Bamboo Flyrods

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Forum topic by ShawnH posted 06-21-2010 04:16 PM 1533 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ShawnH's profile


90 posts in 4069 days

06-21-2010 04:16 PM

Anybody on the board make bamboo flyrods. I would like to get into this. but it is a little overwhelming for someone with little experience in this area. Ants the price for jigs to get started is a deterrent as well. I was hoping for a class in the Washington state area. I just returned from a trip to Yellowstone, where all good flyfisherman hope to go when they die. So many beautiful rivers, so little time.

-- ShawnH "In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson

6 replies so far

View Knothead62's profile


2584 posts in 2955 days

#1 posted 06-21-2010 05:28 PM

Go to and look under the bamboo section. You will find a great bunch of folks (like LJ) that will readily share their expertise. Also, under General Rodbuilding, there is a pinned list of suppliers for bamboo rods. Be prepared to spend some bucks to get started. I build graphite rods.

View Clarence's profile


125 posts in 3100 days

#2 posted 06-21-2010 06:33 PM

A year or two ago one of the magazines (I think it was Wood Magazine) had a very detailed spread on making a bamboo rod. Google it.

-- Getting old is a good thing, but being old kinda stinks.

View a1Jim's profile


117086 posts in 3571 days

#3 posted 06-21-2010 06:38 PM

This looks like a good site

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Knothead62's profile


2584 posts in 2955 days

#4 posted 06-22-2010 01:55 AM

Be aware that not just any bamboo will make a quality rod. The best bamboo comes from the Tonkin area of China. Get your hands on a video, Trout Grass, that shows Andy Dear in China buying culms (stalks) of bamboo. The video follows the trail from a raw culm to a completed rod on the water. Again, I refer you to the forum mentioned earlier. Many of the rodmakers are some of the best in the business. Also, be prepared to spend some money for all the forms, wrapper, planes, etc. I figured it one time at over two grand with no bamboo.

View RichardH's profile


295 posts in 2996 days

#5 posted 06-22-2010 08:21 PM

Wow, the link Jim posted gives some appreciation to how much work is involved in making even one section of a bamboo flyrod – no wonder they cost so much. A class sounds like a great idea for this sort of thing – let’s you try it out without having to buy all the expensive jigs,etc.

I had a friend that did something similar (built a titanium bike frame). He learned a lot and a frame like that would have cost him about as much as the whole class did. If you do take a class, please post a review.


-- "It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it...It's the hard that makes it great."

View funchuck's profile


119 posts in 3051 days

#6 posted 06-22-2010 10:53 PM

I made one several years ago. It wasn’t that expensive because i built all the jigs myself.

The form was made out of maple and I used regular bolts with washers, wing nuts, etc… I think it costed like $40 or 50 for materials. You also need a 60 degree router bit to make the groove, which was like $50.

If you don’t have one, you’ll also need a dial indicator with a 60 degree pointer. I had a dial indicator and made the pointer myself by cutting off a small section from a steel rod. I took the rod and put it in a drill press. I used a triangular file to file the rod into the point.

I used a stanley block plane with a hock blade to do the planing. You’ll also need sharpening stones, but you probably have them already.

For glue up, I used Titebond III. Titebond III is water proof… if you use anything else, just make sure it is waterproof.

There are also some smaller cost items you’d need: String (for “clamping” up the glued up sections), glue brush (for spreading glue-I used a tooth brush), a good quality paint brush, scraper (for scraping off the excess glue), etc.

You’ll also want to budget the cost of the other components like the handle, guides, ferrules, etc.

I’m probably missing some components, as it’s been 5 years since I built it. I think it took close to 100 hours to make the first one, including the time it took to build the jigs. The funny thing is, I have not built a second rod yet! But I would estimate it would take me 20 to 30 hours to build it since I now have the jigs.

-- Charles from California

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