Final Stretch: Bamboo Fly Rod

Thus far the bamboo fly rod is coming together well but has not been without it’s hiccups and learning curves. It has been a unique opportunity to learn about how true craftsmen employ carefully acquired techniques to fabricate rods properly, and how I am comedically under-skilled to achieve the same success. However, if at first you don’t succeed… summon a monk-level amount of patience and try, try again.

After all my components arrived, I was excited to get started on the fabrication. It was then that I realized there were no instructional materials steps included with any the supplies I had purchased, so I started googling the process. Although most sites made the process seem relatively straightforward, this was when I realized that I may have been under-powered in terms of equipment I had overlooked. While I had sourced all the necessary components, I had not acquired the rod epoxy or the rod building stand that most craftsmen utilized to help with the wrapping steps and finishing process.

I have been consulting a variety of references and videos to help educate myself on the build process, which can be found below.

Most of the pros in the YouTube channels used a stand to balance the rod and apply the wraps to the stripping guides, ferrules and epoxy. Seeing as I did not have not wanted to invest in my own fabrication gear this early, I decided to do it all by hand. I also considered making my own little stand, but after seeing a few folks do it by hand, I opted to give it a try. It took extreme patience and learning from early mistakes, but I have measured and wrapped all the stripping guides expect one, installed the hook keeper, assembled reel seat and mounted the cork handle.

The images above show how the silk thread is used to wrap most of the components onto the rod. This step took the most patience, is it took the majority of the time to get the wraps to hold each guide snugly and sit in a clean stack. Once all the components are wrapped, the thread will be glazed with a clear epoxy to “finish” each component in its place. As of now only the ferrules, tip-top guides and the finishing steps remain. I had initially speculated about acquiring a mating reel but I may make this a stretch goal, due to finances. In the interim I can use one of my current reels to go test it on the water.

References and Building Instructions:

Fly Rod Building 101:

Fly Rod Fanatic Channel:

How to Build Fly Rod Channel:

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6 Comments. Leave new

  • Maxfield Scrimgeour
    May 9, 2017 7:14 pm

    This is really coming along nicely and it is good to see that you were able to get such a good jump start on your project! i am excited to see how the flashing comes out when it is finished. I hope that you can get out on the river soon and use this.

  • Tori Herfert
    April 18, 2017 2:26 pm

    I think that you are doing a great job, and the internet does tend to sometimes make things sound a lot easier than they actually are. I think you will definitely finish in time and it is going to look awesome. Keep up the good work.

  • Alexander Lien
    April 17, 2017 1:30 pm

    This is sweet and looks like your intent is really coming into fruition and realizing itself. I commend your patience and persistence in creating the product you want! It’s really cool thus far.

  • Jake Silverman
    April 17, 2017 12:18 pm

    Looks great. Its amazing how well everything looks considering you did it all by hand. Cant wait to see your presentation in the next few weeks.

  • Avery Anderson
    April 17, 2017 10:42 am

    This is really coming together nicely, I’m impressed with how tight and clean the wire wrapping appears to be. Have you tested it out yet? I’m curious to find out where this stacks up against the fly rods on the market today. Great job!

  • Levi Cortright
    April 16, 2017 11:50 pm

    That rod looks sweet! I love to go fishing and I cannot wait to see it at expo. I would like to look at all the videos you used and maybe make one of my own.


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