looking glass davidson river fly fishing blue ridge parkway waterfalls trout bamboo fly rods
Brook trout from the Ravenfork in Cherokee North Carolina. Fly fishing the Blue Ridge Parkway waters.

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Custom Bamboo Rods

Why fish with a rod made in a factory or from mass produced blanks, when you could fish with a piece of hand-crafted fly fishing artistry Made in the U.S.A? In an economy where time is money and the quest to produce things more cheaply is the rule, there’s still a place for things made one at a time. Our rods are hand made one at a time - not mass produced by computer guided machines. Each is a one of a kind creation with a spirit and heritage proven to perform flawlessly for a lifetime. 

Wild Bearings co-founder, Sam Johnson, learned bamboo rod making years ago from Gary Lacey, one of the top bamboo makers in the world. Since that time Sam’s been part of two bamboo rod companies, during which hundreds of rods were built for L.L.Bean, Wright& McGill, and scores of anglers and collectors around the world.

Our rods are 100% hand-crafted using traditional materials and methods that can take 35 to 60 hours to build. Each one starts with top grade Tonkin bamboo, split into strips, straightened, planed to within 1/1000”, glued, bound, dried and sanded. The result is a near flawless rod blank.

Both our Rubicon and Touchstone series bamboo rods only use historic tapers from some of the great makers such as Granger, F.E. Thomas, Payne, Dickerson, Gillum, Halstead, and Leonard . These tapers have been proven over time to offer excellent performance in both distance and accuracy. Select your variants such as series, action, and handle and we'll pick the taper that performs to your expectations. Overall, we know you'll be pleased standing in a scenic river or creek fishing with a bit of history in your hand that is both functional and beautiful. 

We also specialize in refurbishing vintage rods.