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Taking it to the next level - The bamboo chronicles Part I

Started by glassfisher, December 25, 2008, 23:34:01 PM

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glassfisher

A few weeks ago my wife asked me what I wanted for Christmas.  I didn't really know, but I know if I didn't tell her anything, I would've ended up with something nice, but l'm not really sure it would hav ebeen exactly what I really wanted.  I don't really need another rod or reel, and  by that I mean there's not a rod or reel I really want right now, give it a few weeks and that might change.  But I did want something, I just ocundn't put my finger on it.  After a few days of thinking about it, I realized what I was looking for was a challenge.  Don't get me wrong, I'm no expert tyer, caster or fisherman, but I've at least least gotten to that level of the sport where I can hold my own in both conversation and practice.  So I decided the next logical step was rod making.  The only thing that can be better than catching a wild trout on light tippet with a fly you tied is if you made the rod too.  Now I didn't want to finish a blank, I wanted to make a rod.  Given that I primarily like the action of boo and glass, it was going to be one of those.  Glass is great, but rolling your own blanks isn't something that is easy for the entry level rodmaker, so boo it was.  My Christmas gift would be getting all the tools I thought I needed to start the journey.

After a few weeks of research, I purchased everything I thought I needed to get started.  As it turned out, I did ok since I really needed about 80% of what I ordered (I see the glass as 80% full rather than 20% empty).  Unfortunately the last thing to arrive was the bamboo, 3 6' culms, 2 "A" grade and one "B+" grade.  I got out my froe as soon as it got in and proceeded to start splitting.  It was deceptively easy on the video, start the split on the right point and it carries down straight as an arrow.  Well, 2 of the 3 culms into it I had a big pile of useless splinters.  The splits carried to one side or the other and I couldn't get them straight to save my life.  Luckily I got some guidance on how to guide a split from Clarks board.  To steer the splits you pull on one side or the other of the piece, easier than it sounds since the split tends to move in 12 inch increments, usually stalling at the nodes.  Once you snap through a node there's usually enough force to continue the split to the next node, a real balancing act to apply just enough force, but not too much.

I managed to get exactly the 18 strips I needed for my rod out of the last piece (with a couple of salvagable strips from the other 2 pieces as backups).  So off to the next step.  I sorted them in groups by size, the 6 largest for the butt section, the others for the 2 tips, then staggered the nodes and cut the sections to length (about 6 inches longer than the final section lengths).  The inner nodal walls were then smoothed down and the outer nodes lightly filed.  What I had still looked more like the tall hard grass I started with than a nimble fly rod, but I still have quite a few steps left.  I'll keep everyone up on my progress and add some pics when I get back home.

Beer, the cause of and solution to all life's problems.

troutphisher

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.

Gofisher

Yankee by birth, Rebel by choice.

Woolly Bugger

A very ambitious endeavor that will keep you out of trouble. We hope it turns out well.

ex - I'm not going to live with you through one more fishing season!

me -There's a season?

Pastor explains icons to my son: you know like the fish symbol on the back of cars.

My son: My dad has two fish on his car and they're both trout!

phg

If you live anywhere near Charlotte, you need to catch up with Gary Jones and Tim Wilhelm.  They are part of an active bamboo building community in that area.  Spending time with them will greatly shorten the learning curve, not to mention the invaluable tips they can give, (plus the possible loan of a hard to find tools.)

Good luck.  I'm working on bamboo rods #4 and #5.  To say the least, fishing will never be the same.....


Trout Maharishi

I'm just glad to see your therapy has progressed to the point where you are allowed to be around sharp objects again ;D

There's more B.S. in fly fishing than there is in a Kansas feedlot.

Lefty Kreh

glassfisher

Quote from: Trout Maharishi on December 26, 2008, 19:14:31 PM

I'm just glad to see your therapy has progressed to the point where you are allowed to be around sharp objects again ;D

I didn't mention the cut in my thumb from splitting   :o it was borderline bad enough to need stiches.  3 years of therapy down the crapper. :-\ 

Beer, the cause of and solution to all life's problems.

troutphisher

Glass,

Re-send the taper graphs. Imbed them in a word doc if you can.

Thanks

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.


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