Bamboo Tips - Contributors - Anderson, Tim

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I am a 66-year-old (as of 2010) retired geologist living in California who came to cane rod making oddly.

In 2005, my wife and I were in our little trailer in West Yellowstone, our usual "headquarters" for the month we spend fly fishing together. I said, "You know, there is a bamboo rodmaker in your hometown," that hometown being Bremen, Germany.  Neither of us had ever fished with cane, but we found the fellow's web site.  He turned out to be Rolf Baginski and on his web site was a note that his book "Gespliesste - edle Ruten aus Bambus" was finished and needed translation into English.

Although I knew nothing about cane rods, I volunteered to translate the book, having done much translating from German to English.  Rolf had already lined up Bill Harms to edit the English.  (You may not know, but Bill's qualifications in the English language are absolutely sterling.)  In a couple of months, with my translating and Bill's editing, we completed the English version of the book ("Split-Cane Rods -- Bamboo Treasures").  The book covers, among other things, history, rod building, and tapers.  Good translating requires complete understanding, so the rod building process was firmly imprinted on my brain.  Many explanations from Bill did not hurt!

We met Rolf in person on the Henry's Fork in 2007 and fished for a month with his cane rods.  One month later, we went to the first German Rodmakers Gathering in Waischenfeld, Germany where we met Bill Harms in person and, also, where I swore I would never attempt to make a cane rod.

Two months later I bought a Morgan Hand Mill and began my first rod (a 7'6", 3-piece, 5-weight) with long-distance advice and coaching from Bill and Rolf.  We had cane rods with Rolf's tapers, so I cooked up my own convex tapers with more coaching from Bill.

I haven't stopped building since.  In Waischenfeld I had seen Bjarne Fries' wonderful bamboo ferrules plus other bamboo ferrules by Robert Stroh and by Philipp Sicher within his group of 11 rods with one taper and various construction methods.  The next year, at the European Rodmakers Gathering in Sansepolcro, Italy, Alberto  Poratelli introduced his streamlined bamboo ferrules.

I just knew I had to try something like those ferrules.  That has led to several rods with very slim internal ferrules including my latest rod, an 8', 4-piece, 5-weight, with a combination of titanium and carbon-fiber spigot ferrules.  To top off my oddities, I finish my rods with Gorilla Glue.

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