Bamboo question

I have been getting old fly rods from random people who know I think they're cool. Unfortunately that doesn't mean I know anything about them. I have a couple of questions for anyone who knows antique equipment.

I have a 8' bamboo rod that is actually in pretty good shape, but needs new guides. It has half a sticker on it that says "..tague" in top line and what looks like "White River" on the bottom. I am thinking this is a Montague rod (thanks to Google), probably a 6-8 wt? It's tough to guess because I know little about bamboo and how the action should feel. Before we sold our house I was going to use it to decorate my den, but now am thinking about getting it fishable. Does anyone know anything about these rods? I've always wanted to try bamboo, but can't afford a new one.

Also, has anyoen ever heard of a fly-reel called a "Dandy", "#72"?

I also recently came into a batch of vintage bamboo rods, and when I tried to get some more info on them Kent Lufkin from this board pointed me towards another More info there than any normal person should be able to process.
I would be happy to take a look at those bamboo rods for you. Where do you live in Washington? I am in the Kent area myself. I could also recommend some people for doing work on your bamboo rods.

(first post, hello!)

I'm currently reading Gierach's Trout Bum and in the chapter "Cane Rods" he's less than complimentary about Montagues. According to one of his friends in the know, Montague's were one of those described as "worthless now as they were the day they were made". That's a bit of a sweeping statement and he does say that they did make the occasional good rod. My advice is don't spend a fortune on that rod unless you like the way it casts. Otherwise you are, to coin a phrase, flogging a dead horse!
Montague's were one of those described as "worthless now as they were the day they were made".

That figures. I've never cast a bamboo rod before, so I have no expectations about its quality. I actually have two, but the other one has no markings of any kind on it. I'll check out the link, thanks for the tip.
My suggestion is to go ahead and send them to me and I'll let you know how they fish...

seriously though, if it feels good in your hand then by all means use it...

Since I got my bamboo rod (built by a modern builder) I have rarely pulled out my second favorite trout rod (S-glass) which I really really like the feel of as well but there's just something about the boo than I can't put it down.



Joe Streamer
Whoa, hold on: Gierach was wrong about Montagues. Montagues were one of the mass produced cane rods (along with Heddon, Granger/Eagle Claw, Orvis) rather than made by a more exclusive makre like Leonard, Payne, Young, many others. But whether mass-produced (relatively speaking only) or very exclusive, everyone made good and bad rods. And even then, it's hard to find consensus since cane rod design varies so much more than today's graphite rods. If I were you I'd try that rod and see if YOU like it.
Again, thanks for the comments everyone. I showed both of my bamboo sticks to a gentleman at my work who builds his own. He said that the Montague was in excellent condition, only needing to be refinished and have new guides put on. He also offered to either fix it himself, or show me how to refurbish it so I didn't mess it up. I'm thinking that i'll give it a try. Catching fish with a fly I tied myself makes me pretty happy. Maybe a bamboo rod that i've invested time in will add to the experience.
Noah, I hope you have a great time refinishing the Montague. As long as you don't have to mess with ferrules, it's a fairly easy process.

I've found that old rods like this can be improved a lot by using the correct number of guides (1 plus the rod length in feet), and spacing them properly. Montague typically used fewer guides in their effort to keep the price of the rod down. It's amazing how much better rods cast with properly placed guides!



My name is Mark Oberg
Yes, also try and get some 444 peach line for it. Start with a 6wt line if its a 7wt rod. that will help speed it up a bit. Its going to be a slow row, under weight the line to speed it up.
Look out Noah! If you think the fly fishing bug is intoxicating, there is a rare strain that is twice as potent and you've just stumbled into a batch of it!

Bamboo is beautiful and very trouty. If that Montague turns out to be a dog- don't give up. There is a world of difference between a good and a bad bamboo rod... To be safe you should probably go ahead and hide your wallet now.


FFing and VWs...Bugs & Bugs
Noah, I agree with some of the above statements in that Montague did make some rods that fished well. I own a couple of Montague, H&I, and Heddon, as well as a early 60's era black laquered asian rod my father brought back from Viet Nam. I enjoy fishing them all, as they each have a "personality". I'm not a refined casting snob that the stick in my hand is going to destroy my enjoyment of the day (unless it breaks). Heck I'll even drown a worm or two on occasion. Fact is, and this may sound simplistic, I adapt to the rod/line/conditions I find myself with, be it the superslow action of the asian bamboo rod, or the lightning fast action of the latest generation graphite/boron/unobtainium composite to hit the market. Get out there and fish the thing.This last Saturday I purchased a new bamboo 6' 6" 2 pc 3/4 wt blank from a builder in Oregon at the OP fly show for the smaller streams I'll be exploring this summer, maybe even some back East in upstate New York and New England when I go to visit my daughter. I know I'll enjoy it as much as any other rod in my rather eclectic collection. Here's a link to another site with bamboo info:

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