Bamboo Fishing a hollow boo rod


Active Member
If you get a chance watch the video on Per Brandin’s website re: strength of hollow built rods. Now I’ve seen a cross section of Mr. Brandin’s hollow build and can tell you it’s a bit different from Winstons hollow fluting.
I'm going to stick with my old boo rods.At least I KNOW WHAT I HAVE?


Active Member
All bamboo rod construction is based on knowledge and experience. Glenn’s knowledge and experience is second to none and can be completely trusted.
I’ve several ‘hollow’ built rods that I’ve no problems with and one from a builder whose experience I’d question that was a problem. It was at a ferrule connection so it may have been more of design than hollow building.
Hollow building makes sense to me when the rod has to control the mass of the rod as well as the mass of the line. To that end the ability of the rod to recover from the bend in the rod is enhanced by reducing the total mass demand on the rod.
Yes it does depend on the taper and hollowing ratio, but if the power fibres are not reduced then the rod’s ability to recover from the load/bend should improve with the hollowing.
Would you want a hollow or solid Fiberglass/Graphite rod ?


Active Member
Three observations, for whatever they're worth, and my guesses as to causes are not the guesses of someone with expertise, just my own guesses.

100% agree with Tackleman that the knowledge and experience of the rod designer/maker is #1 consideration. Chris Carlin has spent years and years perfecting his Alaska style big water big fish tapers as well as more standard trout tapers. His rods are holllow built and their tapers fit the hollowing in the overall design. I own an 8-1/2' LL taper and it's lightweight and casts admirably.

On the other hand, I once ordered a "Granger 8040" taper from a well-known rod maker/repairer in Oregon who asked if I wanted to add hollowing to my blank when he made it. I eagerly agreed, thinking it would make a great taper even better. Once I finished my build the rod went out to the famous fishless lawn and...stank. Absolutely hated it. It felt like a cross between a broomstick and a saltwater Sage. Online reading later led to some opinions that hollow building tends to make some tapers designed for solid building feel stiffer. I'm guess that's what happened. The rod would have made a beautiful wading staff the way it turned out. Lesson(s) learned.

My other opinion on hollow built is likely not shared by others. In my search for the best "Yakima River" rod, I've owned and sold two 9' EC Powells and two 8-1/2' Winstons. Beautiful, made by famous history makers, but to me, tip heavy with an odd feel. I have never heard this from anyone else and this opinion is probably not shared by others. But I prefer the 8-1/2' and 9' Grangers and Phillipsons. Even though their total weight is higher that weight is concentrated toward the butt where I like it, making my brain think the rod feels lighter in hand and more pleasant to cast. I tend to like heavy reels to balance longer rods, and I believe the hollow built rods where the butt was hollowed but the tip was not simply had the opposite effect of my preference of more weight under my hand. The solid tips also produced a subtle feel of tip bounce. Now, I've never heard this complaint from anyone else so I may just be that outlier who doesn't care for those rods, but I was truly surprised that they weren't my cup of tea.

So I guess I'd lean heavily toward highly respected makers' tapers from the more modern era for any hollow built rods for me. I would be cautious about hollowing a tried and true classic taper, and cautious about the earlier hollow built tapers. Just my 2 cents' worth.
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