How to Make a Bamboo Fishing Rod
A bamboo fishing rod is a meticulously hand-crafted piece of angling gear that shouldn't be confused for the crude cane poles used by Huck Finn and the boys in Norman Rockwell illustrations. Bamboo rods are durable, lightweight and long-lasting. Some fly fishermen will wait for years and spend thousands of dollars to acquire bamboo fishing rods made by master craftsman. But individuals who have some skills and plenty of patience can make their own bamboo fishing rod.
Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
Things You’ll Need:
- Tonkin bamboo
Standard screw driver with sharpened blade
Blow dryer or heat gun
URAC 185 resin adhesive
Narrow metal pipe
Tape, metal rings or plastic ties
- Tonkin bamboo
- Thick-bladed knife
- Standard screw driver with sharpened blade
- Blow dryer or heat gun
- Wood plane
- URAC 185 resin adhesive
- Narrow metal pipe
- 200-grit sandpaper
- Tape, metal rings or plastic ties
Select several long shafts of bamboo. Imported Tonkin bamboo segments that are 2 inches in diameter are recommended.
Cut the bamboo into long tapered strips with a thick-bladed knife. From these sections slice six narrow strips with a standard screwdriver that has a sharpened blade.
Heat individual bamboo strips with a blow dryer or heat gun. After heating, firmly clamp each strip in a vice to flatten its irregularly-shaped nodes.
Plane inner two sides of each bamboo strip at a 60-degree angle.
Form a round hexagon by placing the six strips of bamboo together. Bind tightly with string.
Place bound bamboo strips inside a narrow pipe. Heat the pipe with a blow torch. This will dry out the bamboo strips.
Glue bamboo strips together with a product like URAC 185, which is a modified formaldehyde adhesive. Rebind and let dry again.
Polish the surface of your bamboo fishing rod with fine 200 grit sandpaper until it is smooth.
Attach eyelets for fishing line with epoxy. The eyelets should be placed at 1-foot intervals starting 2 feet from the rod's base.
Assemble handle by gluing together cork rings of 1/2-inch to 1-inch thickness. Use tape, metal rings or plastic ties to fasten reel to the cork.
Tips & Warnings
A traditional cutting tool called a froe works best for slicing large pieces of bamboo.
Making a bamboo fishing rod is a time-consuming process than can require 60 hours or longer.
Article Written By Kirk Brown
Kirk Brown is an award-winning freelance writer with two decades of diverse media experience. A former newspaper reporter and editor, he also was managing editor of an acclaimed scuba diving magazine. Brown has written scripts for more than 50 half-hour TV programs focusing on technology and health topics.
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