Anybody into old bamboo rods and baitcaster reels?

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Anybody into old bamboo rods and baitcaster reels?

Postby Dave Bulla » Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:20 pm

I grew up trout fishing in PA and started with a Zebco spin cast reel then a Garcia Mitchel spinning rod and reel then got into fly fishing when I was about 14 or so. First with an old Montague bamboo rod then with an Eagle Claw blank custom rod. Fly fishing is still my favorite but at some point years ago when I'd moved away from Pennsylvania and the trout fishing I knew, I ponied up and bought a high end Shimano mag plus baitcaster with anti backlash magnetic gizmo stuff on it and a Fenwick rod to go with it. figured I'd give this bass thing a try. Never got the hang of casting it and kinda put it away. About 3 or 4 years ago I picked up an old Abu Garcia reel at a yard sale and came home to give it a try in the yard. For some reason, I was able to cast that rod and reel combo real well. The more I did it, the better I liked it. No fancy anti backlash stuff, just a friction knob. I'd stand in the yard an hour or more at a time and just pick a leaf or something to cast at. Got pretty darned good with it. After that, I was also able to use my expensive reel too. Now, this summer I was using it at a friends pond and he said, "If you know how to use one of them things, I've got a couple in the barn that are old but you can take a look at them. Maybe you could use them."

When we got back to the barn, he showed me two rods with REAL old baitcasters on them. One was a Pflueger and I forget the other. Maybe something like Great Lakes? Both rods were the old solid fiberglass kind we had when I was a kid. They had an old braided line that was pretty darned heavy. Almost like fly line but super limp. Gave one a try in the driveway and realized there was no anti reverse, no push button or nothing other than a handle and a friction knob. Long story short, he gave me the one with the Pfluger and I took it home and began practicing. Basically, you set the friction so the lure just slowly drops like on any baitcast reel but on this one, the handle turns backwards as the spool lets out line. I usually cast side arm and let go of the button just as the rod is coming around to the target. On this reel, that would put the lure close to 80 degrees off target to the left. I had to learn to cast and let my thumb off the spool WAAAY soonerl But ya know what? Going to that old reel is kinda like going form a compound to a longbow. Sure, it's a little different. But once ya get the hang of it it works purty darned well. And it's FUN too.

Eventually, I took the reel apart and cleaned it up inside and put new grease on the gears then replaced the old braided dacron with some new braided Stren. I can cast just as far with it as with my other bait casters! I love hearing the whir of the handles when I cast it. Reminds me of an old book I read as a kid called "Moss, Mallards and Mules" which is a collection of short stories about hunting and fishing around the gulf coast. There was a story in it about an old man fishing with a kid who had gone off to college and returned. The old man used a bamboo rod and hand whittled bass plugs and fished from a float tube on the Trinity River. Always wanted to try whittling a couple lures but never have done it.

Now I'd like to find a nice bamboo casting rod to pair up with that reel and put the combo to work on one of Missouri's Ozark streams for smallmouths using only old time lures. A pair of old canvas sneakers, some cutoff jeans, a straw hat and a rope stringer on a balmy summer afternoon sounds like just the ticket for a little trip back in time eh?
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Re: Anybody into old bamboo rods and baitcaster reels?

Postby Dave Bulla » Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:19 pm

What? Nobody uses these old reels?
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Re: Anybody into old bamboo rods and baitcaster reels?

Postby VT Surf-N-Turf » Sat Sep 05, 2009 9:49 am

I'd love to give it a try but haven't had the opportunity. I go to the great lakes for a couple weeks every summer so I'll start looking for some older rigs to pick up and try out. Sometimes I fish with my fathers old shakespeare rod and reel from the mid 1960's and I get positive comments about using "old" gear, but its a pushbutton type baitcaster on a fiberglass rod that is pretty similar to what you can buy today. I have some friends with a camp on Sebago Lake in Maine and there's a bamboo rod and old baitcaster hang'n on the wall. I'll see if I can't talk them out of it. :)
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Re: Anybody into old bamboo rods and baitcaster reels?

Postby >>>---DW---> » Sat Sep 05, 2009 1:55 pm

I have an old Bantam Mag that I still use, does that count?
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Re: Anybody into old bamboo rods and baitcaster reels?

Postby firewhatfire » Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:14 pm

I have a bamboo fly rod I bought off a couple years back. I took it with me to New Mexico to try my hand at trout fishing. The cork handle ended up splitting on me and I have not took it back out. I want to replace with a better bamboo rod and the one I got feels like an 8 wt which was way heavy for trout but it was what I had. I would like to get a goo 3-4 wt for bream and bass here in the Alabama. I had some old reels as a teenager and did the dumbest thing ever with them. I threw them away. Taking my fancy new Shimano rods to the river tomorrow for a bass fishing trip.

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Re: Anybody into old bamboo rods and baitcaster reels?

Postby GERRY FIEGL » Sat May 29, 2010 10:24 pm

Into the bamboo fly rods bad, real bad
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