"Old time craftsmanship turned into a beautiful work of art; one at a time"
Those with an appreciation for fine bamboo fly rods will find great pleasure in owning and fishing a genuine handcrafted ZIA~RODS bamboo fly rod. Expertly crafted with uncompromising skill and great attention to detail, ZIA bamboo fly rods are esthetically pleasing and wonderful to fish with. Whether making delicate dry fly presentations or swinging wet flies, ZIA bamboo fly rods will seem to come to life in the casters hand. All my rods are “deluxe” and constructed from only the finest materials and finished to the highest standards. I take pride in my work and it’s reflected in the finished product delivered to you. The premium Tonkin Cane used on all my fly rods is first flamed to a pleasing brown tone which includes a fine agate stripping guide, nickel silver ferrules, chrome snake guides, wraps and tipping in premium Pearsall’s silk, select cork grip, a beautiful nickel silver reel seat with figured stabilized hardwood insert, then spar varnished with a hand polished finish. These are but a few of the details...
All of my Handcrafted Bamboo Fly Rods are beveled, temper heat treated, precision taper milled, hand planed, glued and finished one at a time by me. Standard rods are two piece with two tips and feature the 2X2X2 node spacing. My bamboo fly rods are based on traditional and proven classic tapers derived from the past masters. These tapers are slightly adjusted to complement today’s fly lines. The (Standard) fly rod is the Hexagonal rod. These fly rods are constructed using six strips for each section. The Quadrate, (Quad) fly rods are square in cross section and are made using the same tapers as the (Standard) Hexagonal fly rods but four strips of bamboo are used for each section. These rods use a conversion factor to fit the four strip (Quad) profile. All fly rods are best suited (balanced) using Double Taper (DT) fly lines unless otherwise noted, then Weight Forward (WF) lines will be most effective. All rods come complete in a custom labeled protective tube.
Fit, function and finish on all rods is guaranteed for the period of ONE YEAR from date of shipment except where neglect is evident. Prices includes express shipping, insurance and taxes. $250 deposit required on all orders. Finished fly rods and shipping dates are approximately 60 days or less from time of order. Some fly rod models may be in stock, contact me for details. Special orders for different components or tapers from the standard models as listed are quoted on an individual basis, I am open to most request, as there are hundreds of published rod tapers available. Fly rod Restorations quoted. All fly rods will be shipped at time of full payment received.
So what’s all the talk about? Bamboo is said to have one of the best “feels” of any fly rod material. It’s possible to feel the rod as it flexes and loads the line. The action is less rushed, I’d call it a much more relaxed style of casting. In a good taper, the rod actually helps the caster by storing energy, then delivering power to the line. Loops can be a little larger in bamboo, but this doesn’t mean shorter distances. Bamboo has greater cushioning effect on a bolting fish, thus protecting light leaders and tippets. A bamboo fly rod has strength with the ability to handle and play any fish encountered. A bamboo fly rod in longer rod lengths will be heavier, but an experienced fly caster will note, as their casting improves, one tends to take fewer casting strokes. There is undeniable beauty and history in a cane rod, they are made by a real person who has placed their name on the rod, and their heart into its construction. Bamboo fly rods hold there value.
The look and feel of a bamboo fly rod inspires awe that defies description. A handcrafted bamboo fly rod in the hand speaks silent volumes to the craft of the artisan.
“Feel the sensation, put passion in your fly fishing”
“The Confluence of art and craft”
The Fast, Medium and Slow Actions
The fast action rod has most of its flex in the top quarter and will be stiffer in the middle and butt.
The medium action rod has most of its flex in the top half, leaving the bottom half stiffer.
The slow action rod is one that will flex down its full length
The Progressive Taper
The Progressive taper is a rod which has a smooth, even increase in thickness all the way to the handle. A rod built to this form will get increasingly stiffer towards the grip, therefore the more load that is applied the deeper the rod will flex. This type of design is good for casting at short, medium and long distances.
The Parabolic type of rod will flex more in the butt section when a heavy load is applied. They have a stiff middle section and a flexible butt section. Rods with parabolic tapers are slow and powerful and make fantastic roll casting rods.
Recommendations and Advice
If you need advice on what type of rod to choose I will be very pleased to help you.
Taper Selection and Pricing
ZIA ~ RODS
---- STANDARD FLY ROD TAPERS - $1,100, QUADRATE $1,200 ----
6’ 3” 4 wt. Young (PHY) Midge - Handy, very positive and crisp medium/fast action fly rod.
7’ 0” 4 wt. Dickerson 7012 - Delicate to cast short with power to reach, medium action fly rod.
7’ 0” 4 wt. Payne 98 - The Standard! A splendid casting medium Dry Fly action rod with great casting power to reach cruising trout.
7’ 0” 4 wt. Leonard 38H - A cherished taper and a terrific medium/fast Dry Fly action rod, considered a crisp taper.
7’ 0” 5 wt. Garrison 201e - A formidable 5wt. Shorter progressive/medium taper in a 5 wt.
