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PostPosted: 02/13/20 00:03 • # 1 
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Sport

Joined: 03/30/17
Posts: 98
I know this forum is dominated by bamboo but we did manage to build a few fly rods of native-born wood species long before someone discovered Calcutta cane from India and later Tonkin from China.

I kind of wish Demerest would have brought in a substantial cash of Lancewood or Greenheart as well.

I can't be the only guy on this forum that is enthralled with making hardwood fly rods from scratch.
And I don't even see a place dedicated to building hardwood fly rods here, this surprises me very much.

I have successfully used Ash, a Species of Mahogony, Oak, Maple, Greenheart, Bethabara, Lancewood, Blackwood, Yew, and Osage, but I never hear about other makers. Is it possible that I'm alone in this endeavor?

I just thought it might be nice if others would share their experiences with this issue and get something started.


Last edited by Bethabara on 02/13/20 22:21, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 02/13/20 02:48 • # 2 
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Bethabara - you are an enigma. There are a number of hardwood enthusiasts on this forum, but they use their real names. I encourage you to set aside your bashfulness and step into the light ... be free, be you. ???

Having lancewood, ash & lancewood, hornbeam, and greenheart in my collection I enjoy the discussions around the early American wood rods.

The interesting thing is the early wood rods are pretty inexpensive to collect.


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PostPosted: 02/13/20 09:57 • # 3 
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Joined: 11/16/07
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Location: Bennington, VT
John Betts wrote a neat little how-to book on making wooden (not bamboo) rods you might be able to find and enjoy.
Gary


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PostPosted: 02/13/20 12:10 • # 4 
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(This whole thread should go to an appropriate subforum.) I think it was the lack of a suitable wood for tip sections that helped usher in split bamboo as an alternative in rod making. Wood didn't go away quickly, that's for sure. You could still find wood rods in catalogs up into the Thirties. Once the English started putting three strip tips on wooden rods it still took over a century to purge wood from the market. In fact, decades after wood faded away here in the States, you could, and maybe still can, buy new rods made entirely of wood from the UK. But to say the change was gradual is a gross understatement.


Last edited by jeffkn1 on 02/13/20 21:38, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: 02/13/20 13:51 • # 5 
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Joined: 11/16/07
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Location: Bennington, VT
"I think John Betts may have had a wee bit of Scots blood in him and that he was attracted to wood rods because he didn't need a binder, gluer, beveler, or node presser."

Or, he just liked a challenge. Ever seen or handled one of his reels? Or flies? Or art? I seriously doubt building wood rods for John had anything to do whatsoever with the lack of any of the quoted machinery.

But no one can speak for him now...more's the pity.
Gary


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PostPosted: 02/13/20 14:49 • # 6 
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gt05254 wrote:
Or, he just liked a challenge. Ever seen or handled one of his reels? Or flies? Or art? I seriously doubt building wood rods for John had anything to do whatsoever with the lack of any of the quoted machinery.

But no one can speak for him now...more's the pity.
Gary


I did handle his flies, 40 years ago when he was still working out the bugs on his concepts and before the first book. I was struck by the 'economy' of his mayfly design. No disrespect was intended but sometimes I forget this is the internet, so I'll censor myself.


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PostPosted: 02/13/20 19:22 • # 7 
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Joined: 12/23/04
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Gary,

on his book about "Building Strip Built Rods" I can speak one thing for John and his premise behind the book was;

"How would we have built rods if we never had access to bamboo?" This is a direct quote from John when I asked him about the book

and I have an H&I fly rod that is strip built with dark and light ash lots to research there for sure


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PostPosted: 02/13/20 23:29 • # 8 
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Sport

Joined: 03/30/17
Posts: 98
Well, Mr. Stearns implied that I was an enigma? Is that anything like a pooka, or possibly a conundrum?
Just call me Mr. Cellophane!

Yes Royce, I too have a few TJ Manley's among others. But what got me started was when I played golf at The Homestead, VA. and I noticed in the pro shop mounted high on the wall was an unusual fly rod so I asked to see it. The club pro was fairly well versed as he handed it to me. I noticed that the rod had inexpensive hardware, sanded round, very lumbering, and was a 4 strip split balsam wood construction. The club pro was reluctant to barter over it but after I finished 18 holes, he had time to consider my offer.

