Cane Rods & Silk Lines

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Cane rods & Silk Lines


Good grayling caught on cane and silk


River Severn Grayling,
 Caught On A 77 Year Old Hardy

Split cane fishing rods have been around for a lot longer than you might think. There is mention of Indian army officers bringing cane back with them as early as the 1700's. However early cane rods were nothing like we see today. They were very heavy and stiff, but even back then people could see that cane would play a important part in fishing.
As time passed and improvements were made, the cane was split into 6 sections, to form a hexagon. The first mention of a hexagon split cane rod in Great Britain was in 1887.
So if you would like a taste of what our forefather enjoyed, conjuring with names like Walton, Cotton and Sawyer, or would just like to see how a cane rod compares to more modern materials, come along and have a cast in the past and try cane and silk for yourself. I think you will be very suprised at how well these supposed outdated materials perform.
When you start fishing with cane and silk you aren't just going fly fishing, but fishing with a piece of history which has taken many, many hours to hand-craft for your enjoyment.
You can fish with vintage cane rods, or the more modern, but traditionally hand made cane rods.
If you would like to come and have a guided day out on one of the picturesque rivers in Wales and try it for your self, please feel free to contact me for further information and prices.

Alberto Poratelli Quality Hand Built Bamboo Fly Rods Made In Italy

Click Photo To Go To Alberto's Web Site

When Alberto makes a fine cane fly rod, he firstly takes a 12' bamboo pole, which he prepares . Out of the 12' section he can get 2 rods. From start to finish it takes in excess of 60 hrs of work to craft one rod. The longest part of the proces is the planing of the split cane to the right size, which is critical, the tolerances are very tight ,working within 0.0004". The rod is made up of six sections, with the tip section tapering down to 0.03". The sections of cane have to be baked for 30 minutes. When the cane blank is finished a cork handle of 25 separate cork rings is attached and shaped to size. All the whippings are then completed and six coats of varnish are applied to give a superior finish. When Alberto makes a rod it is completely by hand, no power tools are used.
If you follow the photo's below, this will show you each stage Alberto went through to build my 7' 1/2" splitcane fly rod, for a 4# line, a total work of art.


Selecting a bamboo pole for making a rod


Cutting bamboo to length


Starting to split the bamboo pole


Start of the cleaning process, removing the inner node.


Splitting the cane down into smaller strips


Cleaning the external node


Bamboo strips ready for straightning


Cane strips ready for pre planing


Pre planing the strips in a  planing former


Cane planed strips ready for cooking


Cane strips after being cooked


Side angle cane strips after cooking


Bamboo Strips Bored for the Bamboo Ferrule


Selected Quality Cork Rings


Fitting The Cork rings To Form The Handle


Starting to whip the rings on the cane blank, using a whipping jig


Whipping the snake rings


The final job, the naming of the rod.

Terenzio Zandris Silk Fly Lines

Click Photo To Go To Terenzio's Web Site

Terenzio Zandris, is an expert in silk fly lines, he has been manufacturing these lines for many years.
This is what he has to say about his lines:

to describe my fly lineto you, I begin saying that “she” ( in my opinion it is a lady line), is suitable and excels on every type of water, whether chalk-streams, spring-creeks, rivers etc. My fly lines are made both in natural and artificial silk, they differ from modern plasticfly lines as they are a lot more supple. Each line is built in DT (Double Taper) ,and  complies to the AFTMA scale, as do those made from PVC. They come in a wide range of weights from 0,6 to 6 and more, including intermediate weights like 1-1/4, 1-1/2. Compared with PVC lines, silk lines are a lot thinner, helping them to cast into the wind. The effort and the attention to detail that has been given to this product over many years, has given the result of a durable, soft and above all superb floating characteristics.

It is necessary to grease the line to maintain the best buoyancy and performance taking care to leave the fly line to dry when not in use.
When the fly line touches the water, it sits in the "film" without breaking it.
These lines are made using modern methods and skills.

In conclusion, these lines have been made with great passion involving many hours of work. Fishing with these lines is a pleasure in itself.


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All content © Copyright 2006. Andrew cartwright Game Angling.
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