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Care & Feeding of Fine Bamboo

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  • Care & Feeding of Fine Bamboo

    A question that gets asked quite often is how should one care for a bamboo fly rod. Contrary to popular belief, a bamboo fly rod is not as fragile as it would appear. In fact, bamboo is a much stronger material than graphite, which is brittle and can shatter quite easily. Bamboo rods are rarely damaged when fighting a big fish. Carelessness and accidents have been the demise of more bamboo rods than anything else.

    Follow these guidelines to protect your bamboo fly rod and it will last a lifetime.
    • Never put a bamboo rod away while it's still wet. After arriving home, lay it and the rod sack out (in a safe place) to thoroughly dry before storing it.
    • Never leave a bamboo rod leaning for long periods of time against anything, such as a wall or tree. This could introduce a 'set'.
    • For long term storage between fishing, it is recommended that the rod tube be stored in the vertical postion. Store rods in an area of the house that is not subjected to extreme temperature or humidity swings. Also, leave the caps of the rod tubes loose to allow the tubes to breathe.
    • Never leave your rod in a hot car. The inside of a car can get very hot, which can loosen some glues used to bind the bamboo strips together.
    • Always align the rod sections before pushing them together and never twist the sections after the rod is joined. This will damage the glue over time and may even break the rod section.
    • You should never need to use lubricant on the ferrules of a bamboo rod. Be sure to thoroughly clean them with a soft, dry cloth after use. Lubricants will collect dirt and grime, which will corrode and damage the ferrules. Even the oil from the side of your nose can, over time, corrode nickel silver!
    • If the ferrules become stuck or hard to pull apart, try putting the rod behind your legs with your hands on either side of the ferrules. With your arms on the sides of your knees, spread your legs apart to separate the sections in one steady motion. Also, try using a partner, but each person should put their hands on the opposite section and push the rod apart, instead of pulling.
    • Cleaning the cork handle should only be done if absolutely necessary. But be forewarned, some say that cleaning the years of fishing grime from cork will remove the good fish karma that has built up. . All kidding aside, if you really must clean your cork handle, use a soft toothbrush with a very mild soap to clean the cork.
    • Concerning waxing bamboo rods. It is really not necessary, but it sure does not hurt anything either. I like to give my rods a coat of quality paste wax once or twice a year. I use good old Johnsons Paste wax, but any good quality furniture wax will do. . Use a soft, cotton flannel cloth to spread the mixture and polish the rod.
    • If a fly gets hung in an overhanging branch or snag in a stream, never tug on the rod. Point the rod straight at the hook or, better yet, hold the line outside of the tip of the rod and pull straight back.
    • And last but not least, beware of both car doors! More rods are broken as a result of being crunched in a door than anything else.


    That's about all I can think of right now. Please feel free to add to the list of do's and don'ts for caring for fine bamboo rods.
    Message sent from your mom's bedroom during pillow talk

    Buck Henry
    Simple Goat Herder
    Former NGTO President
    Hall of Fame Member

  • #2
    dont own one

    i have heard that it is a good idea to keep your stick away from dogs! does anyone know if this is myth or truth?
    Far better it is to dare mighty things to win glorious triumphs even though checkered with failure, than to take ranks with those poor spirits who never enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in the grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.

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    • #3
      Urban legend, nu2, just urban legend

      One other point

      If you find yourself in one of those days when you're catching lots of fish, or you happen to tie into a monster, turn the rod over and play it against the guides instead of with the guides. This will help keep from developing a set in the tip.
      BE DIFFERENT AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE! <

      Exodus 29:18
      Then burn the entire ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering to the LORD, a pleasing aroma, a food offering presented to the LORD. God loves BBQ!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by nu2trout View Post
        i have heard that it is a good idea to keep your stick away from dogs! does anyone know if this is myth or truth?
        Yes, just an ugly urban legand for sure. But in the highly unlikely event that a rare impregnated penta bamboo fly rod were to be bitten in two by a big Rotweiller on the banks of the Chattahoochee River across from Whitewater creek, it would probably look something like this.

        Message sent from your mom's bedroom during pillow talk

        Buck Henry
        Simple Goat Herder
        Former NGTO President
        Hall of Fame Member

        Comment


        • #5
          Don't forget to mention the alleged rottweiler's owners and their alleged lack of class and concern about the alleged attack on the "rare impregnated penta bamboo fly rod"

          Allegedly, of course
          BE DIFFERENT AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE! <

          Exodus 29:18
          Then burn the entire ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering to the LORD, a pleasing aroma, a food offering presented to the LORD. God loves BBQ!

          Comment


          • #6
            Fanssssss

            Also do not, and I mean DO NOT hold a handfull of rods up into a ceiling fan. After witnessing this folly by a well known maker/builder, I came straight home from C-flys' and tried the same trick w/ both tips of my rod. Luck was w/ me , no damage. Is this a test of well known maker/builders rods? If so, let me watch your test on new rod Buck.
            Last edited by watkins; 04-30-08, 04:46 PM.

