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The Bait Caster

September 16, 2010

The Bamboo Bait Caster is for those who like Bass fishing. There are two styles that come in 6' length. The light weight is for the small mouth and other light weight fish. The heavy weight is, well for the heavy weight fish "use your imagination". This one is Handcrafted from solid Honduras Mahogany with a fitted hand triger grip. Inlaid with 14 kt.gold and Mother of Pearl.


About SweetRock RodSmiths:

MasterWoodSmith-Bruce Smith


Since 1962, learning from the elders and self-education

Became Grandmaster Woodsmith July 16, 1994 at age 45

As a fisherman and fly tier, the facination of bamboo rods became an affliction! Countless years of investing every spare $$$ from my humble viewpoint, building up tools, equiptment and hand making the tools of the trade, and learning the trade. The dream from the Origins of Angling Traditions, the honor of creating Handcrafted Splitcane-Bamboo Fishing Rods came true!

Tonkin Bamboo

Tonkin Split-Cane Bamboo or "Arundinaria amabilis"-"The Lovely Reed". Handcrafted by Rodsmiths, each Clum goes through preparational phases of spliting, roughing, heat treating, tapering, laminating, sanding, varnish, installing hardware and the final inspection.

demoBamboo fly rods, going back to the 1800's in China, after the new graphite rage, are coming back within the world of fly fishing. The tradition of an Heirloom to pass on for generations!

Bamboo Fly Rods 'by SweetRock RodSmiths' ..

Within this site I will show and give details to answer your questions about my bamboo rods. Please take your time to enjoy my work, and I hope this site shows you the pleasure of owning a Split Cane Bamboo Fly Rod.

MYTHS about Bamboo Rods!

Prior to Bob Gerding’s 14th Annual Outdoor Adventures Hunting & Fishing Show Bob Gerdings Hunting & Fishing Show, Bob Gerding's Outdoor Adventures, Karl Moffatt Outdoors New Mexico asked me what is my argument for Bamboo Rods. It took me awhile to think about that as I also own several Graphite Rods myself. Both have thier place and uses and both have quality rods as well as cheap pieces to be avoided at any cost, except for the first time fisherperson. It is worth saving your money for the right rod. I'd rather be truthful about this, then play verbal word games to build up or put down one or the other, that is simply just wrong. I build Bamboo Rods because I love Natures products and what you can create with it, with a minimal use of chemical products. It takes more time and patients to build a Bamboo Rod, a lot of knowledge and experance as well as tools and equiptment. I could write a lot about this subject, but Bob Nunley Why Bamboo? says it all in his Article at FOAL The Fly Fishing Enthusiast's Online Magazine.

Both rods have advantages and disadvantages. Any fly shop salesperson will acknowledge the advantages of graphite that they empirically derived, and more than likely will also affirm the disadvantages of split-bamboo while never having had the pleasure of casting one.

Bamboo fly rods are not the delicate items other manufactures lead you to believe, if fact they are very tuff and can take more abuse then graphite or fiberglass rods in most cases. Bamboo is a natural material and has more tinsel strength then steel. Never use a graphite fishing rod in an electrical storm. Rodcare boils down to common sense.

As always HAVE A NICE DAY!

Rods Styles

  • Fly Rods
  • Bass Rods
  • Spincast Rods
  • Trolling Rods
  • Ice Fishing Rods
  • Combination Fly/Spincast Rods

Times gone by!

Let me tell you a bit about myself. I'm just a guy who likes to fish. In the late 1950's I started messing around in my fathers and my grandfathers and my uncles garage work shops. Father liked woodworking, grandfather liked tying flys and refinishing bamboo rods, and my uncle liked model trains, collecting comics, and restoring old cars in his machine shop. I grew up with a wide range of knowledge from all of them. Working on the Bamboo Rods was my favorate thing to do. Things sliped away for awhile when I joined the Navy "SeeBees" and returned to a whole new world for myself. Tried making a living by refurbishing rods, musicial instruments, furniture, whatever I could find, you know the story! Hoo-raah, had to pay the bills, became a "StairMaster" and "High Line Woodmaster" building Banisters in Churches, Temples, and high end homes. Used every spare buck to acquire the tools of the trade. Continuing the restoring rods in my small humble shops, I kept learning more about the trade for over 40 years now. Retiring from the workforce I built a small shop and am now in the full style of rodmaking and only that, what a dream come true! To assist you in designing and building a custom rod to your specific needs.

Some Simple Questions Answered!

Where to look: There are many competent rodmakers, but You're already at the right place!

Are all rod builders equal: No, Same as any trade, some are better and some specialize in specific aspects of the trade. Talk to various builders, it's ok to shop around and find one who can best meet your needs, but you're already at the right place!

Custom or factory: A custom rod builder assists you in selecting the best blank and components to fit your needs. Commercial rods hardly ever to never use quality components.

