Bamboo Fly Fishing Rod and Custom Curly Maple and Walnut Case

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Project by Cheapguy82 posted 12-31-2016 10:49 PM 1487 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So, in one of my first project posts, I showed a thank you gift to a friend of mine who had helped me make a hand split bamboo fly fishing rod I’m just now getting around to actually showing the thing and the case that I made to protect it.

Once I made the actual rod (which is in the pics), I knew that I needed to build a case to protect it when I carry it around and go fishing.

I made this case hexagonal (to match the rod) out of curly maple and some walnut pieces that I picked up as cutoff scrap. One of the walnut pieces is actually pretty nicely figured, which was a nice find I think. The case is made to be about 5’ long and fit the rod snugly when shut. The curly maple was cut into strips that are about 3/8” thick and all but the pieces that are involved in the case’s opening were glued together. I got the small hinges online and upholstered the inside with foam and felt. I had never tried upholstery before this, so I found it to be a real challenge. I will be trying to fix the upholstery job at some point…

I had not done any leather working since summer camp in Boy Scouts, so that was fun to relearn, too. I did all the stitching by hand. I used some Chicago screws and lock tite to keep everything in place. The leather came out of a bag of scraps that you can buy at Hobby Lobby for under ten bucks.

I got little neodymium magnets to help hold the case shut and drilled holes for them along the opening. Going deep enough while making sure not to go all the way through was pretty nerve wracking.

I finished the whole case with poly. I had a hard time getting the finish just right. I must have brushed 10 coats on, sanding in between with up to 800 grit. I think that wipe on would have been a heck of a lot better, but I guess that’s hind sight.

Overall, I’m really happy with how it came out. Since there are no plans for anything like this, the actual woodworking was a lot of fun and a real learning experience.

-- Stephen - Georgia

8 comments so far

View jbee's profile


65 posts in 1432 days

#1 posted 12-31-2016 11:40 PM


A really nice case. What a challenge to create and execute. Well done.

How do you like the fishing rod?


-- Life is good! Make the most of it.

View BurlyBob's profile


7435 posts in 3002 days

#2 posted 01-01-2017 05:31 AM

Those are two flat out fantastic projects. Congrats on your skill and craftsmanship.

View Cheapguy82's profile


83 posts in 1270 days

#3 posted 01-01-2017 01:38 PM

Thanks jbee and BurlyBob!

- jbee – the rod, itself is 8’ and 8 wt. Since I fish for bass mainly, that’s what I built it to do. I actually ordered the reel seat and hardware online and I won’t do that again. The color was supposed to have been ‘walnut’, but it has a reddish tint to it…and I was dumb to put it on. Next time, I’ll make my own for sure – probably with some burl wood. I’ve taken it out a handful of times and have caught a couple fish on it. Catching bass on it is like using an ultralight setup – lots of fun!

- BurlyBob – thanks a bunch! The rod took about 50 hours of working time to build, start to finish, so it was quite a process. The case didn’t take as long at all, but since it was all coming out of my head, there were delays to figure out and fix things as the process went along. When I looked at the prices of these rods and saw how high they are ($1000+ in a lot of places), I thought it was nuts. After seeing how much it takes to make a quality one, I understand. Don’t get me wrong…it’s still high…but I understand why.

Starting with a 9’ piece of bamboo from China and turning it into a completed rod was right up my alley. I like taking stuff that is rough and turning it into something nice. If anyone is a fisherman and woodworker – and REALLY into precision work – I’d recommend the project. There’s nothing like catching fish on stuff that was built with your own hands!

-- Stephen - Georgia

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 3080 days

#4 posted 01-01-2017 03:26 PM

nice build

View Planeman41's profile


21 posts in 1260 days

#5 posted 01-01-2017 03:48 PM

Now those are “slicker ‘n deer guts on a door knob!”. Beautiful work!!!

I see you are an Atlanta guy. So am I. I live in the Sandy Springs area. Where are you located? Send me an e-mail at [email protected]

-- Always remember that that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View helluvawreck's profile


32119 posts in 3603 days

#6 posted 01-01-2017 11:39 PM

Wow, this is a great rod and case.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Cheapguy82's profile


83 posts in 1270 days

#7 posted 01-02-2017 05:49 PM

Now those are “slicker n deer guts on a door knob!”. Beautiful work!!!

HAHA! I’ve lived here my whole life and have never heard that one! Thanks for the compliment on the project. I’m on the south side of town – Fayetteville/Peachtree City area. Send me a message on here any time, sir!

-- Stephen - Georgia

View Cheapguy82's profile


83 posts in 1270 days

#8 posted 01-02-2017 05:50 PM

Thanks Charles and David! This project was fun and I’m glad that you appreciate the work that went into it

-- Stephen - Georgia

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