The main reason why I brought this up is that there is no subforum for this issue.
Don't you think that's a bit odd?
On a forum dedicated to building and fishing fly rods in which case hardwood rods came first?
This may be a new concept of you show me yours and I'll show you mine kind of thing.
I don't know about tight-fisted Scotts but I make 4 strip hardwood rods glued up and 200 feet of 000 silk thread.
There are no planning forms for what I do and takes ten days of hard work and forethought to finish one rod.
Mike

No offense intended but people who only build six strip cane rods merely re-invent a 140-year-old wheel.
Building a hardwood rod is an adventure in self-abuse and a one-way ticket to where the Woodbind Twines.

Quote T. Edison: I discovered 2000 ways on how not to make a lightbulb.


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PostPosted: 02/14/20 13:15 • # 9 
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Mike (Bethabara) - not a Pooka and likely not a conundrum, but you do enjoy being a puzzle.

Quote:
The main reason why I brought this up is that there is no subforum for this issue.

Understandably as the forum is "Clark's Classic Bamboo Rod Forum". We have asked for a History subforum, but it has not been deemed within the scope of the forum. We've resorted to using "Banjo's place - history and general discussion" at times.

Please continue your thoughts on wood rods. If making six strip rods is merely re-inventing the wheel, then the wood rod must be re-inventing the stone club? No offense intended.


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PostPosted: 02/14/20 14:11 • # 10 
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Master Guide

Joined: 12/26/08
Posts: 472
There are a few of us here:
viewtopic.php?f=66&t=126618

I agree, a dedicated forum would be great!

Unless you follow the process in John Betts book, and are making wood strip rods,
we who are crafting more basic solid wood rods are largely inventing the wheel as we go.
Would be great to have a dedicated place to share ideas and techniques.


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PostPosted: 02/14/20 17:30 • # 11 
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Sport

Joined: 08/18/15
Posts: 49
Location: the coastal flatlands
Bethabara wrote:
No offense intended but people who only build six strip cane rods merely re-invent a 140-year-old wheel.

I guess I should tell my luthier friend that next time he makes me a guitar, he should stop basing his interpretations on tried and true Gibson or Martin designs, and use a singing saw as a template.


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PostPosted: 02/14/20 18:10 • # 12 
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Sport

Joined: 03/30/17
Posts: 98
OK; I get it, very funny you guys, it was just an idea of mine wanting to materialize.
But alas; it's not to be and I will continue to be an enigma.
Mr. Cellophane.

PS: Before the singing saw came the juice harp.


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PostPosted: 02/14/20 19:13 • # 13 
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I'm pretty sure it's Jew's Harp.

I spent most of my career building high end wood furniture. Now I build aircraft cabinetry, which isn't really woodworking at all, but people think it sounds cool. Anyway, the idea of wooden fly rods fascinates me, although I really know nothing about them. For instance, what would be the advantage of a strip built rod vs a solid wood rod. Are the strips oriented like a quadrate rod, or are they stacked laminated. If the glue adds strength, I can see why a strip built rod might be better, otherwise I'm not sure. Maybe I'll have to get Mr. Betts book and delve in to the subject further. Anyway, I'm all for hearing more about the subject, if you'd like to share. It would be great to see some photos of the rods you build. Thanks for your comments on the subject.


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PostPosted: 02/14/20 19:45 • # 14 
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Sport

Joined: 08/18/15
Posts: 49
Location: the coastal flatlands
Mr Cellophane I do applaud the efforts to use various woods and not bamboo. It shows a willingness to explore the unknown and further the craft that we all love. I’ve never cast a rod like that and would love to. I’d like to know about the tensile strength, for example, of lancewood or ash compared to bamboo. I have enjoyed the discussion and there are apparently other members who have been pursuing this avenue too.

My point lost in snark, was that when you say that all of us who make 6-strip bamboo rods are essentially wasting our time, which is what “reinventing the wheel” means, well, that is a bit offensive. Many of us find value, craft and sometimes art in incremental changes. You want something more radical. Go for it. Share it. Help expand our knowledge base. Don’t put others down for having a more traditional approach.

When I was in college, experimental electronic music was big. I took a course where the professor made it sound like because of John Cage, the last two thousand years of western music was dead. Those of us who love melody enjoyed the course, and John Cage, but disagreed that that was the only way forward.


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PostPosted: 02/14/20 22:48 • # 15 
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Master Guide

Joined: 04/16/07
Posts: 812
There have been many discussions on making wood fly rods, including 4-strip design. Here is one thread from 2009...unfortunately, it was photobucket in those days and other hosts so images are long gone, but dialogue intact:

viewtopic.php?f=66&t=23930&p=102393&hilit=Wood+rod#p102393

If you search “wood rod” there are others to find.


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