View Full Version : Another Slippery Slope...

Doug Evans
05-26-2003, 12:10 AM
I was doing a presentation of our new block plane at the Grand River Gathering of Rod-Makers this weekend (Canadian Cane) and I think I've been hornswaggled!

These folks make fly rods out of cane.

In a brief conversation with Ben, I began by saying I would like to add it in to the store as a finished product and as a course. Ben said sure - he always wanted a store with the name "Odds & Sods & Fishing Rods", so we will dub a section. Then I started to find as today's selling progressed (I get contract riders which require pre-constructed soapboxes), I was "buying in". This could not be... not I of unwavering planemaker faith... well ... maybe just a leetle bit...

This is one very very cool form of the craft.

By the end of the day, I ended up swapping a chariot block plane kit (Ben will mark this on the books - mayne I got two rodmaker lessons) for a rod-building lesson with one of the guys.

If Hand Tools is a slippery slope... this rod-making stuff looks like ski wax. Check it out sometime - wery wery dangerous!


Another funny stat - a Canadian event and I would bet there were ore Americans there than Canadians. This is one deddicated group of people.

Tom Scott
05-26-2003, 1:57 AM
that is the last thing I need...another hobby. I don't have enough time to do the ones I have now.

Paul Barnard
05-26-2003, 1:34 PM
Thats a strange coincidence. I have no real interest in fishing but on a number of ocasions I have had a hankering to make a fly rod. My Dad had one years ago and it left a lasting impresion on a young mind. I even found myself following links to 'how to' pages a year or so ago. Guess I'd better stay away from that, it might get in the way of my plane collec.. using.

Jim DeLaney
05-26-2003, 2:37 PM
Way back in Issue #34, Fine Woodworking di an article on making a bamboo fly rod. It detailed the jigs, and all the tools and techniques.

As I recall, they split the bamboo into six sections, and then 'precision planed them into the tapered hexagonal sections for the rod. It looked like a terrific amount of very painstaking work for the finished product. It certainly made me appreciate why a bamboo fly rod costs so much!

Doug Evans
05-26-2003, 3:13 PM
They meet in small groups in obscure locations... participate in rituals around the trunks of cars in parking lots... have lots of folklore and methodologies based upon a few beers and no scientific facts, are subject to various forms of spousal abuse when participating in their craft... and... they even make stuff once in awhile!

Here's the kicker though these folks on the cane gang get to go fishing all the time at their meetins! Beat that with an old hemp rope!

Sure ya gotta spend at least one 75 hour go to build rod that you can complain about all the time, but then you're in the club. The "Fishin For Life Club" disguised as the "Cain Gang." I must say, I'm really drawn to the whole concept. Fishin, Beer, Woodworking, and BS'ing - it doesnt take much to draw some parallels.

I have managed to sneak in a photograph or some kind of rod ritual here... You cant see the guy to the left of the photo but, they've already pulled about 13 yards o' line from outta his stomach. Dont let that be off-puttin to joinin the club though - they only do it on initiations. Then again if there's a hook in the other end...



Doug Evans
05-26-2003, 3:26 PM
There's about 150 people at this meeting. In this seminar room here, I would count about thirty...

The rest of 'em are out thigh deep in hip waders... standin' on slippery rocks (there's an element of danger to this)... swillin beer... and catchin fish down at the main seminar room.

C'mon folks get out there and build a rod, get one green and one red suspender, cross your arms over your chest... oh no... that's Possum Lodge... well, just build a rod!



Doug Evans
05-26-2003, 3:35 PM
Here a group of intense onlookers watch a "pro" line-wrapper (kinda like the pro linebacker in football) demonstrate his technique. I was kind of awestruck by the manual dexterity of the whole thing - this guy would be the equivalent of St. Roy shaving end grain off a piece of Lignum with a scraper made form a piece of an old saw he found in the shed.

Must run,


Mike Shay
06-08-2003, 11:55 AM
Hi guys,
My name is Mike and I'm a caneoholic.
I was steared to this thread from a fly fishing board and had to join this board. You guys are a hoot!
Doug, you are absolutely correct! Bamboo rodmaking is amoung the slipperiest (is that a word?) of slopes.
It starts out simple enough. One likes to fish, so make your own rods, right? Oh sure, you can go to the store and buy a new Stanley G-12 but that old 9 1/2 made back in 1909 is SO much sweeter and the iron holds an edge SO much better than even a new Hock iron. Then you need a planing form. Sure you can make your own from a good piece of maple, but you really need a well made set of steel adjustable forms. Oh yea, to make those work, you need a dial indicator. You can buy a cheap one for 10 bucks, but you wind up buying a Mitiyoyo for a hundred, don't forget you need a base for it to read properly and a sixty degree point for it. Then you need a set of calipers, preferably that read to .0005 for measuring the planed strips. Oh sure a cheap dial caliper will work, but you'll want a Starret or Browning or a good digital read out. You find out that you need to make an oven for tempering your bamboo strips and heat setting the glue once you have planed and glued. Then there are the lathes, One for metal working, one for wood and all the tooling you need for both.
Sorry ... I think I could go on and on with all the stuff you will end up buying and making. I and most guys who are serious about bamboo rodmaking have dumped ten's of thousands of dollars into their shops.
When you get to the bottom of it all, you are still just making fishin' poles!

I am looking forward to participating in your forum as I seem to have a lot of questions that you folks will be able to help me with. such as, how does one keep a piece of cocobolo burl from blowing out EVERYTIME you try and turn it down? Sorry ... rambling again.
Best to you all,

Doug Evans
06-08-2003, 5:49 PM
Hi Mike:

Where is the Fly Fishing Forum?


Mike Shay
06-08-2003, 7:31 PM
Hi Doug,
I was brought here by a post on the rodmakers list which is a listserve for bamboo guys.

http://www.canerod.com/rodmakers/ (http://)

Another Board is Clarks Classic Bamboo Board

http://www.geocities.com/fishcane/ (http://)

Another is Dewey's Board

http://pub4.ezboard.com/bflyfishingtoday (http://)

I hope I did that correctly. Let me know if you get board with those boards, there are lots more!


Mike Shay
06-09-2003, 12:39 PM
Gentlemen (and ladies if there are any participants),

I have just read a post on the "Support" page regarding Terms of Service and it seems I have violated two of the terms atleast 4 times.
I have provided links to "other" boards and forums, and I have included a link to my web page which is a commercial concern in my signature line.

I apologise. I have removed my web site from my signature and will no longer freely provide any links where one may find information with the exception of off list requests.

I had no idea these were violations until this morning. Other boards I participate on always encourage the free flow of information and do not restrict one from plugging their website as long as it is not abused.
Again my apologies and wish you all the best,