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Old 04-12-2009, 08:55 PM
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Default Old Bamboo Rod

I found an old Bamboo rod in my grandmother's basement, supposedly belonged to her brother who took a fly fishing class at Norte Dame in the early 1940s. It was in an old elongated wood box. It seems to be in pretty good shape, couple of the wrappings are coming undone. Besides that it looks great, but considering it could be anywhere from 40-70 years old I do not plan on using it. Plus I am not a big fan of bamboo rods. I was wondering if anyone would recognize the name, the only name I found in it was "Ebisu Brand High Class Fishing". There is an emblem on the rod itself but it is pretty worn. Through little research I have done "Ebisu" is Japanese and actually "Ebisu" is the Japanese God of Fishing. The other thing interesting about the rod is that it is a 8ft fly rod that when the tip is exchanged it can become a casting rod too.

Anyone ever heard of a rod like this or could help me identify it? I will post some pictures when I get some spare time.
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:43 PM
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Default Re: Old Bamboo Rod

I believe it is a Japanese rod like you say & from your description of the elongated box it's probably post WW!!. I've seen them around & in the box there was usually a little booklet & some flies in a section of the box. Is it six sided ?? A lot iof times the glue holding the pieces together dries out & when you flex it & it will birdcage so be careful. I think most of them had pinned ferrules & red wrapping... Hang onto it & display it.. I'll ask around for some more info & see if I can get a value for you but I think there were a lot of them imported in the early 50's
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:38 PM
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Default Re: Old Bamboo Rod

....they don't even allow you to bring up the subject of those rods on Clark's classic fly rod forum..No respect I guess

I have an 8' Japanese rod, it's a little heavy, but it fishes just fine,
....use yours if you you want, but don't expect to be able to sell it.
It's not worth anything.
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:04 AM
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Default Re: Old Bamboo Rod

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip Tide View Post
....they don't even allow you to bring up the subject of those rods on Clark's classic fly rod forum..No respect I guess

I have an 8' Japanese rod, it's a little heavy, but it fishes just fine,
....use yours if you you want, but don't expect to be able to sell it.
It's not worth anything.

Sounds like Clark's classic fly rod forum is a group full of purists. Ironically I got an email from a guy who I sent pictures to who is interested in buying it. Anything can be sold.
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:37 AM
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Default Re: Old Bamboo Rod

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip Tide View Post
....they don't even allow you to bring up the subject of those rods on Clark's classic fly rod forum..No respect I guess

I have an 8' Japanese rod, it's a little heavy, but it fishes just fine,
....use yours if you you want, but don't expect to be able to sell it.
It's not worth anything.
Mike,

If you have a micrometer you should mic the tips and for that matter the whole rod to determine the taper. You can sometimes cross reference the dimensions to known tapers. This would be a good thing to do prior to selling it off.

I was once given an unmarked rod in a very nice red oak velvet lined & router-ed box with an embossed leather carry handle. I was able to identify it by giving the taper specs to the late Martin J. Keen, Mr. Keen felt reasonably secure in identifying it as a 'Shower's' rod. (I'm not sure on that spelling) Shower's was a little known rod builder from the northeast.

At any rate I went about the business of stripping the rod and used a linseed oil bath to produce a sort of impregnating process. After polishing the shafts I applied new guides, a new cork & seat and ended up with a beautiful bamboo rod that works as well as any other that I own. It casts a #5 DT and is a real conversation piece whenever I show it to fishing friends.

As for its value? I haven't a clue but it is indeed an interesting addition to my rod collection. You may want to see how it works before you dump it off. Conversely, if you don't care for cane rods or cheep rods then take the money.

Ard
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:51 PM
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Default Re: Old Bamboo Rod

I found out what it is. After world war II, G.I.s bought massive about of products from the Japanese, most were considered trinkets, usually cheap nick nacks. People have said these rods were ****....compared to American or English cane rods. Personally I do not care, what makes an item truly valuable is the history/story behind it. My Great Uncle was stationed in Japan after the war ended. He bought this rod, because in college...Norte Dame....he took a fly fishing class his last year. Unable to afford a higher quality bamboo rod, he bought this one in the service. It was a fly rod/casting rod combo, coming with two tips that can be changed out. One a fly rod tip and one a casting rod tip. It also came with a dozen flies, a packet of hooks for conventional fishing, and a packet of bobbers. The name on the box worn off, but you can make out Japanese symbols that my friend tells me is a name. Assuming it could be the rod builders name. According to my grandmother, my Great Uncle used the rod for 20-30 years before giving it to my Uncle in the late 70s. During that time he never bought another fly rod, this was his only rod. Clearly he liked it and I know for a fact he could of bought better ones in the 1960s when we worked for Sears as a VP of a Department.

Its actually a nice looking rod, that I am thinking about displaying somewhere. I went to Clark's Classic Fly rod forum and thought about posting it but I rather get bad mouth by a bunch of purists.

It is still a cool rod though I am not into cane rods.
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Old 04-13-2009, 02:04 PM
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Default Re: Old Bamboo Rod

Mike,

That's how I feel about the old rod I posted about. I seldom use it because if I were to damage a tip I would be SOL for getting a replacement for it. So, it is primarily a display piece.
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