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Thread: Bamboo Rods

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Gadsden, Alabama
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    1,033

    Smile Bamboo Rods

    I am thinking of purchasing a bamboo rod around a 5wt. Can anyone give me suggestions on what companies to check into. I like winstons, hardys and thomas and thomas. However I have no experience with cane rods. Any information would be quite helpfull.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    160

    Default bamboo

    I'll start a small war with this comment, but graphite is better in every way. If you are buying bamboo, it is for reasons other than price or performance. I'm not saying that bamboo rods are bad; I'm just saying that most of their sales are driven by image and marketing. It would be trivial to make a graphite rod act like bamboo (just dampen the action, slow it down, add some weight, reduce its resiliency, and charge 300-500% more), but impossible to make bamboo act like graphite (violates physics). Or go with fiberglass, which is cheap and already acts a lot like bamboo. Just my .02! I can understand the appeal, since bamboo is classical. I consider them more like artwork than a real fishing tool that you can abuse. I'm sure someone will attempt to set me straight on the fine virtues of bamboo. I can understand it from a purist standpoint, but again, I know no one uses silk for leaders and catgut for lines.

    If you are sure you want one (I used to!), I would say to stick with the big companies, or at least with a small company with a great bamboo reputation (there are a lot of guys making these in their basements, some good, some not so good). And don't buy one until you try it alongside a good graphite rod!

  3. #3
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    May 2007
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    Default

    No reason to start a war or even a skirmish.It is kind of like cars,some like Fords others might like Honda etc.Just remember it is the fisherman using the rod that makes it all work. To consider the abuse of your equipment as part of fishing is a little strange. By the way silk is still used by many for lines. dave

  4. #4
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    Jul 2006
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    Default

    Good points canerod. Yes, I certainly consider abuse as part of it. Over the years, I have lost 5 rods to car and house doors (only once was it me!). I lost one to a generator in the back of my friend's pickup. My dad stepped on 3 while in a boat. I lost 2 to fish. I've lost 3 to jerking on it trying to get a fly or lure out of a tree. I've lost 2 more catching my fall in a creek. Dad lost one of my rods in a lake (while casting, he simply opened his hands and off it sailed!) Father-in-law lost my rod while flipping his canoe. Lets see... that's 18 rods, in about 25 years. For several years I fished about a 50-100 days a year, so some of that stuff is bound to happen anyway.

    I treat my equipment better now than in the past. Part of the problem was that I didn't think ahead enough, so that part is fixed. Part was that I'm cheap and used to buy cheap rods. Part is that I don't fish nearly as much as I used to. I've had a good streak the last 10 years, only losing 4 rods (wife+door, falling in a creek, father-in-law, and one snapped for no reason while setting the hook on a tiny fish).

    I can't imagine being able to fish some slick creek like Abrams if I had 2,000 dollars of rod in my hand. If I started to fall, I'd probably break my arm or crack my skull before I let the rod take any of it. I can't imagine that bamboo folks ever let themselves be caught fishing in less than ideal conditions, because with a rod like that in your hands, you just can't risk it.

    And silk! All I can say is that there is ALWAYS someone willing to take it further than the last guy. There is probably someone out there proclaiming the superiority of catgut, and someone else the superiority of using handwoven thread on wraps, and someone else eschewing flies with foam on them. I am happy to let all these folks fish the way that they think is best. But I draw the line when someone tries to convince me that these old materials are better, because, well, that's the way the old folks used to do it.

    Anyway, good luck to all of you, however you fish! Reading my posts, it may seem like I care about this subject more than I actually do. It is really just a backlash against all the marketing material that gets sent my way, telling me all about their "loving craftsmanship" and why the classic feel of bamboo is just what I need to be a real fly fisherman. I rarely encounter a real person who would try hard to convince me that bamboo is better. Real people are usually better than the companies they work for.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    55

    Default

    I had tried to edit my first post but it did not work. Flyred06 you can buy very good used cane rods for the same or less than many graphite rods. dave

  6. #6
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    Aug 2006
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    Seymour, TN
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    Default

    Wow! thats alot of broken rods, I've broke 2 this year myself due to accidents and just plain bad materials. My fancy overtouted Sage rod had a weak spot in the high modulus graphite. It snapped in half on a backcast. I no longer believe graphite is better than a good cane or high quality fiberglass rod. I haven't found my way to cane yet, but a good quality glass rod seems to fit my casting style. I just like the feel of a slow action rod. I still own a few graphites but they aren't what I reach for these days. Good glass is not "cheap" by quality of craftsmanship or price. Examples are: T&T Heirloom $630, Scott Fibertouch $495, Steffen Brothers $300+, Mcfarland $525, Diamondglass $305. You won't find these rods hanging in walmart or in most fly shops. Like cane, it has its own subculture of enthusiast.
    Glad were all able to voice our opinions without being flamed like so many other forums!
    Flyred06, There is usually a cane conclave yearly in the south. They had one this year in townsend. Good place to gather info and meet builders and to test cast rods.

  7. #7
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    Jul 2006
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    Default

    Canerod and Troutman, you both make good points. I'll back off and just let my comments stand. I will say that if I did want that type of action, and who knows, maybe someday I will, it seems to me that if I could get either premium glass or used cane for $300, then I would go with whichever had the best (transferable) warranty. I think most folks buying glass are wanting that cane feel anyway, and the manufacturers probably design them with that in mind.

