Old Bamboo Rod

Discussion in 'Bamboo, Fiberglass & Classic Reels' started by Steve Call, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. Steve Call

    Steve Call Active Member

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    I have an old bamboo fly rod. The only marking is 59-9'. My uncle gave it to me in the early 60's when I was just starting to fly fish. It was old then. Several years later I broke the tip - its a three piece rod with metal ferules. The guides were old and corroded and I took them off years ago with the intent of putting new ones on, but never got around to it. The reel seat and cork are old and beat.

    Is it worth having restored? I have no idea if it was originally an expensive rod or a cheap one. I've recently gotten back into fly fishing and have fond memories of catching fish on this rod as a kid. I'd need to get a new tip section. I have the old broken one with the original ferule.

    I would appreciate any advice: comments, suggestions or a referral would be welcome. Thanks.

    SteveO2
     
  2. Blue

    Blue Active Member

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    9' bamboos are heavy and more for dry fly fishing or maybe wet. Without more info it is hard to determine if it is a collectors or not.
    There were allot of inexpensive bamboos back in the old days as that is all they had, then Glass then Graphite.

    I am not sure you would even want to fish it all day, as I said, very heavy. Can be rigged with a heavy reel to balance out however.
    Just no one fishes the 9' bamboo because of how noodlie they are.

    I understand the wanting to fish wood however. It is great and there are allot of inexpensive choices for them.
    But understand, this rod was designed as a 9'. People will take two sections of the three, ad a new seat and cork and call it a Banty.
    It isn't a banty, and the action is terrible. Again, Tapers are designed for the whole rod.
    You can fish rods that have the tip broke off, but the action has totally changed.
     
  3. herl

    herl Member

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    The rod is most likely an old South Bend. They had a 9' model #59 - I would be surprised if this is not what you have. Unfortunately they are not worth much and never were - Heavy action (probably 6-8 wt).

    One of the many great things about bamboo rods is that they can be fixed back to new condition, almost no matter what, if you don't mind spending the money. Think $200- $400 for a full restoration. In this case it is not worth it unless the rod holds great sentimental value for you. In mint, original condition the rod would still sell for less than $100.

    If you just want to fish - go with one of the many nice, inexpensive modern graphite rods. If you specifically want to fish bamboo, you can get a decent one for under $400 if you do your homework. Clarks Classic fly rod forum is a good place to start. Search and read, then ask questions.

    Good luck,
    Eric
     
  4. Blue

    Blue Active Member

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    Gonna echo the South Bend and everything else Erik said. Check e-bay for some good bamboo also. Heddon would be something to look at.
     
  5. Steve Call

    Steve Call Active Member

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    Thanks for the replies. Yes, it weighs a ton and would be a chore to fish any length of time with it. I can't imagine spending that kind of money to have it restored. Better spent on a new graphite 3wt.

    I'm not much of a sentimentalist, but I do have some good memories of catching trout with it in the 60's, also a nice coho on a very small creek that emptied into Lake Washington........ long gone, condos there now.

    SteveO2
     
  6. Brookie_Hunter

    Brookie_Hunter aka Dave Hoover

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  7. Scott Behn

    Scott Behn Active Member

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    Yeah it's a South Bend, the 2 digit number denotes they're bass rods typically in a 7wt (HCH) line. I had a #47 and loved the action for streamers, keep in mind this isn't a rod you want to "dry" fly with for your arm will tire out quickly. I'm going to restore my #359-9 to it's glory days and fish it. The SB 3 digit series are they're "trout" models and typically run a 6wt (HDH) line...
     
  8. Northern

    Northern It's all good.

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    If it's not really worth getting back into fishing shape but has some sentimental value for you, I'd do a quick re-wrap with cheap components, pick up a cheap vintage reel on ebay, and put it on the wall of your rec room/tying room/workshop - wherever looking at it makes you happy when you can't get out to fish!
     
  9. themaninthemoon

    themaninthemoon Just waiting on warmer weather, .......

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    I agree with Northern's sentiment approach.
    Time to retire it to the den wall.
    Then in the middle of ol` man winter, while you are tying up some new flies for the upcoming year, you'll be able to gaze upon it as it sparks the great memories of your trips on the waters of days gone by.
    And I'm reasonably sure that we've all collected a few of those moments, ......
     

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