Monday, October 29, 2007

Myths and beliefs about Bamboo Ferrules:


After reading the great discussion about Bamboo ferruled rods at TCFRF, I made some "quote" to let you know my point of view.

“The ferrules have a habit of coming apart however, which is pretty frustrating.”

That results typically from a "non-tapered" ferrule. The tuning has to be perfect in finishing each rod. But fixing this problem is relatively easy: just apply a coat of varnish to the male ferrule or a coat of epoxy (2-Ton brand) in the female ferrule.

“Sounds like a major league gimmick to me. I cast one rod with bamboo ferrules and it was good not great.”

Perhaps you don’t cast the right rod.

“Sounds like the same old adage of trying to reinvent the wheel.”

Thank God the wheel was "reinvented." The wooden variety wouldn't work well for most jobs today.

“I am sure that the rods are enjoyable more due to the good rod taper rather than the bamboo ferrule.”

It is true that any bamboo-ferruled rod must be designed first with a correctly working taper--a taper special to a bamboo-ferruled rod.

“I do not like the look of rods with bamboo ferules. I would prefer a splice joint, which looks more elegant.”

Beauty is often a matter of personal preference. Personally I dislike tape on a bamboo rod, which to me seems inelegant. Yet with care and effort a rodmaker should be able to make a rod that is aesthetically pleasing as well as a pleasure to cast.

“Therefore, it should also affect the taper?”

Certainly the taper is affected. That is why I design every taper used with my BOBFS.

“If there would be real benefit of bamboo ferules, we would see more builders using them.”

Taper design – time – hand planing.

“P.S. I still think bamboo ferrules are a really dumb idea.”

That is really "out of the box." Nevertheless I respect your opinion.

“That said, why don't more makers play around with glass ferrules?”

Bamboo seems to me the best and most natural ferrule material for a bamboo rod just as graphite ferrules for a graphite rod and glass ferrules for a glass rod seem appropriate.

“An obvious gimmick, and a passing fad. Like the horseless carriage.”

I hope the horseless carriage never passes from Detroit.

“In rods I'm making for myself, I see them as an inexpensive alternative to N/S. Not a fad or a gimmick, just a cost-saving measure.”

Many years ago a boss of mine used to repeat, "Time is money. Time is money." But to me, as a rodmaker, time, much time, is necessary for achieving the best possible rod: for designing the tapers, for hand planing, for getting the BOBFS just right.