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I'm making some ash wading staffs as gifts, so its not strictly rodmaking, but its close.

Has anyone tried putting varnish over Nelsonite?  The can implies its OK, in a very vague sort of way.  (Frank Stetzer, Hexrod, Taper Archive, Rodmakers Archive)

    Yes, it works OK. I've done it with no problems.  (Dave LeClair)


Anyone ever made a bamboo wading staff?

What kind of taper numbers did you use?  (Joe Byrd)

    I used the bottom of the biggest boat rod I could find.  (Rich McGaughey)

    Not exactly a wading staff, but I did make my wife a walking stick for Christmas about 5 years ago. It's just a straight taper, about 3/4" at the handle and 1/2" at the end. I made a brass tubing end for it, sort of a ferrule, with a rubber tip glued into the end. I suppose it could double as a pool cue, if not for the cork grip.  (John Channer)

    I've used an old bamboo XC ski pole.  No taper but real cheap anywhere you find them.  (Brian Creek)

    I've made three. I used a straight taper from about .5 to .375.

    It was a big hit with a fishing buddy of mine. He put a cork handle on it from an old rod and I did some decorative silk wrap. You need to put a metal tip on it. An old ski pole tip works well.  (Mike Palumbo)


Recently I made several chopsticks using wasted bamboo strips.

Isn't it interesting to discuss on "What can you make using wasted bamboo strips?" or "How can you utilize the wasted bamboo?"

Is there anyone who make something special by wasted strips or wasted rod?  (Max Satoh)

    I have made a lot of pointers for teacher friends of mine.  I usually put a hardwood handle and a brass tip on them.  They are wrapped and varnished like a rod.  I have also made a couple of music batons.  I use a shaped ball or tear drop handle of cork.  Very fine hex section and no tip.  I have also made a few serving trays of short sections of bamboo.  I choose a nice wood for the border with dimensions of roughly 1/2" thick and 1 " wide and make a frame of the desired size with the broad side up.  Before assembling the frame, I route a center groove of 1/4" on the 1/2" side on all four pieces on the inside surface of the frame.  I then assemble the short and two long sides of the frame.  I then cut pieces of bamboo the length of the short side and plane them to 1/4" and insert them into the frame until it is full.  Attach the fourth side.  Attach some rubber bumpers for feet and a couple of handles and it makes a very attractive little serving tray.  It makes a nice gift with a couple of tea cups, a small tea pot and some good tea.  Then there is John Dufford who takes the nodes from cut out in making his nodeless rods.  He Makes trays and ash trays as I recall.  Oh yes.  I have made a lot of earrings for my lady friends, by slicing a culm very thin and adding the jewelry findings.  How about tie tacks. made of a short piece of rod and a guide.  There is a lot.  I just saw some cutting boards on the net yesterday made of laminated bamboo strips.  (Ralph Moon)

      The tray is a great idea.  Let me take this. 

      How about making a fly box by the same technique?  I will do it sometime. (Max Satoh)

    Japan woodworker in Oakburg had some great bamboo pieces last time I was there – made in the same way you would make a maple chopping block – IE small pieces stacked vertically and glued together, then planed flat, they were nice.  (Chris Spurrell)

    I tell people that I am a master bamboo chopstick maker all the time. "My proprietary chopstick tapers can only be made by splitting, planing and gluing long pieces of cane. The scrap material (or waste material) is often turned into fly fishing rods, especially if the scrap contains glue lines, or other defects that would make it undesirable as a chopstick. You can buy a pair of my custom hand made bamboo chopsticks for $950, and I'll even through in a decent casting bamboo fly rod for free!"  (Jeff Fultz)

    I worked on 2 wading staffs today. I cut off 8 inches and I thought with the sharp female ferrule that it might be a crossbow bolt.  (Rich McGaughey)

    I have made fly tying bodkins out of butt sections, and recently a pointer. The most popular item was a series of minutes made from an extra tip section. Sort of a mini-bodkin with a needle that is a bit larger in diameter than a human hair. Our lab techs use them to manipulate zoo plankton and fish larvae under the microscope.  (Jeff Schaeffer)

    There was an university professor who is a fly fishing freak.  He says, "if you can make my presentation pointer from bamboo, I will buy it $400."

