While the easy way out is to walk into a sports goods store and walk out with a spanking new fishing rod of your dreams, there is nothing better than to craft one at home. If fishing is your passion, having a rod that you have made in your hand will make you proud when you cast off.
There are kits that will help you make the rod of your choice. Fresh water kits, fly fishing kits, ice fishing kits and saltwater kits are some of the options before you. However, these are just “unpack and assemble” types of fishing rods and it is doubtful if you will get a great amount of joy and happiness just putting the parts together. There is another route that you can take. If you are a casual fisher not much into competitive angling or going for trophy sized fish, make a simple bamboo fishing rod that will serve your purpose well.
Here are the steps that you will do well to follow.
Getting the bamboo cane – The bamboo cane should be 8 to 10 ft long and 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Anything bigger than this will not be easy to carry on fishing trips. It is recommended that you have around three such poles handy and carry out the same exercise on all three until the drying out stage. If something goes wrong and the first one breaks, you will always have other pieces to fall back on. Getting a bamboo cane is not easy especially in cities and metropolitan areas. You can contact a professional tree service in your locality to get the pieces. Or you may even visit manufacturers of cane furniture to source bamboo cane.
Preparing the bamboo cane – Trim away leaves or nubs with a sharp knife. Hack away as close to the cane as possible so that there are no sharp protrusions left over on the cane that might cut your hand when you go fishing with it. Bamboo poles are hollow inside so you have to find a joint at the lower end of the cane and saw off from there. The fishing rod will then have a closed end. Next, smoothen out the piece of cane. Take sandpaper and work over the bamboo cane so that you get a smooth finish as much as possible.
Drying out the bamboo cane – This is very crucial and the ultimate quality of the fishing rod will depend on how well you carry out this step. Tie the thinner end of the cane to a string and hang it from the ceiling. The cane will then dry out evenly on all sides. Do not keep the cane in direct sunlight as it will it very brittle. The approximate time for the cane to dry out will depend on the temperature and humidity levels. It might take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Once the cane takes on a deep tan colour you’ll know that it’s ready for further processing.
However, take a cane and give it a few swishes in the air. The cane should be flexible and strong. If it breaks, try the same with another cane. Remember, you have worked on three pieces at the same time.
Attaching the fishing line – Take 20 pound Dacron line and tie one end just above the point where the “handle” of the fishing rod will be. Run the line to the end and tie the line in two or three places to the rod with some extra pieces if fishing line. Get the tension on the line right, too tight and you’ll not be able to slide the line up or down. Finally, attach the hook or lure to the end of the line together with a bobber and split shot sinker.
Your fishing rod is now ready, something that you should be very proud of.
You can make a similar rod with PVC pipes also.