Clay's Bamboo rods.

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Panhandle, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

    I didn't realize, until fairly recently, that with bamboo, you can build a stiffer, faster action rod. While I love bamboo rods, my association with them is in the single hand arena and my experience is that the beauty in them lives within the full flex slow progression..... great for small streams and dry flies, right? My recent understanding is that bamboo two-handers can indeed be built to personal progressive taper/action preferences.........?????
  2. inland

    inland Active Member


    Sorta. Faster and more progressive, yes. Poppy's zings (ZINGS) scandi heads very well. But no you won't get that nice crisp pop of a graphite rod- too much weight to stop and start for one. Wood two handers are an aquired taste. I like them a lot, probably too much. See if you can cast Poppy's next time you are down to get a feel for how superb a rod Bob makes.

  3. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

    Thanks, william. Ill bribe poppy into a day with that rod.
  4. k2flyfisher

    k2flyfisher its taco time. wheres the sauce?

    agreed...its relative. compared to previous models, especially those with metal ferrules, the current spliced (and even composite) ferrules have what Bob considers a more "modern" feel to them, and they are lighter (the one ive been fishing is a 5 sided one btw) and have a fast-ish recovery.

    what this translates to me in feel is that i dont give it as positive of a stop as my le cie, as graphite carries less mass, and therefore dampens quicker; but more of a stopandfollow...which "works" with the deflection/recovery of the grass (and mass), giving it the feel i expect from the rod.

    the allure that bamboo has to me lies more in the two handed, swung fly world. and while the majority of it lies within the challenge of the cast and the feel of the fight, i think that the methodical nature of (the swung fly) also plays a role in the relationship between bamboo and the two handed cast. :thumb:
  5. golfman65

    golfman65 Guest

    For you guys who own one of bob's rods, what would you recommend now that you have yours? Your last last paragraph K2 intrigues me..How is it for skating dries? Would you consider it an all around rod or specific to a season?

  6. k2flyfisher

    k2flyfisher its taco time. wheres the sauce?


    i would say that it would depend on the line you choose to use for skating your dries. this past fall on the ronde/snake, i used airflo's compact scandi and it worked incredibly well. for "chugging" flies, its actually kinda nice once you get into a good "wobble"...the swing weight takes a bit of getting used to but thats small potatoes.

    with that said, the 7/8 is an incredibly versatile rod that throws both dry lines and skagits very well, opening it up for year round use.

    fyi- its only 12' long, so for other good dry lines like a vector, fall favorite or even powerspey, i would rather throw those on my 13'+ graphites.
  7. golfman65

    golfman65 Guest

    Very interesting, thank you for the response..DId you get spliced joints? I heard that's the way to go but am curious about the new ones I've heard talk about?

    If you don't mind my asking, What is the difference between the 5 and 6 sided ones besides cost or is it just cost? I've heard these rods are a lot tougher then they are given credit does it feel with a big fish on?

    Sorry for all the questions, I've been reading his site and starting to save my pennies...Any regrets or thoughts on "IF I ever ordered another one I would"? Pan will probably have three by the time I save up for, bet his olson would look "big pimpin" on a Clay...
  8. ralfish

    ralfish Active Member

    I have been lucky enough to cast Bobs rods as well as Ron Granthams rods as well. Both makers use splices to join the sections and have different actions. Rons tend to be much more traditional. Of course thats relative. Both makers rods are traditional when compared to plastic. Ron uses midspey lines on his rods to exclusivley wake dries.

    Quite a different action if you have only used modern (by that I mean rods made in the last few years) ''plastic'' rods. The action of both makers rods, really reminds me of Mike Maxwells Tiger Eye Specials on the J.Kenedy Fisher blanks only heavier and way slower. If you are thinking you may like the action, I'd try one of the old Tiger Eye Specials or even the newer Lamiglass LS series Mike then went to after J.Kenedey Fisher stopped (faster and lighter than the tigereye and from the late 1990s) first, as you can get either rod for usually under 250hundred bucks and they do come up for sale from time to time. A bit of insight to the LS series here:
  9. Leroy Laviolet

    Leroy Laviolet Aint no nookie like chinookie

    Poppy freaks for taco's, there's your "Bait" Pan , good luck:thumb::rofl:...
  10. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member


    As others have posted, modern bamboo rods are a lot faster than many old models, especially those that are hollow-built. But they are a long ways from being graphite fast. Just ain't possible. The lowest modulus graphite fiber is around 33 million, with fiberglass about half that, and bamboo is significantly less; I don't remember the number. I've cast a couple of Clay's rods and am strongly tempted, but so far I've resisted, and my logic has prevailed over my lust.

