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I am new to all this and took my first bamboo fly rod building class in the first week of June. I am totally enraptured with the building process. The class was a dream come true. My instructor was Bill Oyster of Gainesville, GA. I now want to get totally immersed in the building of bamboo fly rods. I have purchased the tools and will be picking up a bundle of Tonkin cane soon. Now I am looking for tapers and other suggestions. What I want to build next is a 4 piece, 5 wt, 7'6" rod with fast action. Does anyone have any suggestions for me?  (Phil Crangi)

    Boy, you are giving yourself a real toughie there, my friend. In a 4-piece bamboo rod there are three ferrules, and the weight of these makes for some difficulty in the action of the rod.  You may find it hard to get your fast action, though I'm am sure that someone out there will have a taper for you.

    Good luck, and I hope you enjoy your bamboo rod making for a long time.  (Peter McKean)

    I am glad you had a good experience with your class and got started off right. Welcome to this clamorous and enlightening group. Since you already have some experience dealing with ferrules, I expect that you know are in for when you multiply the work by four and add some difficulties in getting all your sections  the same length and at the ferrules at the right positions in your taper. You will need to plane four sets of splines, leaving enough length  on each set for mounting your ferrules. I suggest that you use truncated ferrules to save some weight and make somewhat shorter flat spots in the rod.  The taper I would suggest is the Sir D Special. This rod is very fast  and is nick named after the late Darryl Hayashida who modified Wayne Cattenach's 7' taper. The 7'6" version of the taper is as follows:

     1  0 .066
     5  0.068
    10  0.080
    15  0.099
    20  0.119
    25  0.133
    30  0.148
    35  0.162
    40  0.175
    45  0.195
    50  0.217
    55  0.223
    60  0.227
    65  0.252
    70  0.267
    75  0.281
    80  0.31
    85  0.31
    90  0.31

    I believe Darryl made a 4 piece version with aluminum ferrules. I ran these numbers through online Hexrod as a 4 piece, which yielded what I feel is a reasonable stress curve. However, the top ferrule size is calculated at 8/64 which is, as I remember, smaller than the smallest regularly made by most ferrule manufacturers. You will probably need a custom ferrule or could build up the bamboo on the ferrule stations (not a bad idea). You also could have someone make a set of Duronze ferrules for you. They are lighter than nickel silver.

    Good luck with your project.  (Doug Easton)

    Clarify 4 piece. Are you looking for a 3 piece with an extra tip? Or are you looking for a 4 piece pack rod IE: butt, 2 mid sections and tip/tips? I have a taper for the South Bend 4 piece and would be happy to send it to you if that's what you are looking for. I would classify it more of a medium fast as opposed to a fast action.  (Will Price)

      I would like to see the taper also. Would be very much appreciated.  (Christian Meinke)

        Here is the other taper for the SB 291. Taken over varnish.


        0 .088
        5 .102
        10 .124
        15 .135
        20 .152

        21.5 .160 (above male ferrule)

        1st mid

        .162 (below female ferrule)
        5 .175
        10 .192
        15 .208
        20 .210 (above male ferrule)

        2nd mid

        .215 (below female ferrule)
        5 .232
        10 .250
        15 .274
        18.5 .295 (above male ferrule)


        .307 (below female ferrule)
        5 .328
        10 .365
        15 & 20 under grip and reel seat

        Developed by Wes Jordan during his tenure at South Bend.  (Will Price)


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