How to Make a Reel for a Bamboo Fishing Rod

How to Make a Reel for a Bamboo Fishing Rod
Bamboo fishing rods are simple tools that work great for catching panfish such as crappies, bullheads and bluegills. With bamboo rods that are extra long, a long distance casting reel is not necessary; rather, a simple reel that holds the line in place will work just fine. Making your own reel for a bamboo fishing rod is a simple and inexpensive way to get these specialized tools ready for a day on the water.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Making the Reel

Things You’ll Need:
  • Line Winder
  • Electric Drill
  • Wood Screws
  • Wood Glue
Step 1
Drill two small holes in each side of the bamboo fishing rod, placed across from each other. Place these holes in the handle section of the rod where you would like the reel to be fastened. Drilling through the walls of the bamboo rod at this point is a delicate procedure, as the walls of the rod are quite thick towards the handle end of the bamboo fishing rod.
Step 2
Place the line winder on the handle section and line up the mounting holes on the side of the line winder to those drilled into the handle of the bamboo fishing rod.
Step 3
Fasten the wood screws through the line winder and into the bamboo rod. Prior to driving the screws entirely into the bamboo fishing rod, place a small amount of wood glue onto the final few threads of the wood screw. This will ensure the line winder stays in place and will not loosen while on the water.
Step 4
Tie one of the of fishing lines you you intend to use to one side of the line winder and wrap the line around both posts of the line winder until you have enough line to fish with. String the remaining end of the line through the rod guides and you are ready to fish!

Tips & Warnings

Use a high visibility fishing line with a bamboo fishing rod, as it will be easier to see from a greater distance.
Be sure to drill the holes straight into the rod, as a crooked hole will cause the reel to be off center.

Article Written By Brian M. Kelly

Brian M. Kelly has been freelance writing since 2003. His work has been published in respected outdoor magazines such as Outdoor Life, Great Lakes Angler and Salmon Trout Steelheader. He holds an associate's degree in automated machine design from Macomb College.

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