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I am just interested in going to buy a Bamboo fly rod. just wondering if anyone has some info on bamboo fly rods and price range and name of some good quality name brands. thanks.
 

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I am just interested in going to buy a Bamboo fly rod. just wondering if anyone has some info on bamboo fly rods and price range and name of some good quality name brands. thanks.
All depends on whether you want one to fish with or collect and how much you want to spend. Generally, you can get a good Montague, South Bend, Sharpe's or other vintage split cane rods for under $100 that are still very fishable in great condition. You can get an old Hardy sometimes for a reasonable price if it needs work and isn't a rare/desirable rod. There are a few very good sites with many manufacturers and prices. Also check ebay because the prices there can be way less than from a dealer/collector sometimes. It is getting very hard to find decent antique tackle in this area, when once you could find it in any antique shop anytime, but that was the pre-ebay years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
All depends on whether you want one to fish with or collect and how much you want to spend. Generally, you can get a good Montague, South Bend, Sharpe's or other vintage split cane rods for under $100 that are still very fishable in great condition. You can get an old Hardy sometimes for a reasonable price if it needs work and isn't a rare/desirable rod. There are a few very good sites with many manufacturers and prices. Also check ebay because the prices there can be way less than from a dealer/collector sometimes. It is getting very hard to find decent antique tackle in this area, when once you could find it in any antique shop anytime, but that was the pre-ebay years.
i just bought a shakespeare bamboo fly rod from this guy up in oromocto. i don't know anything about it, hes says that it is about 80 years old but i have no idea. do you happen to know anything about bamboo fly rods? and i only paid $130 for the rod and reel. i got a pflueger reel that came with it.
 

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I have an old Shakespeare rod I am told is bamboo with a "J.C Higgens" reel. I would consider a trade for a trout or salmon flyrod and reel if anyone is interested
 

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Generally Shakespeare is not an overly valuable brand of split cane rod. There are a few Shakespeare models that are of better quality made by other manufacturers for Shakespeare. The Gene Edwards made rods are of higher value, but only in the 150-300 range if mint. JC Higgins reels are of low quality. Some pflueger fly reels are valuable but only a few models such as early medalists and reels with hard rubber (ebonite) side plates and german silver frames. Many companies, even 100 years ago, just as today rebadged products made by other manufacturers, so it makes it hard, especially with split cane rods to say that every shakespeare or any other brand is of good quality and worth money, when in reality only a very few models could be. Hardy made some reels for Scientific Anglers, Richard Wheatley made boxes for Hardy, Farlows etc, almost everyone made tackle for Abercrombie and Fitch. According to one fella I talked to who is in the know, some of NB's most famous early production salmon fly tiers contracted English tiers to make most of their flies and they sold them without telling the public otherwise. It takes a lot of research on some items that are marked with a brand name to find out the true manufacturer and thus the true value. Only good close up pictures of the rod seat, grip, winding check and ferrules and any labels or stampings will give me any idea what model the rod is. There are collectors who are fanatical and have all the measurements of ferrule size, rod section tapers and much more information to tell them exactly who at what company made the rod, or designed the taper.

You can always tell a bamboo rod from fiberglass. If it is 4-6-8 sided, it is called split cane. If it is round with natural rings (nodes) every so many inches, then it is whole bamboo cane. If it is perfectly round, straight and tapered with no natural rings/nodes it could be greenhart, lancewood or lemonwood. There are a few perfectly round split cane rods, but they are not common. Heddon made some fiberglass rods with a fake painted bamboo finish. If it is brown, round and hollow it is fiberglass. It is surprising how many people think the old brown fiberglass rods are bamboo. Actually, some old fiberglass rods have risen in value over the last decade. I fish with fiberglass and boron fly rods from the 60-80's most of the time. I prefer the slower action of fiberglass for a lot of trout fishing situations.
 

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Thanks for the info on that Bigfish1. I will get an account set up with photobucket (or elsewhere) so I can post some pics of it. It is straight and round with no rings, I would have figured it was fiberglass if the guy I picked it up from didn't tell me it is bamboo... but that doesn't mean it is bamboo lol. It has a cork handle. The lable says Howard Wonderod by Shakespeare. By the reel it says No. 1250 model fmk. I was looking around online and it says 1250 dates it to 1953-1956... but I could be wrong on that. The color is kind of a dark yellow... in a google picture search I could only find a pure white rod. Its not in mint condition but I have used it and it works well, I will try to get some pics up soon.
 

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I believe your Shakespeare rod is indeed fiberglass. Dr Howald and Shakespeare copyrighted the first fiberglass fishing rod and called the making of these rods the Howald process. They are of decent quality generally and we priced higher than many bamboo rods when they first came to market. However, value would be about the same or less than it was new at between $30-50 dollars. On the positive side, some of these rods are well liked by people who fish vintage fiberglass. Half the fly rods I fish with are vintage fiberglass and I tend to like the slower action better.
 

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I have reguided them. Their was a show on "How it is made" that showed a guy in Quebec making them from scratch that is great if you can find it.
 

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There was a lot of copying done in regards to tapers.Only a few major companies made the rods you will find commonly in this part of the country...They sold them to every other company and they in turn would rebrand the rods. You can find a similar old rod tip in length and diameter, then get your calipers out to compare and often make it work as a replacement.. Just fit the old ferrule on the new to you tip section.....Don't do that if it is a very high quality split cane rod, then you want to seek out one of the best modern rod maker to make a new tip.
 
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