    The pointer can be stretched, that is, hollow made, hex area shape, no guide on it, beautifully wrapped, nicely finished, no reel seat, but with cork handle.  (Max Satoh)


Would you mind sharing the taper numbers of your wading staff with me.  I want to make a couple but I just don't know what would be good numbers (IE: for strength, etc.)  (Joe Byrd)

    They are 1 inch to 1.2 inches at the bottom with female ferrules for tips, the tops vary from .8 to .6 and less. I am thinking a rattan or leather grip. I am trying to etch a name into the old real seat which is about 1 inch in diameter.  (Rich McGaughey)


I made a lovely looking putter for my brother in law a while back but didn't save the bamboo shaft dimensions. But it's easy to do. just buy the putter head you desire. Measure the hole in it to be filled by the shaft. That's the small end of the shaft. Then buy one of the preformed grips and measure the inside diameter of the grip and that'll be the big end of the shaft. Measure typical putters for overall length and you're all set.  (Ray Gould)


Anyone make Bamboo wading staffs. Interested to find out what your using to keep them water tight. And what glue your using.  (Gary Nicholson)

    Trevor Smith from Halifax used to make them for pelican products back in the eighties. Glue, only one totally water resistant glue to my knowledge, resorcinol. Waterproofing was done using Yacht varnish.  (Paul Blakley)

      I'd do it the way one builds a small wooden boat; resorcinol for glue, a coating of system III epoxy to seal & waterproof the bamboo, then marine spar varnish to protect the epoxy (the spar wears and gets revarnished, rather than wear & tear on the epoxy) and has the UV inhibitor.  (Chris Obuchowski)

    Terry Kirkpatrick mentioned making or intending to make one, form an old salt water boat rod. I came home and immediately started turning an old boat rod into a staff. The butt had a large NS spike ferrule. I cut the truncated cone spike off, turned it over and glued it to the bottom end to protect the tip. Wrapped the grip with nylon twine. Made a brass loop for the lanyard. The thing was delaminated about halfway down from the tip, so I split it completely apart and reglued with Titebond III.

    Having never seen one, I was pleased with how it turned out.  Have never used it, but will probably give it to someone.  (Carey Mitchell)

    I make mine the way T&T did.   URAC with 4 coats of spar varnish.

    I have a T&T staff that I bought in 1977 and have used extensively since.  No signs of water damage / delamination.  (Brent Nickerson)

      Here's a staff taper. 

      Station 0 is estimated because it is inside the aluminum tip.  Station 45 & 50 are under the grip so are also estimated - I just straight lined them so I could put the cork on from either end.

      You might also want to check this URL.  It has the taper for a 50" Orvis staff and some interesting photos.  The Orvis staff appears to be a bit more substantial than the T&T.

                  D        ../p>

      0       0.326    0.163
      5       0.353    0.177
      10     0.387   0.194
      15     0.427   0.213
      20     0.459   0.230
      25     0.482   0.241
      30     0.492   0.246
      35     0.492   0.246
      40     0.496   0.248
      45     0.5       0.250
      50     0.5       0.250   (Brent Nickerson)


As the eye sight continues to get worse, I thought I would make some fly threaders from cut off bamboo pieces. Does anyone know where I can find a SMALL amount of stainless wire in .003-.005" diameter?  (Scott Grady)

    A cheap pack of guitar string should give you what you need, of course in a lifetime supply.

    At the risk of a thread hijack into other uses for cutoffs, I have made a bunch of tippet holders from cutoffs. They work very well and are classy to boot.

    Carlin, Chris Tippet Holder(Chris Carlin)


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