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          I have an immense respect and truly appreciate the hard earned money entrusted to me for the rods I make. I have worked hard my whole life, and know what takes to make a dollar and how hard it is to find some extra for fun things just like everyone else!

         What my prices are based on has absolutely nothing to do with what any one else charges, or what “the market will bear”… they are based 100% on what raw materials & parts  cost me and how much time I send making items…thats it…pure and simple…I have to buy a few “finished” parts etc like guides and reel seat hardware…other than that its all raw materials I make into my rods, nets and cases…and my personal time at  the equivalent of a finish carpenters wage…

        I like keeping busy and groceries on the table…and appreciate my customers more than I can tell you! Making bamboo fly rods isn’t a path to great financial riches…but is something I love doing, and love even more the folks that I get to meet in the process. There are a lot of things for myself in life that don’t have $$ on them.

  The goal I have for the result of all this is to make something very special and unique that I hope will bring many hours of  pleasure for many years to come…and quite possibly be something that is handed down the line in time…

custom made bamboo fly rods by wandering monk

      My bamboo rods are listed for typical use rather than actions as are graphite rods…ie. medium , fast etc… email me and I can give better descriptions as to what style of angling I would pursue with any given rod or blank I make…dry or wet fly, finesse , big water etc …

      My handmade wooden “Hex” cases come in five different color finishes to match up to my various series of rod models, they are as much “one of a kind’s” as my line of custom made bamboo fly rods…each made to order in 4 different capacity sizes 30-72″  in length … working equally well to protecting that special Bamboo or graphite rod in style!
        The method I use to finish these cases is several layers of alcohol stains and oils, with sequences of flaming with a torch to bring out grains and a natutal irridescence … the result is something very special  & unique…
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       Taking materials from Nature and incorporating them into my gear has been my signature for decades…Mule Deer & Elk antler, Osage Orange, sinew and of course the backbone of the rods themselves, split bamboo…I fashion my rods and other gear I make to be reminiscent of something made in times past by Native Americans…an attempt to be in harmony with the surroundings experienced while practicing my favorite pastime…
         Using these various materials in this way  gives  a connection for me that is hard to describe…the “aesthetics” of these accents don’t add anything to my rods performance as fishing tools…but what they do is to show a respect and reverence for the “circle of life” myself and many others experience while angling…

 

…see my full “Fins & Scales” gallery …click on “wm’s galleries”
          “My favorite place on earth is being in the mountains in September, fishing in a cold  & crysytal clear flow of water, with a favorite rod in my hands…and a fly I tied up the evening before for that long awaited hatch… water rushing by my boots…the aspens  turning gold with the Bull Elk  bugling in the background”…
         I pick materials that have their own natural beauty for all I do…the result is a rod that is noticebly different than from one of the mainstream …for me a “custom” rod should be exactly that…each one unique for the new owner…no two rods from any one of my series I make are identical, all having a “personality” of their own. A lot of this is due to the materials I use, since by the fact that nature rarely creates itself the exact same twice…I always make sure each one, even if its a shop rod, has something unique and special & noteworthy about it.
 …one of my “reel bunks” listed on the wooden case page…
           WM does not , and will not copy proprietary tapers or rod models of other or companies, current or past… I do not make “knock off’s” of classic collectables or existing rods… I do make replacement tips for older rods along with doing repairs on them…but not for the purpose of restorations specifically for re-sale as originals
…all restorations are discreetly marked with date of  refurbishment and my signature
             With the rise of fakes and misrepresented products , I don’t want to be in any way associated with that. If I think someone is “fishing” with me to see if I will assist them is such activity I will inform them of my stand on such issues, and turn away any work. Building up rods from old hardware of classic rods(  reel seats, ferrules, guides etc)  in the attempt produce “originals” is something I will not be a part of… collectors and rod buyers should be aware that this is going on! I hear of this happening on a regular basis…much to the chagrin of  unsuspecting consumers…

