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Thread: Bamboo blanks & Korean job

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Rochester, NY

    Default Bamboo blanks & Korean job

    I am planning to make my first rod this winter, a bamboo rod. I intend to start from a blank and finish it myself. I have done some research and found a few sources of both materials and instruction, but I have a couple of questions that those of you with actual experience may be able to help with.

    I can find quite a few places to purchase blanks, but where do you all purchase blanks? Are there any local makers/suppliers? What things should I watch out for when purchasing a blank? Being my first rod I am not looking for top end necessarily, but what would be the right price range for a decent quality blank? And if I have a choice between ferrules installed, or not, I would assume I would want them pre-installed.

    Lastly, I have this crazy bamboo rod that my father bought in Korea in the 50s. Looks like it came from a Korean walmart or something, and it came in a square wooden bamboo box. Probably not worth anything to anyone but me and I want to refinish it. Anyone ever seen these Korean made rods? I think a lot of them made their way back after the war.

    Thanks for the info.
    Bob Campbell
    800 miles North of the country's best wild trout fishing

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Gulf Shores, Alabama


    Having built hundreds of rods over the last 30 years(in use all over the world) I have professional skills in graphite and glass blanks. Regarding bamboo I am just an assembler, not a builder or designer. Having qualified myself(for what it's worth) I built myself a bamboo rod several years ago. Lacking the talent to actually construct a bamboo blank I purchased one from Merrick tackle in New York. It's a 7 1/2 ft. 5 wt. I assembled it using premium grade cork, nickel silver reel seat and winding check and birds eye maple. Guides were SIC and flex snake guides. I used silk thread(traditional). I consulted Mike Clark on finishing and used many coats(lots I forgot how many) of spar varnish. This was the most time consuming. It requires an 18 to 20 rpm turner and lots of coats to achieve to achieve a nice look. Best advice is to choose a blank (with 2 tips) of the length and wt you want, assemble using standard techniques, then be prepared(no hurry) to apply finish (light coats) over a period of many days(allowing to dry between coats). Take your time and the end result will be worth it. procedure is the same on the Korean rod. Depending on its condition it will require removal of the old varnish and possibly rewrapping the guides. Good luck and let us know how they turn out.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    SE Tennessee


    Too involved for here. contact me through my website and we'll go from there.
    John Torchick

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