I have my first ever tenkara project. This past weekend, I was out running errands and decided to stop at our local charity shop. It’s a place I seldom frequent (although my wife loves it!), but it’s a place you can occasionally find some amazing things.
While wondering around the crowded aisles I found this bamboo rod.
(Apologies for the poor photo, I had a difficult time figuring out how to photograph it.)
It seems in relatively decent condition (minus the years of dust built up on it) and is in fact a whole piece of bamboo. All the pieces (as best I can tell) seem cut from the same piece. There are no cracks or other damage that I can find and it still seems amazingly supple. It clearly needs to be cleaned and revarnished.
The largest diameter piece (with the “reel"attached to it) is 55.5”/141cm long. The next largest piece is 53.5"/136cm. The smallest piece is 47.625”/121cm long. This is a combined length of 13.625’/398cm long. Not to mention, it’s probably one of the straightest pieces of bamboo I’ve ever seen.
It cost a shocking $4. I’m going cut off the guides.
And I am going to remove the “reel” as well.
After that, I will attempt to apply some new varnish and attach a lillian to it to make a bamboo tenkara rod. Last, but not least, I need to replace the joints that hold the three pieces together. One of the two joints still works, but the other does not. There seems to be what was an old label from a builder near the “reel”, but, unfortunately it is now too faded to be able to read it see anything on it.
I figured that I’ll give it a try. At worst I’ll spend $50 and I’ve spent it on lesser things. At best, I’ll have a very interesting new tenkara rod. If I remember correctly, I believe some people here have worked with bamboo rods in the past. So if you have any tips or thoughts or recommendations (especially where to get supplies), that would be appreciated.