The bamboo fly rod’s reputation precedes itself. It is a beautiful, versatile fishing instrument that carries with it a sense of nostalgia. Walking up to the river with a bamboo rod in hand brings to mind an image of our ancestors; soaking grass to fill their creel baskets and casting dry flies on silk lines to wild trout. But that only warms the heart and it is often overlooked that the bamboo fly rod is a great, modern, versatile tool. It is true that it has its faults. It’s not the best tool for when the wind is gusting at 30 mph or for reaching a target 80 ft away, but when the weather is favorable and the water is clear and like glass, you’ll want the delicate presentation delivered by bamboo to hunt your mark. The extra mass in a bamboo fly rod will feel a little heavier in hand than fiberglass or carbon fiber at first but you’ll soon find that it aides in casting, allowing the rod to load through your cast as smooth as silk, delivering the line as effortless as instinct, and ultimately laying the fly down with an unprecedented delicacy. Keep your bamboo rod packed away for those special days when you REALLY want to be on the water, and the fish know it.
I build bamboo fly rods out of Dripping Springs, Texas