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Old 04-29-08, 09:00 PM   #1
Buck Henry
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Default 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.
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Old 04-29-08, 10:45 PM   #2
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Default 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?
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Old 04-30-08, 06:30 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 04-30-08, 08:09 AM   #4
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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.

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Old 04-30-08, 09:08 AM   #5
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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
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Old 04-30-08, 04:41 PM   #6
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Default 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 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 04-30-08, 06:06 PM   #7
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Default 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
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Old 05-05-08, 10:15 PM   #8
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Default 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!!!

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Old 05-05-08, 11:02 PM   #9
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And on a final note... who puts ceiling fans in an outdoor pavilion anyway!!!

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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!
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Old 05-05-08, 11:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
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.
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