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I'm a newbie, and like all newbies I have question. Can anyone (having been a lurker on this list for a while, I bet someone will have a comment at the least) tell me about Graphite ferrules, have you tried them, how well do they work etc.  (Joseph Freeman)

    I have seen them made from blank material and find them to be ugly. (Just my opinion) I have yet to see one that befits the rod that they are expected to enhance. Wouldn't do it myself.  (Mike St. Clair)

    He's come up with something new, hasn't he?  (Robin Haywood)

    I think they look out of place on a bamboo rod, but there is one maker using them exclusively. Wayne Maca of Beaverhead Rod Co. is more or less forced to use them in order to build his hollow rods. In order to use metal ferrules he would have to let solid bamboo in the ferrule areas and I'm sure this would severely alter the action of the rest of the rod. Graphite is the only material light enough and flexible enough to use in his rod design.  (Will Price)

    I believe the ferrules on graphite rods are actually made of fiberglass, I seem to remember reading that in Rodmaker Magazine, or on the  web  site,  you  could  go  there  and  ask ( Mario Wojnicki made rods with fiberglass ferrules when he was associated with Scott, I don't know if he still does or not, but I know they cost considerably more than his other rods for some reason.  (John Channer)


Has anybody ever experiment with carbon fiber as a method of connecting rod sections?  I know some guys have used carbon fiber with a titanium insert.  Since carbon fiber is suppose to be stronger than most other material, is there a reason to use an insert?

I love the look of no ferrule but, I am not too crazy about the look of the swelled female section.  Bore the section out, fit the carbon rod in the section, reinforce the section(s) end with thread wraps.  I have seem a rod build that way on a forum but, have never heard how durable they are over time.  (Pete Emmel)

    Wayne Maca does this.  Not sure right off what his web site is, but you can google his name and see pictures of carbon fiber ferrules on bamboo rods.  (Bob Nunley)

      Here's W. Maca's patent for the carbon ferrules.  (Bob Brockett)

      Here's a testimonial from a happy user.

      Here's Beaverhead Rods

      Here's a copy of Maca's patent application abstract:

      The present invention provides for fishing rods and methods of assembling fishing rods utilizing novel techniques including microscopic inspection and acoustic analysis to assess construction component as well as assembled fishing rods. As such, the present invention utilizes these techniques for measuring the quality and density of the bamboo fibers, which can be a basis for the selection of culms, strips of bamboo, and assembled rod blanks. The present invention also provides construction methods used to remove cell and fiber material combined with the application of epoxy reinforcements. Further, the present invention provides a method of connecting bamboo splines together using a combination of epoxy-based adhesive, vacuum pressure, and heat. Fishing rods according the present invention may also include a carbon fiber or fiberglass ferrule.  (Dave Burley)

        Ted Barnhart has been doing it for years. Dunno if there's anything on the web, but he demoed it for a microgathering at Tom Smithwick's home at least 5 years ago. I think he also repeated it at a Catskill Gathering. I believe Bill Fink used a graphite ferrule once or twice after Ted's Tutelage. Alas, we seem to have driven Bill off into the sunset, so I doubt he'll chime in here.

        Just a short aside fellas: Just from a practical point of view, even if the "old masters" are a crusty bunch (and VERY few ARE!), we're killing the golden goose by continuing with an in-your-face attitude when complaints are lodged as to the excess of cock-eyed frivolity on the list. Push it hard enough and guys who have little to learn and much to teach will piss off, and the ones who'll be left will be the blind leading the lame or somesuch analogy.  (Art Port)

      With Teds method, you roll the graphite soaked cloth around the rod, so it keeps the hex (or quad, or penta) configuration, and the internal taper gives an outstanding friction fit (the polyethylene sleeve lining the female part grips the varnished male perfectly).  And you never remove any cane from the ferrule area, so no chance of weaning the rod there.  (Chris Obuchowski)

      I have used broken rod sections as sleeves and inserts in some of my Bamboo Ferrules. One being the Twisted Miss rod.  (Tony Spezio)

    This is the type of carbon fiber set up I was referring to.  I guess you would call it a spigot ferrule.  Not an actual carbon fiber ferrule.   (Pete Emmel)

      I have been interested in carbon ferrules for many years but never took time to research where to get the carbon fiber or how to make one.  From a later post I an guessing these solid pieces are turned on a lathe similar to NS or Duronze. Is that correct?  (David Ray)

        My attempt to cut tapers into the rod with cutting tools has not been overly successful. Files and abrasives seem to work better and result in fewer exploded parts. As Tim has pointed out, there is little hoop strength in the unidirectional rod that is available so it doesn't make very good females.  (Larry Lohkamp)


Believing that we learn at least as much from our mistakes as from our successes I submit the following description of a failure.

I was inspired by Tim Anderson's and Rolf Baginski's (BANC) tungsten and carbon fiber ferrules and decided to see if I could build some out of bamboo and carbon fiber.  The idea was to make a bamboo and carbon fiber spigot that would be glued inside the butt section of the rod and extend out as the male part of the ferrule and fit into a similarly dimensioned cavity in the tip section.  There would be no swelling of the sections, and each would fit flush up against the other for a clean look and an action approaching that of a one-piece rod.

