A P P R E N T I C E S H I P
with Master Russel Beck
11.01.18 - 12.03.18
Creating a split-cane rod is a multi-step process that requires many different kinds of precise skills: from carpentry to artistry to engineering. This traditional method of rod making marks back to the early 1800s.
A split-cane fly rod begins with a stalk of dried Tonkin bamboo, whose walls are made up of three parts: a thin outer wall called the enamel, the dense power fibers that give the material its strength and recovery rate, and finally the chalky pith.
A bamboo fly rod is made of six strips of bamboo glued together to form a hexagon. The bamboo culms are split and shaped into strips of equilateral triangles that taper to precise dimensions. Tolerances are held to .001". These precise dimensions determine the diameter of the rod when the strips are laminated into a hexagon. These measurements make a 'taper', which shows how the rod goes from the fine tip to thick butt section.
Tools that are used include block planes, a scraper plane, knife, dial calipers, a dial indicator depth gauge, chisels, and a planing form.
This process, together with the wrapping of the guides with very fine silk thread and the making of the cork grip, took me 60 hours.
6 wt. 8'7"