 …”Cheesman Canyon” , 12 years after the Hayman fire, “good to go”…

…with time and some help, The Earth does “heal” itself…

…scroll down for more pictures and descriptions of my rods…
             …my personal 7′ 4/5  “DreamCatcher” & replica old school reel…my favorite wet fly combo…when the snow starts to melt & the sun comes out it is a great time to wet that hook ! I really love the “clickety-click” sound the “old school” reel makes when  the drag kicks in on a run! its my own little “time machine“…the sights and sounds experienced with tackle that is patterned after items from an era past can have their own little nuances reminding us of a time less complicated…
          I also put a few coats of acrylic finish on my personal rods for extra protection for days just like this…that’s my “spring creek” net in the background and a favorite “snow fly” pattern…

 

            Here’s is a  favorite bamboo “stack mending “ rig, an 8 footer  in 5 wt rod with an extended butt,  a replica reel decked out with some antler accents & the “western” pattern cork grip is the standard  grip I turn. This rod also has my signature sinew and antler ring winding check & reel seat protector, getting close to the level of  a Special Edition Series rod… that’s my “tailwater” series net in the background made from red oak lamination’s and handle, my special “heavy duty”  handmade C&R oriented landing net…

 

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… a  special edition series rod… “Rainmaker”, a 7ft 4 weight…

            The style of bamboo rods I make is a bit different than the traditional or standard treatment , but my own “unique”style … reflecting a slightly more “organic” approach to angling, relying on things from nature itself to accent and give a final finish…something that for me has enhanced my own personal experience while pursuing trout with a fly…

                …my 6′ – 4 wt. , “DreamCatcher” series fly rod ,my basic model I make … the “Trout  Fisher” net and my machined reel w/anodized finish…this is what I have waiting for me when it comes to the small trico, and mayfly hatches, or even fishing wets for native cuts or brookies…

 

 

             Fly Fishing and the gear I pursue it with has always had a spiritual and artistic component for me…and I have tried to convey that in what I do…the fun  thing about having a website and a digital camera , is that I can express a lot more than just trying to sell something…it’s my “grown up show & tell”…I totally enjoy what I do…incorporating aspects of my life outdoors into what I make & craft…

 

               Here is a style stripping guide I really like for rods that get serious use(“recoil”)…plenty of traditional styling, and even more function and durability!…they can actually be bent over and still return to their original shape perfectly! something worth considering if you’ve ever damaged a guide or even a fly line due to a cracked ring…

 

Here is one of the finishes I offer on my “RainMaker” series rods…bevel carved elk antler for the center strip w/ contrasting 1/8″ dark and medium burn cork rings, the peak of the “bevel” acts as not only a nice contrast of materials, but also as an excellent “thumb” locator for the full wells style grip, for folks that like that style cork in their hands…then my “Bee Hive” transition!…no “CNC” here, just good old fashioned elbow grease and a few “nicked up” finger tips!

 

All my rods start out with a hand rubbed finish on the blanks, what this constitutes of is a blend of tung oil & spar poly combo…I rub this in deeply creating some warmth(friction) that really gets the finish to penetrate  as deeply as the bamboo will allow…I do this about 4X …this is a very durable finish, mixing some “old school” methods with the superior chemical make up found in modern finishes…

 

           

              Something I started doing for my own bamboo rods years ago was topping the bamboo with a clear acrylic coating …I only deemed this necessary for some rods I was fishing a lot…like a few times a week, or in conditions I might have only fished my graphite rods in the past. I  never like to fish my bamboo rods with the hand rubbed finish only in very wet or snowy conditions…with the acrylic coating this is no problem at all as long as its above 38-40 degrees…

 

 

                I call this “guide” finish, for pretty obvious reasons. The acrylic finish may not appeal to all, so its only done for those that desire it. It is super flexible and has a non yellowing recipe in it far superior to similar finishes from even only ten years ago. This  is the same treatment I give to the decorative cross hatched braiding I do with sinew on some of of my models…it comes in a gloss or satin sheen…

It allows me to fish  with confidence in even the nastier conditions! my two handers & longer rods in particular…I don’t have to pull out an old graphite as soon as the weather moves in…some of my best fishing days have always been when the weather was pretty rotten… even colder or mild snowy days…as long as its 40 and rising I’m good to go …

