Bamboo Tips - Tips Area - Testing

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Have any of you but on a reel seat and grip with a removable glue for testing? If so what type is the best?  (Mike Maero)

    How 'bout hot melt glue.  (Danny Twang)

      Cork is a very good insulator. Might be difficult to remove a handle glued on with hot melt glue. especially if you want to keep the handle in one piece or looking good enough to use permanently on a rod.  (Darryl Hayashida)

    For rod testing, I just wrap & tape on a cloth towel to form the grip. The reel goes in my pants pocket.  (Tom Bowden)

    I strip out enough line to cast and put the reel in a pocket or put it down on the ground. If I really want the reel on the rod to check the balance I use a few turns of masking tape on each end of the foot to hold it on the rod. For a handle I either just tape down a rag wrapped around the rod or jam fit a handle on the blank. No use of glue at all.  (Darryl Hayashida)

    Wrap the butt section where the reel seat will go with dams of masking tape till the seat will fit real snug. It will not come off. I do this all the time to test cast. I don't glue the seat on till I have finished the final step of the rod. Want to be sure the reel is lined up with the guides.  (Tony Spezio)

      I did not notice you said the the grip also.

      You can do the same with the grip but it will have to be glued before the rod is finished unless you can slip it off the bottom of the blank. If you don't use a hook keeper you should be able to slip it up the blank. It will be a hassle with the  cork grip but no problem with the reel seat.  (Tony Spezio)


Well it's time for another of my middle-of-the-night ramblings.

I'm often asked if bamboo rods are strong, especially in comparison to graphite rods. I typically answer with a simple but effective demonstration. I use my one piece 5'  5 wt. shop rod, place it in the hands of the inquiring and tell them to pull up like a big tuna was headin' for home. I, of course hold the tip and exert a downward force of 30 - 50 lbs of pressure. As expected, the rod tip straightens out and the rod flexes down into the butt without so much as a single creak. This usually impresses newbies and bores the veterans.

While wrapping rods this morning at 3 AM, fueled by my obligatory cup of joe, which I have finally learned to enjoy without the JP-5 essence, I had yet another brilliant idea that I was forced to work through with bloodshot eyes.

My test was aimed at providing a practical demonstration of static strength comparisons between bamboo and graphite rods. I also wanted to test the maximum deflection angle of both rod materials. Now remember, I'm no engineer or scientist type. In my former life I was a wrench turner for Uncle Sam and I often tinkered with my 1970 1-Ton GMC Longhorn when time permitted, but that was the extent of my knowledge concerning the laws of physics.

Test commenced: 0300 04/5/25

Location: Fultz Rod Co. Shop - Denver, CO

  • Analysis matter: (1) IM6 Graphite (2) Spiral Flamed Hexagonal Bamboo Glued w/ Urac 185 [both samples consisted of the tip of the butt section from 3 weight fly rods]
  • Test Section Dimensions: (1) Length = 20", Tip OD =
    0.160", Butt OD = 0.220" (2) Length = 20", Tip OD =
    0.160", Butt OD = 0.220"  [Note: identical dimensions]
  • Test Weight: 5, 10, & 15 pound iron dumbbells
  • Test results: Both samples were inserted 2 inches into a 3/8 hole drilled into a 2X4 attached to a stable workbench. Heavy gauge cotton string was affixed to the end of each sample. A wire loop was placed around each weight. The string was passed through the wire loop which acted as a pulley.
  • Sample (1) failed ~4 inches from the base at 5 pounds but reached a maximum defection angle of 70 degrees before failure. Sample (2) remained intact with 15 pounds lifted 2 inches of the ground and a maximum deflection angle of 90 degrees.  

Comments: I was not expecting the cane rod to test as well as it did. A static hanging weight of 15 pounds is rather impressive to me. There was absolutely no adverse effect on the cane section nor was there any evidence of a set after the test. I chose the 20" tip of the butt section because I know there are high stresses put on a rod at this point. We know that the tip would have straightened almost completely at this weight and therefore the stress would be further down the rod where most of the bending was taking place. I would like to administer this same test with a nickel silver ferrule placed somewhere along the bamboo test section. Experience has taught me that the result will likely be different.  

I have attached three small pictures of this demonstration. 

Fultz, Jeff Cane TestCane

Fultz, Jeff IM6 TestIM6 Graphite

Fultz, Jeff Test Pieces(Jeff Fultz)


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