Fluted Bamboo fly rods are excellent, and they have been around since 1933.
Their introduction to the flyfishing world broke casting records and improved the love of flyfishing for generations.
Fly-fishing is exhilarating, and with a hollow-fluted fly rod, you experience so much more of that thrill.
What these unique and often handcrafted fly rods bring is improved action in a lightweight frame.
As a result, you cast farther and more accurately, which means you can target the shiest of fish.
What is a Hollow-fluted Bamboo Fly Rod?
A hollow-fluted bamboo fly rod is much as the name describes.
By hollowing out the bamboo sections, each section becomes lighter.
Fluted means that the sections fit together to form a strong fishing rod with great action.
Bamboo brings an incredible improvement to fishing rods.
We’re not talking cane poles, which are a different type of fishing rod.
Instead, the bamboo fly rods are a living legend.
They make you better at flyfishing and improve your ability to battle fish you may never see with another type of rod.
Why Are Bamboo Fly Rods So Expensive?
Most bamboo fly rods are handmade, which is a factor in their final cost.
In addition, some smaller manufactures will customize the rod to the buyer’s needs, which is a service that also drives up the cost of the fly rod.
There are cheaper bamboo fly rods on the market, but they generally do not perform as well as handcrafted ones.
There is a lot of engineering that goes into the crafting of a quality Hollow-fluted bamboo fly rod.
Bamboo fly rods are also highly sought after by experienced fly fishers.
They are something that we covet, and that aspect also drives up the price of these rods.
A handcrafted hollow-fluted fly rod is something you cherish and pass down to your children.
It links the fisherman and the fish and the experience that you hope your children will enjoy as much as you do.
Are Bamboo Fly Rods Any Good or the Best?
Many fly fishers who have experience tell you that a hollow-fluted fly rod is the best.
Bamboo is lightweight already, but the hollowing makes it litter still.
The flexibility of the hollowed bamboo means it bends easier and snaps back to a straight posting quickly.
That action improves the distance for casting.
The fluted method and there are other methods of hollowing the rod improves the rod strength.
In comparison to other blank materials, bamboo is a clear winner.
What Type of Bamboo Is Used for Fly Rods?
Tonkin Cane is the type of bamboo that is the most common material for fly rods.
The Tonkin variety of bamboo has a high density of fibers, and bamboo has a strong tensile strength than steel.
Steel has a tensile strength of 23,000 lbs per square inch, whereas bamboo has 28,000 lbs per square inch.
These attributes come together to make a rod that is easy to bend (faster action) and lightweight without much of the loss in strength that you might experience with other types of blank materials.
When you cast a rod, the tip arches back and then snaps forward, helping to cast the line from the pole.
With a bamboo fly rod, that action is so fast and powerful that the line travels farther.
As a result, you can reach different parts of the riffles and runs where big fish lurk to catch insects washed from the gravel.
How Do I Identify A Bamboo Fly Rod?
Many bamboo fly rods have a serial number unique to that rod.
Others have an aluminum stamp that includes the maker’s name or mark.
For older rods, the cork handles may have small cracks in them from age.
For newer bamboo fly rods, most have a stamp or sticker that indicated the blank material.
The blanks are the pieces of the rod.
How Much Does A Bamboo Fly Rod Cost?
Expect to pay around $3,000 for a quality hollow-fluted fly rod.
Antique hollow-fluted fly rods can go for much higher.
You can find cheaper bamboo fly rods on the market for anywhere from a few hundred dollars to about $1,000.
If you want the authentic experience of a hollow-fluted fly rod, it will be from one that is more expensive.
How Long Do Bamboo Fly Rods Last?
How long any fly rod lasts depends on how you care for it.
Many of the original hollow-fluted fly rods are still around in good working order.
These entered the market in 1933.
A quality bamboo fly rod is a heritage item — Something treasured and passed down from angler to angler.
There is no reason to think that a bamboo fly rod cannot last hundreds of years with reasonable care.
Final Thoughts on Bamboo Fly Rods
There is something to be said of wading a remote backwater creek and tossing flies to trout.
That rite of passage is something everyone should experience.
For anglers like myself, we have traveled the world to experience the best of flyfishing, and experienced places, such as remote Alaskan hidden lakes and streams, the secret inshore spots of Florida, or the exotic rivers of Argentina.
It is a simple existence that is rich inexperience.
The art of flyfishing itself is like living a Monet painting.
When it comes to these experiences, bamboo fly rods are the way to experience the best of the best.
The simple fact is that bamboo as a fly rod material is unparalleled.
The easy bend to the rod and the snap back to straightness is what we mean—that action when casting gives you a more extended cast and improves accuracy.
Trout are wise and wary.
The trophy trout did not get to be trophies by being quick to act.
They grew in size because they survived when others did not.
Casting farther gives you a better opportunity to battle those trophy trout and other flyfishing species.
Somewhere in September in a small stream in Alaska, an angler is tossing flies to Silver Salmon.
Such a fantastic experience because Silvers are one of the feistiest of fish.
That experience is on par with what bamboo fly rods bring to the sport of flyfishing.