The little bit I know about bonefish and the little bit I know about bamboo would make me think that the two really don’t go together well. Turns out they might go together just fine, given the right rod and the right angler.
Coach Duff out in the Aloha State recently took up the call. Rick Sorenson of Westslope Fly was behind the challenge to find a bamboo rod capable of dealing with Hawaiian bones. Not only would the rod need to deal with the size of the fish, but also the high winds of Hawaii. Rick is one of the world’s top dealers of bamboo rods, those ancient and modern.
Master rod builder Rob Smith (Pentalux Bamboo Fly Rods) of New Jersey responded to the grass rod vs. Aloha bone and Coach Duff tested and fished a few different tapers in 8 weight. Rob’s first build was a parabolic design and although Coach hooked two fish in two days over 6 pounds in high winds, something much faster and far more responsive was needed. The rod would still need to have the ability to load in tight for tailing bones and “tip” casts. Rob nailed it on the second build out.
I was floored with the rod’s speed, sensitivity and abilities. I threw a whole Monic Phantom tip line with two backcasts with ease the whole flyline rocketing out like a hellfire missle, showing the power was there. It was good in close, it was good in 20 mile an hour winds and overall it has forever changed my ideas of bamboo rods and their limitations.
The proof is impressive.
Thanks to Coach Duff for giving permission for re-use of the photo.
A full length article should be in “Japanese Flyrodder,” which I’d bet is not the kind of magazine you find at Barnes and Noble.