References for Finishing a Bamboo Blank


Nude to the board
A quick search did not produce the results I had hoped for so I'm hoping someone on here can help out. I picked up a 3 piece bamboo blank that my wife agreed to finish for me. (She has never done it either, but she is an artist and will do a much better job than I would, and she is genuinely interested in trying.) We were wondering if there is a good reference out there for finishing such a blank, either video or book? Most of the resources on the internet I have found address the building of the blank and not the finishing. We also need to attach ferules still, most of what I found assumes they are already attached.

Try here for articles.

You can also call a guy here or e-mail him. His name is Kevin. Do a web search for South River Fly Shop. He is located in Waynesboro, Virginia and he builds Bamboo rods and refinishes them. He has a e-mail link on his site but, first give this link a shot and pose your questions there. Good luck


Active Member
The following books cover the entire processes of bamboo rod building but also go into the detail of finishing. If I was going to recommend one it would be the Mauer/Elsner book but both are very good. Goldenwitch also has a DVD on finishing out a bamboo blank that is 1st rate.
· Fundamentals of Bulding a Bamboo Fly-Rod Mauer- Elsner
· Handcrafting Bamboo Fly Rods by Wayne Cattanach
Good luck with a fun project.


Nude to the board
Thanks so much. I think all 3 of your replies have been of great value and will get us started. Funny how I google something like this and don't get some of these sites.

Thanks again,
There are a few different ways to finish your rod, dipping, brush on, wipe on or spray on, they all work well, you just need to decide which one would work best for you or your wife. For a simple and easy way to finish your rod you could wipe of a 5-8 coats of Tru Oil then add your grip, reel seat, guides and wraps. After that you can varnish over the thread work.

The ferrules will be a bit more of a challenge in some ways. You may need to cut the shafts to the proper lengths if they have not been cut already, if they have been I hope that the ferrules were included in the package that you purchased. The three sections of the rod will be different lengths before the ferrules are installed. Read up on cutting rod sections to length and ferrule installation in the "tips" resource that I posted for you.

I bought a bamboo rod kit off of ebay. It wasn't the best quality but it fished real well. I paid like $130 or so but, it was a good way to get introduced to rod building. I have to say, I was totally surprised at how it looked and fished and everything down to the thread was included. Fun project.