Jump to content


Photo

The Making of a Bamboo Spey Rod


26 replies to this topic

#1 Mark Shamburg

Mark Shamburg
  • Members
  • 1,110 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Denver, Colorado

Posted 15 September 2010 - 09:32 PM

Hey Guys,

I have recently started work on a new project and I thought I would once again share the process with you all. I'm sure that most of you are familiar with the steps of building a bamboo rod, so I hope this is not boring. I feel there are enough subtle differences when building a spey rod to keep it interesting.

What I am building is an 11'6" 3-piece bamboo spey rod with spliced joint ferrules that I hope will handle around 400 grains. When I first dreamed this rod up I had the Grand Ronde river in mind and wanted a short, light rod for casting dries and classic wets on a floating line.

The construction of a spey rod is just like that of any bamboo fly rod and starts out with the selection of the cane. Here is the raw material: a 12' culm of bamboo.



I picked through my stash of cane to find a culm that had the perfect blend of density and power-fiber depth and was lucky enough to find the perfect piece.



Once the cane is selected, it gets flamed to drive off any excess moisture and to provide the rich coloring. The right tool for the job is a propane weed burner.



It was a bright day, so the flame doesn't show up well, but here is the cane being flamed.



This should produce a very nice rich caramel color with some interesting variation.



After flaming, the culm gets cut in half and the process of splitting begins. I use a heavy knife and hammer to make the initial splits.



The first split divides the culm in two.



2 becomes 4



Then 8



Then 16



These strips will form the tips of the rod. Each tip requires 6 strips of bamboo so I have 4 spares in case I screw anything up. The same process is then repeated on the other half of the culm to produce strips for the butt and mid section of the rod.

Next time I will address the nodes and bevel the strips.

Mark

#2 Mungo Park

Mungo Park
  • Members
  • 877 posts

Posted 15 September 2010 - 10:26 PM

Mark:
Well how nice of you to put up a build post, next best thing to doing one myself would be to watch you do it.
Already got questions. Do you cut the culm in half or cut it at some other spot to take in account where the nodes are.
Mighty nice straight strips, wish mine looked like that.
Can't wait for the next installment.
Cheers Ron.
In my limited experience, never pet a burning dog.

#3 Mark Shamburg

Mark Shamburg
  • Members
  • 1,110 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Denver, Colorado

Posted 16 September 2010 - 01:29 AM

Ron,

I cut my culms to at the closest node that will give me the length I need plus a little extra. This way the bottom node or two are usually cut off which makes best use of the longer node spacing higher up the culm.

Mark

#4 jfischer

jfischer
  • Members
  • 49 posts

Posted 16 September 2010 - 04:07 AM

Hi Mark,
thanks for doing this just now -- as I will build a similar rod this winter; would you say a word about the surplus length needed for the spliced joints?
thanks in advance, Jürgen
Petri Heil
Visit My Website

#5 matt_a

matt_a
  • Members
  • 628 posts

Posted 16 September 2010 - 12:49 PM

popcorn.gif popcorn.gif popcorn.gif popcorn.gif This is going to be AWESOME!!! i cant wait for the spliced joint ferrules..hurry up already.

Thank you for posting.

post script: will you be posting the taper?


Matt
Bamboo blanks, rods, & components
Check out my building apps and youtube channel

albaughcanerods.com
albaughrodco@gmail.com

~Rise Above

#6 Lanning

Lanning
  • Members
  • 12 posts

Posted 17 September 2010 - 07:56 AM

Mark,
Do you have to use the spliced joint on a 'boo spey or can you use traditional ferrules.
Lanning

#7 phg

phg
  • Members
  • 1,497 posts

Posted 17 September 2010 - 08:25 AM

QUOTE (Lanning @ Sep 17 2010, 08:56 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Mark,
Do you have to use the spliced joint on a 'boo spey or can you use traditional ferrules.
Lanning


...I think spliced joints IS traditional. whistling1.gif Sorry, couldn't resist.

#8 mdraft1

mdraft1
  • Members
  • 1,300 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 17 September 2010 - 09:02 AM

From what I've heard, most bamboo spey rods use spliced joints because they handle the stress of spey casting better than ferrules. Bob Clay, makes some fantastic cane spey rods and all of them have spliced joints.

www.proofflyfishing.com

 

Your source for fair priced, high quality rod building supplies.  Snake Brand guides, cork, thread, blanks, rod finish, tools, etc...  


#9 mdraft1

mdraft1
  • Members
  • 1,300 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 17 September 2010 - 09:52 AM

Bob Clay: Bamboo Spey rods

www.proofflyfishing.com

 

Your source for fair priced, high quality rod building supplies.  Snake Brand guides, cork, thread, blanks, rod finish, tools, etc...  


#10 Infinity Rod Creations

Infinity Rod Creations
  • Members
  • 1,551 posts

Posted 17 September 2010 - 10:54 AM

This is certainly one of my favorite things about this forum...thanks for putting forth the effort to spell it all out for the rest of us. I had to chuckle when I read,

QUOTE
...and wanted a short, light rod for casting dries and classic wets on a floating line.


though...I'd be really interested in the overall mass on the finished product.

Thank you again!
"My drifts are so distant, I dial a 1 + (area code) when setting the hook!"

