Bamboo Tips - Extreme Rodmaking
Is Bamboo REALLY Stonger than Gr***


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Here's my account - on my fisherman’s heart it is all true I was doing a demo of bamboo rods at my local fly shop.  I always go through the myths of bamboo. There are heavy, easily broken etc. There was  a 'difficult' person in the audience who was sure that bamboo fly rods were fragile and heavy and was adding his sarcastic comments every time I paused to draw a breath.

I was recommending that if snagged you pull line not yank your rod, no matter what type of rod.  He began to speak over me telling all that his Sage (SPL 383 I discovered later) would not break under those conditions but any bamboo fly rod I selected would break at the tip or ferrule. He didn't stop there but began to challenge me and I was on the hot spot.  I tried to get out of it saying I wouldn't want to take responsibility for breaking his sage.  He said he would not be upset because he was sure it wouldn't break.

He demanded the test.  I had a Montague Flash (12 ounce pool cue) and a  lighter rod I have since sold and forget but lets say it was a Granger. He went first in the test  - had a reel on his Sage and had me stand on the tippet. He gave it a good honest  yank and not much happened.  The he handed me the reel, I strung it up on the Montague and he stood on the tippet and I gave it a good yank or two. Again not much happened except I began to suspect this guy was on drugs and not the good, happy drugs I have seen back in the sixties. He was red faced and ranting. I was about to ask the guy at the shop, Mike, to end the demo because this was not going to end pleasantly.  

I get the reel off and while holding the rod straight up in the air I am handing the guy his reel,  when this guy decides to take a swing at the bamboo rod with his plastic rod. It was a target up in the air and this was one of those guys who just can't be wrong.

I can only guess he hit the 2nd ferrule as he didn't hit the butt section (.48 inches) but the results would have probably been the same.  He broke the plastic rod that he was so sure was stronger than the bamboo. Mike had already seen the look on his face, knew this guy at least by reputation and hustled him out of there. The group was sure the drug crazed angry guy was a shill as I remember the demo ended too soon, after the incident and no one stayed to ask questions and seek restoration services.  (Rex Tutor)

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