Most Ultimate Guide to Bamboo Fly Fishing Rods

If you happen to be an angler then you will know that there are three types of fly rods on the market: graphite, fiberglass, and bamboo. Of course, some people like to jump ship and switch to another fishing rod for a while. However, most of the time, anglers tend to lean towards just one kind of rod.

Out of three materials, graphite is the most used one, especially amongst young anglers. But today I will talk about bamboo fly fishing rods only. Even if bamboo is not your preference, just keep on reading. Maybe by the time you finish reading my article, you will have changed your mind about bamboo fly rods. Who knows?

Brief introduction to bamboo fly fishing rods

The bamboo fly rod or as the British refer to the ‘split cane,’ is a type of fishing rod which became famous in the 1870s. Ever since then, it has been widely used all over the world.

To make a quality bamboo fly rod, a craftsman has to split the bamboo cane into strips then glues them back together.. Of course, not anyone can make bamboo fly rods as it takes immense skills to do this. Only the handiest artisans can handle this job. That is why the process of making a bamboo fly rod is often described as ‘an art performance.’

Why choose?

Superior casting

There is a common belief that a bamboo rod is heavier than a fiberglass or graphite. This is not entirely correct. Though it is true that it is heavier due to the nature of bamboo, the increase in weight is insignificant.

In fact, these additional weights are the reason behind its smooth casting. Since its speed is slower, it reduces the bounciness of the back cast. This effect is called “the cushioning effect” of bamboo rods. And it is the most effective to deliver weighted nymphs or wets.

Delivering an accurate casting is also easier with fly fishing rod. Because of the natural flex in bamboo, the line loads much quicker making it seems forgiving to cast with. This is especially helpful in sighting fishing situations or in windy conditions where highly accurate delivery is required.

Superior casting

Image source:


One of many reasons why bamboo rods can make a great heirloom is because of their resilience. Normally, a bamboo rod should have a longer lifetime than an average fishing rod (provided that it is properly cared for). Does this mean that it will last forever? The answer is no. Though durable it may seem, under extreme load, bamboo rod will break eventually.


Bamboo rods look aesthetically pleasing. Each rod has a unique look and feel. Plus, its color also varies from each other. Ranging from palest shade of beige to rich brown. When holding a bamboo fly fishing rod, you can notice all the fine craftsmanship, labor work, and thoughts went into making one. This is because a bamboo rod is a fine work of art.

Close to nature

Out of all fishing rods on the market, bamboo fly fishing rods are the only natural products which made 100% from nature. They are the only fishing rods that do not need any chemicals or synthetics. Every piece of a bamboo rod is renewable and eco-friendly.

How to choose a bamboo fly fishing rod?


What color is your rod? What material is it made of? Usually, Tonkin cane and Calcutta cane are used to make bamboo rods. Of course, there are other materials as well, but these are the two most widely used. And how about its size and shape? What about other customizations?


Image source: Pinterest

The manufacturer

Pay attention to the manufacturer of your rod so that you can easily identify its price and quality.

For example, famous manufacturers such as Thomas and Thomas, Orvis, etc. will offer high qualities bamboo fly rod though they may sell them at unbelievable prices. Custom artisans, on the other hand, can customize your rod and offer many choices and options, though, their rods are not as quality.


Due to some misinformed information, many anglers assume that bamboo fly fishing rods can’t be made into any action. When in fact, bamboo can be made into a wide variety of rod actions. It is good to remember that slow action rods are good for inexperienced anglers. As their speeds are slow and rhymes are less bouncy, beginners can easily cast a smooth back-cast.


This also depends on your purpose. If you are going to fish on a large, open field like a river, then you may need a long rod of 7 ½ to 8 foot. Otherwise, a short rod of 6 foot would do just fine.

Remember not to choose bamboo fly fishing rods that are too short as they require more skills and experiences to handle. Especially if you’re an inexperienced angler who just start taking up fishing, only go for small and short rods.


Image source: Vintage Fishing Tackle

Well, there you go. That’s my guide to bamboo fly fishing rods. I hope I made you change your opinion towards bamboo rods after this. Stay tuned my readers and see you next time!