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DIY Build Bamboo Rod

Joined:
2009/5/31 22:56
From State College
Posts: 7
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Hello board. I've been here awhile - lurking, reading, and learning.

Recently, I've had interest in building my own bamboo rod. I've never fished bamboo, never saw a rod built, etc.; so I am quite the novice. I love FF and enjoy woodworking.

I've begun researching on the internet, which led me to a couple books I will buy. There are a couple really informative articles and forums on the internet.

I'm posting here to see if anyone in this community would have some pointers.

I'll need to invest in some tools and such, but I don't want to invest too much - at least until I get one fishable rod. I will probably skip buying a froe and mallet - I can split bamboo with other tools. I will need to get a much better hand plane and sharpener. I should be able to make my own roughing form (right?). The finishing form will need to be bought. Any recommendations? Anyone know a place to buy used form? I am not willing to invest $1,000 for the best. but (it seems) $300ish should get me something good (the finishing form will be most expensive initial investment). String binder, can I figure a DIY stringer?

I think I will be able DIY an oven; I have found some good instructions that seem to work well.

I suppose I am trying to balance cost vs ease of use. I don't want crappy tools that will only cause frustration or overly complicate a precise process; however, I don't want to spend too much only to learn I don't like building bamboo.

This is a late fall/winter project. I am in the research phase.

Thanks!

Posted on: 8/2 9:21


Re: DIY Build Bamboo Rod

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2006/11/2 8:50
Posts: 2630
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There are rod building classes available near where you live, in Coburn.

http://www.ljdownesrodcompany.com/LJD_classes.html


Posted on: 8/2 10:07


Re: DIY Build Bamboo Rod

Joined:
2009/5/31 22:56
From State College
Posts: 7
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Perfect! Thanks.

Posted on: 8/2 10:49


Re: DIY Build Bamboo Rod

Joined:
2009/5/31 22:56
From State College
Posts: 7
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Across the street from the Fearhered Hook? How have I missed that? Thanks again!

Posted on: 8/2 10:51


Re: DIY Build Bamboo Rod

Joined:
2018/3/29 20:58
From Lebanon, PA
Posts: 107
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I found this on the site listed below when I was researching information on Jim Downes about 2 to 3 months ago.

“L.J. Downes Rod Company: I was sad to hear my good friend L.J. (Jim) Downes is closing his production rod shop to spend more time with his wife, kids and grandkids….and, to do a little more fishin’ and less workin! Jim still plans to make a limited number of rods for good friends and best customers as time and inclination permits, which is fortunate for his many fans in the bamboo rod community.

Jim’s company motto is ‘Cane Rods That Work’ and he should know: an expert and elegant caster and angler on the stream, Jim knows exactly what makes a rod work, and I’ve never cast one of his rods I didn’t fall in love with. Jim modestly claims he doesn’t make ‘art’ and focuses on how his rods perform, but I would disagree, feeling these are all quite handsome with an eye for a sort of ‘peppy harmony’. We are fortunate to have on offer several of Jim’s rods, all unused shop rods and/or near mint. Some have been lawn cast only, but none have been fished, and all of them- as his motto claims- work very well indeed!”


http://www.wagnerrods.com/vintage.html

If anyone has any newer information please post.

Posted on: 8/2 11:39
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Re: DIY Build Bamboo Rod

Joined:
2006/12/7 18:13
Posts: 852
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I have a friend who has been talking about taking the plunge for years, but has yet to split his first culm. However, he's gaining experience by building bamboo rods from blanks already ferruled.

As a result he's learned rod building and varnishing techniques without having to first learn how to split culms, plane, glue and mount & lap ferrules which is a whole learning experience unto itself. In addition he has results to fish in a reasonable amount of time and without breaking the bank.

There are several bamboo builders out there who sell bamboo blanks they make. It's a great way to get your feet wet and have pride in the fact you built at least part of the rod and experience fishing bamboo without investing a ton of money in what you need to build your own from scratch.

Just a thought...

Posted on: 8/2 12:54


Re: DIY Build Bamboo Rod

Joined:
2007/4/23 20:53
From Carlisle PA
Posts: 301
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Dennis Stone is an excellent rod maker who will make any blank you desire. A great way to jump into bamboo rod making and finishing.

http://www.stonerodco.com/how-to-order/

Posted on: 8/2 13:50


Re: DIY Build Bamboo Rod

Joined:
2009/5/31 22:56
From State College
Posts: 7
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Appreciate the input. I was thinking of avoiding blanks...part of the fun to me is processing the bamboo. I am learning that finishing a rod is quite an art form, so nothing against blanks (I have not dismissed the idea of blanks yet).

Posted on: 8/2 18:04


Re: DIY Build Bamboo Rod

Joined:
2006/9/12 12:07
From Berryville Virginia
Posts: 36
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Flyguy,

Twenty eight years ago I thought the samething ????. When I got into bamboo rod making, My wonderful wife wanted to buy me a bamboo fly rod and I said you know I may want more than one ????. Hank Woolman was a regular customer of hers from Middleburg Va. if you know anything about him he made awesome straight tapers and nice casting rods. But I spent 600.00 on hex forms and anything else that would help me reach my goal. I built my binder and oven and bought the rest. I bought my quad form about 10 years ago now for 350. But now forms in general are hard to find in the used market but you can still find them but they go quick. Like most of us if it is a good deal I will buy as well I have a new binder in the box and I am looking for Penta forms ????. You may not be able to stop at Hex forms. So also don’t pass up a deal on a hand mill you can alway buy the different cutting heads. The adventure is awesome and every rodmaker you meet will help it is wonderful And I have meet many and talked to plenty. If I can help let me know. I’m just amateur rodmaker, Having fun making rods for friends and family. You will give up the circular rods in no time. Joe. E

Posted on: 8/3 20:37


Re: DIY Build Bamboo Rod

Joined:
2009/5/31 22:56
From State College
Posts: 7
Offline
Thanks JoeE. The more I research, the more excited I am. I like doing things that merge engineering and art, take practice, and produce something useful.

I'll probably end up spending more money than I first thought; there does not seem to be too much risk. As you stated, there is not much supply (even with new tools). Therefore, even if I spend and don't like it, I could sale and recoup a good percentage of my investment.

I'll keep ya posted on progress...probably start late fall getting oven built...so maybe by Jan I will start a rod.


Posted on: 8/4 11:28


Re: DIY Build Bamboo Rod

Joined:
2014/12/17 22:05
From Fiske
Posts: 60
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Posted on: 8/4 12:01


Re: DIY Build Bamboo Rod

Joined:
2014/12/17 22:05
From Fiske
Posts: 60
Offline
tommorganrodsmiths.com. Another building option.

Posted on: 8/4 12:18


Re: DIY Build Bamboo Rod

Joined:
2014/12/17 22:05
From Fiske
Posts: 60
Offline
tommorganrodsmiths.com. Mod please delete prior post as I short circuited it, my electronic ineptitude.

Posted on: 8/4 12:57


Re: DIY Build Bamboo Rod

Joined:
2009/5/31 22:56
From State College
Posts: 7
Offline
Thanks. I had checked www.goldenwitch.com, but tommorganrodsmiths.com was new to me.

Posted on: 8/4 14:58


Re: DIY Build Bamboo Rod

Joined:
2014/12/17 22:05
From Fiske
Posts: 60
Offline
You’re very welcome. Tom Nigro of Spring Creek Rods in your area used to offer building classes but his website has vaporized. I have no idea if he is still in any of it. He is an extremely talented craftsman and was/is known for his quads and r-quads. Finish work stellar!
Best of luck in your pursuits.

Posted on: 8/4 18:12



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