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Old 05-25-2013, 06:55 AM
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Default Should I buy a bamboo rod for $350???

There is a bamboo rod at a local shop. I'm not sure what the make is but, its a new rod. Not antique. It's 7 feet long and pretty light for a 4 wt. I was thinking about getting a "traditional rod" to use for native brookies here in WV. They guy selling it bought it off a friend because this guy needed cash and he's selling it to recoup his loan. It's apparently a $1000 rod. I would need a reel, line, etc... so $350 will end up like $600 for a bamboo combo. (no extra tips included...)

Should I grab it? --or-- not...?

What I'm looking for from this post is an idea of what brands are good and which ones aren't so good. Like if its made by "_____" buy it or not.

Thanks

Last edited by rchouser12; 05-25-2013 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:59 AM
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Default Re: Should I buy a bamboo rod for $350???

Light Boo's are a treat to fish, but as to your question, call the shop and get the name on the rod. Far easier to respond if you narrow it down for us.

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Old 05-25-2013, 08:30 AM
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Default Re: Should I buy a bamboo rod for $350???

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)
- Hardy

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:
http://midcurrent.com/gear/choosing-cane/

===========
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.
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Old 05-25-2013, 08:42 AM
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Default Re: Should I buy a bamboo rod for $350???

Who says this rod is worth $1000 ?

Quote:
"If it seems too good to be true, it probably is"
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:16 AM
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Default Re: Should I buy a bamboo rod for $350???

I owned a bamboo rod for a few seasons. Was fun the first time I had it in hand and took a few casts. Crazy different! In the long run, I preferred my light carbon rods.

If you get it, enjoy your new bamboo...
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:28 AM
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Default Re: Should I buy a bamboo rod for $350???

I know the owner of the shop and a relative works there. The story checks out. The owner is selling it barely used and as a means of covering a personal loan. I was wondering are there cheaper options? I have always seen new bamboo rods go for a premium. Is $350 a deal or are there other options. I want a traditional bamboo rod. I am old school. Plus if I can out fish the Simms wearing, Sage rod casting, fly buying not tying, fancy folks with a stick I'd like that!
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:46 AM
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Default Re: Should I buy a bamboo rod for $350???

If the "the story checks out" then you should be able to provide us with a little more information.
When that happens then someone will be able to give you a solid opinion, but not before.

A lot of "new" rods around now are Chinese imports. They start at like $200 .
And if you look around you can find a "handy man special" for $25 and up.
I had one of mine out the other day. It's a cheap Japanese rod that I rebuilt for less then 10 bucks.
Casts great.
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:53 AM
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Default Re: Should I buy a bamboo rod for $350???

Hi,

Whether or not it has an extra tip (you haven't said) if it is well made and strait, (having no set in the shafts) the price is fair. Knowing the origin is important just in case you would require another tip section. We don't buy these rods with the intention of breaking the tips but things do happen. I had a tip section which splintered during normal use on a 6'6" flea rod. I did have an extra so there was no end of season event there. Because I knew the maker I got 2 extra tips the following winter. Since then (1995) I have had no further problems. The maker / origin is important as a a matter of being sure that the rod is not one that could be bought for less elsewhere.

I have 5 rods made from bamboo and when used within their proper ranges they are really neat fishing rods. They are the best casting rods I have for short to medium range dry fly & streamer fishing.

If I wanted a rod and ran across what you describe for 350, I would probably buy it. I would however want to know who made the rod.

Ard
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Old 05-25-2013, 11:01 AM
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Default Re: Should I buy a bamboo rod for $350???

Regarding a budget way into bamboo, I recently bought a two-piece, 3wt 6’9” Zhu bamboo rod from China on Ebay to find a way to put my toe in the bamboo pool without risking too much money in case I didn’t like the way it felt. I learned to cast on an Orvis #5 bamboo rod but that was 30 years ago, before I closed a truck door on it one day.

I spent a day on the river with the Zhu and a 3wt Redington Classic Trout rod (also Chinese) to see how they compared. The Zhu rod is built on a Garrison 193 taper, which is really a rod for small streams and very light flies on light tippets. People use them for tricos.

My casting skills are not such that I can give any kind of definitive review of the bamboo rod, but I can say this:

The Redington rod, is stiffer, faster and about a foot longer, so not surprisingly it cast farther and had less problems with wind and a heavier fly (a weighted #14 nymph). But within 35 or 40 feet the bamboo rod had a much more fluid and delicate feel, and I found mending to be easier (more of a wrist action) and more delicate over all. Roll casting seemed easier too as long as the cast wasn’t too long. It was quite a bit slower to cast than the Redington and really required significantly different rhythm, something to get used to (since I was already completely comfortable with the Redington rod). I paid about $140 for the bamboo rod including shipping.

I did a lot of googling of the Zhu rod before I bought it and the consensus seems to be that the Chinese rods are not as beautifully made as a premium American high dollar rod, but they are fine introduction to bamboo for a pretty low dollar. We can set aside the godless-job-stealing-sweatshop-buy-American criticism in this case because both of these rods are made in China.

I am sad to say, having fished this little rod for a while, that I am thinking about buying a more expensive (and longer) American bamboo rod. But not just yet…

But anything you ever read about bamboo being different is very true and worth trying out one way or another, seems to me.

Rob
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Old 05-25-2013, 11:10 AM
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Default Re: Should I buy a bamboo rod for $350???

Hi Rob,

You've done a good job of summarizing this, and you've pointed out the price of the 'Zhu' rods. I've seen them & the Tea Stick rods which proceeded them and they appeared to be a steal.

Your comparison reflects exactly what I meant by, "when used within their proper ranges". They are not for seeing how far one can cast although in the hand of a skilled caster a little or large bamboo can reach distances comparable to modern graphite rods. I just wouldn't advise pushing a wooden rod.
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