My life saving into bamboo...

Discussion in 'Rod Building' started by powpow, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. Ok so i love building rods from blanks and i love the feel of slow action rods. Though i have never built a bamboo rod. Is there a way that is very cheep when it comes to tools for shaping, rapping, and all that other stuff. How much do you think you have spent on Tools alone for bamboo rods?
  2. There are bamboo rod makes that sell the blanks, if you don't mind building from their blanks. If you want to build your on blank, I'm sorry I don't know. Just wanted to let you know that option. If you didn't know.
  3. Contact Bitterroot or Mike Monsos, they are the local bamboo gurus.
  4. Fixed it for ya, Rob! I'm far from being in the same class with Mike.
  5. Well you can make a set of wood forms for less than $50 if you have access to a drill press and some patience. You can heat treat with a propane plumbers torch, A stanley block plane will plane the strips, you can hand bind with a cheap home built rack, you can finish the rod with a piece of a foam brush and come out with a very nice and cheap bamboo rod. However making the forms will take some time and your rods will only be as good as your forms.

    My first rods were made with mostly homemade tooling and forms, the rods came out nice and the cost was minimum. When I realized that I would like to continue with this hobby I decided that it would be worth the money to upgrade some of my equipment. There is no limit on how much you can spend making bamboo fly rods but if you spend some time you can get started pretty cheap. I can give you a link to a site that describes how to make your form if you decide to go that route.

    I find it challenging and the rod possibilities are endless. You will put a lot of time in to make your rods (the first one takes the longest with the tool making) but the satisfaction you get from casting it or sharing them with friends is tremendous.

  6. A great way to get started is to take a class, like I did 11 years ago. The instructor provides all the tools and materials, and walks you through the process. You leave with a blank that you finish at home, and can then decide whether rod making is something you want to pursue. I'm not sure who is teaching classes these days, but I'm sure you could find something by searching the internet.

    Starting from scratch on you own has a lot of merit, especially if you already have shop tools and skills. For a guy like me who hadn't been in a shop since the 8th grade, the class was really the way to go.

  7. I would like that website if possible. Just to see what it is like to make one.
  8. I followed Don Schneider's article when I made my first set of wood planning forms. It's really not hard but you will spend some time on them to get the accuracy you need for making bamboo rods. I made the two tools that he designed and they worked well.

    As a side note this site has a ton of information relating to making bamboo fly rods. To access the archives of questions and answers click the "tips" tab on the left menu. On the tips page click the subject of interest or subcatagory. I spent many hours on this during the first few rods I made and I still visit it to refresh my memory or explore different methods used by others. I feel this is one of the best reference pages on the net for anyone who is thinking of making a bamboo fly rod.

  9. Mike, thank you for the information. I might just have to build one to pass the time in the spring and high waters.

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