Mary Ann challenged me this winter to see if I could build her a bamboo fly fishing net. I hadn’t built a net before but I had a pretty good idea what I needed to do…but I wasn’t sure if it was even possible. Nothing on a culm of bamboo is straight, and I didn’t know if I could bend the bamboo around the hoop section of the net without breaking it. Well, I took on the challenge and dove into my “Net Building” effort.
The first step was to get some straight strips of bamboo from a culm. Splitting didn’t work because none of the strips came out straight. I pulled together a jig for my band saw that allowed me to saw the strips instead of splitting…worked pretty well.
The next step was to sand down the sawn strips for the Hoop and Handle sections of the net. The hoop strips were sanded down to 0.080″ thick, and the handle strips were sanded down to 0.200″ thick.
Time to glue up the strips for the Handle section and sand that down.
After the handle section was shaped, it was time to glue up everthing into the overall net.
After the glue-up, it was time to shape/finish everything. This was done with a hand plane and lots of hand sanding.
This was a fun winter project, and I certainly discovered the challenges of working with bamboo instead of wood in making a net. Time to try it out on the water! And, it’s also time to get back to rod building.