Register now on PaFlyFish.com! Login
HOME FORUM BLOG PHOTOS LINKS


Sponsors

Browsing this Thread:   1 Anonymous Users





Determining the weight of a bamboo rod

Joined:
2015/6/30 20:51
From SW PA
Posts: 91
Offline
My next door neighbor gave me a bamboo fly rod a few weeks ago. He was cleaning out some old storage rooms of his and came across the rod that was his father’s and knowing that I fly fish and would appreciate it, he kindly passed it along to me.

I looked up some info on it online, it’s a Japanese rod that seems to be a tourist kit/souvenir item from the mid 1950’s. The rod came with a balsa wood case that has some compartments that are holding some flies and some unused catgut leaders that are dry rotten. The handle of the rod pops off the end of the rod and can be put on backwards so that the rod can be used as a spinning rod when the spinning rod tip is used. It is a two section long spinning rod and a three section long fly rod - and it has a spare top section for the fly rod too.

It doesn’t seem like I be extraordinarily valuable (~$150) and I would like to fish it this summer, but it doesn’t have a weight rating. So I looked up how to determine the weight and I came across this method: How to find the weight of a bamboo fly rod

You basically measure the rod length in inches (it was 86” for my rod) and divide that value by 10. Then you affix the rod horizontally and add weight and to the tip until it deflects the rod by the amount you get when the length is divided by 10 (8.6” for mine). Then you weigh the amount of weight needed for this deflection in grams (it was 20 grams for me) and then divide the weight by the 8.6. I got a value of 2.325 which puts it as a 6 weight according to the chart on the website...

I trust my measurements and calculations, however my concern is that the rod seems SO soft and whippy - it seems like a wet noodle!!! The rod tip deflected under its own weight a few inches when I set it up to add weight to it for the deflection measurement.

Is it common for bamboo rods to be so soft?

I believe this rod was stored in an outdoor storage unit for years and I wouldn’t be surprised if there has been some damage done to the rod by overheating during the summer months.

I have never fished with a bamboo rod so I have nothing to compare this feeling to. I was figuring on pairing the rod with a 5 weight line since from everything I’ve read, it seems like line weights are heavier than they were in years past.

I am just a little worried about breaking this rod just by casting it, let alone if I am lucky enough to hook into a 8-10 inch fish. Are bamboo rods typically really REALLY soft feeling? And do you think that the heat of a storage unit could damage the strength/integrity of a rod?

Thanks for any input!

Posted on: 5/14 22:05


Re: Determining the weight of a bamboo rod

Joined:
2009/11/5 1:46
Posts: 358
Offline
You're being optimistic if you think you could get $150 for a rod from "Occupied Japan" They were made by the thousands for GI's to take home, as you surmised, as souvenirs. The probable value is more like $40, on a good day.

The problem with them is that while Japan had plenty of bamboo after the war, it was the wrong kind for making fly rods (there's something like 250 different species of bamboo, the good stuff only grows in the Tonkin region of China.)

OTOH, some of the Japanese rods were fishable, if only by accident. You've got nothing to lose by trying this one out. A six weight is probably about right, since the most common "weight" back in those days. "Weight" is in quotes because lines were measured by diameter before the 60's. The most common rods were made for an HDH line, which is roughly equivalent to DT 6, although many fish as well or better with a 5.

It's not unusual for even a good cane rod to droop a bit when held horizontal, but several inches seems like a lot. And no, not all cane rods are soft feeling.

As I said, though, you don't have much to lose by trying it. I have a Japanese rod that came with a reel that I wanted that turned out to be quite adequate as a fishing tool. (The rod and reel cost me $30, and the reel was worth that, so you know how valuable the rod is.)

Posted on: 5/14 22:38
_________________
Bob


Re: Determining the weight of a bamboo rod

Joined:
2007/10/7 0:44
From philadelphia
Posts: 241
Offline
more likely than not,it is a six weight.

i would start with a six and work up.i doubt you would have to work down.

good luck.

Posted on: 5/14 23:57


Re: Determining the weight of a bamboo rod

Joined:
2009/5/29 6:40
From harlansburg
Posts: 618
Offline
I have a few of those rods, one of them is a decent rod to fish, another one came delaminated from the glue drying out. I glued the strips back together, but never got around to rewrapping the guides on it. maybe someday. I'd say fish it, have fun with it, if it falls apart, so be it. Bamboo is very repairable though and fun to work on, it's a great way to get into rod building.

Posted on: 5/15 6:48


Re: Determining the weight of a bamboo rod

Joined:
2015/6/30 20:51
From SW PA
Posts: 91
Offline
Thanks for the responses.

Redietz I believe you when you say that it might be closer to $40 on a good day. I looked up some of them on eBay and saw them posted for $100 to $200, but I realize that just because that’s what they were asking, it doesn’t mean that is what somebody would be willing to pay...

Thanks also for the info on the how a bamboo rod can feel. I do intend to fish it figuring that I have nothing to lose. I appreciate the input because I am hoping to not break this old rod by over-stressing it with too heavy of a line.

I’ll report back on how it fished once I get the opportunity to give it a go.


Posted on: 5/16 21:07


Re: Determining the weight of a bamboo rod
Moderator
Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 3195
Offline
Good luck with that rod. My suggestion is to try different weight lines on it to find the weight that casts best for you. I'm sure you have a 5 weight line and reel setup. Try casting it with your rod. If it feels underlined go up a line weight or overlined go down one line weight.

