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.
I just finished another Bamboo Trout Net this week. This one is headed to my good friend and fishing buddy, Dale, who lives in Idaho. Dale is one of the best lake anglers I know, and since he does a lot of float tubing, he choose one of my 32″ Float Tube Nets. I know he’ll be very happy with this net.
It’s been a very busy last couple of months in my shop. In addition to attending The Fly Fishing Show in Denver 2 weeks ago, I just completed two new bamboo trout nets and a new 8′ 0″ 5 wt Spring Creek Series Bamboo Fly Rod that will all go into my inventory. I always try to keep a handful of rods/nets available for immediate purchase. I’ll have these items on display at my booth at the upcoming Fly Fishing Show in Pleasanton, California in 2 weeks. Hope to see you there.
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.
My jig for sawing bamboo strips.
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.
Sawn strips for the Hoop and Handle sections.
Time to glue up the strips for the Handle section and sand that down.
Gluing up the Handle.
Handle sanded to thickness, still some shaping to do.
After the handle section was shaped, it was time to glue up everthing into the overall net.
Gluing everything up.
After the glue-up, it was time to shape/finish everything. This was done with a hand plane and lots of hand sanding.
Planing things down.
The finished sanded net. Time to put on the oil finish and attach the bag.
After 10 coats of a hand rubbed oil finish.
The finished net.
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.