7’ 6” 3 wt. Caenis - A delightfully casting medium/fast action Dry Fly rod with a crisp action that throws small dry flies with accuracy to wary fish.
7’ 6” 4 wt. Young (PHY) Perfectionist - A true CLASSIC! This fine fly rod is a semi parabolic taper. If there is a perfect small trout rod, this is it.
7’ 6” 6 wt. Young (PHY) Martha Marie - A well balanced semi parabolic taper. Some consider this a rod with authority in a medium/fast action trout rod.
7’ 9” 5 wt. Garrison 209e - An elegant, smooth progressive/slow taper rod with good backbone for medium size fish, yet a delicate enough tip for dry fly presentations. Best all around taper.
8’ 0” 6 wt. Dickerson 8014 - A powerful medium/fast action fly rod capable of handling larger wild trout or bass. Good selection for swinging wet or dry flies.
(hollow fluting any above fly rod‘s butt section only, add $100)
---------- PARABOLIC FLY ROD TAPERS ----------
7’ 9” 4/5 wt. - Young (PHY) Para 14 - An impressive parabolic/slow action rod!
8’ 0” 5/6 wt. Young (PHY) Para 15 - The CLASSIC parabolic/slow action rod with equally distributed power for that long cast.
8’ 0” 6/7 wt. Young (PHY) Para 16 - A versatile parabolic/slow action rod with power for larger wet or dry flies. For something in-between the Para 15 and 17, this is it!
8’ 0” 7/8 wt. Young (PHY) Para 17 - Unequaled strength in a parabolic/slow action rod. Made to handle large wild fish without undue strain on the cane.
The Parabolic action is defined as a slow action rod that bends in an arc evenly along its entire length. Thus, the Parabolic action utilizes all the bamboo to it’s best advantage as more work is demanded of it. Paul H. Young (PHY) says, “On delivery of the cast, the lower half of the rod gets in its power impulse while the upper half is still flexed. Then, as the tip straightens, a seemingly second power impulse applies, which straightens out a long line or shoots an abundance of line, if desired.” The action arches well down into the grip/butt section when sufficient stress is applied. This taper is more constant than in the dry fly action which will have a larger lower butt section with a comparatively light, flexible tip. The Parabolic will have a lighter butt section with a heavier tip. As more load or working strain is imposed on the Parabolic action, the heavier tip begins to “shrug” off the work and distribute it further down into the butt section. You can feel the butt section flex into the grip. Since the butt section is light in comparison to the tip section, it will more quickly respond with an increasing arc, throwing the entire rod lengths stored energy into play. My Parabolic rods are two piece with a Parabolic taper that arc’s deeply into the butt section. This long even bend makes for a smooth and powerful casting rod. To me a Parabolic action rod is one that has an even workload potential throughout its entire length. This work capability is not held in reserve within the lower section of the rod, rather it is equally distributed throughout the rod’s taper lay up. To put all of this kinetic energy to work does require a slower casting presentation, but when harnessed, awesome distances can be achieved with very little effort to the caster.
The bamboo fly rod has a history, a past; The cane was once a growing, living thing, which has been transformed into a beautiful work of art. When I fish with bamboo, it seems to come to life again. I seem to fish better, I’m more relaxed in my casting. I think a little more about my presentation and approach to the stream. I spend more time observing what the water, trout and the insects are doing. It’s a time to reflect on my surroundings, taking in the nature of things, of being part of it.
“Life’s short, fish bamboo”
The bamboo fly rod shown above is just one sample of my style of building. Each rod maker must find his own place, I have found mine in a style of simplicity and function. Each of my handcrafted bamboo fly rods are a functional tool to be used as a medium to express character and individualism in the person. I hope will you enjoy fishing with my bamboo fly rods as much as I have enjoyed making them.
“I have never yet caught a fish on the first cast, nor have I ever made a first cast without thinking I would catch a fish”
The hardware used in a bamboo fly rod is about as expensive as hardware used in any other quality made fly rod. Bamboo fly rods will command a higher initial price due to their complexities of manufacture, but the real expense is in labor. Each section of a bamboo fly rod is made of multiple strips of bamboo. Although there are four and five strip bamboo fly rods, most rods have six strips in each section. A six strip, two piece, two tip bamboo fly rod has 18 strips in it. Estimated times to build a two piece, two tip bamboo fly rod range from 30 to 40 hours. Although some parts of the construction process can be sped up by use of a machine, the care needed to create a beautiful handcrafted bamboo fly rod can’t be hurried.
At any given time I may have a few rods in different stages of development. I plan my production rate at one rod per month. This gives me a little time for unforeseen events. Actually prepping, sawing, precision beveling, heat treating, milling and hand planing the individual bamboo strips to taper and assembly goes fairly smoothly, drying time is something that I can’t control. After each rod section is glued it has to dry for at least 48 hours. Wraps also have several coats of finish and can take 24 to 48 hours to dry. Final finish has to be given drying time and usually takes a week or so to set the varnish for polishing. Depending on the method I use and the humidity and temperature of the shop, I do my best to give the customer an honest completion date.
