Paradigm Custom Rod Design

Benchcrafted Fly & Freshwater Split Bamboo Fishing Rods for the Contemporary Angler
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   intro      mythos - factoids

 
Elements of Design – The Greek Key Meandros

 
 
 
Meander, a word which derives from the serpentine flow of rivers; the Menderes River in western Asia Minor is the etymological root, proverbial for its winding course (it was called Maiandros in Ancient Greece, the source language). The headwaters of the Meander is only a little over 500 kilometers (310 miles) from its outlet into the Aegean Sea, and falls by about one kilometer in elevation, but it is notorious for the long and winding road it takes to reach its final destination. The verb ‘to meander’ in English means to wander in a circuitous way, often with the connotation of doing so aimlessly, and this meaning derives directly from the course of this river.
 
         
 
The Greek Key or fret pattern design has its origins in ancient Greece and is their most important symbol. Also known and referred to as Meandros or the Hellenic Key it possesses a symbolic meaning to the eternal flow of life, unity and existence. The Greek key design is one of the most common designs in ancient Greek art, and many ancient Greek temples incorporated the sign of the meander. A symbol of eternity, dating to the ancient Hellenic States of Greece, the key form was used primarily due to the ancient Greek interest in labyrinths during the medieval period.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Custom Nickel Silver Cap & Ring  ~  w/exotic Lignum Vitae wood insert
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Split-Bamboo Myths and Facts - FAQ
 
 
 
Q.   Split bamboo tends to be heavier than modern carbon fiber graphite or fiberglass fly rod materials.
 
A.  This is true with good explanation. Solid-formed split bamboo rod construction consists of natural, high power fiber density Tonkin cane strips that are; heat treated, split, cut to size, rough beveled and tapered into equilateral triangular splines then glued and bound to form the rod blank. On the other hand, synthetic carbon fiber graphite rods - cylindrical, thin-walled and hollow construction throughout - are indeed generally somewhat lighter in weight than that of solid core, hex-shaped bamboo rods. However, some line-weight specific taper split bamboo rod blanks that dwell in the 8' foot length category have been known to weigh-in at a mere 2.5 ounces - - one to one and one half (1 - 1.5 ounces) more than a standard 8' foot graphite fly rod blank. As a rule, most of the extra weight felt in any fishing rod whether graphite, fiberglass or bamboo is accountable in the installation of fancy metal hardware, ie; ferrules, reel seat components, etc. machined of nickel silver, titanium, duronze, brass or aluminum and other alloys. Hard and stabilized woods and metal reel seat inserts also add to heft. These types of components/rod accoutrements in fact may often weigh double that of the actual rod blank itself! In light of that (pun intended), bamboo aficionados will happily concur that after "tuning-in" to the sweet spot of a custom Split-bamboo fly rod, the miniscule ounce or two of organic weight quickly becomes a relative afterthought to the fly caster.
*** To a large degree, the advantages of HollowBuilding a Split-bamboo blank will solve the concern of internal mass within a fly, spin or casting rod by eliminating up to 35% percent of weight overall. Please visit the  HollowBuilding  page for more info on this topic.
 
 
 
Q.   Split bamboo rods are generally thought of as being fragile and delicate. Is this true?
 
A.   A common misconception. For more than a century, Split-bamboo was, and still is your grand and great grand-dad's dependable fishing rod of choice in a time when synthetic, man-made materials were not yet available. To the contrary, many cane rods from years ago in that era are presently in use today. If you're a daring risk-taker, try performing the "step" test, to determine differences in strength, construction and material integrity. Lay the rear (butt section) of your favorite graphite rod down on a low-pile carpet (for protection), then take a similar section of a bamboo rod and place them side by side, next to themselves. Using all of your body weight carefully step onto both rod sections. If a crackling and splintering sound was heard -- unfortunately -- the weight pressure was far too much for the now ruptured hollow graphite section to endure. Okay now, STOP!... This is merely a hypothetical scenario meant only for comparison and if followed through will indeed result in a crushed graphite rod beyond repair. This procedure is bears no intention to put a negative spin on carbon fiber graphite but in fact, live demonstrations of his procedure have been conducted at public fishing events, tackle distributor shows and bamboo rod building seminars across the country to illustrate the strength, durability and resilience of bamboo vs. carbon fiber graphite. Scientific research and testing has further proven conclusively that Tonkin bamboo possesses a tensile strength that is stronger than that of steel and compression strength which rivals the properties of concrete. Interesting facts discussing strength benefits, durability, resilience and versatility along with its vast usage in various applications can be found on the web.
 
 
 
Q.   What justifies the expense in purchasing a custom Split bamboo rod?
 
A.    Split-Bamboo rods are coveted as valuable equipment for discriminating anglers known to appreciate in value through the course of time as heirloom collectibles. With that said, the majority of cost found in a custom Split-bamboo purchase is primarily from the direct result of the many hours invested in hand crafting the rod blank itself. Additionally, the procurement of high-end, custom machined premium grade rod components and accessories used to outfit a custom designed bamboo fly rod are then factored in, falling somewhere within the 250.00 - 350.00 range of price. Constructing a handcrafted split-bamboo blank is a laborious and time consuming process which alone will take about 40-plus hours to complete, requiring a reasonable amount of know-how and a great deal of patience. Once the task of fabricating the rod blank has been completed, rod finishing aspects follow in the steps of hand-assembling and installing rod parts and components along with specialized ferrule work, guide prep, hand-wrapped thread winding's, coating/varnishing and personalized aesthetics etc, which will typically consume another 30-40+ hours of work extended over a period of several weeks to customize.
 
Consider the logical choice investment.
At present day... a number of well-known established brand name fishing rod manufacturer's in existence are marketing fly rods labeled with super high-tech catch phraseology boasting... "Top secret, proprietary aerospace grade carbon fiber materials infused with precious metal alloys and more, etc."
Fly rods that today possess sharply inflated price-points surreptitiously peaking to well above the premium mark of $1000.00 -plus+...
 
Sure, these synthetically-manufactured rods with all the "unique technological advancements and fancy taglines" will certainly function as well as the manufacturer intended them to. Explore and carefully weigh the options decisively with keen foresight. -- Part with hard-earned wages in exchange for mass-produced fishing rods assembled at the hands of many unknown, overworked and underpaid factory workers toiling in the outsourced environment of an offshore assembly line while cranking out rods in a fraction of time/man hours it takes an individual craftsman to patiently and meticulously bench craft a custom-personalized, Split bamboo heirloom to exacting customer specifications in the classic rod making tradition?