Bamboo Bonzai

Constructing Cane Rods


Excerpt from Chapter 4: Constructing Cane Rods
By Ray Gould
Published by Frank Amato Publications
Thanks for use permission!


There seems to be something magical about a cane fly rod. It's rooted in the tradition and love associated with the bamboo itself. Having fished with rods of fiberglass, graphite, steel and bamboo there is nothing that gives the same feel and sensation as that wonderful reel Arundaria amabilis.

Perhaps it's the respect the fly fisher senses when handling a fly rod hand-crafted with loving care, and knowing that each rod is an individual work of art, different from any other. Or maybe it is thoughts about the rod as a family heirloom or remembrances about how Dad used to fish with this same rod. Cane rods are usually handled with care and thoughtfulness as if to guard the intrinsic and unseen value of the instrument. It isn't uncommon to hear fly fishers talking to the trout and sometimes even to the cane rod itself as they fish to a nearby rise.

Yet most noticeable to those who cast the cane rod is how it seems to work for the fly fisher. The transmission of the power is very apparent as the rod loads up during the back cast and then fires out the line with accuracy and precision. As the sense of rhythm and timing is developed the bamboo makes it easy to put the fly where it's needed.

Indeed there is a certain difference in the sensation when the hook is set and the fight is on. It seems the whole rod helps take the load as it comes alive during battle, straining with every run of the trout and reaching deep to absorb the shock of the rainbow's leap. Could it be that the cane rod gives the trout a better chance and makes the contest even more exciting?

Yes, tradition indeed plays a major role in the life of a bamboo rod. It's the essence of the romance of fly fishing days gone by. ~ Ray Gould

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