To my mind there is no fairy wand in creation more graceful and beautiful than a good bamboo fly rod.
About rods and rod construction
I started building in 1981 and for about 10 years I built copies, or slightly modified copies of other people's rods.
Eventually I got tired of following in other people's footsteps. I was also tired of all the old, sluggish, slow, flabby rods that had tapers for them. I wanted rods that behaved the way I wanted and the right way for me was to develop my own tapers.
I want short stroke, fast to hyper fast bamboo rods that respond directly to the movement of the hand and cast the line, not the old slow rods that push the line.
A rod should load quickly and cast the line accurately and with precision.
A good rod stops vibrating when you finish the cast.
The materials of today allow the builder to make rods with a completely different dynamic than the rods of the past. The rods I build with my own tapers have nothing in common with the ones your grandfather used.
Of course I build replicas and slow rods for those who want them.
My rods are built by hand, in the traditional way.
The bamboo I use is of the highest quality and comes from Springforelle in Berlin. Peer, who owns the company, goes to China himself and sorts out the best logs. I now use both butt cut and mid cut bamboo.
The log is split, the bamboo strips are straightened and planed by hand.
There is no sawing or taper milling - either machine or hand milling in my construction.
The straightening of the bamboo fibers is one of the most important aspects of the construction - I straighten both nodes and the fibers between the nodes.
The displacement of the nodes on my rods is always like the firing order of a 6 cylinder engine 1-5-3-6-2-4.
With this displacement, only one node is in the same place on the rod.
The management of the surface of the bamboo is of the utmost importance; at the very end of the bamboo, the density of fibers is the greatest and you want to keep this in the rod.
When the bark is removed, it is easy to damage the outermost layers of fibers, this radically impairs both the bamboo's strength and resilience.
I plane by hand with a Stanley 9½ plane as this gives the greatest accuracy.
If desired, I flame the bamboo dark, but want to emphasize that this weakens the rod while making it slightly faster.
This is because the binder (lignin) between the bamboo fibers is partly burned up during flaming.
Lignin is flexible and acts as a lubricant and damper between the fibers as they bend. The lignin has a lower flash point than the bamboo fibers and disappears more or less when flamed - depending on how hard the bamboo is flamed.
I build my own tapers which I call Legacy, Mentor, Swift, Meadowstream, Simestedt and the Viking series
All of the above rod variants can be made hollow, two- or multi-part.
The rods are available in hexagonal or square configuration.