Each rod starts life as a bamboo pole that is known as Tonkin.This is the only suitable bamboo for rod making.The Tonkin comes from a region in China called Tonkin, the poles are shipped to the uk and are about 13ft in length and known as culms.
Upon arrival at my works, I cut them in half and number them so I can match the two halves together. I then start a split at the end of the pole, by doing this as the poles dry out they will split in that position.If i dont do this I can end up with several splits down the culm.I use the bottom of the pole for rod butt sections and the top for tip sections.The nodes on the culm are closer together at the bottom and get further apart as you get to the top of the culm.This gives fewer nodes in the tip of the rod than in the butt.
A suitable culm is selected for the rod being made and given a special heat treatment in order to harden the bamboo. The culms are then split into strips. To produce the rod joint they are placed so the nodes do not coinside. I prefer to put three nodeless sections next to three nodes. This is called three by three spacing. These are then cut to length. The strips are straightened and the nodes pressed flat. The strips are then made into triangular tapered sections to the taper of the rod being made. This is done either on a Precision milling machine, Hand milling machine or hand planed on adjustable steel formers.All these were designed and built by myself. All these methods produce a very accurate strip indeed. The strips are then glued and bound together using a binder again made by myself. This ensures equal binding down the rod joint.These are then left to dry and when dry the binding is removed. The joint is then checked for any twists. and straightened if necessary. The strips are then sanded and polished removing none of the power fibres.
The ferrules are now fitted and checked for alignment. The cork handle is made from cork rings and sanded down to size and shape on a high speed lathe.The reel fittings are added and suitable rings are whipped to the rod using silk thread.The rod is varnished and the specification of the rod added with the owners name if required.
HAND BUILT SPLIT BAMBOO RODS
THE MK IV CARP ROD
The MK IV carp rod designed by the late Richard Walker is an ideal rod for carp fishing. Richard walker caught his record carp of 44 Ibs on this rod.It is the perfect rod for those who want to use a split bamboo rod for specimen fish. It is also a useful rod for spinning for pike and salmon.
The rod is built to the designers specification. It is 10 ft in length in two sections of split bamboo. the ferrules are splint end reinforced brass suction type and blued.A stopper is provided to protect the female ferrule. The rod is whole can for 18 inches under the handle. This gives the rod power for casting and playing large fish. The handle is made from cork rings and is 27 inches long. The reel bands are aluminium knurled and the butt cap is aluminium with a rubber button. the rings are lined butt and tip with six full open bridge rings as intermediates. The fittings are wrapped with silk. A variety of colours are available. This rod has a test curve of 1 1/2 Ibs and is best with lines of 8 to 11Ib breaking strain. The maximum casting weight is 1 1.2 ounce. The rod is finished with a marine varnish. A custom made sectioned rod bag is made to protect the rod. £975
THE MK IV AVON
This rod is built to the same specification as the carp rod but the split bamboo sections are 10% smaller in diameter.The handle is only 24 inches long. it has a test curve of 1 Ib and is best with lines of 3 to 7 Ib breaking strain. £975
THE MK IV STEPPED UP
This rod is as the carp rod but the bamboo is 10% larger in diameter. The handle is 30 inches long. The rod is ideal for fishing in weedy waters and pike fishing. It has a test curve of 2 Ib and suitable for lines of 11 to 15 Ib breaking strain. It comes with custom built rod bag. £975
THE MK III (whopper stopper)
This is the rod that was the forerunner to the MK IV carp. My good friend the late Maurice Ingham of the Carp Catchers Club called it his whopper stopper. Ritchard wWalker used to use this rod at Redmire Pool when the weed was dense. The test curve is 2 Ib and is a very powerfull rod. It is 10ft in length and two pieces in split bamboo.The handle is 28 inches and has the same rings and fittings as the MK IV.
Finished with marine varnish and comes in a custom built cotton rod bag. £975
This rod is 11ft long in two sections of split bamboo. the test curve is 2Ib . It has lined butt and tip ring with full open bridge intermediates. The handle is 30 inches long with knurled aluminium sliding reel bands. the butt cap is tapered with a rubber butten fitted. The ferrules are reinforced brass and blued. A stopper is provided for the female ferrule. The rod is wrapped in silk in a variety of colours. A cotton custom made rod bag is provided. £1100
THE LEDGER PLUS
This is a rod I designed for ledgering for barbel. It is 10ft in length and in two sections of split bamboo.The rod gives sensitive bite detection in the tip yet is powerfull for handling large barbel. This rod has landed many double figure barbel. The ferrules are splint end suction type , brass and blued.A stopper is made to prevent dirt in the female ferrule. The handle is 27 inches long with sliding bands in aluminium and knurled. The butt cap is tapered with a rubber button. The butt and tip ring are lined. The intermediate rings are hard chrome bridge rings.It is wrapped in silk a variety of colours available.. It is finished with a marine varnish and comes with a cotton rod bag. £975
This rod is based on the popular rod made by Allcocks.It is 11ft in length and in three sections, the butt section is whole cane and the middle and tip sections split bamboo. the ferrules are splint end suction type and blued . Stoppers are provided to prevent grit in the two female ferrules. The handle is longer than the original at 24 inches but still shaped as the original. The reel fittings are knurled winch type and the end cap is tapered with a rubber button. The tip and butt rings are lined with bells high as intermediates. It is wrapped with silk with a variety of colours available.Again finished with a marine varnish and comes with a custom made rod bag.
I A deposit of 50% is required on all rods when ordering