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Old 05-17-2010, 02:49 PM
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Default Headwaters bamboo?

Whats the scoop on these? Im sure they are from red china but are they any good? They are offering some pretty amazine deals if they are decent. Cant seem to find much info on them.
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Old 05-17-2010, 02:57 PM
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Default Re: Headwaters bamboo?

Liner,

I'm not an owner but if the price is right you may want to give one a whirl. If you wish to support American workmanship there are many crafter's who are turning out nice cane in classic tapers. If money is an issue and you are craving a wood rod then............

Ard
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:35 PM
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Default Re: Headwaters bamboo?

We've studied them and came to the conclusion that the workmanship is very good. That is to be expected if one person wraps a few thousand stripping guides... another person the next guide up, yet another the next guide and so on. If all of that specialized practice does not make them consistent, the threat of punishment or no rations is a great motivator.

This very well might be a picture of break time at the factory:
Click the image to open in full size.

and a great shot of what might be their safety/quality testing lab:
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 05-18-2010, 03:30 PM
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Default Re: Headwaters bamboo?

I know these rods pretty well so hopefully i can offer some help.

First off you are right by assuming they are chinese...same as tea stick rods or highland mills.

As everyone knows im no fan of imported rods however these are a bit differant. These are not like TFOs or Reddington in wich they are made to compete with American products. The goal with Headwaters was to create an affordable bamboo, similar in quality to the mass produced rods of yesteryear. They get a bad rap by custom builders and rod snobs because they compare them to CUSTOM rods costing wayyyy more. The examples i have cast are of similar quality, fit, and finish as the mass produced south bends etc... common rods of generations past. Since there are zero American rods in this category currently being made...they are the only game in town. Contrarey to what lumber snobs will lead you to beleive the actions are nice and the quality is good enough. IMHO you could spend just as much buying an old used mass produced American rod...but it would need to be refinished, maybe repaired, and i honestly dont think it would be nicer. I dont own one...but i still say buy away if your in the market for affordable lumber
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Old 05-18-2010, 03:42 PM
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Default Re: Headwaters bamboo?

Tea Stick,

That is familiar to me, I met a fella in Denver at the Big fly fishing Expo in 04 that was selling Tea Stick Bamboo. I cast the 6' 6" and it was a very nice tool. I chose that size because I have a custom 6' 6" built for me by Ron White of Orvis fame on Orvis blanks. ($$) Although I did not have both rods on hand for any comparative analysis the Tea Stick exhibited good craftsmanship and cast well enough.

Go for it,

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Old 05-18-2010, 05:05 PM
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Default Re: Headwaters bamboo?

I wonder how durrable a bamboo rod is? Any thoughts? I started in the age of glass. These rods were as tough as nails. Then graphite and boron came around and honestly though i have found them a vast improvment over glass, they are certinly not strong. I would hope a bamboo rod would be on the tougher side since they do not carry the big warantys
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:11 PM
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Default Re: Headwaters bamboo?

They require that you take care in using them. If you buy a 6'6" 3 wt. don't try distance casting and be mindful that your rod is not designed for big water and big fish. Of course you can land a 20" brown on one but I tried not to make a habit of it. I use mine for small streams and hopefully fish under 15".
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:58 PM
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Default Re: Headwaters bamboo?

I have no experience with Headwater, but have fiddled with Highland Mill,
Diamondback's chinese-made bamboo, and a Tea Stick. They all lacked the
craftmanship of a finely American bamboo, and were either broomsticks or
noodles (the Highland Mills was a WET noodle!!!). The Diamondback had the best fit, but this was in comparison to the other two.
The Tea Stick had ferrules that were absolutely awful, but didn't seem to effect casting.

Honestly, you can find a lot of used bamboo by looking on the Classic Rod Forum. The prices vary wildly, but there are daily offerings. I'd rather buy a
nice $200 graphite rod, rather than owning something that's likely hit or miss.
I'm sure that you might find a decent specimen among the rods mentioned, but it's not like they are going to have stringent quality control. The type
of adhesives used, and choosing and treating good bamboo will determine whether or not a bamboo rod will develop sets (and also how quickly). You could get a set on the first bluegill you catch, and never be able to straighten
it.......

Cool Hand Hodge: Have you found the Headwater rods to be consistently well-built? Any long-term experience with them? I'm all for a bargain, but would like
to know what I can expect after fishing a bamboo rod for a month. Lew Parks in Saginaw Michigan sells excellent cane rods for $700. Perfect build quality.
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