Making Bamboo Fishing Poles

Making Bamboo Fishing PolesThe earth's earliest recorded fisherman was depicted in a painting that dates back to 2000 B.C. Just when bamboo was introduced into the fishing world is anyone's guess. Each bamboo fishing rod that is crafted is unique from the one before it because no piece of bamboo is exactly the same. In fact, there are some bamboo rods that collectors pay upwards of $15,000 to own. But you can make your own uniquely beautiful bamboo fishing rods inexpensively, and in just a few short steps.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • 5-foot bamboo reeds
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Outdoor polyurethane
  • Sponge brush
  • Fishing line
  • Scissors
  • Paring knife
  • Fishing hooks
  • Bobbers
Step 1
Choose the bamboo pieces that you will need to begin making your bamboo fishing poles. According to, there are approximately 1,000 recorded varieties of bamboo, some of which you may even have growing in your own backyard. However, if you are unable to find bamboo for your project locally, there are online sources that sell and ship bamboo directly to your home.
Step 2
Sand the bamboo pieces so that they are smooth and are free from splinters and sharp edges. It is common for bamboo to split and peel during the drying process, and running fine grit sandpaper along their lengths will help remove any sharp pieces.
Step 3
Seal the bamboo reeds with outdoor polyurethane. The outdoor polyurethane will protect the bamboo from weathering and warping when it comes in contact with the elements. It is best applied with a sponge brush. Allow the outdoor polyurethane to dry thoroughly; overnight is ideal.
Step 4
Cut two notches on one end of each of the bamboo reeds. Each notch should be approximately one-quarter of an inch deep, directly across from one another. The notches will help to secure the fishing line to your bamboo fishing poles.
Step 5
Snip a piece of fishing line to your desired length with a pair of scissors. The length of line that you choose is completely dependent on how deep you wish to fish. If you will be fishing just at the edge of the water, a 6-foot length should be sufficient. You will need to cut one piece of fishing line for each bamboo fishing pole.
Step 6
Tie the fishing line onto each of the bamboo fishing poles by slipping the end of the fishing line into the notches and then making several knots. Give the fishing line a tug to make sure that it is tight enough and won't slip off of the pole.
Step 7
Attach a fishing hook to the fishing line of each bamboo fishing pole. The hook should be attached approximately 8 inches from the bottom of the fishing line. Knot the fishing line several times so that it will not slip off. A bobber can also be attached to each piece of fishing line so you can tell when you have a bite. Happy fishing.

Tips & Warnings

If you would like to dry your own bamboo for future projects, you can do so by standing the bamboo reeds straight up in a corner of a cool, dark room. If this is not possible, you can lay them flat out on a hard surface in the same cool, dark room.
You can use bamboo reeds that are longer or shorter than five feet, if you prefer. In fact, if you gather reeds that are too long for your liking, they can always be cut with a handsaw. Simply wrap the bamboo reeds with a piece of masking tape in the area where you will be performing the cut to ensure that it doesn't splinter when you put the saw to it.
Be careful when selecting your bamboo because some online sources will ship you freshly cut bamboo that has not yet been dried. explains that it takes approximately three years for a bamboo reed to completely dry, inside and out. As it dries it usually splinters, so making your fishing poles from pieces of bamboo that are completely dry will ensure that they keep their shape.

Article Written By Eleanor Jewell

Eleanor Jewell started writing in 2007. She also has a background as a licensed cosmetologist and certified skin-care specialist. Jewell is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in education and a teacher certification.

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