Bamboo Fly Rods

Fly rods, reels, lines, waders, what good, what not...
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Bamboo Fly Rods

Post by Blackhackle » Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:50 pm

Is anyone aware of any bamboo fly rod makers on the North Island? I am interested in acquiring a new or used bamboo rod for small and intermediate stream fishing. Thanks for your help.

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Re: Bamboo Fly Rods

Post by Johnno » Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:35 pm

Matt Noakes in Wellington does. Iconoclast flyrods. He pops in here from time to time as OneHairyArm. Does it as a bit of a hobby; Not as active as he once was due to kids and all that goes with them I think.....

Very good rod maker. Builds them from scratch. I acquired one of his experiment blanks (8" 5wgt) and built it up - it's a very good small stream rod. Nice progressive taper

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fraser hocks
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Re: Bamboo Fly Rods

Post by fraser hocks » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:28 am

Yep 2x for Matt. Makes a beautiful blank!! Just might have to convince him to build you one.

Bucking trends in fly fishing since 1970!

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Re: Bamboo Fly Rods

Post by Wilki » Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:56 pm

Yep that’s a x3 for Matt!

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Re: Bamboo Fly Rods

Post by diverrider » Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:42 am

I build rods in all shapes and sizes, if I may, for you, cane is nostalgic only, and therefor only get a max of a 4wt in max 8 1/2 ft, try this site, ... cane-rods/ , get a Scottie (Sharpes), they done an impregrated Tonkin Cane Rod, used their own forming planes and manufactured all the components in-house, they (John - father - Steve - son Weaver) were finally based in Uxbridge in London, and were around since before WWII, they developed the technology to impregnate Bulsa Wood for the fuselage for the Spitfire Aircraft (yes it was build out of Bulsa Wood, but pressure / heat impregnated with resin), now sadly they are no more. I must have build 100's of rods using their blanks called "in-string" blanks. If you research my comments you will get the jist of it. If you do settle on a "cheepie" I could do a rebuild for you, but, dependent on the blank. You need to carefully check it out, the old blanks were bound together every 25mm or so with binding to keep the 6 sections together (and using "glue"), this in turn added weight, and had to get a "complete" over "varnish", this "varnish" would naturally crack as the rod flexed, causing ingress of dust and moisture, and eventually degrade the rod so much that it would become "un-usable", and would have to go through a full rebuild. Another FYI for you Hope its not info overload, but useful to you. Good luck.

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Re: Bamboo Fly Rods

Post by CanuckBoy » Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:08 am

Nick Taransky from NSW is in the process of moving to north island where his wife is from. He is fabulous guy and better builder.

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Re: Bamboo Fly Rods

Post by tiggs » Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:04 pm

Do you know if Nick Taransky is going to continue making rods in NZ? Tried one and it was truly a beautiful rod.

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Re: Bamboo Fly Rods

Post by iank2 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 4:24 pm

Nick is looking to move here early next year , and locate in the lower North Island. Some of his rods designed for the small Canberra streams might be ideal for you. He is looking to supply his international market for rods from NZ. His web site is

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Re: Bamboo Fly Rods

Post by BigRed » Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:16 pm

Interesting exchange here, some of you may well have cut your teeth on an old cane rod as a learner many years ago, but I would have to say that "modern cane" rods are a totally different breed to the rods of old. As a society when cane was the go to material we were still well entrenched in the "British empire" or what was left of it and so the sources of our sporting goods and brands were heavily influenced by what was available in British isles and the styles of fishing there. It is only my hunch but I think that many of the rods were built around classical "wet fly " principles with silk lines and catgut leaders, so they were long and flexible and heavy in comparison to a modern synthetic glass or carbon rod. I hope I don't sound too insulting here but the British as a group of people are inherently slow to change where old habits die long and hard
But that is not the whole story as on the other side of the Atlantic ocean in North America rod builders had been building and experimenting with different ways of producing rods for rivers and fish species that were a hell of a lot different to English chalk streams. They produced rods that were shorter, stiffer and faster (in general) but not exclusively.I am not going to bore everyone with a long novel on American rod builders and the styles that they produced, but needless to say they have strongly influenced modern cane builders many of who are resident in the USA.
There are plenty of builders and websites out there, but they are a whole ocean away, so try before you buy is a little difficult without flying there, or knowing someone who is travelling over with a selection.
Lastly I would say that a modern cane rod is a dream to cast once you get your head around them. don't expect to get them cheap though, hand built quality doesn't come cheap so save up your pennies as in general they start at around $2000 NZ. In terms of NZ builders I cant help you. I have a 5wgt hollow built cane produced by Chris Carlin up in Alaska.
It would be great if a group of boutique cane rod producers got off the ground in NZ, as the like many of "land-based " products that we produce in NZ we definitely have something to offer if we back ourselves and get the quality right.

Hope this adds to the discussion

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Re: Bamboo Fly Rods

Post by tiggs » Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:21 pm

I tried a Nick Taransky rod last year and I realised how different modern split cane is compared to the cane I grew up with. After considerable research I bought a new hollow built rod made by a rod builder in the States.
As you will see, his prices are considerably less then one from the famous US builders but his work is impecable. I had looked at a number of rods with eye watering price tags when we travelled overseas and the prices were outside my comfort zone. True, I had to buy a rod without testing but he built me a rod to my own specs. I had to pay GST and postage as it was imported from the states but the final cost was probably less than had I bought any other top of the line rod. The action is medium/fast and has plenty of backbone and the builder can tailor the action to suit your style. Very enjoyable to use but a little heavier than my graphite rods of the same line weight. But it is unique and a joy to own.
There are many cane rods available second hand from commercial outlets. You have to decide if you wish to travel down the nostalgia road and purchase a perfectly usable and restored cane rod from the past which can be had quite cheaply or look at the newer hollow built, faster and lighter actions that are available today. There are also some near new rods available where the purchaser has decided that cane is not for them.
However there is a problem with cane - buying one is only a start to being a collector.

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