Cheaper? In some cases yes, but if you are only going to build one rod and call it quits then it might be an expensive rod after you tool up. Then again you can cut "vee" notches in a cardboard box to use as a wrapping station. Put the thread in a tea cup and run it through the pages in a book to use as a tensioner.
What do you need to know? Depending on where you live know your local fly fishing club
. Many clubs offer rod building classes at a very low cost. I teach rod building in our club and we charge approximately $150.00 to members. That includes an entire rod kit, wrapping station, drying motor and stands and everything necessary to build a complete rod from the ground up.
Bamboo? Yep, I build them also. Plan on 60-80 hours total from splitting the cane to buffing out the final coat of varnish. Tooling cost? If you make everything yourself a few hundred $$$ in materials and many hours of labor in making your planing forms. I had 25 hours in making my forms. As one builder wrote: If you don't have the patience to build your forms, you probably don't have the patience to build a Bamboo rod
As badfish creek mentioned you can go with low $$$ components or high $$$$ it all depends on what you want. Same with tooling cost such as wrapping stations etc...
Sorry for being so long winded, but I am passionate about custom rod building.