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Old 04-21-2012, 01:15 PM
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Default Bamboo hobo dapping rod build advice - some photos.

I am starting a project to build a rod out of a found piece of bamboo. At this stage I am gathering materials and strategies. I thought you guys would have some helpful input. You also might get a kick out of watching a newbie flounder around trying to build a strange and not necessarily functional fishing contraption.

The original idea was to build a simple hobo style bamboo dapping rod. I got to thinking it would be fun to wrap guides on it and fix a small length of old fly line to it for some short distance casting ability. Then I started looking at reel seats and handles.

Specs on the bamboo:
Found on the street in a pile for pick up in front of a neighbors house.
Not sure what species.
10.5' long. 1" thick at the base @9.5' it is 1/8" thick and at 10.5' probably 1/16th.

Plan so far: trim little branches off, file/sand down, treat for durability, varnish/paint/decorate, wrap guides and something to affix the fly line. I think I'll hold off on a cork grip and reel seat - I can always add those later, right?

Questions:
Is there a way to treat a whole piece of bamboo to achieve better flexibility and strength?
Should I varnish? What kind of varnish and paint (decorative/camoflaging) would you recommend?
Guides: How many? What kind? What size? How far apart? - I know there are probably lots of options, but which would you choose.
Materials: What suppliers would you recommend?

Any tips, wisdom, smart alec remarks, encouragement, etc. are welcome.

This is intended to be a fun project, the ability to cast accurately and catch fish with the thing would be nice but take a back seat to the DIY experience. If nothing else I will have a funny story and a decoration for the wall in my fishing cabin which I hope to have someday!
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Old 04-21-2012, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: Bamboo hobo dapping rod build advice - some photos.

I built a one piece bamboo flyrod for fun...
Building a fly rod with whatever bits and pieces you could lay your hands on
check how resistant your bamboo is before starting to build the rod
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Old 04-21-2012, 02:40 PM
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Default Re: Bamboo hobo dapping rod build advice - some photos.

Wow !!! Good luck!!!
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Old 04-21-2012, 03:19 PM
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Default Re: Bamboo hobo dapping rod build advice - some photos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpbfly View Post
I built a one piece bamboo flyrod for fun...
Building a fly rod with whatever bits and pieces you could lay your hands on
check how resistant your bamboo is before starting to build the rod
Thanks for chiming in.
I forgot about that. I followed that thread and was sorely disappointed when you broke the rod! I should have kept following, I just watched the videos. totally cool and I'm sure a huge part of the inspiration for my project, subconsciously anyway.
Is version 2 still up and running? What can I do to make it less brittle? Maybe oil it?
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Old 04-21-2012, 07:16 PM
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Default Re: Bamboo hobo dapping rod build advice - some photos.

Varnish would not be my first choice,

I would cure the bamboo for a good long while before making a pole from it. Once I had a big dry clume I would wrap it with a cotton cloth for the entire length and apply pure linseed oil to soak the cloth. Then I'd wrap the cloth with regular plastic or 3M tape and drape painters plastic to keep it wet. After 24 hours of the oil bath wipe the cane of any excess linseed oil. Then hang it so as not to promote a 'set' and let the oil dry for another week or so. At this point you are ready for hand rubbing to finish the process and it's time for the line guides and wrapping.

I have stripped and refinished old varnished cane rod blanks and when they were ready soaked them in a PVC tube filled with linseed oil. I then dried them for a week in a temp controlled environment before hand rubbing the finish. The rods all fished great and the oil impregnation looks very nice as a finish.

Good luck,

Ard
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Old 04-21-2012, 08:43 PM
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Default Re: Bamboo hobo dapping rod build advice - some photos.

Ard, I appreciate your typical selfless sharing of wisdom.

I imagine oil will make it less brittle/more pliable as well as pretty? I had already tried some oil on one of the twigs I clipped off (Tri-Flow, not quite linseed oil!) and it seems to be bringing out the natural spots quite beautifully.

I picked up the culm off the street last fall or late summer I think, and it was already dry then. It has been out doors, but out of the rain since. I imagine it is nicely cured, right?

When you say, "so as not to promote a 'set'," are you talking about keeping the rod straight? Should I perhaps put weight at the end while it is hanging for a week?

This is such fun! I will be sure to post on my progress, and hopefully can get some video of it and I catching a fish.

Thanks again.

(edit- Wow I just noticed I am a senior member! I feel old!)
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:58 PM
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Default Re: Bamboo hobo dapping rod build advice - some photos.

A little weight could do no harm. I learned the oil impregnating trick from an old timer when I started wanting to restore old un-impregnated rods that had varnish finishes. It does make a pretty rod.

---------- Post added at 06:58 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:57 PM ----------

And yes, it is dry by now.
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