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Trout Camp Bamboo - Salmon & Steelhead Rod #1
Cost (approx.)
Blank - Trout Camp Garrison Taper Cane (Bamboo) Trout Camp Rods $350
Length - 8' 9"    
Weight - 7/8 wt.    
Pieces - 2    
Action - SLOW    
Finish - Blonde    
Tip top - Black Trout Camp Rods $1.00
Guides - Pac Bay Black Traditional (Double Foot) Snake Guides Hook & Hackle $7.00
Hookkeeper - Pac Bay Black U Hook & Hackle


Winding Check - Black Vinyl Hook & Hackle


Grips - Garrison-Style Grip, Fine Grade Trout Camp Rods $45
Reel Seat - Pac Bay A8 with Select Birdseye Maple Insert & Mini Butt
Winslow Rods $45
    Rough Component Cost - $449
Other Details      
Thread -

Gudebrod Silk, Size 00, in Black (0001)

Color Preserver - None
Finish - Man-O-War Marine Spar Varnish, Gloss    

Wow, my first Bamboo. This is one of two 8wt. bamboo rods I'll have available for rental as part of my "Bamboo Experience" for Salmon and Steelhead guides. FYI the price of the blank may be low...that's going off Ron's TROUT ROD prices.

Originally Ron Caimi was going to build up the whole rod..unforunately the timing wouldn't cut it if I was to get at least one of them on the stream, tussling with some Steelheads before the 2005 spring run was done. So, after discussing it with Ron, it was decided that he would make the blanks and I'd install and finish everything...I had a little bit more time on my hands than he did.

So Ron built up the blanks..on this first rod he used a blonde (natural) finish, this is the true "soft action" bamboo. I noticed on the tip section he flamed one of the 6 bamboo strips...this in effect gives the rod a spine, which in turn imparts some extra strength in the tip section. He also sent the blanks with the ferrules blued and installed.

Ron also built up the grips, installed the reel seat and tip as he had the time. Unfortunately for whatever reason the reel seat just wouldn't hold the reels I wanted to use....see the "what I learned" section to read all about it.

Things I learned while building this rod

Pardon the phrase, but I learned a "shit-ton". First and foremost, due to some time constraints and a problem with one of the reel seats, I had to remove it.

In a nutshell, Ron used a glue that was somewhat heat sensitive - after hours of slowly cooking the reel seat with my alcohol lamp I was able to remove about having to be patient. Granted, I did NOT want to ruin the rod, so the patience was well worth it. Unfortunately, the reel seat came apart in pieces, not one shot. First the butt cap went, then the threaded barrel, then the insert. The inletted hood still remained in the cork grip. I thought I had it heated enough, but when I went to remove it the cork came away too!

So, I had to repair the cork...unfortunately the color of what I had on hand wasn't a perfect match but otherwise it's a seamless repair! In turn, I installed a stunning reel seat I had on hand from Winslow Rods and set to the task of finishing this beautiful rod!

Wrapping with silk was a dream; it grabbed onto the blank faster than nylon (it's not as slick as nylon) and in short order, the wraps were done. There's no real adjusting of the guides on a Bamboo Rod - they're all resting on the same flat surface!

Finishing was a nightmare at first - I had the gloss marine spar varnish on hand for reel seat inserts, so that's what I went with. A "gloss" finish isn't quite traditional, but Ron felt that since he's seen some really nice rods finished with gloss, it would still be OK for this rod.

In a nutshell, I lightly sanded the entire blank with 400 grit sandpaper (the blank having already been sealed and waterproofed with Tung Oil). Next up came the first coat of varnish...I did it on my rod dryer, resting the ferrule on the support. Ron suggested the use of Foam Brushes for finish application as I don't have a dip tank. He was also very adament about using a dust free environment, and if possible, a heated drying cabinet.

Well, I can tell you why Ron was so keen on using a dust free environment...after the rod dried for 24 hours it had collected a fair amount of dust! I sanded it all down again (as you're supposed to with a reel seat insert) and applied a 2nd coat. This time, I tented sections of Tin Foil over the rod to prevent dust from landing. VIOLA...a beautifully finished rod.

For the forthcoming inscription, Ron suggested using a 005 Artists Pen in Black. It took a while, but I found them at an Art Supply Store in Evanston. Soon I'll have the inscription on this rod!

Utlimately these rods will be better balanced with Harris Solitude Reels, but for now a Bass Pro Hobb's Creek Large Arbor III gets the job done. The Garrison Style Grip.

The stunning Winslow Reel Seat and butt.

The inscription / decorative work was kept very simple. Granted I still need to write the inscription onto the rod! The hook keeper and winding check. The Stripper Guides.
The ferrules.

The snake guides.

The Tip Top.
The 2nd Fish on this rod, a Kamloops (Looper) from Sucker Creek, MN - 4-16-05 You can't get much more classic than tying into a wild steelhead on Wisconsin's Bois Brule River with a fine cane rod (4-17-05). The first true steelhead landed with this rod, a beautiful chrome hen from Oak Creek, just days later on 4-21-05.


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