Beginner Bamboo

Discussion in 'Bamboo, Fiberglass & Classic Reels' started by Doug Lee, Mar 16, 2007.

  1. Doug Lee

    Doug Lee Member

    I was recently given an old bamboo fly rod for a wall-hanger. Looking at it has me wondering about finding a used bamboo rod to fish with. As this is an experiment I don't want to spring for a new custom rod in the four diget bracket. I found tons on various web sites but how do you know what you are looking at? Any tips on where to start, what to ask, who to ask, names to look for, how to tell something about condition, etc? I'm thinking $300 or so. Is that a reasonable price range? Less would be good as long as the rod is functional. Maybe a 4 weight? Is this something that can turn into another hobby that won't let you go?

    Thanks for any info
  2. herl

    herl Member

    $300 for a starter vintage rod is a reasonable figure IMHO. You will have trouble finding a decent 4wt. for that money though since most of the older rods were made for 5/6 wt. line and the lighter rods command a premium these days, $500 or so for a good one.

    As for specific names: there are so many options- I would refer you to Clarks classic flyrods forum: there are lots of people on there that will help you. A good safe bet for an all-around first rod would be a Granger 8642 (8' 6", 4 1/2 oz.) or an 8.5' #2F Heddon rod- you should be able to find one of those in fishable condition for $300 or a little more (a little less if you just want one tip). South Bend, Montague and Horrocks Ibbotson made a few decent rods too- and lots of junk: figuring out which is which can be both fun and expensive.

    Make sure the rod you buy has at least three sections (including one of the tips) that are the same length. Any uneven sections indicate a break and repair. Loose hardware and wraps will need to be repaired before fishing so you don't want those either. You also want a rod with good, solid watertight varnish.

    Lastly, the bamboo bug is absolutely something that will grab you and not let go. If you are thinking and asking about it, it may already be too late. You should probably just consider that $300 a down payment for a future with the lovely reed. You won't be sorry!

  3. rockymountain_brown

    rockymountain_brown Senore Member

    Very nice response Herl!
    I would second the Granger-very nice casting rods, and you can occassionally find a 8.5' for around that price. Heddon also did make nice rods, and stick with 2f ferrules if you want more of a 5/6 rod. The 2 1/2 size ferrules is like a 7 weight. Phillipson rods are also nice, they don't come up on the market as much as grangers, but they are similar. Occasionally you can find decent shorter rods (7-8) feet on ebay, but just keep your eyes peeled! Just be aware, the action on bamboo rods is completely different than graphite. My friend bought a bamboo and absolutely hates it because his cast is to fast, and he is used to using his XP.
  4. raincityrod

    raincityrod Guest

  5. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

    The south bend #359 is a well regarded rod, often considered a do-it-all rod in the 5/6 range. It is worth restoring if you don't have to spend too much.
    With patience and persistence you should be able to find a good condition mid to late 40's #359 somewhere in the $400.00 range.

    I recently picked up this beautifull matched set of an SB #359 and a SB 1185 perfect reel. It is in very good condition. The color of the reel matches the color of the reel seat. How cool is that?

  6. Doug Lee

    Doug Lee Member

    Thanks for all the info. That photo of the matching rod & reel is just too much. Beautiful. What about some of the more modern rods for sale? Found several that were made in the last 20 years or so but as I am not familiar with who is who in the rod making world I don't know good from bad. Or should a person stay with shopping for the older Grangers, Heddons, etc. as mentioned by Herl? The slower rods agree with me more than the fast stuff so I'm hoping bamboo will fit the bill. This is starting to be fun and I don't even have a rod yet.
  7. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

    Probably the best thing you can do is to follow herl's advice and start looking through Clark's Classic Flyrod Forum. Ask your questions there. Unfortunately, Clarks is an ezboard and the search function is near useless but there are many pages of archives to keep you busy for a long time. FAOL has some articles that should be helpful. Also, keep looking at those bamboo rod dealers web sites. When you see a rod that you want to know more about, email or call the dealer and ask him about it.
    In short, start reading, listening and talking. Take your time, there is much to learn. Let people know that you are new to bamboo and putting some effort into educating yourself. The tone and timbre of most classic tackle forums is considerably different then what you find here. The focus is on the tackle.

  8. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    'Fish and feel fit!' Now that's a great example of the lost art of marketing. Have you cast the SB yet? What's it like?

  9. rainbow

    rainbow My name is Mark Oberg

    I was going to get that boo also, But I had my eye's on some others. Nice stick. On the boo topic, generally speeching the two piece boo's will have a better action (not full flex). The three peice are likely to be full flex and 8" or more. I like the two piece 7'6" range.
  10. Porter

    Porter Active Member

    Tim that is a :cool: :cool: looking set-up is that a manufactured thumb indentation or from wear? I couldn't tell from photo exactly but it looks built that way.
  11. rainbow

    rainbow My name is Mark Oberg

    Ya they were made that way, The groves too.
  12. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

    The thumb indent is made that way.
    South Bend named it the Comficient handle, Comfortable & Efficient.

    The reel is a perfect style reel. Built like a Hardy Perfect with an independent side plate and thrust bearings.