Handcrafted Float, Fly, Switch and Spey Fishing Rods
http://www.infinityrodcreations.com


#11 Mark Shamburg

Mark Shamburg
  • Members
  • 1,110 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Denver, Colorado

Posted 17 September 2010 - 10:44 PM

There have been some bamboo spey rods that successfully used metal ferrules, but spliced joints are very simple and effective and I am a strong proponent of the KISS principle.

IRC, If you remind me when its done I will try to remember to weigh the rod.

Alright, now that the strips are split I need to deal with the nodes and turn them into triangles.

To deal with the nodes I take all the strips outside and set up my 1" belt sander.



First I knock off the internal nodal dam.



Then gently sand the outside of the node to remove the majority of the bump.

Before:



After:



Then I put a point on the end of the strips to get them started in the rougher.





Once all the nasty sanding has been done, the strips come indoors to have the nodes pressed. A heat gun is used to soften the nodes:



Then they are pressed in a bench vise to flatten the strips and straighten the crooked grain through the strips.



Once the strips are all straightened its time to bevel them. This is a bevelling machine I built to speed the process up. It has a 2.5hp motor and two massive cutters that will knock the corners off the roughly split bamboo strips and turn them into rough equilateral triangles.


In one pass the beveller turns the strips into triangles.



All the strips rough bevelled and taped up into hexagons.



After the strips were rough bevelled they were heat treated in an oven. This is an extra step that many rodmakers do in addition to flaming to improve the physical properties of the bamboo. I have found that heat treating lightly flamed cane is important to make the bamboo stiffer and more resilient.

I have also passed all the strips through a second beveller to remove as much excess material as possible to make planing quicker and easier.

There wasn't really much to see during these steps so I didn't get any pictures.

More in a day or two.

Mark

#12 rhossack

rhossack
  • Members
  • 1,418 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Liberty Lake, WA

Posted 18 September 2010 - 06:57 AM

QUOTE (Mark Shamburg @ Sep 15 2010, 10:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hey Guys,

I have recently started work on a new project and I thought I would once again share the process with you all. I'm sure that most of you are familiar with the steps of building a bamboo rod, so I hope this is not boring. I feel there are enough subtle differences when building a spey rod to keep it interesting.

What I am building is an 11'6" 3-piece bamboo spey rod with spliced joint ferrules that I hope will handle around 400 grains. When I first dreamed this rod up I had the Grand Ronde river in mind and wanted a short, light rod for casting dries and classic wets on a floating line.

Mark ... I always enjoy reading your posts on builds whether its on reels or rods.

This one will be interesting because unless there is another Grand Ronde in your part of the world this is in my backyard so to speak ...

Not to be picky but is there a reason it appears that the same pic of your beveller is posted twice?
“He who is without sin let them cast the first stone and make sure it’s a biggun, cause not many are going to come”.

#13 Mark Shamburg

Mark Shamburg
  • Members
  • 1,110 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Denver, Colorado

Posted 21 September 2010 - 10:26 AM

Now it's time to start planing. But first I have to make sure my plane irons are sharp.



Using a Japanese Water stone I am able to get a disturbingly sharp edge on my irons.



Next I adjust the throat (the opening in front of the iron) of the plane. Setting this just right will help insure there is no chipping or tear out at the nodes.



Now that my plane is tuned up and ready to rock, I turn my attention to my planing forms.



The first step is to set the taper on my planing forms. The forms are adjustable at 5" stations along the length so that different tapers and rod actions can be produced.



A dial indicator is used to set the forms. With this indicator I am able to set my stations to within .0005". A difference of only a few thou can make a substantial impact on the feel of a rod, especially in the fine tips of a trout rod. In this case its not as big a deal, but I always strive for perfection.



Here a strip is sitting in the form ready to start planing.



Now I set my plane to take a .002" cut and plane the bamboo until it is just above flush with the top of the forms. I take 4 passes on a side then flip it. Only the two pith sides are planed, as the most desirable power fibers are located closest to the outside edge of the culm.



Once all the strips for a section are close to final dimension, I readjust the plane to take a cut less than .001" deep and finish planing until the strips are completely flush with the top of the forms.

Here are all the strips planed out and taped up.



And the massive pile of shavings from planing.



Later today I will be hollowing the strips and gluing them up. The gluing process is where these delicate little strips of bamboo really start to turn into something cool.

Mark

#14 Infinity Rod Creations

Infinity Rod Creations
  • Members
  • 1,551 posts

Posted 21 September 2010 - 10:33 AM

Am I the only one who thinks this is the coolest thing? I can't wait for another update! You're attention to detail (for both building the cane rod and in the instructional) is awesome. I, and I'm sure I'm not alone, thank you very much for spending the time to spell it out for us!
"My drifts are so distant, I dial a 1 + (area code) when setting the hook!"

Handcrafted Float, Fly, Switch and Spey Fishing Rods
http://www.infinityrodcreations.com


#15 matt_a

matt_a
  • Members
  • 628 posts

Posted 21 September 2010 - 12:27 PM

popcorn.gif popcorn.gif popcorn.gif still AWESOME. no boredom here. man, you build a rod in the time it takes me to glue up cork....


Matt
Bamboo blanks, rods, & components
Check out my building apps and youtube channel

albaughcanerods.com
albaughrodco@gmail.com

~Rise Above



Reply to this topic



  


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users