More on Custom: I like a larger diameter handle cause I have big hands, I also like a shorter length handle, ask me why in the contact link. You may desire a certain diameter, length or shape not available otherwise. To find your requirements off a store rack are slim to none. We're having fun now, I love this part of it! This is where it really gets custom!!! Especially with the clear wraps so you only see the grain of the bamboo, really neat!!

Custom builders do what factories don't: The builder will set it up so you will have maximum response and power. Factories can't take the time to do that and are not building to the indivigual.

Advanced Features:

Fancy wraps and decorations: The true custom builder places the finest value on performance and accuracy and makes sure appearance follows function

More on fancy wraps: Yes you can have fancy wraps, and much more. Intricate engraving, decorative wraps, distinctive handles and grips to make it uniquely your own and become genuine heirlooms.

Cost: More than your basic off the rack rod. The preformance and Quality is worth spending a bit extra.

The need: You probably don't need one, but if you're a 1%er and are one of the anglers that are passionate and only want the best quality and preformance, it is for you!

Anything else: The sensitivity is subject to the stiffness to weight ratio. I use the most modern and technology proven materials and techniques to provide you with a stronger yet lighter, with increased sensitivity to reduce the strain and stress on the fatigue of a long day's fishing.


Fishing Rods

Choosing the correct Rod:  This depends on the type of fishing you intend to do.

The Environment:  Will you be fishing in lakes, rivers, streams, or the open sea.

Ask yourself:  Will I be mostly fishing fresh water or saltwater.

A general rule:  Use shorter rods for smaller rivers and streams. Longer rods for big rivers, lakes, and saltwater.

Rod Action:  The action is the key factor. How much does the rod bend when when you are using steady force. The action of a rod is calculated by how flexable the rod is.

Fast Action Rods:  A stiffer rod, generates more line speed in the cast, and allows for more accurate distance casting, good in windy conditions. They are suited more to the experienced angler, especially with heaver weight lines used in bass fishing and saltwater. They are good for catch and release trout fishing.

Medium Action Rods:  These rods are the most popular due to the versality and good flexibility for use in smaller streams, medium to large rivers and lakes. They require less prefection and are capable of a long cast. Adaptable enough for most conditions.

Slow Action Rods: These rods are designed to make shorter casts for more delicate and accurate fishing in small streams, creeks and rivers. Excellent for beginners with more flexibility and more control to get better accuracy in line casting. Experanced anglers enjoy them for those hard to catch bass and trout in the small streams.

Bamboo Fishing Rods: The natural material of Bamboo is established for the superb line and loop control, with incredible touch and feel. The greatest experance of angling!

Length: Lengths vary from 6' thru 9-1/2'

Rods: Rods come in two and three piece rods, with two tips, in line weights of 3 thru 7 depending on the taper. Each rod comes with a rod tube and rod sock.

Taper: Taper is determined by the type of fishing and waters the angler fishes.

Silk: A wide varity of colors to choose from for the wrapings. See the thread colors in the photos area.


Rod Components, Guarantee

Rod Components

Only the finest Tonkin bamboo is used to create a split cane rod. Reel seats are nickle/ silver in up or down locking, along with a line of classic reels for any rod. The wood inserts, with a large choice of designs and exotic woods to choose from, are manufactured in my shop to the specific seats. The grips come in Portages Cork, "cork is the bark of an Evergreen Oak tree", Douglas Fir bark cork, leather, exotic woods, and combination cork/wood. Winding checks are of nickle/ silver, tapered woods, or of bamboo itself. The finest snake guides, tip tops, and jewelery grade agate stripping guides of titanium or stainless steel, in bright or black. Most important are the finest Ferrules, of 18% nickle/silver, with alignment marks to make it easy to join the sections. Furrule plugs are nickle/silver, or you can have it come with the same exotic wood the handle or insert is made of. The Silk thread I use is Pearsall's Gossamer 6/0 and Naples 4/0 in colors and Bullard 3/0 for clear wraps, with 3-5 coats of spar varnish. Most overlooked is the hook keeper, the rod can come with or without it, a varity of types. Please visit the catalog to view the varity of each of the components.


SweetRock RodSmiths guarantees it's rods against any maker defects for the life of the original owner/purchaser at no cost. Arrange to return the product to SRRS for the work to return it to like new condition. If it is determined that any damages are from improper or poor care, mishandling, mishaps, etc., the original buyer assumes liability for all costs, including charges for parts, labor, shipping & insurance. Any modifications to a new rod void all conditions of this warranty. On a new purchase you have a five (5) day inspection period, if for any reason you are not 100% satisfied return it within the five days for a full refund. Rods must be returned in the new, unused, not fished with and in the exact condition as when purchased. Return shipping, customer pays all charges, including insurance equal to the exact value of the new rod, whereas these charges will be refunded also upon its inspection. If damage occures in transit without proper insurance, this return policy and the seven day inspection period terms are void.