Splitting Bamboo: Hand-splitting the culms into strips for bamboo fly rods

Here are the bamboo culms after their initial splitting for fly rods.  All of these larger bamboo strips will be split into successively narrower strips.  The 11 bamboo culms that I started with will be split into hundreds of strips.  Those narrow bamboo strips will rigorously inspected and any strips with defects discarded immediately.  These strips will be “hand rent” in the finest tradition of bamboo rod making.  By hand splitting and then hand straightening,  the power fibers are preserved, making for a superior bamboo fly rod.  These culms have been selected for their near identical node spacing.  Builders of bamboo fly rods in the earlier part of the last century, such as Ed Payne, used this method as well.  Consistent node spacing, even heat treating and flaming gives the builder a consistent strip with which to build.

Bamboo fly rod culms being split into strips

Bamboo fly rod culms being split into strips

Posted by on October 19th, 2016

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