The Process of Making a Cane Rod Come to Life

Now coming on my 16th year of making bamboo fly rods I have developed my own way of working with cane and it has become a lifestyle as well as a honed craft. I still make them one by one in limited quantities and each spline is carefully straightened, nodes filed and pressed and dressed. Every step in the process my hands do not leave the cane. I have evolved my tapers over time through simple trial and error and have a quiver of tapers that best suit not only my own style of fishing but other styles as well.

In a world of mega brands and imported parts and pieces I am still holding fast to turnkeying all aspects of the bamboo rod making process. Reel seats, nickel hardware, grips, etc. Finding an easier way of making a bamboo rod is not at all in my vocabulary, quite simply because I enjoy the process so much. Without sounding too spiritual or metaphysical, making a cane rod is much like a dance. I find it consuming, serine, spiritual, and very satisfying. Nurturing a rod from start to finish becomes a labor of love. One year while I was in the Smokey Mountains a woman in a Lodge was looking at one of my fly rods and she said “it looks like you put a lot of love into these rods” I remember shyly saying that “each one never really leaves when it goes out the door” it sounds a bit sentimental but its very true.
                      ~Clint Joseph Bova