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            • #7
              Bamboo Rod Care

              Here is a link to what has been said about rod care. A little more, a little less but a nice shortcut to have anyway.
              http://www.keone.com/fly-rod-care.html

              Comment


              • #8
                the test

                Yes, the ceiling fan test is well known around here. It's my way of demonstrating the durability of bamboo as a rodmaking material. If there are any graphite challengers - bring 'em on!

                And on a final note... who puts ceiling fans in an outdoor pavilion anyway!!!

                Bill O.


                _______________
                www.oysterbamboo.com
                www.oysterbamboo.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by oyster View Post
                  And on a final note... who puts ceiling fans in an outdoor pavilion anyway!!!

                  Bill O.


                  _______________
                  www.oysterbamboo.com
                  I would have to say that would be me. But little did I know at the time the pavilion would be host to all kinds of expensive bamboo rods at various times. Didn't think the fans would be used for more than just keeping flies (real flies- not the fishing kind) away from food. Hey, what's more important anyway? Don't answer that!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by watkins View Post
                    Also do not, and I mean DO NOT hold a handfull of rods up into a ceiling fan. After witnessing this folly by a well known maker/builder, I came straight home from C-flys' and tried the same trick w/ both tips of my rod. Luck was w/ me , no damage. Is this a test of well known maker/builders rods? If so, let me watch your test on new rod Buck.
                    I recall such an event, but the response of said Rod Maker was outstanding, "See how strong they are?" Please note there wasn't even the slightest hesitation in his response and i don't think he even flinched.
                    sigpic
                    ad illudendum , et in sibilum

                    "Laughter is my drug of choice"
                    - B. Nelson, HSD, AA, BS, MS, LPC, LMHC, NCC, FFF CCI, ACI, PADI AD, OPP, OCD, ADHD, ODD, PIB, MIB, PBR, PB & J, General Manager of the World, Fluent in Sarcasm

                    TBoy to GB: "An education doesn't fix stupid, you're living proof of that "

                    "Your a Idiott" - RScott

                    I Beat Tommy King in a Spelling Bee.

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                    • #11
                      Tight Ferrules

                      I often see discussion about how to get a 'stuck' bamboo rod apart safely; any advice on how to get one assembled?
                      It's been a few months since I had the bamboo rod out; now I can't get it together. I've steel-wooled the male end of the ferrule and it still won't go. How does one address the female ferrule. (I'm sure that last sentence should make for some interesting replies!)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FishTheBubbles View Post
                        I often see discussion about how to get a 'stuck' bamboo rod apart safely; any advice on how to get one assembled?
                        It's been a few months since I had the bamboo rod out; now I can't get it together. I've steel-wooled the male end of the ferrule and it still won't go. How does one address the female ferrule. (I'm sure that last sentence should make for some interesting replies!)
                        I just saw this question an was surprised it didn't have any response. Are you sure the female ferrule is perfectly round? It sounds like the female ferrule may have gotten warped ever so slightly.
                        If everything is true, try cleaning the inside of the ferrule with a Qtip with a little alcohol, just be careful and not get any on the finish. You also might try making a "rope" out of the steel wool and polishing the inside, then cleaning with a Qtip. Hope this helps!
                        BE DIFFERENT AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE! <

                        Exodus 29:18
                        Then burn the entire ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering to the LORD, a pleasing aroma, a food offering presented to the LORD. God loves BBQ!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If the rod is fairly new, then it is very common for ferrules that were lapped and fit properly by the maker have now grown too tight to fit together. Bill Oyster calls it the "mysterious growing ferrules" and when it happens to one of his rods, he simply re-laps the male ferrule until a proper snug fit is re-acheived. Now if it a case of the female ferrule being out of round, then you are probably looking at a ferrule replacement job.
                          Message sent from your mom's bedroom during pillow talk

                          Buck Henry
                          Simple Goat Herder
                          Former NGTO President
                          Hall of Fame Member

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            What rod is it bubbles? A higher end rod with nickle-silver ferrules can be re-lapped. If you have a lower end vintage rod it most likely has chrome plated brass ferrules. The thin chrome plate is easy to cut through exposing the brass. Exposing the brass will accelerate the wear in the future. I have a South Bend with the chrome cut through on the male ferrule. The chrome on these was originally just a chrome "flash" which is only .0003 to .0005 inch thick. After I did some polishing, the ferrule on my SB is a mix of chrome and brass color.

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                            • #15
                              Steel wooling the male half will take you forever. Assuming neither half of the ferrule is out of round , you will need to use some fine emory cloth and be sure that you fully rotate the ferrule to get even coverage. Check it periodically so that you don't go too far. You will have to do this periodically with nickle silver ferrules. It takes a little more elbow grease than you might think. You rarely have to do much to the inside of the female portion.

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