Step one
Selection, splitting and staggering.
Step two
Step three
Basic Beveling
m fly rods
<last   Selecting, Splitting and staggering   next>
Step four
Heat treating
Step five
Hand planing 1
Hand planing 2
Step six
Step seven
Final dimensions
Step eight
Attaching hardware
Step nine
Step ten
Rod sock and tube
Step 12
Shipping and
Customer car
The bamboo used in rod making is known as Tonkin or Tea Stick bamboo and is imported from a province in South Eastern China. I get mine from the Charles Demerest Company.  This is the same company that imported Bamboo for almost every maker in the united states before the embargo  placed on Chinese goods by Pres Harry Truman. bad bamboo

When an order is received, I inspect my inventory for a suitable stalk.  Density of power fibers is more important than depth of power fibers.  The outside of the node dams is removed with a sander and 80grit sandpaper.  the backing on the sander is made of 3/8" plywood.  I Make sure I only take off the edgeds of the dams, don't dig into the outer power fibers.  I split the bamboo in two and remove the node dams.  The two halves are split into strips approximatly 1/4" wide. Problem strips that contain imperfections, or leaf nodes are trashed.

Next , the strips are staggered, so that the nodes are spaced evenly.
There are several ways to do this.  two of the most common are the 3x3 stager and the 2x2x2 stager.
2x2x2 Stager
3x3 Stager
strips staggered
Spliting and adjusting the strips on the templet.

size for cutI normally use a 2x2x2 stagering.  Layout is done on a 1x4 templet marked with the appropreate sizes on it.  I have one for each type rod I make.   The ideal is to have no nodes within 5 inches of each end of the tip or mid section and the top 5" of the butt.  The botom of the butt dissapears under the handle and has some flexability, so it's not as important as the the ends that are going into ferrules or the tip top.   I allow 3" of trim on each end.  I try not to have any nodes in these sections, but will allow one set of nodes in the first inch of my waste if that's the only way to acheve a good node spread.

After getting the strips aligned on the templet, I cut them to length.  A tip strip for a 7ft 2p rod would end up being appx  42" long.  The length of the raw strips would be 46" long. (3 inches of waste on each end  I recomend at least 3" of waste to allow for any miscalculation on down the line.)

Next I mark the three pair of strips using Xs and Is.  Each pair is given a like number of Xs and Is and will end up across from each other in the finished section.   The first pair are marked X and I, the second pair XX and II and the last pair are marked XXX and III .   The sequence that the strips will be glued is at left.