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Old 02-19-2013, 08:53 PM
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Default Nostalgia of Bamboo Rods

Something of the history of fly fishing and the simplicity of the bamboo rod appeals to me,

What are some experiences have you had with these rods?

…as to sensitivity, what comparison can be made between bamboo and the modern rods of today?
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: Nostalgia of Bamboo Rods

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Originally Posted by matt153265 View Post

…as to sensitivity, what comparison can be made between bamboo and the modern rods of today?

The magic I hear of that bamboo has for many people hasn't touched me yet. Sure I would love to have a Summers Midge or one of the very modern bamboo rods I cast at an FFF Conclave in W. Yellowstone several years ago but practicality and a happy married life forbid splurging on toys such as those.
The art and craftmanship of some bamboo rods is something to behold and without question but as far as function, modern plastic rods are today what bamboo makers spent over 100 years trying to achieve and are still trying to achieve to this day IMHO.
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:35 PM
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Default Re: Nostalgia of Bamboo Rods

I started on graphite and have of late found myself gravitating to bamboo. For me, it's a bit of the nostalgia and the action. I have yet to cast a quality bamboo rod, just no access to them around here. So I don't have tons to add more than the books I've been reading (Garrison & Carmichael).

I'll share a quote from John Gierach's book "Fishing Bamboo...graphite rods were designed to shoot line, while bamboo rods are designed to cast line."

As much as a beginner that I am, I get that difference. And look forward to getting a nice handmade (not machine milled) rod. South Creek LTD or maybe a Bill Oyster for fishing brookies.
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:48 PM
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Default Re: Nostalgia of Bamboo Rods

I have 4 of them and I think that's all I'll need unless I get Bill (wt bash) to build me a 12' light Spey from cane. What I can tell you is that bamboo slows your whole experience down. With a small stream rod like my #3 line flea rod the casting is slow motion. The loops are easy and pin point accurate when you lay a little Bi-Visible into a tiny pocket in a mountain brook. I only have 3 of them here with me; one is left in Colorado at my sisters home for when I visit. It is an 8'6" #5 rod custom made by a man named Schoures in the 50's.

With the 8' #6 rod fishing a feather wing streamer is almost metaphysical naturalism at its peak for a fisherman.

My 1964 8'10" Light Salmon #8 rod is a powerful tool that leaves the gentle properties of the flea and the 6 weight behind. It will power heavy flies into a head wind and bring big strong fish to bear with authority.

This is the 8' #6 Ron White Custom with my Nine Three ready for some grayling.
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The #8 Light Salmon with 30 pounds of silver salmon;
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The rods lead to the reels, this is the Hardy Princess I bought for the 8' #6 in 1993.
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Finally my little gem, the flea by Ron White also.
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There is just something about the wood rods that brings them dear to you when you use them. They cast a spell as well as a fly line.

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Old 02-19-2013, 10:49 PM
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Default Re: Nostalgia of Bamboo Rods

I'd imagine some of the more experienced folks will comment (as I type, Ard posts!), but thought I'd offer my limited experience. The first time I cast one I was taken aback when I felt the rod flex down into the grip. I'm not sure if this is true of some of the modern tapers but I've come to like that slow feeling and have found I can lay out a fly rather nicely. Also landed some sizable fish with bamboo. Initially I was worried about the ferrules, but it played the fish wonderfully. It's definitely different than casting graphite.

p.s. if I was going to buy an rod from Bill Oyster, I put the money towards his week long class and build my own under his instruction. Wouldn't come out as beautiful as one he made, but wow! what an opportunity to learn
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:05 PM
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Default Re: Nostalgia of Bamboo Rods

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Originally Posted by williamhj View Post
With the 8' #6 rod fishing a feather wing streamer is almost metaphysical naturalism at its peak for a fisherman.
You won't find a better answer than that. Metaphysical naturalism, it truly is a very organic experience. People who, myself included, came up fishing graphite and even glass can be put off by the first cast. Even a faster taper will load deeply, there is so much mass behind the rod it has to flex that deep. The casting stroke is about as relaxed as you can get, you don't cast them you move them the right way and they cast for you. The hollow built rods are faster and have a more modern feel but thats not what I look for in a cane rod. Take a 15' mono leader and a dry fly, tie it on a modern graphite rod (no fly line out) and try to get it to turn over accurately chances are its not going to be to easy. Do the same with split cane and its like silk.


Oh its in the works Ard! By summer you'll have my first two hander based on the Black Beauty.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:26 AM
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Default Re: Nostalgia of Bamboo Rods

I got 3, but I need to be in the mood to use one. It's just not my style, I like my fiberglass. Maybe this season will be different.
A year old I bought a 1930s South Bend #25. It's a 7.5', 2/2 "Double Built" in excellent condition. They're kinda rare.
I got it out in front of me right now for a clean-up and a little varnish.
Maybe that will get me "in the mood"
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:28 AM
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Default Re: Nostalgia of Bamboo Rods

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Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post
They cast a spell as well as a fly line.

Ard
Once again Ard, you nailed it for me.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:35 AM
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Default Re: Nostalgia of Bamboo Rods

As with most things, a well designed and executed bamboo rod is a true joy to fish (at least to me), rods that weren't so well done aren't anything special when it comes to fishing.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:06 AM
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Default Re: Nostalgia of Bamboo Rods

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Originally Posted by Rip Tide View Post
A year old I bought a 1930s South Bend #25. It's a 7.5', 2/2 "Double Built" in excellent condition. They're kinda rare.
Yeah it is! I think South Bends are the most under-rated rods from that time period. From 1925 to sometime in the late 30's Wes Jordan was the designer for South Bend and those rods are every bit as good as Jordan's Orivs models.
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