Bamboo rod kits

Discussion in 'Rod Building' started by Sloan Craven, Dec 7, 2007.

  1. Sloan Craven

    Sloan Craven Active Member

    I've been looking at these and I have to these things are expensive for something I'm just going to try to impress people with.
    Is there an affordable kit out there?
    I realize boo is expensive and a bamboo blank is going to naturally coast more than more conventional materials. So that's settled.
    I'm just looking to screw around, a bamboo rod isn't omething Im likely to use that much.
  2. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

    I'd hold out for a bamboo rod that is a pleasure to fish with. I know nothing of these kits, but bamboo is extremely variable. Altho the US dollar has fallen a lot against the Canadian, a rod by Peter McVey is likely still a screaming deal. He's as good as anybody out there as far as I know, and still pretty reasonably priced when you consider what a high end graphite goes for. My last with 2 tips was $1100.

  3. Tom Bowden

    Tom Bowden Active Member


    Golden Witch in PA offers blanks and kits. Also, a lot of rodmakers will sell unfinished, ferruled blanks that you can finish yourself. There is a good list of professional rodmakers on the rodmakers web site,

    A low cost and easy way to get into bamboo is to buy an old production rod and fix it up. "Fix it up" can mean whatever you need or want - ranging from replacing a couple guides, to stripping the rod and updating all components. Bamboo blanks are actually easier to work with than graphite, since you have flat surfaces to wrap guides on, and you don't have to worry about putting little nicks and gouges in the blank. The only tricky processes are replacing or repairing ferrules, and straightening rods with "sets". I'm always willing to help.

    You can sometimes find old rods in garage sales or pawn shops, from used rod lists like Codellas, and there are lots of them on e-bay. Grangers, Heddons, and South Bends are usually nice casting rods.

    Hope this helps

  4. OhioOutdoorsman

    OhioOutdoorsman New Member

  5. martinrjensen

    martinrjensen BambooBoy

    I think I read someone mention garage sales. I saw some antique shops in Lake City aroung 125th that had a few bamboo rods for sale at a reasonable price. You could pick up one of those and clean it up or redo it pretty cheaply. You comments are a little interesting though. You should be aware that there are a lot of bamboo rods out there for no more than a graphite rod. You should also be aware that in the shorter lengths, a bamboo rod can easily out perform a graphite rod.

  6. J.W.

    J.W. New Member

    I'd encourage you to tackle the project of working on a bamboo rod/blank. Its an incredible addition to your fly fishing/tying. Although, I'll also warn you that with bamboo rods, especially the blank, you'll get what you pay for essentially, with regard to how it casts and looks. Stay clear from any blank 'made in china' or anything else like that.

    A poorly, or quickly made, bamboo blank will not cast well at all, nor will it hold up to much usage (i.e. it will develop a bend/set/delaminate, etc).

    there are a lot of reputable bamboo makers out there, however, because of the number of hours that goes into producing a blank they are not cheap (steer away from ones that are). Either maker's produce the blank entirely by hand (think 30+ hours) or they machine the cane strips down to make the blank quicker- in which case they use expensive machinery. They're also going to use higher quality glues, A+grade raw bamoo, etc. which add to costs.

    If you're going to put the energy into finishing a blank (which in an of itself is considerable, both in time and money) you might as well do it right, purchase a quality blank, and do a nice job on it. "You can't half ass split bamboo." If this is your first bamboo project, expect to spend about 30+ hours finishing a blank, and another few hundred dollars in supplies/equipment. My advice for looking to get blanks, is to visit the Genuine Bellinger website, there you can get anything from raw stirps, to ferruled blanks, depending on where you're looking to start your finishing project, and the quality you'll find there is as good as it gets, the best!

    f you're looking to 'practice' working on bamboo with the idea of later translating your skills onto something both useful and presentable, than by all means buy those garage sale rods and play around with breaking them down, cleaning them up and re-finishing them.
  7. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    All good advice so far.

    But one thing not to forget: you may well luck out and find a $5 bamboo rod at a garage sale that turns out to be worth a fortune.

    A 'refinished' cane rod (and I use the term loosely) may well have been worth hundreds, if not thousands, BEFORE you started sanding on it, only to have that value reduced to gas money the minute you started messing with it.

    If you're gonna start trolling garage sales looking for cane rods to refinish, it'd be worth your time to check out your finds to see what its really worth beforehand.

    Lest you think I'm exaggerating, a fellow member here recently had an 'old' cane rod given to him by an associate of his mother's.

    The rod? A Payne 197 7-1/2 foot 3/2 that on a good day might bring as much as $5 - $6K at an auction like Lang's from collectors who know full well how rare it is.

    Not all old cane rods are meant to be 'refinished'.

  8. Scott Keith

    Scott Keith Member

    I agree with Kent, there are some amazing rods out there hidden away for one of us to find. Bamboo is expensive because even the cheap ones take a lot of labor to create. I like the idea of finding some old bamboo rods at a garage sale, but definetely get someones advice on whether or not it is a rod that should be refinished, left alone, or properly restored. If you need to know of someone who is pretty good at restoring and refinishing bamboo send me a PM and I'll give you his info....

  9. Dan S

    Dan S New Member

    Ok so Ineed advice on this I got this Bamboo rod and it ffrom the Rainbow bamboofly rod and t--------- Coumpiny it has a red indianhead on the lable too its a 3 section that mesures 104 inches the handel is newer I need to replace a guide on it and some of them are rusty shoud I replace them too.........thank ya allfor great addvice so far and I apreciate it..................Dan......
  10. Tom Bowden

    Tom Bowden Active Member


    There were lots of brand names for old production rods, but it's possible that your rod was made by Dawn Holbrook, who made rods in Seattle as the "Rainbow Rod Company." Holbrook taught many people in the Pacific NW how to make rods, and is somewhat of a legend among rod makers. In fact, at last week's rodmaker gathering in Corbett Lake, we had a presentation on Dawn Holbrook.

    So, you might have a special rod. If you can take a picture of the markings, we could probably get a positive ID.

    If your plan is to fish it, I'd recommend replacing all of the guides. It's very difficult to match wrap colors, and the rod would look and perform much better if you did all of them.

  11. ShuksanRodCo.

    ShuksanRodCo. New Member

    Hopefully something is 'lost in translation'-- as is often the case with the internet, because the original post/question seems to arise as a real insult to split-cane fly rods and all they encompass. For someone to use it as a symbol of affluence, something to 'screw around with and not use much'- or to 'impress people with' would be a real tragedy.

  12. Sloan Craven

    Sloan Craven Active Member

    Nope, nothing lost in translation. I was very literal. I can see how if you were trying to read into something that my post had no praise for bamboo. But that doesn't mean I trashed it either. It was no insult to split cane rods at all. I was simply pointing out what place a bamboo rod would have in my arsenal. For me, it would be a really expensive investment for something with no improved function over the tools I have and what I use them for.
    However, preferring graphite over bamboo or fiberglass really isn't a tragedy. The children getting brainwashed and forced into pregnancy by a fundamentalist cult is a tragedy. School shooting are tragedies. Heck, even, the rise of Nascar over real sports could be better defined as a 'tragedy' compared to a preference for materials other than bamboo in fishing rods.
    I never made any judgements about bamboo in my original post. If someone likes to fish with bamboo, go nuts, have at it, enjoy. I don't hold it against you, and I certainly would never hold you in higher regard for building, owning, and using bamboo.

    For those that have had suggestions for my predicament, Thanks a ton!