    Troutman said, "Glad we're all able to voice our opinions without being flamed like so many other forums!" Well the post is young, and who knows who will come out and verbally beat me for my insolence! I imagine most of the people on this forum are wiser than me, and will keep their mouths closed.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Harriman, Tn.
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    Default

    Flyred,

    There is another bama boy selling just what you may be looking for on another fly fishing forum. I can vouch for this gentleman> here is the link:

    http://www.southeastflyfishingforum....ad.php?t=19549

    AA

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Alcoa, TN
    Posts
    506

    Default

    The bama boy attempting to sell his rod is a little disheartening! Looking at the pictures and seeing the stream in the background leaves me to believe he doesn't like the rod! Unless the Ms's was standing over him, frustrated because the home loan was due and the Mr had just spent big money on a new toy!

    As far as cane rods start by looking at this web site! Rodbuildingforum.com Head to the section on cane building! There you will find some of the absolute best ROD builders more specifically BOO builders in the world. There are several builders in the states accompanied by several out of country! Some of these guys are the best of the best! I would be asking specific questions to a builder that you like! One I would definately start with would be taper specific! It's all going to depend on where when and how you'll be fishing with your rod! Boo tapers will slow/speed and generally change the action of the boo! There's also several different types of boo rods! IE; Quad Rods! There absolutely awesome and I would imagine this would make for a stiffer/faster taper rod great for tailwaters! There's several things to things to think about! But before you jump into a "300 to 400%" markup I would know what I'm buying and exactly why! I think as long as you know what you getting you self into you won't be dissapointed by whay you recieve! Most of these rod builders will offer the same, if not better warranty that any major rod company would! I think the problem with any major rod company is the lack of personalization! They make the same rod with the same taper and action attempting to please a wide variety of people! In addition there just isn't the market for boo, not to mention it wouldn't be good for the sport, as not many individuals wish to pay a 300 to 400% markup over graphite! Byron will back me on this, most of the time that wish not to make a small investment (in our eyes) on a graphite rod!

    After all, if you wan't a 100% personalized rod there's no other way to go! The beauty definately rides within the boo! Spend some time looking "Shop around!" before you dive into your wallet!

    2 cent's as always!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishermansfly
    The bama boy attempting to sell his rod is a little disheartening! Looking at the pictures and seeing the stream in the background leaves me to believe he doesn't like the rod! Unless the Ms's was standing over him, frustrated because the home loan was due and the Mr had just spent big money on a new toy!
    LOL . What ever gave you that idea? This happens to be one of the best set ups I've ever owned (versatile). It just happens that I already have enough rods in the lower trout wts. and only fish for trout a few times out of the year anymore. I know that if I do sell it, I'll miss it but my collection is ever growing and ever changing........ Actually, I've got my eye on a Winston Spey rod and figured if I sell this trout rod I could feel a little better about adding yet another rod to the arsenal......so no the Mrs. (she's a saint) ain't mad and the note's not due...

    Flyred 06 - If your' looking at getting into bamboo, I'd suggest you cast as many as you can get your' hands on until you find the ones that suits you. Not everyone can cast it (bamboo) and I'm afraid if the graphite companies keep going the way of making small telephone poles in a few generations, no one will. I'm not knocking fast actions or graphite I fish both as well as bamboo. I just don't care for them with most of my trout fishing situations but.......that's subjective and everyone's different. For me, there is nothing like the feel of a fish on a good bamboo rod. There's a lot of bamboo out there though I wouldn't stake my tomatoes up on so be carefull when seeking to purchase. Most of the people I've met that said they didn't like it actually have never had the pleasure of fishing with a good bamboo rod and the tomato stake they did cast turned them off for good.

    Again though, it's not for everybody. I have buddies that don't really care for bamboo who are excellent fishermen in every respect.

    There is one factor in all of this that is not opinion: Silk Fly line (Phoenix anyway) casts better over a wider range of conditions than plastic and given the proper care it will out last a plastic line four times over. Silk doesn't displace as much water on the surface as does plastic, thus roll casting becomes nothing short of beautifull. I don't think anyone who has ever cast a brand new phoenix on the right rod can deny that. There are drawbacks though such as maintenance. I can only get about 5-6 hours of good fishing in before it starts to absorb water and has to be hung on a limb to dry for about an hour. You then have to re apply the dressing so it will float.

    Here's a good link about silk. http://vfish.net/silkrecon2.htm

    Here's a few good links into the world of Bamboo. http://www.bamboorods.it/link.htm


    Sure, there is the reverance to a more than 150 year old American craft and I don't feel like "Mr. it " when I'm fishing it but to say that bamboo falls short on performance is clearly a perspective from someone who has not spent much time casting it on the water. I'm in no hurry to sell the rod. I'll order that new Winston 13' 8/9 two handed whether or not I sell that Battenkill and probably be happier in the long run if no one wants it. To be honest, I didn't even anticipate someone just wanting to get into bamboo would even glance at it. This sickness doesn't happen over night, it develops and grows like a cancer.

    BTW, Hey er'body, I'm muddy. (not flaming anyone, just trying to help a fella' out)

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