Bamboo Fly Rods

Bamboo Fly rods

With all the modern material from fiberglass to the latest graphite technology many anglers still consider Bamboo Fly Rods to be the very best possible Rod to own and use. Bamboo is one of the very first materials used to make Fly Rods and can trace their beginnings back to the late 1700′s.

The Bamboo used today to produce the majority of Fly Rods is the Tonkin Cane which gets its name from the area in China along the Tonkin gulf that it came from. Out of over 1000 different types of Bamboo Tonkin Cane has proven the best material for creating the highest performing Rods. The high density fibers provide not only strength but superior flexibility coupled with Tonkin Canes naturally straight growth and evenly spaced nodules it is considered superior by most rod makers.

Crafting a Bamboo Fly Rod is an art form in itself consisting of several steps and many times over 100 hours of labor to complete. The cane must be split into smaller slices and then shaved and shaped, usually by hand, before it can be planed into the proper size and configuration to be glued together. Once the glue has set the line guides, ferrules and handle must be fitted then a final coat of varnish applied to seal and protect the cane from the elements.

While the modern synthetic Fly Rods produced today offer outstanding performance and equal or perhaps surpass Bamboo when it comes to power for both the back cast and forward cast nothing has yet equaled Bamboo’s inherit dampening effect. It is this dampening effect that gives a Bamboo Fly Rod its characteristic smooth action and allows a greater precision in casting that has yet to be equaled by any man made material.

For an angler interested in only the best Fly Rod possible Bamboo is the ultimate material and is a highly prized possession. Often times these Fly Rods will pass from generation to generation as family heirlooms. It is the performance coupled with artistry that keeps these Rods in high demand and many times the value of one will increase over the years especially if it is kept in good condition.

Antique Bamboo Fly Rods can regularly sell for tens of thousands of dollars if they are in good condition. New Bamboo Fly Rods can easily reach two to three thousand dollars in price due to the time required to produce them and the skill needed by the rod maker to create a finished work that is not only functional but a work of art in and of itself.

Most quality Bamboo Fly Rods are not mass produced but rather made by smaller companies that employ highly skilled artisans who spend many hours producing a single rod. There are several companies that still are able to produce larger numbers of these rods and can offer a high quality product at a somewhat lower price, one will still expect to pay a premium for these hand crafted fishing rods. Among these companies are Sonatore, Orvis, and Hardy Gladstone to name a few.

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