There are over 150 steps in making a bamboo fishing rod which involve nearly 60 hours of work to actually complete. That’s a lot of work. You can sneak a peek at how it gets done — the carving, the burning, the shaving, the glueing — in the video below by Michael Herman. In it, you get to follow fly fisherman Nick Taransky around as he meticulously makes a bamboo fishing rod. The fun part is trying to figure out what the next step in the process is because it’s not nearly as simple as cutting a strip out from the bamboo.
Taransky, on his process and materials (the bamboo is Tonkin Cane, grown in the Kwangtung province of China):
The bamboo is flamed to give it additional strength and stiffness, and to accentuate the colors of the powerfibers and nodes. Strips are hand spilt and planed, to ensure the powerfibers are retained for the full length of each section. I turn my own grips from high grade Portuguese cork, and use the best nickel silver ferrules and reel seat hardware available from the USA. Australian hardwood burls are sourced from local supplies for use in reelseat spacers. Guides are bound with the finest Japanese silk.