Bamboo Rod Making: Slowly Getting There

After a great day out at sea on Saturday, I had a quite pleasant shirogisu dinner with the mem-sahib in the evening, then on Sunday I headed off for another session of traditional Japanese rod building.  This time was probably the hardest I have done so far, as it involved not just a lot of concentration but also a modicum of physical strength.  The joint (in this case only one) of the two parts of the rod must be sanded into shape to fit each other exactly; one over-zealous swipe with the file that takes off too much bamboo from the inner surface of the joint and the rod is ruined.  After a good few hours, and slightly detaching the nail from my right thumb, I just about managed to get the two to fit together.
Rod Joint

Rod Latest

The rod is slowly beginning to take shape.  The next stage is to lacquer the rest of the rod, which my teacher warns me is the hardest part yet (although he says that about every stage).  Hopefully this will be completed by next week; after the remaining bare bamboo is completely lacquered the rod is straightened once more over a fire, then the reel seat and guides are wrapped on.  In June I am chartering a shirogisu fishing boat – with tenpura lunch – with my usual fishing buddies so hopefully the rod will be complete in time for that day.


8 responses to “Bamboo Rod Making: Slowly Getting There

  1. Looking good!

  2. chris,
    Thanks, but knowing me I will break the rod with my first cast!
    I know you’re a bit of a way from Tokyo, but if you can, please join us on the tenpura boat in June.

  3. Cheers for the invite,
    Can’t make any promises, I have a edding to go to in Frisco in July, another in Scotland in August and will be in Canada May and possibly September.
    If I can make it, I will let you know.

    happy fishing

  4. Hi Chris,
    The provisional date is Sunday 21st June. Please join us if you can!
    If not, we usually do another tenpura charter in early November.

  5. Adam,
    Will surely let you know if it is a possibility.

    Where in Tokyo are you?

  6. East Tokyo, Koto-ku. About 5 minutes in a cab from Tokyo station.
    The boat is two stops south on the Metro from my place.

  7. Do you only go fishing weekends or are weekdays open as well?

  8. Chris: I just sent you an e-mail.

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