I haven't owned a bamboo rod but I've been researching them a little. A rod that costs $1000 that is selling for $350 sounds like a wonderful deal. It might be that it's that low because it's missing the extra tip...since if you break one you'd have to get a new one made entirely (?) or you are just out of luck.
That said, if you break the tip...can you afford to pay another $$$ to get a new tip or are you willing to just throw out $350? Do you know anyone that can repair one well?
Are there no markings on it at all to say what brand/who made it?
I find that very odd if it's NEW.
My guess is a rod that costs 1K new would include an extra tip.
Is it a 1, 2, 3, or 4 piece?
What is the reel seat? Exotic wood insert? Cork? Wrapped wicker?
Is the hardware engraved? Blued?
What color is the cane? Brownish/redish/neutral?
Are the wraps actually thread? I've seen some wraps that are actually TAPE (cheaper mass produced Chinese rods).
Without a name on it it's hard to tell if it's worth $1000. It's possible it's made by a private builder selling rods.
But, if it casts well and you can afford to fix it later, find someone fix it or can afford to throw away $350 I'd say get it. Bamboo is said to be more resilient than graphite, but when it breaks it takes more time and $$ to fix it.
As far as names go...shoot for $1k I don't know a lot of rods, maybe someone on here will.
Most of the one's I've seen that can be considered better than average start in the $2k range and that includes an extra tip and a name.
Rod makers I'd buy from:
- Thomas & Thomas
- South Creek Ltd (Mike Smith)
- Orvis (Penns' Creek, Mitey Might, Adirondack)
- Tom Morgan
- Bill Oyster (note: I've read that some people mistakenly buy/sell rods made in his classes by students as made by Bill himself)
Here is a link to a good write up that can give you some insight as to the deal your getting especially if you don't know the name:
UPDATE - according to that write up Bill Oyster was selling a rod for $845 that does not include a spare tip...you might have a reel deal there.