View Full Version : picking a boo fly rod

07-21-2008, 01:06 PM
i've fished bamboo for a while--and have become very opinionated about buying bamboo rods--my nephew wants a bamboo rod--he's been looking on ebay--i don't much like heddon's--most feel clubby to me--they sell pretty cheap on e bay --that's why everyone goes after a heddon--i would look for an orvis--they are there also--but if i did that i would go ahead and get a new one---east tennessee,north carolina,and virginia have rodmakers who willbuild you a heirloom custom rod perfect for th smokies ar anywhere you want to fish--these rods are quality rods that make are many cuts above the old heddon,orvis,ebay rod for not that much more money.I hacve rods built by stan smart,walter babb,charley down(he's in ashville nc now)--my babb ros has 2 tips one for drys and one for nymphs it is a 7 1/2 ft 5wt.It is simply the best--my Charley D. rod is a 7wt-"cumberland river special" inscribed to me--it is a beautiful rod to look at and casts like a cannon--i don't know what kind of bamboo rod my nephew will end up with--walter babb makes a 4wt perfectionist taper 7ft rod that is perfect for the smokies i know because i have one, it is a casting classic.Charley D. wants to build me a 3wt--he has never much on 3wt bamboos--until he found this taper--it will be part of a set of rods he will call the smokey mtn set--

07-21-2008, 09:48 PM
As you have said you have already become opinionated and that can be good and bad. You said you felt Heddons were clubby and cheap. May I ask what model # and lengths you have tried? Heddons in the shorter lengths you mentioned are not common and weight wise and in action are not at all clubby.They also are not cheap and knowing Mr. Babb a little and Mr. Downs not at all I think you would find that a short higher grade Heddon would sell used for more than either of those builders new rods. Most experienced cane people have alway felt that the Orvis rods are a little on the heavy side but very dependable. I am also in the Asheville area and I would hope your nephew would have the chance to visit a few builders to get a chance to try out different rods before he makes his choice. dave m

07-22-2008, 09:34 AM
you are right--I have not tried any of the shorter heddon rods--the rods i have tried were the longer black beauty,middle of the road,type rods.I bought several of the black b. rods in a semi motivated attempt to collect them--that was several years ago--i sold them last year to a guy in branson missouri--made a couple of bucks--i think the point i am trying to make is that eventually 99% of those who fly fish will drift to bamboo out of curiosity if nothing else--i have seen 2 heddon rods bought off ebay--they were dogs--although they were seen as pretty nice rods because of effective picture taking--was talking to my friend bill yesterday about all this-he firmly said that heddon made several grades of rods some were kmart'ish others were world class rods--it was their marketing theory to supply bamboo rods for any price range thereby covering all fisherman,no matter how much money they were willing to spend on a rod. he is returning today with a 4wt heddon he says is as good as bamboo can get.I'll be the first to admit that I am no authority on heddon bamboo,mainly because i have purposely stayed away from them,The examples I have seen were not too good--but then they were 7wt 9ft probably bottom end rods--bill says he is bringing a book on heddon rods with prices and values--he said the have some ketchup ready to put on my words so as to give them flavor when i have to eat them-

07-22-2008, 10:26 AM
I build rods, so I fish with what I build,but like many builders have learned to respect what Granger/Heddon have done for the rod building community. Heddon had a rod length and taper for any type of fishing. I have a number of Heddons and W& M Grangers. Depending where you are located if you and your nephew or just your self wish to stop by and try rods that would be great. dave

07-23-2008, 04:26 PM
I own a Heddon and have fished with a Granger. I refer to both of them as Leatherneck Rods because they are workhorse rods at a reasonable price. I build bamboo as well and 9 times out of 10 I will be fishing with one of my own, but on occasion I will pull out one of the workhorses and give it some fresh air.


07-28-2008, 12:05 PM
I am also looking for my first Boo rod. Walter Babb has been kind enough to let me come to his house in sweetwater and cast some rods before choosing. Just by his help alone I am sure this man will build my rod. He is also very reasonable. You can get his contact info from Daniel at LRO.

08-06-2008, 12:19 PM
I have now picked a boo rod made by Walter Babb in a Payne 1920 taper. It is a 8 ft 6wt that is absolutely sweet. Many thanks to Daniel at LRO for hooking me up with Walter. This man is a great fountain of information and very patient when choosing you rod. I plan on ordering 2 more from him.

05-07-2009, 08:43 PM
How come folks refer to Bamboo as "boo" but never refer to graphite as "phite"?

Add that to the ever lengthening list of things I just don't get.