Ready for Bamboo

Discussion in 'Bamboo, Fiberglass & Classic Reels' started by deerfield, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Most bamboo rods are marked on the shaft with their line weights.

    Rods from the 1940s through 1960s may have been marked with the pre-AFTMA letter weights instead of a number (HDG, GDG, etc.) Rods without a marked line weight may have been made before WWII (when pretty much all trout rods were intended for the equivalent of a modern 6wt) or they may have the victim of an overly-zealous refinishing job which removed the previous marks. Rods from a few makers were all built for a single line weight (ie. Grangers) and may not be marked at all.

    Finally, it's possible that you may have had one or two of the tens of thousands of cheap Japanese bamboo rods that flooded the US immediately after WWII. Often unmarked, these were usually made from a lesser grade of bamboo and of poor quality workmanship. Most are worthless except as wall decorations.

  2. Northlake27

    Northlake27 Member

    Don't mean to get off the subject but I just finished "Casting a Spell" by George Black, if you are a bamboo fly rod fan like me I highly reccommend reading this book. lots of history from Leonard to Glenn Bracket. Some real insight into what makes us bamboo rod builders tick. Can't say enough good things about this book.
    I too would be interested to attend a gathering of cane nuts.
  3. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

    I heartily second the recommendation of Casting a Spell.
    An excellent book for anyone with an interest in a unique segment of Americana.

    Also, I have attached an AFTMA to Silk Line conversion chart. The older lines and line ratings that Kent refers to were originally based on braided silk lines

  4. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Tim and northlake77, thanks for posting your recommendation on 'Casting a Spell' I was unaware of the book (it appears to have a 2006 copyright date according to Amazon also has an excerpt from the first chapter available at That bit reminds me of John Gierach's 'Fishing Bamboo', another good primer on bamboo rod history and lore.

    Tim, thanks too for sharing the AFTMA to silk conversion chart. I think there's one in Ray Gould's book, my copy of which I've unfortunately loaned to someone I can't remember. It wasn't you was it?

  5. Cliff

    Cliff Member

    Hope I'm not too lake on this thread. Kent's suggestion of mining for info on Clark's Classic Rod site is right on. I didn't know that Ray G. closed up, either. I'm sorry to hear that.

    There used to be a broker of some sort who lived north, around Arlington, I think. I discovered him by replying to an add on ebay. Since so much boo ends up on ebay you may also want to try isolating a PNW sale and see if they have a stockpile.

    I agree with Kent (again) on the idea of getting together. Kent and I got together a year or so ago and cast each other's rods while at a Hi Laker meeting, which was a real kick. It's absolutely the best way, short of actually fishing, to find out how a rod feels to you. This is one of the things that makes bamboo so much fun; their casting characteristics are much more varied than graphite. At least to those of us who fish it. I would be happy to bring my lumber to a get together. I also have a bamboo rodbuilder friend who is an impeccable rodbuilder and makes some of the finest rods I've ever seen or cast (Kent will vouch for that).

  6. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Cliff, wasn't that your Robert Kope quad? That was real beauty. I wish we could have cast it in the daylight instead of that dark and stormy night!

    Another fellow who used to post here but moved to Ellensburg or Yakima last year and I got together and cast some rods as well. He had just received a Kusse quad that was a rocket. I'd like to have been able to compare it directly with your Kope quad. (Of course, if it compared favorably, then Robert would begin raising his prices!) Seems to me the Kusse cost in the $2500 range with a couple year wait.

  7. Dblhaul

    Dblhaul Member

    Hi Kent,

    Glad you remembered our fun get together at the winery, I had a blast playing with cane and would be very interested in getting together with more folks again.
    The collection continues to grow, have added another quad and a hex or two, and another on order.

    Take care,

  8. Canedawg

    Canedawg Member

    Martin,the Victory is a 8' 6". I use a D.T. and W.F. 5 # weight on it when I fish.`Right now I have a broken tip on one section. I broke it on Rock Creek in the same area I broke a tip about 5 years ago. I am going to have someone do a repair wrap on it in the next few months.
  9. martinrjensen

    martinrjensen BambooBoy

    That's a nice rod. Same as mine (or ast least the tpaer I used) How bad it the tip broken? straight of or is it splintered. If it's splintered there are (usually) not too hard to fix. I had a buddy (still a buddy) roll a rod tip up in an electric window. he ended up replacing his graphite rod. I just reglued mine and it is still fishing great today.
  10. Canedawg

    Canedawg Member

    It is straight

    I am going to contact Jeff Poe to repair it. He restored the rod and it looks new. He does beautiful work,but I have lost his e-mail address. If anyone has it, please let me know
  11. Tom Bowden

    Tom Bowden Active Member

    There are usually lots of reels with different types of lines at rod gatherings. You can try your rod with different lines and see which one YOU like best.

    As mentioned by someone else earlier, there are a lot of variations in bamboo rods including the cane itself. Also, the quality control on many of the old production rods wasn't very tight, largely because of the machinery they used and the speed which they built rods. I've measured Montatgues and Heddons that had variations as high as .013" from flat-to-flat in the butt section. A rule of thumb used by many rodmakers is that a .005" change in diameter is worth one line size, so imagine what happens when the rod is +/- .013" at certain stations. Every rod is unique. And then to make things even more complicated, everybody has a different casting stroke, fishes at different distances, uses different sized flies, etc....

    This is a great discussion. I really hope someone can set up a get-together.

  12. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

    I attended the Metolius Cane rod fair this summer. I handled and cast a lot of rods both at the show and later at the campground. Hands down the nicest rod that I saw and cast was Robert Kope's. It was a hex rod with bamboo ferrules.
    I believe it was a 3 piece. The action was particularly smooth and powerful, the word seamless comes to mind. Aesthetics, fit and finish, simply beautiful.

    It wasn't me who borrowed your Gould book. I have my own copy. Don't you hate it when that happens. A good book lost in space.

    If you would like to borrow "Casting a Spell" I would be happy to loan it but I would recommend buying a copy. Among other reasons, you will want to have it on hand to be able to refer back to it.