Olivia is back in my workshop

Olivia Elia, is back in my workshop this week.  She was with family for several days but is back in Sisters now it’s great to have her back.  It’s fun to have another builder in the shop with me to bounce ideas off of, and I think we do a great job at challenging each other in our bamboo rod building efforts. She started a new 7′ 9″ 4 wt bambo fly rod this week as a custom order from a new client.  Here is Olivia at work!!!

Splitting Bamboo Strips

 

Running the Bellinger Beveller

 

Recovering from the holidays!

I’ve had a very busy holiday season with several rods and nets heading out the door, as well as participating in multiple virtual rod building/fly fishing events.  So, I haven’t posted for a few months.  But, I’m back in the normal swing of things in the workshop now.  I normally try to keep a handful of completed rods and nets in my inventory for those folks who call me up looking for something but can’t wait for a few months for me to get a new custom rod/net built for them.  The holiday rush put a noticeable dent in my inventory so today I started on a new rod and a net…it’s always a fun time to get started and “split some bamboo”.  Newly split strips for a 7′  9″  4 wt. Spring Creek Series rod and a new 27″ bamboo trout net are now on my workbench…starting to make progress.

Bamboo strips for a new rod and a net net.

New Bamboo Rod Building Apprentice

I would like to introduce everyone to Olivia Elia, my bamboo rod building apprentice. Olivia built her first bamboo fly rod two years ago, and has a goal of taking her rod building skills to a high level. Olivia currently lives in Santa Rosa, CA, and we’ve worked a plan for her to apprentice with me through some time with me in my workshop, as well as through virtual connectivity for the two of us. Olivia is a very talented photographer, musician, luthier, and and fly fishing angler, and you can see some of her talents showcased on her WEB site at: https://www.oliviaelia.com/.

Olivia spent a couple of weeks with me in my workshop recently working on rods. Her workshop skills are at a high level, and she has demonstrated fantastic skills towards rod building. I worked with her on three new bamboo fly rods while she was here, passing on my rod building knowledge where ever I could. It may not be too long before she is teaching me a few things about rod building. Here are a few photos of her time in my workshop:

Olivia and I with beveled and heat treated strips for our rods.
Splitting Strips
Removing nodes.
Straightening Strips with the Heat Gun.
Running strips through the Bellinger Beveler.
We’re both hand planing strips.
Ferrules, Cork, and Reel Seats are done…ready to varnish bamboo and tie on guides.

Traveling Bamboo Rod Show

Mary Ann and I were in Denver this past weekend for The Fly Fishing Show and we had the opportunity to spend some time with Jeff Hatton (also known as The Gnome) and his Traveling Bamboo Fly Rod Show. What a fantastic historical display of classic bamboo fly rods from the past. Here are a few photos:

Mary Ann and I checking out some great classic bamboo fly rods.
Having fun with Jeff Hatton
Lots and Lots of old classic rods.
Jeff explaining the details of an old rod.

Hand-Crafted Bamboo Trout Nets

I’m pleased to announce that I am now offering Hand-Crafted Bamboo Trout Nets for purchase.  My wife challenged me 2 years ago to build her a bamboo net from the same raw culms of bamboo I use for my bamboo fly rods.  It was quite a effort to figure out how to accomplish this with a piece of raw bamboo that is 12 ft. long and about 2 1/2″ in diameter….no straight surfaces or edges anywhere.  But, after several starts-and-stops with my design efforts, I finally figured things out and am now building and selling these great nets that are a fantastic compliment to your bamboo fly rod.  I build all my nets one-at-a-time on an order basis.  The nets have a hand rubbed oil finish, a clear rubber net, and a custom lanyard that I make myself.  I’m offering nets in two lengths, 27″ and 32″ long.  The prices for all nets are $400.  Here are a few photos:

Handles and hoop strips ready to glue up.

Inscription on nets.

Finished nets.