I built the five-inch spigot with the  carbon fiber  rod taking  up one-half the diameter, and the diameter of the spigot derived by subtracting the butt section wall thicknesses suggested by Alberto Poratelli for his bamboo ferrules.  Two and one-half inch hollow areas were built into butt  and tip sections prior to glue-up.  Half of the spigot was then glued into the butt section during the regular gluing process. I wrapped the ferrule sections with white silk thread, finished them so they were transparent, and was pleased when the two sections fit together just about perfectly.  It looked great!  I could hardly see where the two sections joined together.  Then I attached grip, reel seat, and taped-on guides before heading out to the back yard for a trial run.

The rod cast beautifully (smooth, powerful, and accurate) for about twenty casts.  Then it broke right through the spigot between the two sections. The wrapped sections of the butt and tip held up fine.

I figure it was a good experiment, and I learned quite a bit while puzzling out my approaches to the various solutions presented by the problems involved.  I now know why Tim used tungsten, but I really thought the bamboo/carbon fiber spigot was going to be strong enough.  Oh well.......

Have any of you attempted this approach to a ferrule?  With what success?  I would like to hear how others tackled the problem.  I'm sure I am not the first one to have attempted this.  I will be happy to try to clarify any confusing parts of my description of the construction.

Here's a URL for Tim Anderson's successful ferrule (a lot of information to go through, but worthwhile)..

And here is the URL for the Italian Rodmaker's Journal which has several articles on the Poratelli ferrule.  (Dick Green)

    The titanium and carbon fiber solution is not my final one and I am working on an improvement now.  I intend to write up the adventures along the way for Power Fibers or the IBRA Bamboo Journal.  That won't be until the fall at the earliest.

    I think why your test rod broke where it did is that the bamboo-carbon-fiber spigot was smaller in diameter than the rod itself.  For the combination you used, a swell into the ferrule allowing a taper-sized spigot would probably be necessary.

    Nick Hughes in Switzerland has had success with a pure carbon-fiber spigot having a larger cylindrical part of the spigot at the point of the join in the rod sections.  (Tim Anderson)

      I think Tim has it right when he says the spigot was probably too small. Seems to be the story of my life.  I had a lot more success when I was brewing beer.  Hmmmm  (Dick Green)

        The fact that it didn't break on the first or second cast suggests that you weren't that far from getting it right. Because of the fourth power dependence of stiffness on diameter, a small increase in diameter causes a big increase in stiffness, thus a 10% increase in diameter will give you a 46% increase in stiffness. Try going that much larger -- I bet it will be sufficient.  (Mike McGuire)

          Several people have suggested in one way or another that an increase in diameter will do the trick.  I think I will try an all carbon fiber spigot and forget about the hexagonal inner shape.  Thank you for the insight about how diameter dramatically increases stiffness.  We don't want it too stiff, of course, but the increase in strength is certainly what I need.  (Dick Green)

            You should talk to Tim about an all carbon solution. A straight spigot tended to hinge unless the diameter at the connection was increased. It needs that additional stiffness to keep the cut edges from working against each other. A hex, tapered section is the best compromise between stiffness of the carbon and preserving power fibers.

            The titanium hex section in the composite connection failed Tim in small sizes. I think that the abrupt transition between titanium and carbon concentrated stress and led to failure. A taper to that transition may make the system more viable in the smaller sizes used in 3 and 4 piece rods. I believe Tim's larger connections performed well,  but may also have stress fatigue problems over time.

            Fatigue failure has been a problem for at least some experimenters when using bamboo/carbon connectors. The fibers are strong enough, but the connective tissue can't stand up the repeated stress cycles.

            I had intended to do some work with the titanium/carbon system, but I have commitments for some rods with metal ferrules, so I'm learning that craft now. I believe Tim intends to have an article ready this fall and the European rod gathering will probably have something on alternative connections. There's a lot of work that's been done already. Go back through some of the forums and get in contact with the people working on them so you don't plow the same ground unnecessarily.  (Larry Lohkamp)

              Thank you for your advice.  As a neophyte in this endeavor I feel that I have so much to learn from others who have been experimenting in this area. When you say "A hex, tapered section is the best compromise between stiffness of the carbon and preserving power fibers." are you referring to the insert or the actual taper of the rod?  I assume it is the insert.  I have been thinking of making the insert cylindrical rather than hexagonal simply for the ease of construction.  But your statement gives me pause.

              A tapered transition also makes me nervous.  It seems that a tapered ferrule would be iffy since only a slight separation of the two sections would result in a completely separated rod.  Nevertheless, I think it is important to address the transition of stresses.  Perhaps a series of step-down sections would work.

              I have heard that Nick Hughes in Switzerland has had some success with a step-down solid carbon fiber spigot.

              I'm sure, that with time, a number of viable solutions will emerge.  In the meantime it is fun to try to figure out how to solve problems.  Certainly sharing ideas and tracking down what others have done is part of the enterprise.

              Thank you for your encouragement and advice.  (Dick Green)

    Confucius say: Man not meant to use product of Monsanto to bind bamboo rod sections together, must use product of nature - nickel silver...  ;-)  (Mark Wendt)

      Since when is carbon not a product of nature?  Ah, when it is pure and not contained in the bubbles in your beer.  (Tim Anderson)


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