Bamboo Rods for Fly Fishing
March 2, 2011
We feature many different and eclectic uses for bamboo on this blog. And with spring inching closer everyday, here’s a unique way to blend bamboo and a favorite springtime hobby: fly fishing!
Crafting the fly rods consists of splitting bamboo canes into narrow strips, flattening all bumps along the way, bending three 60 degree angles into each strip, then mend them all together through a finishing process. The end product is a hexagonal fly rod, though some can be a straight pole like a typical fishing rod.
Though it may sound simple and straight forward, building these rods take anywhere from 40 to 100 hours of labor; labor that requires a lot of passion for those who choose to pursue it. But some hobbies, like this one, are soothing for the hobbyist despite the intensive work it requires.
“It’s a way of not only fishing in my mind, but dreaming about it while I work,” says fly fishing enthusiast Ron Bennett. “It keeps me in touch with nature down here among all this hard steel and all the tools, and that’s always been very important to me.”
Bennett his friends (all who are members of a Pittsburgh-based bamboo fly rod builders group) were able to showcase their creations at a Bamboo Rod Day event in California last week. These organizations are only attractive to a few bamboo rod enthusiasts, likely because of the 150 or so steps it takes to create one.
“Bamboo fly rods are really fun to cast,” said Robert Hosack, a friend of Bennett. “They feel good, they handle the lines well, weight is not a problem, and it’s a natural material.”