Rod Making - Master-crafted Quality
I attach great importance to quality. For me, this includes the best choice of materials, the manufacturing process, and the workmanship of a split cane fly rod.
Making the Rod/Tonkin-Blanks
For every single rod I only use hand-selected culms of Tonkin bamboo (arundinaria amabilis). These I personally selected from thousands of bamboo culms on a trip to China (Bamboo). First, I manually split the bamboo cane into strips to maintain the stability of the fibers and then I straighten the nodes. I shape each strip into an equilateral triangle and then temper them in the oven to extract excess humidity and improve stability and action of the cane.
In the next step I meticulously shape the strips to perfect taper. The taper determines the action and line weight for the fly rod. Then I arrange all strips in the same way as they were split out of the cane and using a modern resin adhesive bind them under pressure for a waterproof bond that is more durable and harder than the cane itself.
Mounting the ferrules
After hardening out and removing residues of the adhesive, I shorten the blank to the desired length. Then I mount a pair of ferrules made from high quality nickel silver and fit them by hand.
Mounting the cork handle and reel seat. The cork handle on the rod I make from specially selected, high-quality cork rings (Super Flor Grade / A +). I sand the handle into shape to suit your requirements as a customer, and then fit it to the blank. Finally, I mount the reel seat you selected, which I also make myself. (Single Handed Rods)
Wrapping guides onto the rod
I equip the rod with hard chrome snake guides, hard chrome tip top and a Tungsten Carbide stripping guide. Upon request I will also provide an agate stripping guide. For wrapping the guides to the rod I use pure silk thread with the finest denier available (Pearsall's Gossamer Æ 6/0) in a colour of your choice. At your request, I will be happy to add decorative wrappings too.
Varnishing the rod
In the last step, I apply several coats of varnish by dipping the blank to protect the surface and achieve a flawless finish.
The description of the rod making process can only serve as a rough overview of handcrafting a split cane fly rod.
Additionally, I refer at this point to selected literature which deals extensively with rod building and its history:
- Garrison, E. & Carmichael, H. B. A Master’s Guide To Building A Bamboo Fly Rod. Far Hills, NJ, 1999: Meadow Run Press Inc.
- Cattanach, W. Handcrafting bamboo fly rods. New York, 2000: Lyons Press
- Gierach, J. Fishing Bamboo. One Man’s Love Affair with Bamboo Fly Rods. New York, 1997: Lyons Press