Types of Split Bamboo Rods
Types of Split Bamboo Rods
The split-bamboo rod of good grade possesses each of the foregoing essential qualities in a greater degree than rods of any other material. They are usually made of six or eight strips, the split hexagonal or octagonal, and from two varieties of cane, Calcutta and Tonkin, the merits of which are about equal. Triangular strips are split and fashioned from the whole cane and cemented and bound together to form the rod joint. Mechanical skill of the highest order is necessary, and the fly-rods turned out by our best rod makers are veritable works of art. The best rods are made entirely by hand.
The comparative merits of hexagonal or octagonal rods have been the subject of long discussion, but at present expert opinion is strongly on the side of the six strip rod. The chief argument against the eight-strip rod is that in the tip-joint, and proportionately in the other joints, where the separate strips six or are necessarily slender, the tip of eight strips consists, to exaggerate a little, of about equal parts of glue and wood. That the tip is apt to be soft goes without saying. It is, however, perfectly feasible to have the butt and middle joints of the rod eight-strip, and the tip six strip, and some rods are made in this way. The best rods of two of the most prominent New York tackle dealers, both for fishing and tournament work, are six strip. Another well-known firm furnishes its best rod in both the six- and eight-strip styles, with an additional charge of $10 for the eight-strip rod.
Variations of the split-bamboo rod as regards construction, taking the hexagonal or octagonal rod as the standard, are not numerous in this country. In England a good many rods are built with steel centers and some are bamboo, known as double-built rods. In the steel-center rods there is a core of spring steel wire extending through the entire length of the joints for the purpose of making the rods more springy, stronger and better casters. In the double-built rods a core of either six or eight strips of cane is first made in the usual manner, and then other strips are laid on over these. Double-built rods with steel centers are also made. In this regard it is worthy of note that England's famous exponent of the dry-fly, Mr. F. M. Halford, in his book The Theory And Practice of Dry-Fly Fishing, declares very strongly in favor of the split-bamboo of regular construction.
Without going into the subject further, it may be said that while the double-built, the steel-centered and the eight-strip rods are undoubtedly efficient, their advantages over the six-strip rod are more theoretical than practical. The angler may rest assured that if he selects a good six-strip rod he has as good as there is.
Camp, Samuel Granger. Fishing Kits and Equipment,. New York: Outing Pub., 1910. Print.
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