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Old 01-02-2018, 12:05 PM
creekhiker creekhiker is offline
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Rod blanks

Looking to build a bamboo rod this year. I have started looking at blanks but how does a guy know what kind of taper they want? Does this just come from casting/using different rods over the years.

I'd hate to spend good money on a blank and not have it be something decent.
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Old 01-03-2018, 04:19 PM
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Ragen Ragen is offline
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The best way is to cast as many as you can until you find one that fits your casting style and the water you like to fish... I split, glue, and taper my own blanks. Because I make my own bamboo blanks and rods I'm continually trying out different rod tapers, rod lengths, and rod weights. Some have been really "sweet" rods, others not so... It's what keeps it interesting. I would point out that bamboo is an organic material. Rods made of bamboo from the same region indeed from the same hillside can be very different even when using the same tapers. Graphite rods tend to be all the same within a given manufacturer and model line provided good manufacturing quality control is in place. Not so with bamboo. If you want to cast a bunch of bamboo rods you might want to spend a day or two at one of the bamboo maker gatherings. The Arizona bamboo makers tried to start up an annual gather here in AZ but it never took off. The closest one is CRR held up in Monument Valley, CO. I believe its the 1st or 2nd week of July. They generally have racks of rods and reels that are available to cast. Just remember that no two bamboo rods are completely the same... Wind, rain, sun and soil can all change how the bamboo behaves.
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Old 01-03-2018, 07:07 PM
creekhiker creekhiker is offline
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Ragen, not the post I was looking for. I just about had myself convinced not to build a jig set, ha. So do you order whole bundles of bamboo?

I'm not a big fan of graphite rods, got a fiberglass rod last year and it reminded me of a bamboo rod I used to learn to fish with. Thought about going glass and figured if I'm going to have a NICE rod why not just do bamboo. The ferry is on my to do list this year, maybe a rod for that trip.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 01-03-2018, 07:07 PM
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Ragen Ragen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creekhiker View Post
Looking to build a bamboo rod this year. I have started looking at blanks but how does a guy know what kind of taper they want? Does this just come from casting/using different rods over the years.

I'd hate to spend good money on a blank and not have it be something decent.
What size/weight rod are you thinking about? How are you expecting to use it? Fish species? Flamed or blond? "Generally" flamed has a little faster action... But some rod maker research shows that the flaming process can damage the power fibers...

Me personally I prefer the blond Payne's and blond Paul H. Young's. I have a Paul H. Young Perfectionist (7.5' 4wt) and a Paul H. Young Driggs River (7.0' 4wt) that I like. For small streams a Dickerson 6611 (6.5' 4wt) or a Paul H. Young Midge (6' 3" 4wt). I've made the the 6611 and like it for small water and for terrorizing sun fish. The Payne's are all good rods. The Payne 98 (7.0' 4wt), the Payne 100 (7.5' 4wt), the Payne 101 (7.5' 5wt), and the Payne 102 (8.0' 5wt) are sweet rods. You should also take a look at the Garrison's and Cattanach's. I've made the Cattanach's Sir D (7.0' 4wt) based on Darryl Hayashida's modification and it is my favorate 4wt.

Like I said in my earlier post... There are so many choices you should really try casting as many as you can to see what feels best for you.
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Old 01-03-2018, 07:31 PM
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Ragen Ragen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creekhiker View Post
Ragen, not the post I was looking for. I just about had myself convinced not to build a jig set, ha. So do you order whole bundles of bamboo?

I'm not a big fan of graphite rods, got a fiberglass rod last year and it reminded me of a bamboo rod I used to learn to fish with. Thought about going glass and figured if I'm going to have a NICE rod why not just do bamboo. The ferry is on my to do list this year, maybe a rod for that trip.

Thanks for the info.
For Lee's I'd think you'd want a 5-6 wt in a 8' to 8.5' there are lots of tapers to choose from but I'd stick with the classic tapers.

I order 12' long culms of Tonkin cane in bundles of 10 culms. The bundles are imported from the Sui River Valley in China. If you're careful splitting you can get 2 rods with 2 tips from each culm. That's provided you don't have leaf nodes, burn marks, or worm holes. I split the culms and match (butterfly) the tips so that they are glued together in the same pattern as they were split. I do the same for butt and mid sections. Butt and mid sections come from the lower part of the culm and tips come from the top of the culm. There are less nodes the higher up on the culm so the upper sections make better tips.

Make sure you know what you're getting into... If your buying blanks you don't have to have all the tools to split, glue, and taper... But you'll still need to do the grip, dress the guides, wrap the guides, address the fitting of the ferrules, and preserve the rod among other things.
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