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Author Topic: bamboo fly rods

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bamboo fly rods
OP: September 03, 2017, 10:13:57 AM
Was wondering if there were others here during the initial stage of the site that fish bamboo fly rods? I took fly fishing back up around 7 years ago and much like traditional archery where I shot Dan Toelke's d/r "Whip" longbows and recurves before settling on his Super D bows, I fished graphite then glass rods for a couple of years before trying bamboo. I have owned some older Orvis, an EC Powell and still have a Winston hollow-built 8'9" 2 pc. eight weight. I had one rod custom built for me by AJ Thramer before becoming interested in Goodwin Granger rods. Regardless of the taper or grade of the rod, I have found every one of the Grangers to have an amazingly consistent progressive action and enjoy fishing them thoroughly.  Jim
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Re: bamboo fly rods
#1: September 03, 2017, 01:37:12 PM
They say confession is good for the soul, so I'll belly up to the bar and take my licks.

I started out at age 11 with my Grandad's England built KINGFISHER 2 tip split bamboo...didn't know squat and he'd died when I got it so nobody to teach me..so I bait fished with it, finally did some dry fly fishing and learned how to do that fairly well.

Later in life, I moved to MT and got to guide some.  Where I was, the wind blew constantly... I ended up getting into graphite to "punch the wind".

As I was leaving MT, I stumbled into a Hardy 7'3" for 5wt the shop owner couldn't sell and I got it for a good price...along with a Hardy Perfect fly reel.

I fished that rig once for about an hour back East on a PA Blue ribbon stream, but I couldn't get used to the slow cadence of the bamboo... or the right hand retrieve on the traditional Hardy Perfect reel. I cased em both and finally sold the rod and still have the reel for sale...

IDK, but after all those years in the NW punching wind, I just couldn't get the hang of the slower action I guess.  I have a couple of specialized rods now, but fly fishing here locally is pretty much a thing of the past...gotta drive farther then I like as I aged...

So while I enjoy my trad bows, MZ and such, I found my reliance on the timing of the carbon stick to be such that I just stuck with them...

No detractor to bamboo...I think they're the purtiest things in the world...and still drool when I see them, but they just didnt fish that well for me personally... ::)
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Re: bamboo fly rods
#2: September 03, 2017, 02:57:02 PM
Doc Nock, I prefer medium and smaller streams and if I'm on bigger streams I still carefully wade to get as close as I can to target water so wind is not so much of a factor for me. You mention your right hand retrieve hardy, I have fished a fair bit both ways and have found if I have line to recover and reel fast left-handed the rod tip bounces much more increasing the chance of line wrap than if I am holding the rod in my left hand and retrieve with my right. Luckily, I discovered this on redfish before the one bonefish trip I took a few years ago. Also I have ended up fishing older Pflueger Medalists which usually come set up in the original right hand retrieve mode and the 1492 and 1492 1/2 Medalists are like your Hardy and can't be changed over to left hand retrieve.
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Re: bamboo fly rods
#3: September 03, 2017, 06:03:29 PM
my dad had some split bamboo rods that dated back to the 40's, wish i knew where they went.  don't have 'boo, have glass, but do love my ancient, but lovingly kept pristine, medalist.  though i'm right handed, all my fly and multiplying reels sport left hand retrieve.  it feels more natural for me, and puts the rod control on my "power side".

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Re: bamboo fly rods
#4: September 04, 2017, 03:48:58 PM
Well, ya know Rob... GLASS, is the "new" Boo!!!!!

Last Feb. I bought an Orvis Superfine Glass, 7' 3wt outfit, with a Battenkill 1 reel. Kinda an "Early Retirement" present!!! This is my new "Brook Trout Rod, and hopefully I'll be chasing little native Brookies with it until I die...
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Re: bamboo fly rods
#5: September 04, 2017, 03:50:58 PM
Jim,

Thanks for sharing. 

I, like rob's last post, tend to find more rod control with my right hand and switching back and forth, just didn't work well.

I've crawled on hands and knees and belly to get in casting range of some low water, small streams, but I"m far more accurate with my glass or carbon then the much slower boo rods.

As for wading close, Where I fished most in E. PA, the madding hordes had those fish in thin, clear water packing Ph.D's in avoidance... I've had 7" tiddlers drift with a dry fly for 4' and reject it at the last second...Wading was harder to do then in MT wild trout waters to get "close".

I wasn't a great long line caster, but there were times to reach their lie, one had to let out some line, retrieval was a bear for me personally, switching hands to take back line, or picking up the slack piled at my feet after a nice drift and wanting to move on up stream.

Good thing we don't all like the same thing...Mostly, it was the rod's timing/cadence.  One becomes conditioned to certain things, muscle memory sets in and like any of our other pursuits, it gets ingrained.
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Re: bamboo fly rods
#6: September 05, 2017, 07:34:18 AM
Rob, that is a good looking Medalist. You may know it but the "one-pfoot" items like the counterbalance, true to the original aluminum latch cover, replacement grasps in a few different colors and a number of other parts can really dress up a Medalist. Jim
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Re: bamboo fly rods
#7: September 13, 2017, 07:46:43 PM
been an admirer of bamboo rods forever but have not owned or fished one. That's on my wish list. right now I fish mostly graphite pack rods but my go to is an old fiberglass 6 wt built on a Fenwick blank by a custom rodmaker back in the sixties. I too fish my reels "wrong-handed", don't care to swap the rod back and forth and really feel like
I have more control and sensitivity in my writing hand/arm. Be looking forward to some bamboo rod adventures and hope to be in the market for one by years end
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Re: bamboo fly rods
#8: October 03, 2017, 08:22:08 PM
I am more of a Bamboo fly rod maker than fisherman so far. I have only made about 15 rods the last 10 years. I prefer my 3 piece 5weight FE Thomas I made. Last rod was a two piece 3 weight which I left at my son’s house in PA. Hoping to fish the small streams of Berks County with it. I can’t compare with other rod materials like carbon or glass, never fished fly rods made with them. My next rod will be a 3 piece version of the one in PA. That will be my “travel by air” rod. At 6’3” cut 3 pieces I may get it into a suitcase.
 
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