  11. inland

    inland Active Member

    The stop and follow K2 mentioned is really the secret to getting them to cast without wiggles and waves in the line.
  12. k2flyfisher

    k2flyfisher its taco time. wheres the sauce?

    the one ive been fishing is spliced. the new composite ferrules were pretty impressive when i casted them at the clave, but theres a difference in feel (and theyre 100 bucks more), not to mention put up and take down time. i rarely take the rod apart due to how much time it takes to put together, so ive built a small rod rack in the garage that holds it when not in use, and between a canopy on the truck and ski racks on the car, it seldom needs to get broken down at all.

    the main difference between the 5 and 6 sided rods is weight. youre missing an entire side of the rod, and they are also slightly quicker. i dont believe theres any difference in price actually.

    i was very impressed with the durability of these rods- if you can imagine that with graphite, once you weaken the hoop strength with say, an intruder...that spot on the rod is now a weakpoint. the five/six sections of these rods, along with the fibrous nature of bamboo have a very high tolerance to this sort of impact. i would say that the weakness of these rods lies in the thinnest part of the section, but even that has been addressed by coating the "ferrules" with a thin coat of epoxy.

    i dont claim to be a "boosnob" by any means, as i love both plastic and grass alike, but it was once said that "there is no other material more perfectly suited for a purpose than bamboo to fishing".

    personally, i think chopsticks were a pretty good use of materials myself...

    fyi- after reading your other post about "big pimpin"...a 4'' bougle balances this rod perfectly. lol.
  13. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

    Great info, K2. Thanks. Now, if I could just locate that money tree.
  14. golfman65

    golfman65 Guest

    I am going to have to get out and cast a couple of these..If you guys are using them on the CW I'd be interested in what distances your getting on that length rod? Is this something you have to figure the stroke out for and it will go..or something that you accept it for what it is and just enjoy?

    This may sound stupid but does the weather have any affect on in too hot or cold to use it?
    I talked to Miez who's good friends with bob and he said the 12'6" 7/8 is a money rod, I believe that's the one...Highly recommended both rod and guy...

    Thanks K2, been very enlightening reading your this could ruin me...
  15. inland

    inland Active Member


    I don't use mine (older 13' rod) on the CW. I also only use silk DT's with it as well, which severely limits casting distance. I can throw this rig about 70' to 75'. With plastic lines 85' to 90' seems to be the top end for me. One of these days I will get his 15' 10/11 'speycaster' to throw big silk DT's to 100' to 110' without stripping too much line. I have had no issues with the weather. Just make sure the rod is not stored wet or in the heat in a car/trunk etc. New silk lines, however are terrible in cold weather (<40F). They will crack.

    Casting them with shooting heads and spey lines is really not much different from a super slow graphite rod. Silk DT's are exponentially harder to cast. The physical weight of the rod does take getting used to. You have to be smooth and consistant, without rushing.
  16. Rob Allen

    Rob Allen Active Member

    I don't know about tapers but his 12 footers are wonderful to cast and if i was fishing a small to medium sized river i think they'd be a pleasure to fish all day
  17. yuhina

    yuhina Tropical member

    I generally agree what people said about Bob's rod here. 12' 7/8 5 sided is what I have been using. Strong tip and progressive taper. The power come from the bottom part of the rod, I particularly love to use it with Ed Ward's skagit casting style. The rotation motion is really relaxing and really make this rod shine (IMO).
    In addition to the superb functionality (feeling of fighting fish), Bob's service is excellent, and craftsmanship is just bar none!
  18. Thomas Mitchell

    Thomas Mitchell Active Member

    Golf if you think you want one, you might want to go ahead and place a deposit as his wait list is about a year now. I actually just placed an order with Bob but for a single hander. I'm getting a 9' 4wt built on a Powell 'distance' taper. Bob is very responsive via email and I'm sure he'd answer any question quickly. When I was discussing rods with him, he said that the splice joints result in s slightly slower rod than ferrules.

    I'll probably go for one of his 13' 7/8's someday myself.

    Strange coincidence - I happened to check eBay and saw a 3 1/4" Dingley Perfect had been posted an hour earlier with a reasonable BIN price. I snapped it up and the invoice came from Riverwatch... Had no idea I was buying it from Bob, just a couple days after sending him a deposit for my rod. Going to use the reel on a 3wt Anderson troutspey.
  19. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

    Mark, Im suprised to hear the use of a skagit style. I would assume the rods are much more suited for light line touch and go casts. Do you cast tips on them? And, by skagit style do you mean you're using the bottom hand to leverage that lower portion of the rod?
  20. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

    I bet you can throw tips. Bob lives on the Kispiox. It is generally known as a tip river.

    8-2 Sox (9),