Grow Your Own Tenkara Rod

This year I fell for the Japanese Tenkara method of fly-fishing, hook line and sinker one might say :) and I’m trying an experiment to make a couple of bamboo tenkara rods using the bamboo that thrives in my backyard.

The steps are pretty simple…..
(1) Select and cut two eleven foot pretty straight bamboo sections….completed
(2) Dry these for several months, tied to a straight rod to make sure they don’t curl….completed
(3) Cut into 2 sections and attach ferrules (I made sure to cut at same thickness so that the sections are interchangeable)….completed
(4) Using a blowtorch heat and straighten the rod at each bamboo joint. Actually very easy…..completed
(5) Sand down each of the joints….completed
(6) make a cork handle for one rod. The other has a nice bamboo root rhizome that will do as a handle,,,,to do.
(7) Attach the little tip core to which the tenkara line is knotted… do
(8) Put on a little decorative whipping… do
(9) Varnish the rodes with tung oil……to do

The bamboo must have a lot of natural sugars in it. When you heat for bending it forms a wonderful caramel colored glossy finish which you can see in the photo.

I feel good about this. By next spring I should have 2 nice bamboo tenkara rods and I can’t wait

4/14 update…..tried out one of the rods on the FFO section of Ridly Creek….no trout but eventually got a purple dace on a dry fly…cool.

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