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  1. Default South Bend 291 or 155

    Hello. I have a 9' Graphite Rod that I use for trout fishing and of course, it works just fine. A good friend of mine told me that if I really wanted to have some fun, buy a vintage South Bend Bamboo rod. That is what he uses. I just looked on ebay and found a South Bend Model 291 and a 155. They are listed as being in new condition. Would I go wrong in bidding on the 155 for a nice river and lake Rod? Thanks for any help. Steve

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Southeast Idaho
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    6,387

    Default Re: South Bend 291 or 155

    Welcome to the forum. I'm suprised you haven't gotten more response to your question. There's so many guys with so much expertise here. I hope someone will jump in with an opinion.
    " I'm just a cook " Casey Ryback, Under Siege

  3. #3

    Default Re: South Bend 291 or 155

    Here's my take on this whole thing....

    Are you not having fun currently with your graphite rod? If so...why not? Is the bamboo rod somehow going to solve those issues?

    Have you actually cast his rod that he claims is so much more fun than your graphite rod? Has he cast your rod and found it to be less fun than his bamboo? What's his definition of fun compared to yours?

    My point is that I think it's silly to just go out and buy a rod simply because a friend (no matter how good of one) told you that's what you should do. There is no quantified reasoning behind it.

    Now, if you are just a gear junkie and simply want to buy a new toy then rock on. Just don't go buying something because someone said that's what you really need despite the fact that what you currently have works great for you.
    Less likey, more green dots
    BrookFieldAngler.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    quiet corner, ct
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    8,613

    Default Re: South Bend 291 or 155

    They're both very desirable rods, and I think that you'd be happy with either one.

    The 155 I believe is an 8' "double built".
    I have a 71/2' "double built" model 25 and that's a true 7wt. So the 155 is likely a 7wt as well if that makes a difference.

    ---------- Post added at 09:47 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:21 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by brookfieldangler View Post

    My point is that I think it's silly to just go out and buy a rod simply because a friend (no matter how good of one) told you that's what you should do. There is no quantified reasoning behind it.
    brookfield has a very valid point. There's alot of fish in the sea, so to speak.
    My fishing partner ONLY fishes bamboo.
    I on the other hand do so only occasionally and you're most likely to see me out with a vintage fiberglass rod.
    It's all personal preference and there's alot to choose from.
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements. --- Horace Kephart

  5. Default Re: South Bend 291 or 155

    Thanks everyone for your kind thoughts. Interesting that Rip Tide also stated that the 155 is an 8'. Even the ad stated that most saw it as an 8' but if you look at what the rod says on it, it is called an 81/2' Very interesting. Well, in answer to your question, have I tried his pole, Yes, I have and found it to be much different then the one I use. Yea, I guess if I was to buy it, it would be for a toy. Lol Something to play with when i am on the lake or river. But, Yes, I am very happy with what I have presently. I was mainly wondering what the thoughts are about the older 60+ year old rods. Thanks again folks.

  6. #6
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    Jul 2008
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    Default Re: South Bend 291 or 155

    Quote Originally Posted by fishinginwa View Post
    Interesting that Rip Tide also stated that the 155 is an 8'. Even the ad stated that most saw it as an 8' but if you look at what the rod says on it, it is called an 81/2' Very interesting. .
    South Bend probably made that 155 model in 2 or even 3 different lengths. They did that with many of their other rods.
    I looked up the e'bay listing after I posted and that rod doesn't look to be a "double built" like I thought either ..... it's still a 7wt though
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements. --- Horace Kephart

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Rochester, Vermont
    Posts
    347

    Default Re: South Bend 291 or 155

    You might check out:

    The Classic Fly Rod Forum • Index

    and look under either "Collecting Bamboo Fly Rods" or "Fishing Bamboo Fly Rods" and you will find more information than a human mind can absorb. Also you can search the individual rods for specifics.

    Bamboo rods are different and fun to fish. Whether they are any better or worse is entirely subjective. Or more fun or less fun, for that matter. They are a lot heavier though, and they need a heavy reel to balance them.
    Rob

  8. #8

    Default Re: South Bend 291 or 155

    Bamboo rods tend to fall into one of two categories - fantastic or not so great.

    In general, bamboo lends itself to being well suited for lighter weight rods, in shorter lengths. There is very little demand in the market for longer rods (anything much over 8' maybe 8 1/2' for an exceptional rod). If you want to fish bamboo, I'd suggest you look for something along the lines of an 7 1/2 5#. There are alot of cheap 9' bamboo rods out there, and that's exactly what they are, cheap bamboo. Those rods tend not to be very good fishing tools.

    Of course the other variables, bamboo is a natural grown product and there is great variation in the quality of the bamboo that was used in rods. The other variables are how good the maker was at his/her craft, and what the design parameters that were used on any particular model.

    If you are going to spend anything more than a trivial amount on a bamboo rod,
    if at all possible, try to give it at least a few casts to see how it feels to you.


    The more you know, the less you need.

    Tenkara Fly Fishing

    Tenkara Fly Fishing Blog


    "People tend to get the politicians and the fishing tackle they deserve" - John Gierach, Fishing Bamboo

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