Newbie to the cane: looking for guidance and advice

revo

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Apr 13, 2011
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Tamworth, the Midlands
Hello

I need some help.

I'm a long-term fly fisherman with modern carbon rods but looking to get and use a vintage split cane rod. Starting out with a low budget and am after something small (6-8') for rivers.

Had on look on ebay and some of the dealers and think any of these makes would be OK

Walker

Farlows

Sharpes

Cummins

Allcock

Partridge

Walker

Milwards

May I ask if there's anything to look for (or look out for!) and also about storage (lying down flat, I think?)

Also, how does one work out the right line rating / weight for a particular rod? Is it the longer, the heavier? Or trial and error?

Finally, is there a UK-based forum for split cane rods and their users?

THANKS
 

Uncas

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Hello Revo,
Any of the above rods would be ideal to start off with.
What you need to look for is a rod that looks in reasonable condition that's fairly strait, if totally strait all the better.
Rods that are 6/7' feet long are usually 4/5 wt rods 7/8' feet are usually 5/6 wt usually DT.
All cane rods should be hung upright in there rod bags for storage.
Some rods have slight sets or bends in the top sections these can be made strait, but if it's only slight I would not worry to much.
 

revo

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Thanks Uncas. I’ve got my eye on one on eBay at the moment. Seems a lot of spinning rods are listed as fly though and condition can be hard to judge from the pics.

Is there a reason why some rods have bands of whipping all along their length while others only have them at the guides?

And what are those “spears” for that screw into the butt?

So much to learn!
 

splinters

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The intermediate wraps on rods date back to when the glues weren't up to the job. They were for reinforcement purposes to prevent delamination. They lingered on for a while after glues got good enough to not need reinforcing. The spears were for standing ones rod upright on the bank while one repaired to the shade of a handy willow for lunch and possibly a nap. By the way, don't let mucilin green anywhere near a bamboo rod, the silicon in it makes refinishing an old rod difficult. It is hard to remove from a rod's surface and causes fisheyes in new varnish. Your friendly local rodmaker will thank you for changing to mucilin red.
S.
 

Uncas

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Thanks Splinters! More to learn . . . .

Silk lines and gut leaders next . . .

And a priest and creel
Silk lines need regular conditioning, I would be inclined to start with a Cortland DT5 a very good line and covers most situations.
Alternatives are 406 lines from the USA.
Royal Wulff Bamboo special.
And Barrio lines from Scotland.
Any of these would do you well.
 

iainmortimer

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Sharpes Scottie is a good rod to get as they use impregnated cane meaning they stand the test of time and so being less prone to warping or just lack of strength make a good purchase when you can’t inspect before buying. They are also well in the budget range as far as cane goes with less than £100 getting a decent quality rod.
 

stevel

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On the Fishing Tackle Reviews section there's a post about an "unknown French maker" on ebay who refurbishes rods for resale. There were good recommendations by other members and you would then get a refurbished rod for not a lot of money (around about 100).
One of these may be a good start but may not be a good representation of what a good modern rod may feel like. The older tapers were solid and quite heavy and slow and there may be quite a difference and adjustment if all you've cast and fished with is fast graphite.
Stick with a rod which is short, less than 8 feet and probably a 4-5 weight.
There are also classic tackle dealers and also tackle auctions but there's more of a lottery with the auctions and you need to go along and see the condition of the rods.
There are no such things as bamboo meets as they do in the US where you can see and touch and try many rods before purchasing but finding someone to let you cast theirs before buying is a good idea. You may not like bamboo at all, and it will have been a idea which was appealing but didn't match the reality, costing you time and money.
You may also cast a lemon then go away without having really experienced the bamboos worth casting and owning.
As with silk, they are relatively speaking, quite expensive and take quite a bit of maintenance. I loved silk, spent a small fortune on top modern makes but in the end the maintenace made me go back to plastic. Interestingly, a co author of the well known Wolfram Schott silk line study, told me he eventually went back to plastic.
I'm tinkering with the idea of dipping my toes back into the silk line water with a local maker.
Enjoy the ride.
If you're anywhere near London drop me a line and we can go out and try my bamboos.
Cheers
Steve
 

revo

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Wow, thanks all. I was joking about silk: I'm a big fan of the Barrio lines, amazing value.

Steve: I might take you up on that offer. If you fancy coming up here for a day on the Dove I might be able to sort us out with a decent beat.
 

stevel

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Wow, thanks all. I was joking about silk: I'm a big fan of the Barrio lines, amazing value.

Steve: I might take you up on that offer. If you fancy coming up here for a day on the Dove I might be able to sort us out with a decent beat.
Thanks revo
If things calm down with the dreaded cv19 then ill be sure to make a trip up to let you try out my James Reid trout rods.
Alternatively if you come down this way I'll take you out to my club, Amwell Magna on the Lea in Herts, to cast the said bamboos on a mix of stocked browns and rainbows and a growing head of wildies.
Cheers
 

revo

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Tamworth, the Midlands
Thanks revo
If things calm down with the dreaded cv19 then ill be sure to make a trip up to let you try out my James Reid trout rods.
Alternatively if you come down this way I'll take you out to my club, Amwell Magna on the Lea in Herts, to cast the said bamboos on a mix of stocked browns and rainbows and a growing head of wildies.
Cheers
Oooh it's all gone a bit Tinder! Sounds great.
 

airsprite

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The intermediate wraps on rods date back to when the glues weren't up to the job. They were for reinforcement purposes to prevent delamination. They lingered on for a while after glues got good enough to not need reinforcing. The spears were for standing ones rod upright on the bank while one repaired to the shade of a handy willow for lunch and possibly a nap. By the way, don't let mucilin green anywhere near a bamboo rod, the silicon in it makes refinishing an old rod difficult. It is hard to remove from a rod's surface and causes fisheyes in new varnish. Your friendly local rodmaker will thank you for changing to mucilin red.
S.
Absolutely right about the Silicon.
I worked in the Jaguar paint shop for 30 years, Silicon in any form was banned.
We had outbreaks of craters in the paint finish from time to time, usually traced to some silicon contamination. Some times it was an o ring which had come in as a spray gun spare, which had been smeared with a tiny amount of Silicon.

Steve
 

revo

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Tamworth, the Midlands
×
Absolutely right about the Silicon.
I worked in the Jaguar paint shop for 30 years, Silicon in any form was banned.
We had outbreaks of craters in the paint finish from time to time, usually traced to some silicon contamination. Some times it was an o ring which had come in as a spray gun spare, which had been smeared with a tiny amount of Silicon.

Steve

Wow. I use airflo whizz lube, I’m assuming it’s silicone based.
 
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