New Year's Rod
I took a next step in rod building.
I built a bamboo rod from a blank.
It's based on the Paul H. Young Perfectionist taper.
It's a 7ft 6in rod for a 4 or 5 wt.
I got the blank in early November and have been working/waiting on getting this part or making this or that for finishing.
It's kind of a medium dark toned rod w/ nickel silver hardware, wrapped in red silk with black tipping.
I haven't even put a line through the guides yet. I'll try a DT4 and a WF5 and see what I like with it.
There's a lot of similarities finishing a bamboo compared to a graphite. But there are a heck of a lot of differences. Silk thread is a hell of a lot thinner than size A nylon, however wrapping on a hex shaped rod is nice. Varnish takes forever compared to finish epoxy. Making the two tips match can make a lot of time. Counting thread wraps really helps.
A little farther down the road I think I want to make one from the culm. But that will be a much larger can of worms.
It looks great! Where'd you get the blank? Were there any other big differences between boo and graphite?
Did you mark the tips just so you could keep them both in use, or do they have different actions? I think I remember, some tips are dry fly action and some wet?
There are a number of places out there that sell bamboo blanks. You can find them from rod building suppliers and some rod makers will sell blanks.
Originally Posted by tkidder
The main differences are the wrapping with the finer thread and the finishing procedure.
The thin silk I used is very, very thin. It takes just over 100 wraps to make a wrap a half-inch long.
It's not as strong as nylon and it is very fragile until you get varnish over it.
With graphite, you coat the wraps and let the rod spin on the dryer. Repeat that once or twice and you're done.
With varnishing a bamboo rod, you varnish the wraps with several coats. Then you varnish over the entire rod a few times.
Between varnish coats, there is some sanding and cleaning to be done. It takes a while for the varnish to dry.
(Some people prefer to varnish the rod completely first, and *then* wrap the guides over the finished rod blank. Either will work.)
Once all of the varnish has dried hard enough, there's some final fine sanding and polishing to do.
The tips are the same. You are correct about some 2-tip rods having different tips. Often called a "wet tip" or "dry tip".
Originally Posted by herefishy
Orvis made a rod a long time ago called the Midge/Nymph with one "midge tip" making it a 7'6" rod and a "nymph tip" making it a 7'9" rod.
Thanks for the info! I'd like to do something like this in the future.
I would think it would be easier to pack the wraps if you varnished the blank first so they would slip a little more freely - the one bamboo I did I waited and did all the varnishing at the end and I had trouble moving the thread on the unfinished blank. Also I had trouble actually turning the six sided blank as opposed to the round one to wind the thread on - is there a solution to that? Very nice looking rod, too.
Packing the threads is easy on a graphite rod is easy because the blank is very smooth. If a bamboo blank is sanded smooth, it is also easy to pack the threads.
Originally Posted by herefishy
Some people wrap first, some people varnish first.
As far as turning the hex shaped blank while wrapping, your wrapper will determine how easy it is. If you wrap with the blank in a steep angled groove, it will be harder to turn anything that is not round.
My wrapper isn't a "V" shape, it's more rounded where the blank rests. Hex shaped blanks feel a little bumpy, but not bad at all.
You have done a great job on the bamboo rod. Sometime in the future I want to do something like this. Thank you for your post.