7’ 6” to 7’ 9” Bamboo

drift111

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I know this is probably a bad idea but I’m going to ask anyway. I just got an inexpensive but nice Chinese 7’ 6” 2 piece bamboo blank. Each section is a little over 50” long. The taper is based on a Dickerson 7613. Question: would I be destroying the action of this rod to make it a 7’ 9” instead of a 7’ 6” since I have the length to do it and really would like a 7’ 9”? Ok, be kind, I’m new at this.
 

Ard

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I'm guessing you would intend removing the cork to expose another 3 inches of the butt section as shaft.

It's possible but there could be some issues. One would be the finish on the new exposed bamboo shaft section. Will it be finished or in a rough hewn condition? Two would be that you will need to find a suitable material to use as a sort of splint on the rear end of the butt section so that you have something for the reel seat to remount to.

If it were a very inexpensive rod that I only wanted to experiment on I might be tempted but would go forward with those 2 things in mind. I do however seriously doubt that it will become any more able to cast well based on this change. So I guess I just said I might just leave it alone and take it fishing.....

One other thing, Athens? Greece or Georgia :)

Ard
 

Rip Tide

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I doubt that you'd distroying any action
I also doubt that you'd be doing yourself any favors
I've rebuilt cane rods where the bamboo blank did not exp
Those rods were " bottom of the line", to be kind.
I don't see what you're thinking about doing to be of any bennifit
 

drift111

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Thanks Ard, but these are raw blanks, not an existing, finished rod. So I'd be starting from scratch.
 

Ard

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Well that's different...……….

But, always a but from me it seems. It will be simple to find your material choice for extending the butt still I doubt that extending the but by 3" will have any effect other than length of finished rod. Conversely, if you had tips that were 3" longer while carrying the taper for their length you would then see a difference in tip action.

If the people who planed the splines and assembled them were shooting for a 7 1/2 foot Dickerson taper I'd be inclined to make the rod as intended for the blanks.

My only experiences with finishing cane blanks came by way of stripping rods then redoing the dressings - cork and reel seats so it is essentially the same thing you will be doing excepting the stripping of the old blanks. Never did I consider changing an 8 foot rod to an 8'3" or 8 1/2 foot. I just stuck to the program, maybe search for a set of blanks for a 7'9"?
 

trev

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I'm confused, 50"+50"=100"=8'4"+ferules =~8'6" so how does this make a 7'6" blank?
Where does the manufacturer suggest you cut that foot from? Is it meant to have all four ends shortened by 3"?
 

tcorfey

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Drift111, more than a few years ago I bought a bamboo blank that should have been 7'6" finished and like yours mine came longer than the rod it was supposed to be. I finished it off to 7'9" just like you are thinking of doing and it fished okay, the tip was a little too soft. After a few years it was due for a cleanup, I also wanted to change the wrap colors and the reel seat. While I was at it, I cut it down to the size it was supposed to be. What a surprise with the proper length and subsequent new guide spacing it was a much better rod than it was in the longer length. So my suggestion is to make the rod the size it is intended to be. I think the rod will then perform at its best.

By the way I cut the length down from the butt and from the tip. When I first built the blank out I thought that was too much material to remove. I left it longer because I figured I can always cut it down shorter but I can't lengthen it once it is cut. When you cut it make sure the top and bottom halves are the same length, anticipate the tip/top, the ferrules and the handle being installed prior to making your cuts. The best way to anticipate the length is to dry fit all the parts first. If you want your rod to also match the closest to the taper you will need to measure the rod diameters along the taper and cut it the length accordingly to match the diameter of the taper specs. Most of the specs for common tapers are available if you google them. If you match the taper you may end up making multiple cuts to accommodate the taper so it can get a little tricky.

Regards,

Tim C.
 
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drift111

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Good math and great questions, I asked the same questions. The shop couldn’t answer exactly why the blanks were so long or from which end do you cut. Basically, the makers of the blanks give you a lot of length for different tip top and ferrule sizes depending where you want to cut.
 

trev

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Good math and great questions, I asked the same questions. The shop couldn’t answer exactly why the blanks were so long or from which end do you cut. Basically, the makers of the blanks give you a lot of length for different tip top and ferrule sizes depending where you want to cut.
Given this information, it would seem that you can make rods of many lengths and varying actions from the same blank. I would probably mock up a rod at the full 8'6" and play with it to see if the tip is too soft or the mid bends more than I want. My thoughts are that cutting the tip will stiffen the tip action and cutting the mid points will stiffen that portion, but cutting the butt will mostly just shorten the rod.
As to equal sections, many vintage rods had staggered ferrules, you can too if it suits you.
As to matching the diameter to the model rod that it is supposed to copy; that should be already done with the possible exceptions of the mid points and the tip. I'd first check the tip, if it is near that of the original, I'd want to leave it at that, if it is much smaller than the original, I'd expect it to be softer than the model and would cut it at the original's diameter. Did Dickerson have the ferruled ends at the diameter that the blank came with? did he have one of the ferruled ends larger than the other?

Cut short; you have the choice to try imitating exactly what Dickerson built, a 7'6" rod or of building a rod that suits you personally. You have the blank in hand and must have access to the original specs on taper and guide spacing; so play around a bit prior to making anything permanent. Just what I would do, YMMV

I wonder if any two of Dickerson's rods were exactly the same or if they varied a bit with the particular bamboo used on a given day...
 

markfrid

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Drift111, more than a few years ago I bought a bamboo blank that should have been 7'6" finished and like yours mine came longer than the rod it was supposed to be. I finished it off to 7'9" just like you are thinking of doing and it fished okay, the tip was a little too soft. After a few years it was due for a cleanup, I also wanted to change the wrap colors and the reel seat. While I was at it, I cut it down to the size it was supposed to be. What a surprise with the proper length and subsequent new guide spacing it was a much better rod than it was in the longer length. So my suggestion is to make the rod the size it is intended to be. I think the rod will then perform at its best.

Tim C.
I'm a believer in the above, from experience. I had an inexpensive English cane rod that was 8'2" or so. It was a nice caster and I fished it for many years. I decided to refinish and rewrap it one winter and thought, " This would probably be a bit quicker and lighter at 7'6. " So I cut the appropriate amount off the butt - man, what a bad idea. The rod turned into a lifeless chunk of meat. It was real pretty, though.

I'm not a rod designer, but I now believe the taper and the length work together to make the rod work at its best. I'd strongly vote for cutting the rod to the exact length the maker suggests. I don't care what country that maker's from. Just my 2 cents.

Mark
 
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