Before the age of plastics the classic flyrod was made from a bamboo called “Tonkin Cane” after the area in China where it originates. It is famous for the strength of it’s canes which are straight with minimum taper and evenly spaced nodes. With very dense fibers it has long been known for it’s strength and flexibility.
The bamboo flyrod isn’t a simple bamboo pole. The canes are split into long little wedges that are glued together into a long, tapering, 6 sided hexagon. Once the bamboo strips are glued the ends of the sections are wrapped with thread and the entire thing is varnished. It requires a great deal of skill and patience, along with specialized tools, to make a flyrod. There are usually bamboo flyrods on Ebay. Some are fairly reasonable but you mostly get what you pay for. I did purchase a bamboo flyrod years ago for about $30. I paid that to be able to see and study one up close.
Today a rod by one of the past masters or modern craftsman can sell for many thousands of dollars. They are really a beautiful blend of art and science. Here is an excellent article if you want an idea of how they are made.
I purchased this bamboo species when I first started collecting bamboo. I planted in an area without much sun and it was extremely slow to spread and develop large canes. I planted another in an area that got a little more sun. It has spread fairly rapidly into a sandy area near the creek. Neither grove has produced the size canes I would expect but each year they get larger. It’s a really pretty bamboo as the canes are tall and straight with rather short limbs. This gives it a unique look compared to most temperate bamboos.
While it might be difficult to build your own bamboo flyrod, you can still make your own bamboo fishing pole. We used these when I was a kid. They are long and slim with lots of action so you can see why bamboo makes such an ideal rod. The most common bamboo canes about the right size and best of all the base of this bamboo’s cane has a kind of distorted look at the base making a natural hand hold. It’s simple to make a bamboo fishing pole. Golden bamboo is extremely common in many parts of the U. S, from the east coast to California.se making a natural hand hold. It’s simple to make a bamboo fishing pole. Golden bamboo is extremely common in many parts of the U. S, from the east coast to California.