Our Building Process:
We only use traditional methods and tools such as Lie-Nielsen hand planes, metal and wood lathes, wood files and rasps, sandpaper, micrometers, planing forms, etc. – no automation or CADing. Our materials include Tonkin bamboo, nickel silver bar/tube stock, cork rings, silk thread, stainless/nickel silver wire, agate stone, varnish, exotic woods, and glues.
After selecting a taper, we start by inspecting and selecting just the right Tonkin bamboo culm that has been ammonia infused and heat treated. It’s cut into sections, and then split out (or sawed) into 6 strips for each rod section. Strips are rough beveled to a 60-degree angle. Node on the 6 strips are staggered (3/3) for strength and aesthetics, and then expertly hand planed to within 1/1,000” of the rod’s selected taper specs. Each strip is inspected for any gaps that could create glue lines.
Each section’s six strips are glued, bound, dried and sanded to remove excess glue. The rod’s butt section is fitted with 12 rings of Portuguese flor grade cork and turned to form the grip. The reel seat’s exotic wood spacer is formed, finished and fitted. Ferrules are machined out of nickel silver bar stock, assembled and fitted. Winding/cork checks, slide ring and butt cap are machined, and fitted. Guides and agate stripper are crafted and attached with antique silk thread – some requiring up to 300 turns each. Finally, at least three to four spar varnish coats are applied and sanded between coats to form a tough yet mirror like finish. All in all, to make our rods, it takes 30 – 50 hours from start to finish.