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Bamboo..anything to stay away from when refurb?
Posted by: Ken Brown 2 (---.229.247.206.res-cmts.sm.ptd.net)
Date: April 26, 2021 12:26PM

In a previous thread, I mentioned I picked up a Kingfisher bamboo rod. I gave it a better look today and I see that the cork should probably be replaced and I wouldnt mind putting on an updated reel seat. As for the guides, Im thinking of just re-wrapping those. I was thinking of stripping all the wraps and cleaning it up. On a normal graphite, I would sand it down and apply some Perma Gloss to it prior to wrapping the guides. What would be a good product to use to strip it down? I would assume using any type of sandpaper is a definite no-no.

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Re: Bamboo..anything to stay away from when refurb?
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---.dsl.pltn13.sbcglobal.net)
Date: April 26, 2021 02:28PM

It is most likely varnished, so the careful use of a stripping agent will work, #M has some good ones.

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Re: Bamboo..anything to stay away from when refurb?
Posted by: Robert A. Guist (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: April 26, 2021 02:36PM

Hello Ken.

I use the orange stripper (I think it's "Fast Orange"?).


P.S. Your right Ken Citri Strip.


Tight Wraps & Tighter Lines.

Bob,

New Bern, NC.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/26/2021 04:49PM by Robert A. Guist.

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Re: Bamboo..anything to stay away from when refurb?
Posted by: Bill Hickey (---.nycap.res.rr.com)
Date: April 26, 2021 02:39PM

Get yourself a copy of Mike Sinclair's book Bamboo Rod Restoration Handbook. It is out of print, but used copies can be found. He covers in easy steps how to do what you are looking to do.

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Re: Bamboo..anything to stay away from when refurb?
Posted by: Ken Brown 2 (---.229.247.206.res-cmts.sm.ptd.net)
Date: April 26, 2021 02:44PM

Thanks. I think CitriStrip is the one. Ill look for the book

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Re: Bamboo..anything to stay away from when refurb?
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: April 26, 2021 03:01PM

Ken,
You mention “refurb” so I am assuming you are not “restoring” the rod using old methods and materials. You have an opportunity to experience the best of both worlds; the nostalgic feel of a bamboo cane rod combined with the benefits of modern components to produce a much improved version of the original. That is what I did with my Dad’s old cane blank.
After removing everything off the blank, stripping the old finish (varnish) off the blank will be the quickest and easiest procedure of the refurb. STAY AWAY FROM USING LIQUID TYPE STRIPPERS!!! There is a very good possibility of such strippers attacking / weakening the little bit of what is already an inferior glue holding the bamboo strips together! Instead, use a single-edge razor blade held 90* to the blank and scrape, NOT SHAVE, the finish off the blank. You will be surprised how quickly and easily the finish flakes and pops off the blank so definitely use eye protection! And you will avoid the mess caused by strippers. If you decide sandpaper is required for a final smooth-down, use nothing corser than 500 grit and keep it to a very minimum. Carefully inspect all the tynes / strips to make certain they are still glued together by slightly twisting the blank. If any gaps / splits are noticed, carefully inserting a razor blade will widen the gap enough to apply thin epoxy down into the crack; wipe off the excess and allow to fully cure. You may not really need to, due to your blank having binding wraps all along the length but it is added insurance. The Perma Gloss is a great choice to refinish the blank. I used four coats but my Dad’s is a 50-80lb saltwater rod and wanted all the protection possible.
Since this is a refurb and not a restoration, I suggest replacing the old and probably worn guides with modern ones. The Fuji HBs I installed on my Dad’s rod look awesome and am certain they allow the rod to perform much better.
You can rewrap with silk if desired but moden nylon is probably a better bet. Make certain the binding wraps are good and snug.

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!! BUILDING YOUR OWN SIMPLY ENHANCES THE EXPERIENCE.

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Re: Bamboo..anything to stay away from when refurb?
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: April 26, 2021 06:57PM

I suggest you go to the Proof Fly Fishing site and view the tutorials there before you go very far. Also, the Custom Fly Grips company in the left margin has grip specs so you can do a nice job on making a new grip. They also offer a lot more.

Be aware that there are guides designed for use on the bamboo flats as opposed to round blanks. E-mail me with questions you might have.

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Re: Bamboo..anything to stay away from when refurb?
Posted by: Ken Brown 2 (---.229.247.206.res-cmts.sm.ptd.net)
Date: April 27, 2021 08:27AM

Thanks Mark and Michael. I did look at the Proof Fly Fishing vids last night. They definitely aided in my refurb. Mark..I wasnt sure about the CitriStrip so thanks for the heads up. I'll probably end up just scraping it off and lightly sand it if needed. I noticed a couple spots where it looks like the varnish bubbled (prob from too much sun?) but other than that, the blank looks to be in decent shape. I am definitely updating the guides, grip and reel seat to new components. It definitely has some heft to it so who knows, it may be a largemouth bass fly rod for me.

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Re: Bamboo..anything to stay away from when refurb?
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: April 27, 2021 12:52PM

Ken,
I am glad to learn your plotted-out rod refurb includes new components = you will not be disappointed. If it was a rare, historic or valuable rod, RESTORING to original specs would have been the proper approach. Using modern materials will produce a better rod than the original and you will not have to worry about the PG “bubbling”. Liquid strippers may or may not affect the old glue but why take the chance; if it does = the rod is ruined! Besides, it adds cost, requires a fair amount of time to soften the varnish, is very messy, and overall requires 10X the amount of time versus scraping. Don’t be surprised if scraping all the old finish off the blank is done in 20 minutes!
Michael’s suggestion of viewing tutorials on Proof’s site was a good one; it certainly will not hurt seeking others as well. I am by no means a professional bamboo cane rod authority. But I am very pleased and proud of bringing my Dad’s vintage cane rod back to life and cannot wait to allow it to stretch its fibers in battle once again.
You mentioned your rod having some “heft” to it. I weighed my Dad’s = 2.5 pounds!!! It is a real beast!

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!! BUILDING YOUR OWN SIMPLY ENHANCES THE EXPERIENCE.

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Re: Bamboo..anything to stay away from when refurb?
Posted by: Ken Brown 2 (---.229.247.206.res-cmts.sm.ptd.net)
Date: April 27, 2021 01:02PM

The scrape approach is much simpler and doesnt cost money..so I like that. I havent weighed the rod but it is substantially heavier than the graphite 9' 5wt I have. One thing I did notice is that the top ferrule doesnt fit all the way. I expected it to fit snug with the corresponding ferrule but it doesnt. Ill have to see how it fishes to determine if it is a real issue.

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Re: Bamboo..anything to stay away from when refurb?
Posted by: Robert A. Guist (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: April 27, 2021 03:01PM

Hello Ken.

I have been thinking about you question more and the more I think about it I wonder if the stripper would eat the glue holding the rod together, I don't know but it might so I ask "Has anyone actually used CitriStrip on a bamboo rod, and if so did it mess with the glue holding the rod together?

I have a bunch of bamboo rods that were given to me and some of them the glue has quit holding and the rods are coming apart and need to be re-glued but I don't have a binder since Florence took most of my stuff & my shop (which was inside my house).

Maybe scraping is the best idea for them.


Tight Wraps & Tighter Lines.

Bob,

New Bern, NC.

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