by Dave Bollinger
I just returned from Mountain Home, Arkansas and want to say a good word about my experience at the Ozark Mountain Rod School. Over the course of five and a half days I made a 7 ft., 4 wt. rod from "scratch."
We flamed and split the bamboo culm, roughed the strips out, planed them by hand to precise tapers and then glued up the sections, wrapped guides and installed handles and reel seats and varnished two coats. There were four of us in the class and we all came out with beautiful split bamboo fly rods.
Harry Boyd and Bob Nunley's expertise was simply incredible. Their good humor and excellent teaching capabilities guided us through the week on to the completion of our rods. I cannot express how well this class was run and the excellence of the information imparted by Harry and Bob.
If anyone is interested in learning how to make a fine split bamboo fly rod, they should contact the Ozark Mountain Rod School. By the way, the fishing in the White and Norfork Rivers is about the best I have ever seen. Big rainbows, browns and cuthoats. Catch one and hold on!
Here is a view of the four completed rods. The other students were Bob Gustafson, Dan Boeh and Ron Klatt. My rod is at the bottom of the four. All of them are beautiful split bamboo fly rods. Really special.
Thanks for the great article, Dave! Really neat stuff. If anyone would like more information on Harry and Bob's Ozark Rod Making School, Click Here.
-- Dr. Todd