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Thread: Newbie - First Cane Rod (Help Plz)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Smile Newbie - First Cane Rod (Help Plz)

    Hi Everyone,

    I am new to this forum, fairly new to fly fishing and an absolute novice rod maker. I want to make my first cane rod in the new year. It seems very difficult to find any let alone quality components in SA. Can you guys give me some direction where I can start buying some stuff like epoxy, cork, guides, silk rapping, the good stuff? Or should I import directly, it looks like the bamboo-boys are in this together and help one another? I don't mind importing but not sure what's the best.

    I found a bamboo supplier near JHB who claims to have Tonkin? I want to make sure I do it right from the start.

    Hope you can help and hope to hear from you soon, I can't wait to get started.


  2. #2


    Hi Chris

    I've just started dabbling in Bamboo (graphite is my game) so I am a beginner i.t.o. cane...but I can offer you some advice.

    As far as I know, there are no suppliers of Tonkin bamboo in JHB. Some suppliers claim to have tonkin, but it's's moso bamboo...not suitable for a high-quality rod.
    Unless you can buy a culm or two from Ricko Cronje at Fly Fishers Unlimited. In fact, he'll sell you all the other components you need as well, like rod finish epoxy, guides, cork, reel seats, etc. Good place to start looking, and get some face-to-face advice.
    Call Ricko on: (011) 705-1190 / 467-2034

    Otherwise, try overseas. Golden Witch for you can buy everything you need, including Tonkin bamboo in smaller quantities:

    They also sell a DVD set with a tutorial on bamboo rod building, I highly recommend you get those DVD's BEFORE even buying any parts to build a rod or bamboo. Also, get these following books, if you can, before you start must read up and get the knowledge before attempting a build:

    - A Master's Guide to Building a Bamboo Fly Rod - by Everett Garrison & Hoagy B. Carmichael
    - Fundamentals of Building a Bamboo Fly Rod - George E. Maurer & Bernard P. Elser
    - Constructing Cane Rods - Ray Gould

    Those three will give you all the insights and tecniques, as well as tell you what tools you need.

    Some tools you can make yourself the planing forms and roughing forms. Search the internet, and you will find a load of information.

    Then lastly, there are some bamboo builders in S.A. you can contact for advice and components. As I mentioned, Ricko Cronje (in JHB)...then also Stephen Dugmore in Cape Town (
    There's also "Canesplitter" (Nick Hughes) who is a member on this forum. You can Private Message him on this forum too. See this thread:
    Or, here's his profile:

    Lastly, also try Stephen Boshoff, in Cape Town...his bamboo rods are apparently fantastic. E-mail:

    Happy hunting and good luck with the build.

    Last edited by Michael; 27-12-10 at 12:30 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010


    Hi Mike,

    Thank you so much for all the info. I have already ordered those books and a set of DVD's to get me going. I have done a lot of research to date and has finished building my own Garrison binder, works like a charm.

    I will most certainly contact the people you mentioned.

    I really really appreciate the help



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