Rod Making Classes
Heat treating fixtures and Ovens
Rods on hand
Rod Making Classes
In March of 1998 I led my first brief rod making workshop in Mountain Home, Arkansas. For several years I led the "Beginner's Workshop" at the Southern Rodmakers Gathering. At two National Rodbuilders Guild Conclaves in Nashville, Tennessee I conducted intense seminars on making bamboo fly rods. Fall of 2003 opened a new chapter in the adventure of making bamboo fly rods for me as I began to dream of teaching others to enjoy this craft in more formal settings.
When someone who wants to
Making a first rod with some
hands-on instruction helps one discover whether rod
making is a hobby
worth his (or
her) personal time and effort without first making the
investment in time and tools. Students who
class leave with a rod or a complete ferruled
bamboo blank they made for
Students in the blank making class also take home all
the knowledge required to turn that blank
into a fine fishing rod, and the ability to make their
own rods in the
Here at my shop I also offer five and one-half day classes in which the students make a complete two piece, single tipped rod. We expand on the class described above by turning that ferruled blank into a completed rod. You will learn to install pre-made grips and reel seats, wrap and finish guides, and varnish the rod. We work really hard during the first three days, but do have some slack time later in the week while waiting for finish to dry. There is room for 2-4 students in the shop. Cost is $1695 per student and we'll schedule the class at your convenience.
Second is an opportunity never offered before to the potential new rod maker -- The Ozark Rod Makers School:
The Ozark hills of northern Arkansas are world-famous for lots of things…handcrafted quilts and American antiques, good home cooking and homemade whiskey, not to mention breathtaking river valleys and fantastic fly-fishing.
Now, we can add bamboo fly rod making to the list. Bob Nunley and I have joined efforts and are now ready to pass on to you a tradition of craftsmanship borne from 35+ years of combined experiences! Never before have two full-time professional rod makers worked together in leading a comprehensive class which teaches the student every aspect of making a bamboo fly rod.
We began these classes in Spring of 2009 in scenic Mountain Home, Arkansas. This weeklong school took 14 novice makers from a stalk of bamboo to a finished fly rod, ready to fish. On the last day of the school, each participant was actually casting THEIR rod. Just imagine the pride of casting a bamboo fly rod that you have made.
The Ozark Rod Makers School covers rod design and resources, techniques and tools, and all the secrets of turning bamboo into works of fly fishing art. Included in the $2495 tuition price are all materials and instruction, lodging and two meals each day, plus the opportunity for up to two partial days of fly-fishing on the beautiful White and Norfork Rivers. The school provides all tools and equipment. Show up with your toothbrush, leave with your finished fly rod in a cloth bag and aluminum tube.
Rods made by both Bob Nunley and me, as well as selected other classic rods are be available for casting at any time during the school to help guide you in your search for that unique feel that makes the rod your own; a rod designed by you, for you. At all times, a safe, fun, working environment will be maintained and proper use of tools will be stressed.
This fast-paced course includes:
Day One: selecting, splitting and straightening the bamboo.
Day Two: rough planning, heat-treating and tapering the strips.
Day Three: final planning, gluing, straightening and sanding the sections.
Day Four: mounting the grip, ferrules and reel seat. Apply the first varnish coats.
An afternoon fishing trip to the White or Norfork River is planned while the first varnish coat dries.
Day Five: space and wrap on guides, seal and varnish guides.
Hit the river again for more fishing. Then, reapply varnish to wraps. After dinner, apply one last coat of varnish to wraps.
Day Six: apply final varnish coat to rod in the morning.
The rod is dry and ready to cast by that afternoon.
Bob and I are both there guiding you every step of the way. This full immersion, hands-on approach to teaching the craft of rod-making insures that you walk away with a truly personal and functional piece of fly-fishing art. Call me at 318 282-1825, or email email@example.com for additional information or to reserve your space today. 2012 Classes will be held in April, May, September and November.
Starting with a class offers the student the advantage of my experiences and teaching skills in a personal learning environment. Before the class begins, each student is expected to study my guide to rod making here on this site and at www.globalflyfisher.com , as well as study Wayne Cattanach's Handcrafting Bamboo Fly Rods before arriving. Several weeks before the class students fill out a "Rod Design Form" which helps them choose the rod they wish to build in class.
Please bring a good pair of gloves, eye and ear protection if you have them, any tools you already own, and a strong desire to make your own bamboo fly rod. To make reservations, or for further information, please give me a call at (318) 282-1825, or contact me by email at the address below.