Convert 9' bamboo into 6'?

Discussion in 'Bamboo, Fiberglass & Classic Reels' started by para_adams, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. para_adams Active Member

    Posts: 214
    Bothell, WA
    Ratings: +51 / 0
    I am not seriously considering this project at this time but am curious. Do folks sometimes convert older 9' bamboo rods into short 6' bamboo rods. If so, what rod characteristics are you looking for in the rod to be sacrificed to this insane project?

    Original line weight - What type of rod would make a good piece for this type of project? Would it be a rod already designed for lighter line such as an HEH? Would a medium weight HDH be the best? Could a heavier HCH work?

    Original action - I imagine you'd want a rod with a slower action rather than a stiffer action since shortening the rod would loose critical loading action. Would one of those cheap Japanese rods be a good candidate for this type of project?

    Strategy - Would you ditch the butt section of the rod and mount a reel seat and grip on the mid-section?

    Any ideas? Thoughts?
  2. Old406Kid Active Member

    Posts: 313
    Spokane, WA
    Ratings: +84 / 0
    Pretty sure it's usually done with a car door and minimal planning.;)
  3. LD Active Member

    Posts: 1,058
    Spokane, WA
    Ratings: +80 / 6
    I would think one of those sloooooooooow 9' ers would be a good candidate. You can easily slip a grip on the third section and the reel in your pocket and cast it and see how it casts. You will change the dynamics of the rod quite a bit. You may get away with leaving the guides where they are or you my want to strip it a do a static test to reset the guides. Those old big rods were mostly heavy line weight.But taking away the butt section and trying to speed up the action a little you might get away with a lighter line.

    Hopefully mike will chime in as he would have a much better idea.
  4. Joe Goodfellow Active Member

    Posts: 526
    DES moines wa
    Ratings: +101 / 0
    Ask Steve KOKITA he taught me how to do it. I'm doing one now with a Japanese rod. Steve does them all the time and there super nice. They cast really good to. Besides your making a 7' it's not like you need to make 50' cast.
  5. Mike Monsos AKA flyman219

    Posts: 462
    Redmond, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +73 / 0
    I made a 6'er out of a 9' SB 8wt myself. The rod is somewhere around a 5wt and it's not a bad caster. The only reason I did this was that I really did not like the original rod and I knew I'd never fish it as a 9'er. What you should do before you get to far into the process is like LD had suggested. Just cast the mid and tip with a reel in your pocket, change the line wt and see what you like. You'll get a general idea of what this combination might cast. It will be different with a reel as a counterweight.

    Will this be as nice of a casting rod as a taper that is designed as a 6'er, IMHO no. Will the rod be able to cast a fly line and be fun to fish, most likely yes.

    Be warned though that if you do take this route you could end up spending about $100-$200 on guides, agate stripper, cork grip, reel seat and hardware and thread and finishing products (closer to $200 is my guess). Weigh out how much you want to do this project with unsure results, rather than applying the $200 towards a nicely designed taper of a current or established rod maker and taper you could pick out as the right one.

    If you like you could come over and cast my SB/6'er compared to a nice Sir D 7'er, not even close as far as I'm concerned.

    Mike
  6. para_adams Active Member

    Posts: 214
    Bothell, WA
    Ratings: +51 / 0
    If you do this, would you possibly use maybe a foot of the butt section to put the reel seat and cork over just to get a smidge more length to push a cast? Maybe put the cork over the first ferrule? that would make the rod about 7' and maybe give it a bit more casting flexibility. Anyone try that?
  7. para_adams Active Member

    Posts: 214
    Bothell, WA
    Ratings: +51 / 0
    OK guys, I might make this a winter project. I have an old, slow, whippy and very heavy 9' Shakespeare which has been on our wall as a decoration for the last 20 years. Kind of like keeping a nice looking "broom stick" on the wall. I took it down, pieced together the mid and tip and tried lawn casting as suggested. The first line was a 4 weight. Forget it. Then I tried a 5 weight forward...not bad, it was kinda' fast action and easy to cast 40 feet. Last I put a 6 WF and the 2/3 of a rod actually felt really good. Light, fast and I could get 50-55 feet pretty easily. We might loose a wall decoration and gain a fishing rod. The old guides will work fine, I'll just move the stripper to the mid section. I might even use the same old aluminum reel seat and just buy a cork handle. The rod might be a 6'...or maybe a 6'9" by using the last 9" of the butt section for the seat and cork. I'd have to either put the ferrule under the cork or maybe let it stick out one inch and keep the rod a weird three piece. What would you all recommend, other than starting the project with a car door slam? :)
  8. Steve Kokita FISHON206

    Posts: 572
    Burien, Washington
    Ratings: +134 / 0
    I've done several, I'll send you a pm....
  9. para_adams Active Member

    Posts: 214
    Bothell, WA
    Ratings: +51 / 0
    OK, I'm doing it! I just sawed the butt section in two on a whippy old 9' Shakespeare 10" below the end of the ferrule. I've glued up the new reel seat and cork on that 10" section. The rod will end up being a 6'-9" 3-piece rod, with the mid and tip sections both running 35-1/2". Time to strip the guides and finish, then replace and add guides (I'm figuring on 7 + the stripping guide). I found a cool vintage stripper at Angler's Roost...one of the actual inventory from old HI's or maybe Montagues. Hopefully the darn thing will cast well once I'm done. We'll see!
  10. Steve Kokita FISHON206

    Posts: 572
    Burien, Washington
    Ratings: +134 / 0
    What is the ID of the stripper? Some of the old agate or agatine strippers from the "old" rods were really small in diameter, made for silk lines, not modern plastic coated lines. They still will work, but I use larger (10-12 mm) agate strippers on my rods. just my .02
  11. para_adams Active Member

    Posts: 214
    Bothell, WA
    Ratings: +51 / 0
    Steve, I really appreciate your .02. The old vintage stripper is only 8mm. I have another larger stripper which would also look great. I'll give this some thought.
  12. Steve Kokita FISHON206

    Posts: 572
    Burien, Washington
    Ratings: +134 / 0
    How's the project coming? On shorty rods, I use a Hardy LRH, 3 1/4" dia and fairly light. Also an old 1494 click/pawl, vintage reels just add the right touch of bling!
  13. para_adams Active Member

    Posts: 214
    Bothell, WA
    Ratings: +51 / 0
    I have cut the butt section to 10", glued up the new reel seat and cork and I am now starting to strip the mid and two tips of their guides and varnish. Coming along, but I'm a bit ready for a break after the Paragon project so I may slow down for a while. Maybe this one won't get finished for a while.