Q. Why are your lead times for bamboo rods so much shorter than other builders?
A. Most bamboo fly rod builders make them as a hobby or as a part-time business and build just one fly rod at a time, often only completing a couple per year. As a full-time builder, I am working 8-10 hours a day, up to 6 days a week, on building fly rods. As one reaches a step where a rod must dry for a number of hours or days, the next rod on the list is pulled from the rack and it moves a step closer to completion as well. It is common for me to work on 2-4 bamboo fly rods in any given day. I also concentrate on traditional bamboo fly rods, rather than experimenting with Pentagonal rods, Quadrate rods, and graphite inserts.
Q. Why are most of your demo bamboo rods blonde colored rather than darker like I see a lot of other builders showing.
A. Many builders flame much of their cane as it is a great way to heat treat the bamboo as well as hide deficiencies in the raw material like blemishes or green cane. Personally, I prefer blonde bamboo rods so it is my default color. I do build darker colored bamboo fly rods, but we do it with a proprietary process that does not include heat (all of my heat treating is done in an oven under more controlled conditions than you get with a large torch).
Q. Are bamboo fly rods more delicate than graphite fly rods?
A. Bamboo is a very strong and resilient material. As an example, engineering shows that the upper tip section of a bamboo fly rod is subjected to forces in the range of 180,000-250,000 ounces per square inch during each cast. Bamboo's delicate reputation has come from the fact that it does take a little bit more care in storage than a graphite or fiberglass fly rod, and those owners of the past who neglected them saw failures.
Q. Don't bamboo fly rods split at the glue joints eventually, causing it to become useless?
A. Originally, bamboo fly rods were glued together with hide glue, which is water soluble even when fully dried. Modern waterproof glues and epoxies have made that issue a thing of the past for many decades.
Q. Doesn't silk thread fail and require that guides be re-wrapped often on bamboo fly rods?
A. Silk is remarkable strong. Silk thread has the tensile strength of high grade steel but is about one-fifth the density, so it is very lightweight. Silk, used to wrap fly rods, will rot when the finish covering the thread cracks and allows water into the thread. By following our tips on fly rod care, this problem can be easily avoided.
Q. Why do bamboo fly rods come with two tips?
A. Bamboo fly rods, with two tips, is a purely American tradition. In the early days of settling America, a bamboo fly rod provided a source of food. The distances between settlers and the rod makers were great and travel was slow. While most people of the day could only afford to own one fly rod, it was considered crucial to have a second tip so that the rod would still be serviceable in the event of the other needing to be shipped off for a repair. It is still very popular for Americans to buy a bamboo rod with two tips, although not always necessary. My rods can be had with one tip, or a matching pair.
Q. Are bamboo fly rods repairable?
A. While the breaking of a graphite fly rod tip is often the death of the rod, bamboo can almost always be repaired. Anything can be fixed in the shop from a broken or missing tip, shattered rod section, loose ferrule, damaged cork grip, loose reel seat, worn finish or missing guides.
2 Piece, 1 Tip $950
2 Piece, 2 Tips $1300
3 Piece, 1 Tip $1050
3 Piece, 2 Tip $1400
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