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Vince Marinaro on Bamboo Rods:
from Ring of the Rise

Part 7

February 23rd, 1998

Bamboo Tapers
"If you look at tapers above you will note subtle differences. The full convex peak of the swell occurs in the central region of the joint. This provides the stiffest kind of joint. The modified is somewhat flattened in the central region with the peak of the swell moved toward the smaller end of the joint. This joint allows more bend than number 2. The abrupt taper shows a joint with the peak of the swell near the thick end and its influence is carried forward more gradually toward an extremely fine point.

"This is the most interesting variation of all because it solved the problem of combining delicacy and limited bend in the tip joint. The top half of the top joint is the most critical area in any rod. It is the part that delivers the final impulse or thrust that determines the character of the cast. I have agonized longer and more often over the construction of the last one or one and a half feet of rod than any other part. The great blessing of the convex design lies in the possibility of controlling the amount of bend or tip fallover so that it remains just about the same on short weak casts as with the powerful thrust of a long cast. This control is not possible with straight tapers.

"Straight tapers are especially bad on long casts. If they are refined for delicacy, they buckle downward and pile the line and leader in front of the caster before they can reach the target to prevent excessive fallover on long casts.

Any one of the convex joints that I have designed and shown above, by itself, would not make a good rod. All of them together or in combination make a surperb rod. That is the way I got my nine-foot dry-fly rod, weighing less than four ounces.

One final thought. In the special world of the people who work artfully in marble, there is often used a very beautiful and reverent expression to describe this fine material. It is called pietra serena, "the serene stone." Even so, "bamboo!" VM

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