Looking for info on spliced joints on a bamboo spey rod

Discussion in 'Bamboo, Fiberglass & Classic Reels' started by caneaddict, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. I'm getting ready to attempt my first bamboo spey rod, a 12'er. I am looking for specific instructions on the spliced joints. Other than needing to add to my final dimensions some, I can't find much info on the subject. Info like the angle/length of joint, locations, orientations/which flats, etc. would be greatly appreciated. Is this info available somewhere? I've read some of Garrison and some of Gould. Cattanach says he makes them so the scarf starts on the top flat and finish on the bottom when doing repairs. Does that work for 12'ers too? I asked on the rodbuildingforum and didn't get much help. Anyone in the know overhere? Thanks!
  2. I believe Tom Bowden has made some spey rods with the spliced joints, he's on the forum so you could PM him about the specifics.

  3. Thanks Mike.
  4. Making splice joints is easy, and they work surprisingly well. Here's the way I do it.

    The first step is to make a splicing jig for an angle of about 24:1, with a width of at least .500" to handle the large butt sections on spey rods. I made mine out of strips of maple. I can send a picture if anyone is interested.

    Calculating the correct section length is a bit tricky. You want each section to be the same length and the assembled rod to be the desired length. Let's say you are making an 8' 2-piece rod with a dimension of .200 at 48". The splice will be 24 x .200 = 4.8" long, so each section should be 48 + 2.4 = 50.4" long. When assembled, the mid-points of the splices will be at 48". Calculating section length for a 3-piece rod takes a bit more math.

    Once the rod sections are finished, simply place in the jig and plane the splice so that the end of the section is about .050." The splices should be on the top & bottom of the rod. On a rod with splice joints, use a rub-on oil finish rather than dipping in varnish, because the tape used to attach the sections can lift varnish. To finish the faces of the joints, apply CA glue and then wipe off immediately. Varnish or oil on the faces could cause the assembled sections to slip. Use brown or clear tape to assemble the sections.

    Hope this is helpful. Let me know if you have questions or better ways to create the joints.

    fredaevans and hbbambooflyrods like this.
  5. Tom, thanks for the info. I had not thought about the tape lifting the varnish. I saw a pic of Shamburg's splice jig somewhere. I wonder if he is selling those? With any luck, I'll have pics to show in several months. Thanks again!
  6. Hola Mike, Felicitaciones por tus cañas se ven hermosas...
    Saludos HBages
  7. Muchas gracias tom por tu aporte. estoy fabricando mis primeras cañas con empalmes y tus consejos son muy claros.
    Salu HBages
  8. Hola Horacio,
    You might want to correct the link to your web page to


    You dropped one of the O's

  9. Hi Tom,

    I'm looking at making a couple of Spey Rods for myself and a great friend. Thanks for the comments you provide above, they're some of the only information that I could find on the subject of the spliced joint (actual data etc). A description of the physical dimensions for spey Rod Spliced joints seem to be hard to pin down. The swells that are claimed necessary have not been addressed anywhere that I can find. The swells at the splice are reputed to prevent hinge-like attributes in the joined sections. i note that the Grant Vibration Greenheart Rods had a pronounced swell within the context of the spliced joint and have read that the Sharpes Scotties had them. Can you comment on how you see the need for swells within the joints and any "global" specifications for the extent of the swell needed to maintain the intended action of Bamboo Spey Rods? any pointers here would be helpful. i've tried to contact some of the known makers of such rods and received no comments to date. Thanks for any help you can provide.
  10. Tom,

    I've made two rods that used splice joints: a 12' 3-piece spey rod, and a 9' 2-piece 6wt.

    On the 9' rod, I just planed the 24:1 taper at the end of the sections, leaving the ends at .050". By leaving .050" at the end, the assembled rod taper ends up being .100" oversized in the joint areas, which provides plenty of strength for a light rod. I don't think you need to increase the taper in the joint area.

    I have three versions of my 9' 6wt taper: one with integrated bamboo ferrules, one with a home-made graphite male ferrule on the tip, and the rod with the splice joint. I think the spliced joint rod is the best of the three rods. It seems to transfer casting energy more smoothly than the other rods.

    For the spey rod, I glued .070" strips to the outside of the tapered areas to provide additional support. Spey casting puts a lot more stress on the rod than single-handed casting, and strength is more important than lightness. You could accomplish this by increasing the rod diameter in the splice area and leaving more than .050" at the end of the tapered sections - maybe .100". You could also glue support strips on like I did.

    Hope this helps.

    Tom B
  11. Thanks so much for the information Tom! I appreciate the help and rapid reply on this question. i'll consider this as I march forward to the Land of Big Bamboo Rods. It'll be pretty interesting after all of the tiny 3 & 4 wgt tapers I've been building for my Brother Gary (Upstate New York). Best wishes to you for a peaceful Holiday Season!
  12. Hi Tom,
    I’m considering building spey rod and don’t know where to start. I’ve graphed out a taper based on the Powell B formula that on paper looks reasonable. Can you share any particulars about the rod you built?
    Thanks and regards,
  13. Ray, I used the Hoergaard 12' HC taper, and then modified the tip to provide additional strength. The stronger tip really makes the rod cast better. I built it as a 3-piece rod with the sections, including 25:1 splice joints, 53.71" long. I hollowed the rod to .120" wall thickness, and left dams at the guides.

    From a construction standpoint, making the large diameter butt section strips in a standard planing form is difficult. Split the strips wide, and be really careful not to take too much off when rough planing.

    There are a lot of variables and personal preferences involved in spey casting, but I like a 460 grain Scandinavian line with either a floating or clear intermediate poly leader.

    Below is the original taper, and the "revised tip" version.

    Hope this helps. Let me know how your rod turns out!


    Original Revised
    Station Diameter Tip
    0 0.100 0.120
    5 0.120 0.138
    10 0.135 0.150
    15 0.150 0.163
    20 0.167 0.177
    25 0.183 0.191
    30 0.200 0.205
    35 0.220 0.220
    40 0.235 0.235
    45 0.250 0.250
    50 0.278 0.278
    55 0.290 0.290
    60 0.305 0.305
    65 0.325 0.325
    70 0.333 0.333
    75 0.345 0.345
    80 0.360 0.360
    85 0.373 0.373
    90 0.387 0.387
    95 0.403 0.403
    100 0.438 0.438
    105 0.461 0.461
    110 0.480 0.480
    115 0.499 0.499
    120 0.515 0.515
    125 0.530 0.530
    130 0.552 0.552
    135 0.570 0.570
    140 0.590 0.590
    145 0.600 0.600
  14. If you'd like, I do have a two handed Greenheart salmon rod from the 1800's. It has the spliced joints. I could get pics of what it looks like try to get the angle if you need it. Not sure how much the angles would vary from Greenheart to bamboo
  15. Muchas gracias Mike,
    Saluda cordialmente Horacio Bages

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