“The Handcrafted Bamboo Fly Rod is Sculptured. This sculpture is not only pleasing for the angler to touch and behold, but is a tool used in the anglers art of casting. Casting for the fish that has been seen in one's mind time and time again. At the rise the angler is allowed a glimpse of the mystery which comes from below the surface. Casting at that magic moment, the fly is taken. That familiar pulsating tension is felt running the length of the cane rod. Fulfillment is only for a brief moment in time, as the desire to repeat is never ending.”
ZIA ~ RODS
Handcrafted Bamboo Fly Rods
Daniel Gowe, Maker
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Customer: S A M P L E
Taper: (PHY) PAUL YOUNG, PERFECTIONIST
Length: 7’ 6” (7’ 6” 4wt. 2 piece/2 tips)
Line Weight: #4 (DT) DOUBLE TAPER OR (WF) WEIGHT FORWARD LINE
Action: MEDIUM (Semi Parabolic)
Hollow Fluting: (add $100) : N/A
Bamboo: FLAMED AND HEAT TEMPERED LIGHT BROWN
Node Spacing: 2X2X2
Reel Seat: BOYD CLASSIC STYLE, FINE KNURLED, POLISHED NICKEL SILVER
Reel Seat Spacer: PREMIUM, LIGHT COCOBOLO HARDWOOD
Reel Seat Finish: SEMI GLOSS
Winding Check: CLASSIC STYLE, KNURLED NICKEL SILVER
Ferrule Type: SWISS, NICKEL SILVER
Ferrule Size: 13/64
Cork Grip Shape: CIGAR WITH BURL NATURAL CORK SPACERS
Cork Grip: AAA GRADE CORK TAPERED TO 6”
Hook Keeper: BRONZE LOOP
Stripping Guide: ARCANE, NICKEL SILVER WITH RED BANDED AGATE
Guides: SNAKE, STANDARD CHROME
Tip Top: SNAKE, STANDARD CHROME
Wraps: NAPLES SILK, ROYAL HUNT
Guide Tipping: NAPLES SILK, ROYAL HUNT
Intermediates: NAPLES SILK, ROYAL HUNT
Signature Wraps: N/A
Rod Finish: GLOSS SPAR VARNISH, HAND POLISHED
Additional Service: N/A
TOTAL COST = $1,100.00. $250.00 DEPOSIT RECEIVED, BALANCE OF $850.00 DUE AT COMPLETION
COMPLETION DATE ESTIMATED AT 60 DAYS FROM DEPOSIT
Thank you for your order. Construction of your ZIA ~ RODS Handcrafted Bamboo Fly Rod will start immediately. Your bamboo fly rod will be done in progressive stages. A progress photo report will be e-mailed to you on occasion during construction.
With proper care and use, your bamboo fly rod will last to hand down to the next generation.
Wipe your rod carefully after each fishing session, and be sure that it’s thoroughly dry before putting it in its case. In an aluminum or any other type of air tight case, a damp rod will mildew which can ruin the rod. Remove the rod when you get home and allow it to air dry before returning it to its rod tube.
Keep the ferrules clean and free of dirt. When assembling or taking down a rod, never twist the joints, pull them straight away from each other to part. Never lubricate ferrules.
Do not leave a rod in a leaning position which will place a strain on the rod and possibly create a set or curve to the rod.
Avoid exposing a rod to extreme changes in temperature or humidity.
When fly fishing, be careful when a hook becomes caught on an overhanging branch, rock or submerged log, as yanking is likely to put a set in the rod or could cause it to break. If you’re unable to get to the hook, pull slack line from the reel, then pull the line only, (don’t use the rod as leverage). Pull the line evenly until the hook pulls loose or the line breaks free.
A set in the tip can be caused by putting too much strain on a fish, or using a heavier line weight that’s not correct for the rod. It is recommended to alternate the tips from one fishing session to another.
Take the rod sections down when moving through the brush.
~ Z I A ~
+ P series of rods: + P equals plus power. These rods are plus power for more authority at the tip. These rods are cut with a thicker tip section. (No price change)
Pentagonal, (Penta): Rods are now available in the Penta, 5 sided format, (except Parabolic tapers). Now you can have your choice of the new Penta (5 sided), Hexagonal, Hex (6 sided), or Quadrate, Quad (4 sided). (Same price as Standard rods)
New LWHB (Light Weight Hollow Built) Series: These rods are made up using all listed tapers, (except Parabolic tapers). These rods are hollow butt built, use in shop made lightweight sliding band aluminum reel seat hardware, lightweight stained hardwood spacer and thin wire guides, finished with the minimum of wrappings, no varnish. The rod blank is stabilized using Nelsonite 30B02, polished then wrapped. (Value priced at $750)
ZIA ~ RODS BAMBOO FLY ROD’S: A custom-built fly rod of selected Tonkin cane. Four, Five and Six strip construction. All strips are cut and prepared from a single stalk of heat-tempered bamboo. The result? A perfectly balanced fly rod of uniform toughness and resiliency. Bamboo Fly Rods available at prices from $750 to $1200. Want to know how Bamboo Fly Rods are made? Send for free information sheet on the complete construction process.