to cast, slow your cast down, wait and see what a flick of the wrist can do vs a punch with your arm.
    2-Get together with some boo fishermen and test cast as many rods as you can. There are gatherings around where you can meet and cast a host of tapers to see what fits you.
    3-Understand that the action of bamboo has huge variations depending on what the maker wants. A bamboo can be fairly quick or very slow, each is ok it is what fits you, your casting and fishing needs. One of the fun things about bamboo is you can really find rods that work for you.
    4-length, most people prefer rods under 8ft long. After that the rod starts to become heavy and often slow.
    5-The most popular rod weights are 5 and 6 so don't be surprised when you find lots of them in different lengths.
    6-Great tapers, things like payne98 (7ft 5wt)copies are about the easiest to transition from graphite to bamboo. I like Paul young tapers (personal choice) the para 14 (7ft 9 inch 5wt) fished the smokies like a dream for me. Garrison tapers are smooth and delightful. There are some interesting South bends again in the 8ft or less. I would avoid inexpensive Japaneses manufactured rods. These can fish ok but often are of such poor make they fail or require lots of work. I just reworked on for a fella, it was a strip down and rebuild. They normally can be picked up for 50 to 75 bucks, this guy paid more than that for my work but that is what he wanted.
    When buying a used rod, check the ferrules, are they cracked, do they go together smoothly and have a nice pop when you take them apart. Is there a clicking sound when you flex the rod (indicates a loose ferrule)
    What do the wraps and feet look like, redone with dental floss ?
    Is the rod straight or bent. You will find rods that have been poorly stored and have a bend in them called a set. This can be straighted out with a bit of gentle heat and a gentle bend in the opposite direction.
    What is the finish like, checked, cracked, crazzed or smooth and new looking?
    Expect the handle to show wear, after all it is a used rod.
    Again, the best test of a rod is to cast it and see if you like it, if so it is a good taper for you.
    Have is great

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default 1st Bamboo Rod

    So far nothing inaccurate has been posted. You will note that the majority of folks that know what they are talking about continually recommend that you attend a gathering or elsewise some method of casting LOTS of rods. Pay attention to that advice... or you could make some horrendous errors.

    The following is for the GSMNP type fishing:

    Rod Length... 7 - 8 ft
    Line Weight .. 4 - 6 wt
    Action ...... That's Your Problem
    2 or 3 piece .. 3 is much easier to tote.

    Recommended Source.... cast rods, DO NOT order a rod, when you find a rod that feels right, buy THAT rod. Not the promise of one that will feel just like it... buy THAT rod. In the old days you could go into a store and they would have nothing but bamboo rods. You could pick up 5 rods by the same manufacturer, reputedly the same taper, and the same size... and each one of those rods would FEEL different.

    Bamboo rods are made of a natural material, by human beings, and each one is subtly different. Sometimes the difference isn't so subtle. Believe it or not you can find fantastic rods for under $500... you just have to 1) know what you're looking for, and 2) have patience. (No. 2 is the most difficult). Sometimes you can run into a young guy that is just starting out making rods, and you can buy one of his for a bargain... if it feels good what does it matter that no one has heard of the guy??

    If you're close to Knoxville, check with Rich Margiotta... he's honest and he'll help if he has the time.
    Last edited by czkid; 06-29-2008 at 07:45 PM. Reason: spelling
    Petri Heil - Ralph

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