I wouldn't worry about breaking the rod by overlining it by a few weight ratings. Stripping out or stripping in 4' or 5' of line is equivalent to going up or down a line weight. The whole thing is on a sliding scale.
If the rod breaks, it's because it wasn't sound in the first place, not because it was overlined.

Posted on: 5/17 7:29


Re: Determining the weight of a bamboo rod

Joined:
2016/2/27 7:56
From Maryland
Posts: 37
Offline
Those old Japanese bamboo rods are cool and because they're fairly common and cheap, there's no reason to worry about fishing them. I'd rather snap off my little finger than break a $2000 bamboo rod of top quality, but I don't worry about fishing the old cheap-o rods. Couple things to be aware of though:
Bamboo is generally fairly soft action. There are some exceptions, but the old rods were mainly soft action.
Line weight: guys previously are right on the money -- HDH is basically a 6 wt, but silk. Silk lines are a pain in the @$$ (as are gut leaders).
The main noticeable differences between a quality bamboo and an old hardware store rod are the cheap rods are heavy (rod and reel for an eight foot might weight a pound by the time you get a reel heavy enough to balance the rig); cheap bamboo is generally crooked, which makes for some not so accurate casting. The rods were often sold lashed to a slotted "case" to help keep them straight. From a design standpoint, they don't stand up to close examination. Often the bamboo is shaved down at the ferrule rather than made to fit. Ferrule and other parts are cheap metals rather than the high nickel steel of quality rods and sometimes the stripping guide is straight metal rather than glass lined.

Speaking of of which, if it is a glass stripping guide, check to make sure it is not cracked or it will shred your line. Also check the guides all the way up because if it was used with a silk line, there's a good chance the guides are grooved, which also will rip up a modern line.

Fish with it, have fun with it, but bring a light rod for when your arm gets tired. When you put it away, make certain it is bone dry. Put it a way wet and what always happens to wet wood will happen to your rod.

It's an awesome thing to find and a good addition to an active fishing arsenal.

Posted on: 6/23 8:34


Re: Determining the weight of a bamboo rod

Joined:
2015/6/30 20:51
From SW PA
Posts: 91
Offline
I finally got the opportunity to fish with this bamboo rod. I got a hold of an old vintage real that seemed fitting for the old bamboo rod. I opted to use a 5 weight line and it worked very well with this rod. The reel however, did absolutely nothing to balance the rod... The rod was incredibly tip-heavy, so much that I found myself holding the rod about 5 or 6 inches above the cork as I walked from spot to spot.

I took the rod to Linn Run to chase natives today and I managed to get 5 with the bamboo. After an hour and a half though, I was ready to switch over to my modern graphite rod - I am glad you offered that advice JimKennedy! The weight of the bamboo rod was incredibly noticeable.

I decided to head over to Fourmile Run in Darlington after leaving Linn Run and I switched back to the bamboo. I didn't take a temperature reading, but the water was good and cold and I caught 3 twelve inch rainbows. It was a lot more fun to play those bigger fish on the bamboo rod and I can definitely see the attraction to fishing bamboo given the slow action of the rod.

Thank you all for your help and input.

Posted on: 6/25 20:04


Re: Determining the weight of a bamboo rod

Joined:
2007/4/25 10:02
Posts: 937
Offline
Mathfish- glad you caught some fish at Linn.

That stream suffered a devastating flood last week.

The road got washed out and is closed just above the state park office- I doubt the road will be fixed for awhile. If you want to reach the top of ridge or the upper parts of the creek you will have to take Rt 30 up mountain and over Laurel Summit Rd.

Posted on: 6/27 7:37
_________________
I flyfish because I enjoy it.


Re: Determining the weight of a bamboo rod

Joined:
2015/6/30 20:51
From SW PA
Posts: 91
Offline
Acristickid you’re not exaggerating when you say that there was a devastating flood at Linn Run! I have fished there over the past 3 or 4 years and have gotten familiar with spots that have produced for me. On Monday I started at the Adams Falls parking area and walked down to the pool below flat rock. That entire stretch was vastly different. Everything but the largest of boulders was moved or completely gone. There used to be logs in spots that seemed to be an almost permanent fixture that were gone without a trace. The sediment and fine gravel that was always in the stream-bed was scoured away. The stream was rechanneled near the picnic tables and created an “island” that was never an island. I was amazed at how different the creek is now.

I got there at 7:30 a.m. and the road was blocked so there was no access above the Adams Falls parking. But when I got back to my car the road signs and cones blocking the road were removed so I went up to the spring fountain and fished from that spot up to the cabins. The water there was the same story... logs that had been there since I started fishing there - gone, familiar holes - gone. However this section had sediment and more of the fine gravel in the stream bed.

It was sad to see many familiar holes gone, but it was at the same time pretty cool to have to work the place as unfamiliar water. It really feels like a new creek, so I am looking forward to heading back.

I checked the stream gauge and saw it was flowing at 10 cfs on Monday, which is relatively normal for this time of the year, but when the storm hit the flow looked to be over 700 cfs. I can’t even imagine what that must have looked like when it was happening. Hopefully the people who live there didn’t get too much damage from the flooding.

Posted on: 6/27 8:19






You can view topic.
You cannot start a new topic.
You cannot reply to posts.
You cannot edit your posts.
You cannot delete your posts.
You cannot add new polls.
You cannot vote in polls.
You cannot attach files to posts.
You cannot post without approval.

[Advanced Search]





Site Content
Login
Sponsors
Stay Connected

twitterfeed.com facebook instagram RSS Feed

USGS Water Levels
Polls





Copyright 2018 by PaFlyFish.com | Privacy Policy| Provided by Kile Media Group | Design by 7dana.com