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delopez 07-16-2013 09:47 PM

Bamboo Rods
Hello all,

It's been a while since I've created a topic on here, so I thought I would commence. I've been looking into slow-action rods for my dry fly addiction. Sage Circa, Winstons, etc. seem like excellent rods. But before I try to purchase a slow action, I wanted to entertain the idea of a bamboo. Specifically, the bamboo rods at

What are the pros and cons of having a bamboo rod? I've never fished one... Any thoughts, opinions, etc?


tbum2020 07-16-2013 10:02 PM

Re: Bamboo Rods
To be honest the performance of a Bamboo rod has never entered my thought process, in my mind Bamboo rods are all about craftsmanship and history. Most Bamboo rods are more than a tool used to catch fish they tell a story.

---------- Post added at 11:02 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:00 PM ----------

The only con to having a bamboo rod is the fear of it breaking!

delopez 07-16-2013 10:15 PM

Re: Bamboo Rods
Story or not, I would still fish the rod. My take: I will never buy a wall-mount rod. :) That being said, there is some prestige, vintage feel to a bamboo. I've picked one up. However, I have yet to actually cast one.

tbum2020 07-16-2013 10:52 PM

Re: Bamboo Rods

Originally Posted by delopez (Post 573180)
Story or not, I would still fish the rod. My take: I will never buy a wall-mount rod. :) That being said, there is some prestige, vintage feel to a bamboo. I've picked one up. However, I have yet to actually cast one.

Oh believe me, the bamboo rods i have are far from wall mounted, haha! I love fishing bamboo its just not an everyday fisher, I meant that if I was looking at performance qualities of slow action rods a bamboo rod wouldn't come to mind.

williamhj 07-16-2013 11:05 PM

Re: Bamboo Rods
I finished two bamboo blanks from the Angler's Roost, a 7'6" 4wt, and a 9' Payne 5/6wt. I particularly like the 7'6" rod, casts and roll-casts well and has landed trout north of 20". If you do a google search for 'Anglers roost bamboo review' you'll get positive and negative discussions. I think they are a great place to start. They've gotten me interested blanks sold by domestic builders and also considering ordering some culms myself. I can't speak to the components on the finished ones he sells.

As for fishing bamboo, first time I cast the 7'6" 4wt I felt the rod bend into the grip and I knew it was different than graphite :) I don't know that I can give a clear pro/con list other than to say that I enjoy having bamboo rods as an option to fish when the mood strikes. It is a different feel and there is something about fishing with the sort of rod people have been using for a long, long time. Also something about fishing a natural material that is very beautiful. As for cons, they might require a bit more maintenance, though I also leave my graphite rods out to dry over night, etc etc.

Don't forget the option of either ordering a blank and finishing it yourself or seeing if a rod builder in your area would do it for you. You could pick your wrap colors, grip style, hardware finish, etc etc that could make it a more personal fishing rod.

itchmesir 07-16-2013 11:33 PM

Re: Bamboo Rods
Bamboo is great. Love fishing mine but defiantly not an everyday rod. They are heavy. I'm not worried about breaking mine... It's lasted 80 years already... Don't see why it won't last lone with proper care....

You should also entertain the idea of fiberglass... Slow little lighter than boo... And virtually bomb proof

siege 07-17-2013 12:00 AM

Re: Bamboo Rods
I have an old, unmarked bamboo rod about 7'6". It casts fairly well with a 7wt dt line. I've caught some fish on it, and it's fun to use now and then.
That said, if I'm going to spend a whole day out fishing, I go with graphite. Lighter weight, easier casting, less worrying about breaking something.
It's kind of like the difference between having some fun shooting an antique black powder cap and ball revolver, or a modern stainless steel hi capacity semi auto pistol. Both can be a pleasure to use, but when things get serious, I prefer the more modern option.
Pros ? Pride of ownership, unique feel, craftsmanship, vintage chic, etc.
Cons ? Could get pretty pricey for something you're not sure you want. If you have friends with bamboo rods, you may get to try a few before you invest in one.

petee 07-17-2013 07:37 AM

Re: Bamboo Rods
First off it wouldn't be a good idea to compare the action of a "vintage" bamboo to today's tapers. Vastly different. Yes, there are some good old tapers, but the original intent with old rods was just to get the fly (typically a wet fly) into the water. Casting 50 to 60 feet wasn't all that common.

Today's tapers, adhesives, and finishes are quite an improvement to "vintage" bamboo. It really all depends on the design of the taper as to the action of the rod. Some are molasses slow noodles and others are quite fast, not Sage "One" fast, but still moderately fast. Today's technologies unlike older rods allow for just about any length or weight rod. I have built bamboo rods from a 2 weight 6' to an 9' 8 weight and have plans for either a spey or switch. Times have changed ;)

I would put bamboo rods way above graphite rods in toughness, feel and touch. They are a slower action which some casters can't adjust to. You have to feel what the rod is telling you and adjust your casting stroke to it. Unlike graphite, bamboo will not allow you to rush it. And they are a tad bit heavier (even hollow built) than graphite. But, if a fly fisher can't wave a rod around for a full day they probably ought to hit the gym or grab a jar of power bait :rolleyes:. Like any other weight, length, stlye or material rod bamboo has its time and place.

Price? With some graphite rods topping out at close to $1000 bamboo is looking like more of a bargain every day.

Anglers Roost? Probably a decent way to try bamboo on the cheap, but please don't judge all bamboo rods by those blanks. They are entry level at best. Kind of like comparing a Wally World rod to a upper end graphite.

Sorry for the long winded reply, I can go on all day about Bamboo.


delopez 07-17-2013 07:59 AM

Re: Bamboo Rods
Well I'm definitely looking for that slower, more relaxed action. I had a winston b2t and I kick myself in the rear daily for getting rid of it. This will be my dry fly and light streamer/wet fly rod. That's it's purpose. :)

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2

randyflycaster 07-17-2013 08:20 AM

Re: Bamboo Rods
A Redington Classic Trout, now renamed the Temp, is about as slow of a graphite rod as you can get. And it's lighter and a lot cheaper than bamboo.


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