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Old 07-15-2013, 10:50 AM
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Default Re: Bamboo and bluegills

My first fly rod was a Japanese bamboo.... cost all of 3 dollars new in 1963 and I still have most of the pieces.
IMO the 9 footers are too heavy to use comfortably. You might take it along for a little fun, but I don't think that you'd want to use one all day.
I also have an 8 1/2 foot Japanese rod that was my father's first fly rod and I use that one often. It's a 6wt as was the one I had as a kid
I rebuilt it with new guides and a re-purposed nickle silver reel seat and it casts pretty darn well for a old cheap POS.

You'll find that most of these rods were 6wts or maybe a heavier "bass weight" 7. There's not a lot of variation
You'll need heavy reel to balance it out too.

---------- Post added at 11:50 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:44 AM ----------

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Originally Posted by random user View Post
Will be watching this thread. Was wondering the same thing. Just recently pulled an old Heddon out of my closet. Have decided to fish it, but I am not willing to really push the rod, yet.
Bamboo is tough. You could probably run over it with your car and not break it
Try that with a plastic rod !
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Old 07-15-2013, 02:52 PM
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Default Re: Bamboo and bluegills

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Originally Posted by Rip Tide View Post
Bamboo is tough. You could probably run over it with your car and not break it
Try that with a plastic rod !
If I hadn't shaved the front tow clips off the frankenwagen, I'd probably try it. (Did get her down to 1,990 lbs.)

What would I need OX tippet or something heavier?
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:25 AM
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Default Re: Bamboo and bluegills

Caught my first bass saturday with the bamboo rod. It wasn't very big. Maybe a pound. But it was a largemouth just the same. It fought like a 5 pounder though. I did move down to 3 wt line and the rod casts so much better now. Its just such a cool little rod.
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Old 07-22-2013, 03:20 PM
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Default Re: Bamboo and bluegills

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Originally Posted by muppetmullet81 View Post
So I took the old rod out this morning with 6wt line and a size 12 micro bugger and caught some gills. Some really nice ones at that. The line speed is way slow and I actually had a little trouble shooting the cast out. I don't know if it is to much line wt? Maybe I need to drop down to say 4 wt. Even with a smaller size 14 adams it just didn't cast well. I may just need way more practice if nothing else. But it is definitly a whole other type of rod compared to my graphite guns.
It's bamboo... Fish it like one... Slow down the pace... Bamboo is slow but also versatile... Meaning with a simple switch of line wt you can slow or speed up a bamboo rod... You could probably cast 4 or 5 different wt lines and they all work with the rod for different actions and applications but in the end a 5wt bamboo will allow one to either throw nymphs or steamers and then when the time comes ever so gently lay out a dry for risers...whether it's a #12 Adams or a #24 trico spinner


Also throwing a more supple line like Cortland classic peach or sylk will help make bamboo cast a ton better




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I'd say drop the line down. To my knowledge, most boo rods are lower weights.
modern day bamboo may be found in smaller wts more than the average bamboo of times past because today's anglers want smaller at rods... Maybe it's the additional bend that gets them all excited... And some are built for very specific purposes but most bamboo is 5wt+... Most of the bamboo rod makers of the time lived out west fishing the big trout rivers out there... Old bamboo under 5wts is tough to come by because there just weren't enough made... And you'll pay a pretty penny for them as well because of their scarcity... Also as I mentioned above... The 5wt bamboo is very versatile and times were simpler then... You didn't need nor could the average joe afford 4-5+ rods... One 5wt bamboo rod could do it all
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Old 07-22-2013, 03:44 PM
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Default Re: Bamboo and bluegills

I agree, there's no way that that rod is a 3wt.

I have 2 of the Japanese bamboo rods and they're both 6wts.
Of my 2 other vintage cane rods, one is a 6wt, the other is a 7, and that one is only a 7'6"
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:11 PM
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Default Re: Bamboo and bluegills

Ok. Well I will put the 6wt reel back on and just keep practicing. You must forgive me for being over cautious. I have 5 other fly rods and I can use them at any time. I guess I'm a little afraid of damageing or breaking this rod because it was a gift from an old family member. Though he fished it on plenty of big rivers and streams for years. I guess what i mean is I can afford to break one of the other rods. If I loose this one its not replaceable.
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:13 AM
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Default Re: Bamboo and bluegills

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Originally Posted by muppetmullet81 View Post
Ok. Well I will put the 6wt reel back on and just keep practicing. You must forgive me for being over cautious. I have 5 other fly rods and I can use them at any time. I guess I'm a little afraid of damageing or breaking this rod because it was a gift from an old family member. Though he fished it on plenty of big rivers and streams for years. I guess what i mean is I can afford to break one of the other rods. If I loose this one its not replaceable.
It may not be replaceable but unlike graphite it can often be fixed... But just because it's old doesn't mean it can't take a whooping... Just don't do anything silly like trying to yank a fly out of a tree and always put it back in it's case when transporting it from house to hole and vice versa... Also always remember to let it air dry after a day of fishing when you get home

Also try a wf line with a long belly or a dt... These help bamboo load a lot better... Try a dt5... Wf6... Dt6... Sure one of those will match well... I really like a H&H classic dt5 on my boo

Btw... Can you give us any info on the rod? That may help us help you find the line best suited for that rod
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:45 AM
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Default Re: Bamboo and bluegills

I wish I could. It only has two marking on the whole rod one that says handmade, the other says japan. Its a 3 piece rod. There are some imperfections in the bamboo but I read that it is pretty normal in bamboo.
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:57 AM
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Default Re: Bamboo and bluegills

Knowing how long it is would be a good place to start.
Any rod longer than 8 foot is at least a 6wt
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Old 07-23-2013, 11:54 AM
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Default Re: Bamboo and bluegills

My GG Champion is 8'6" and tosses a dt5 wonderfully... Though I'm sure it could handle a wf6 just as well
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