"Choosing Cane" by Zach Matthews [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: "Choosing Cane" by Zach Matthews

Bob Pauli
10-30-2006, 11:52 PM
The November/December 2006 issue of Amerian Angler features an eight page article on bamboo rods by Zack Matthews. Writing, photos, sidebars are excellent.

Thanks, Zach.


11-03-2006, 01:58 PM
I just read the article, hoping to find an answer to what bamboo's so good for, and all I could find was:

1. A bamboo-cast line and fly lands with less disturbance on the water.
2. It's easier to fish bamboo than graphite in high winds.

along with a bunch of stuff like: since a bamboo rod is heavier, it takes less energy to cast with it,... and such metaphysics. From a physics standpoint, I have trouble accepting either 1 or 2 above, let alone the mass of other unsupported claims.

So this really brings up the question I've had for a long time: what do bamboo rods do better than their graphite counterparts? Is there a performance-based reasonto choose bamboo, or is it all nostalgia-driven. There was a related thread on flyfish.com recently, and it really didn't come up with any specifics, just a lot of aired-out subjectiveness.

11-03-2006, 02:44 PM
I own a couple of Bamboo rods and my graphite rods are superior to them as far as casting ect. However, that being said a Bamboo rod is a work of art by dedicated craftmen . I may be wrong buy that's why people buy them for their artistic value and crastmenship. Just my .02 FishHawk

11-03-2006, 07:15 PM
Bamboo is for folks who like to fish bamboo.
Fly fishing is such a personal experience that terms like "better" have limited value. I generally prefer to hunt deer with a traditional styled caplock muzzle loader. By every technical measure it is vastly inferior to the 30-06 that stays at home. I do it because I like to, that is why I hunt and fish -- because I like to. If using a bamboo rod or black powder makes it even more fun -- then why not?
I have fished boo almost exclusively for quite a few years, but I am now building a 9' 8wt graphite for Atlantic salmon. I will continue to use my boo rods for salmon, just because I like them, but probably not all day, every day, for a week. Different tool for a different job. If I hunted deer where 200+ yd shots might be common I would use the 30-06.
Remember "It's only rock and roll"

11-04-2006, 07:05 AM
I agree, and have a lot of respect for folks who choose to keep this craft alive, and indeed, prospering. I even bought two bamboo rods (including a rather pricy one by Marc Aroner) before deciding it's not for me.
Someday, I'd love to understand the magic.