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Old 07-15-2008, 03:03 PM
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Default Removing Sets from Bamboo Rods

I pulled a 35 year old Pezon et Michel cane rod out of my closet and noticed that the tip section has taken a set to the right-- not bad, but wonder if I can steam it out, or should I just leave it alone?
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Old 07-15-2008, 06:51 PM
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Default Re: Removing Sets from Bamboo Rods

Hi mhclayton,

You may have a special rod there. It was probably designed by Charles Ritz. It might even have a little Paine influence. Here is a link to some interesting history about the P+M rods.

You should research your rod and find out its worth before you do any work on it. I am thinking you might be better off with a professional doing the job. When you start steaming a bamboo rod you have the opportunity to cause the glue to fail. This is only my opinion as I have never tried to straighten a set. Maybe someone with more experience can tell us if I am way off base.

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Old 07-15-2008, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: Removing Sets from Bamboo Rods

If you fish it a lot, you could get the guides on the tip section re-wrapped so that the set goes up instead of to the right. That way the force applied when fighting a fish or stripping in a fly, etc would counteract the set over time. But then of course the rod is no longer original. I would probably just leave it alone. I don't know about steaming it. I'm always afraid to do anything to my bamboos...
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Old 07-15-2008, 07:03 PM
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Default Re: Removing Sets from Bamboo Rods

I fish bamboo alot and if you don't know how to straighten a set safely...you could do serious damage. Take it someone who either builds or refinishes bamboo...you have a rod that could be worth some money. When you get it straight...a tip I learned long ago might help you to keep it straight after fishing. When fishing the fibers get stretched in a direction...Before breaking down your rod and putting it away....spend some time wiggiling the tip right to left then up and down...This helps your tip from getting a set from fishing
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Old 07-15-2008, 07:26 PM
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Default Re: Removing Sets from Bamboo Rods

Its true that if you aren't careful you can destroy a rod removing a set, but in general it is quite easy and pretty safe.

Using a fairly low heat source such as a steam kettle, toaster or hair dryer, heat up the part of the rod where the set begins. As it is usually the tip section, this doesn't take long and the general rule of thumb is if it is too hot to hold, its too hot. Once you get the cane just past warm (maybe 10-15 seconds), gently bend the section about 2 to 3 times farther than the original bend in the opposite direction, placing the focus of the stress at the point where the original bend began. You don't want to force it or apply too much or too direct pressure, and your goal isn't to actually bend the rod, just hold a slightly more aggressive bend directly opposite the original. Hold it that way for 15 seconds or so and check the straightness.

If the first time doesn't do the trick, try a little more heat before applying more pressure, but again, not too hot to touch.

I've removed thousands of bends and sets in bamboo and have yet to cause any permanent damage to one, and I use either direct flame of an alcohol lamp or a heat gun. I even took out a particularly nasty set on a rod over a campfire after landing a large salmon!

Just take it easy and you'll be fine. It is a handy thing to know how to remove a set.

To help minimize sets, the wiggling after fishing trick that wtex50 mentions is a good one, as is doing the same thing immediately after landing any good sized fish. More often than not this will immediately realign the fibers and you'll be good to go.

Lastly, P&M rods are, in general, not that collectible. There have been a lot of them made, which in any industry limits resale value. It sounds to me like with a little TLC you've got a great bamboo rod for fishing, so I'd do just that with it.
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Old 07-15-2008, 10:06 PM
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Default Re: Removing Sets from Bamboo Rods

Frank: Thanks for the link, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the history of P and M. This rod is the SuperParabolic Riccardi, made in the mid 70's. I was a penniless student at the time, and my brother in law bought it on close out at Abercrombie and Fitch as they were transitioning from a real sporting goods store to a corporation that sold nice T shirts-- I believe it cost $39.00 at the time. I didn't have another rod, and so I used it for everything from nymphing with weighted flies to small dries, and I stopped using it about 30 years ago when I could afford to buy a nice fiberglass rod. I suspect the set is from chucking heavily weighted nymphs all day. I seem to be progressing backwards, as I have lately been enjoying rods with a slower, more relaxed action and am looking forward to trying it out during the next few weeks. I put my old Hardy Sunbeam on it and bought some Cortland Sylk line, thinking it would work better with the narrow guides, and so far, it seems to be just the ticket. MC
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Old 11-12-2008, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: Removing Sets from Bamboo Rods

Check out classicflyrodforum.com.
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