Bamboo Tips - Contributors - Reeves, Greg

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My name is Greg Reeves and I'm in Birmingham, AL.  I have been building bamboo rods for about 2 and a half years now.  My grandfather was my inspiration into building things.  When I used to go to his house as a kid, he would give me a carving set and a block of balsa wood and I would carve out boats and fish sculptures all day until it was time to leave.  A few years ago, I was wanting a better mandolin and I decided I would try and build one.  I have the mentality that if someone else can do it, so can I.  It really didn't matter how long it took since I was trying to learn how to be more patient as well.  After several months of acquiring tools and carving on my future  instrument, I thought how rod making would be fun.  I began researching what I would need to put together a graphite rod.  I had never built a rod or thought   about   it   until  that  point  and  I  stumbled  across  I noticed that there were people building bamboo rods.  Once again, I figured why put together a plastic rod when I can build a bamboo rod. After all if someone else can do it, I can too.  On my 30th birthday, August 15th of 07, I ordered my first bamboo and joined the list.  Harry emailed me and told me of a builder in Birmingham and we got in touch. He gave me a free culm that he said he would not use because it wasn't up to his standards.  I was really starting to like the bamboo community.  While I was accumulating tools and building my forms, I decided I would build a PMQ for practice.  It turned out pretty good so I built another one for my brother as a Christmas gift.  Filing steel takes a long time so I needed to do something along with building forms. This rod turned out to be another good one and a guy at a local fly shop wanted 5 of them and was happy to pay for them.  With the money I received I bought a belt sander, binder, a scraper, a rod wrapper, components for a few other rods, and a couple of odds and ends.  I finished my first hex, a 7' 4wt. Sir D, in March of '08 and took it fishing.  I landed my largest trout to date, a 24"+ brown, on my first bamboo rod on a size 22 zebra midge and 6x tippet.  To say I was hooked was an understatement. To make a long story just a little bit longer, I just completed rod #20 this past weekend and have orders for two more and have several other projects underway.  My mandolin is still hanging in my shop waiting to be worked on.   I have a feeling it will be hanging there for some time.  I hope to get up to a gathering sometime in the future but I haven't been able to get away much lately.  This list has been the best thing for my rod building and even though I don't post much anymore, I still read all of the posts and add to them when I feel I can contribute something new.

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