Fly rod brand of choice: Bamboo rods

What brand of bamboo fly rod would you choose

  • Sweetgrass

    Votes: 7 14.0%
  • RL Winston

    Votes: 1 2.0%
  • Thomas and Thomas

    Votes: 4 8.0%
  • Scott

    Votes: 1 2.0%
  • Orvis

    Votes: 9 18.0%
  • The other brand (other custom fly rod makers)

    Votes: 28 56.0%

  • Total voters
    50

stvrainer

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"...I enjoy the pace and feel of the bamboo, but hey, I am also a guy that likes old cars, wears wool and cotton, and leaves his cell phone behind in the evening and on weekends." Well played!

I have production rods (e.g., Granger, Orvis) independents/hobbyists (e.g., Edmonds, Ifert), and well-known custom makers (e.g., Mike Clark, Charlie Jenkins, Tufts & Batson). They're all good.
 

LePetomane

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I have production rods (e.g., Granger, Orvis) independents/hobbyists (e.g., Edmonds, Ifert), and well-known custom makers (e.g., Mike Clark, Charlie Jenkins, Tufts & Batson). They're all good.
Stvrainer, You have some very nice rods. I'm not familiar with Edmonds. Could you tell us a little about the rod? Thanks.
 

ssd1855

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I'm personally not a fan of most of the East Coast tapers. Most of the ones I've handled were very slow traditional Boo. As far as the Factory makers, some of them have very good quality. But most don't offer anything special in value. My choices are all smaller custom MI makers. The legacy of Boo in MI is incredible with some exceptional tapers on which to build on. Even the Heddon rods were very good.

For me I want rods that carry on the Legacy of Young, Dickerson and Wes Jordan of South Bend IN. To me some of those tapers are magical like the Paul Young Midge, the Summers 752, the Dickerson 6611. If I could have any one's rod right now my choices would be in this order:

Keystone Rods (Grayling MI), He builds a wonderful 6611

Summers Rods (Traverse City MI), He worked at Young's and builds a great rod the 752, but he's got a 7 year waiting list and he's in his 80's.

Tom Ciemiega: He has since passed, if you can find one of his rods used BUY IT. He was the best caster I ever saw (learned from Ted Williams), and he understood rod tapers. He worked at Paul Young's in the 60s as a fly tier.

Jim Pickard (Hillsdale MI) He bought Dickerson's old shop, I don't know him well, but I've heard good stuff.

Mark Aroner (Spinoza Rod Company-MA) I've heard some good things, If you like updates on Leonard tapers, I've heard he takes them to a different level.

Amibillus Fly Rods (Randall Fridland IN) does some nice stuff too.

I'm not impressed by any of the factory stuff, although the Tom Moran stuff coming from Hardy was nice towards the end. Despite my love for Twin Bridges history, I have yet to cast a Winston Boo, that wasn't a buggy whip taper, not my thing. The Orvis boos are impregnated and heavy, but good values used. The Scotts (Eden) are intriguing, but I've never seen one.
I just bought a fly rod built by Friedland. It’s very nice.
 

stvrainer

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I'm not familiar with Edmonds. Could you tell us a little about the rod? Thanks.
My Mark Edmonds rod is based on a Payne Parabolic taper (marked P Para). It's a 7'9" 3-piece beauty rated for a 5/6 line--a very smooth casting and powerful rod. But I consider it semi-parabolic; it's as nice close in as it is at a distance. I got it in trade from a vintage tackle dealer/friend when I first became interested in parabolics. He said Edmonds lived in the Pittsburgh area and made only a couple hundred rods. He also mentioned that another friend bought one of Edmonds' Garrison clones from Bob Summers, who said it looked and felt like the original. My research suggests Edmonds sold rods through Len Codella in the late 90s-early 2000s but hasn't made rods in a while.

Also, I'll second burk48237's comment about Tom Ciemiega's work: "if you can find one of his rods used BUY IT." I just picked up a 6'3" 4wt Ciemiega Midge (for less than half the cost of a high-end graphite)...and it's WOW!
 
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LePetomane

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Thanks for the description of the Edmonds rod. I had a shot at one of Tom Ciemiega's rods that Codella had listed and passed on it. I generally don't feel bad about missing out on opportunities like this because I have all of the gear I need. Not all that I want but all that I need.
 

LePetomane

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I generally don't feel bad about missing out on opportunities like this because I have all of the gear I need. Not all that I want but all that I need.
As you gain experience (get older ;)) you will find that those two numbers approach each other. You can only fish with one rod at a time.
 

okaloosa

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As you gain experience (get older ;)) you will find that those two numbers approach each other. You can only fish with one rod at a time.
I used to troll with 5 rods at a time....2 at the stern, 2 on the outriggers, and one from the top....was a blast, especially when you get 3 fish on at once!
Fun watching 5 baits swimming in the spread. Even more fun watching a bill slashing at them....

as far as bamboo, one thing I have noticed is that vintage Orvis rods, unlike many other vintage bamboo rods, especially those deemed more desirable based on their price, rarely have one or both tips down in length. The durability of vintage Orvis bamboo rods seems to be well recognized.
 

rsagebrush

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You are correct about Orvis impregnated, they were a bit stouter though, I believe Wes Jordan redesigned them when they went impregnated, not a bad thing either. Orvis made and still makes great bamboo fly rods and they made a ton of them.
 

stvrainer

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Some argue that impregnation makes Orvis rods heavier, clubbier, etc. Perhaps I'm not a fine enough caster, but for me the taper is more important than impregnation vs. varnish/oil. Besides, without a scale I can't discern 1/8 oz. difference between two rods. Cast an Orvis Seven/Four, Rocky Mountain, or 7 1/2' Superfine and you'll understand why they're so sought after. Also, I've never had a problem with the ferrules on Orvis rods. Can't say the same about any other production rods--or, for that matter, even some custom rods.
 

mka

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I have a few bamboo rods with the Orvis Seven/Four being my favorite. I may add another boo rod to the collection next year...well, maybe. There are so many makers these days with bamboo and glass. And yet, to be honest, graphite is my rod blank of choice. If I do add another, most likely it will be a rod by the local maker, A Ruby.
 
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