 

custom made bamboo fly rods by wandering monk

 …my “Indian Summer” series bamboo fly rods…

 

 

  This is an amber agate ring & silver soldered frame stripping guide I offer as an option for those that prefer the style made popular back at the turn of the last century…these are modern versions & very similar to those used in rods from a long time ago. The frames are hand soldered with a very smooth and even finish, and give a very elegant finish…they are also very functional as well, giving ultra smooth hauls and retrieves…

 

 

The color of the agate ring is a very nice compliment to the sinew wraps with epoxy coating…the amber rings come in various shades of amber & golden orange , presenting a nice accent…

 

 

           Agate rings are more traditional for sure, and do require a bit more care as far as storage and use…nothing out of the ordinary for a bamboo angler, but something that should be considered as opposed to the standard stripping guides . A cracked ring gone unchecked can ruin a good fly line in short order …I also use some of the “recoil” style strippers too…these are a titanium base guide that are extremely durable and still have a fine machined appearance. The standard stripper I use is made from  chrome plated brass  that has a black ceramic  ring …these are quite handsome, and very durable…a good choice for a rod that will get a lot of time astream…

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   I work in my shop every day either making rods, nets, cases or some other items I put together. I have been a furniture and cabinet maker for over 40 years,  as long as I have been fly fishing , tying my own flies and making my own gear…

Here is a replica classic style reel  fashioned  after reels from the “Golden Age” of angling……with some Elk antler accents I add similar to those found on my other gear.This is a teak wood reel seat insert with extra antler accents on the connection to the cork grip…just one of the many possible details I can incorporate into one of my custom rods.

 This is my favorite ‘tailwater” rod set up…especially when I am fishing dropper rigs & sight nymphing…a 5/6 weight 3 pc.  9 footer…the extended butt gives an extra help with some of the larger fish we run into at times…plus it always is a help  “popping” the line off the water doing stack mends or just when tying on flies…I love to tuck it into my wading belt to get both hands free, when I’m in water and can’t lay my rod down without kicking around too much or move from a spot I worked myself into, trying to keep from disturbing fish in that area.

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…winding check detail on one of my spey models…

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             Some new reel seat hardware , made here in the good ‘ole US of A. I use the up locking style mostly, but have the down locking version too…this  insert here  is equally special for me ,  some ancient “Osage Orange” , (Maclura Pomifera)  from my old archery shop … wood I harvested, cut and dried…and used in my long bows 25+years ago…this wood species is famous for its iridescence and golden amber color, incredible strength and durability, with the grain color changing direction at the “flick of the wrist” literally.

 

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…The “Pocket Water Sedge”, a 100% organic tie

            This is not a “hobby” for me, but a way I have chosen to make a living… having worked as a cabinet maker, draftsman, carpenter & designer  for over 40 years. I have blended in those years of experience and a desire for an added aspect of an artistic accent  into making these Bamboo fly rods & custom nets .

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  …a 6-7 foot rods in 3-4 weight seem to do the best job pitching dry flys in slow to still waters…here is my 4wt  7  footer with a size 16 adult May Fly “spinner” pattern I came up with…

         After a few years working as a fly fishing guide in Colorado I decided to take a turn in my career in this direction…and devote myself to this full time and not only making “one off’s” for myself or friends, but along with the bamboo rods,  produce nets , cases my other accessories as well …

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  Its pretty obvious even with only a casual glance that the style I approach making my rods & nets in is very different than the other really nice custom rods made by other craftsman from bamboo available…recently a customer noted to me that he liked the way I applied my art to my craft…a real compliment to me since that’s exactly how I see it to! many of my rods have been sold for art to display …which is fine…but these rods want to go fishing too!

             My rods, and my nets for that fact & even the way I tie my flies  is a direct representation of my own personal art. My goal has been, and is to make a rod ,that is very much fun and productive to fish, and also be something that is unique for those that share my artistic style & approach to angling…something that even when its not near the water gives some enjoyment to the owner.

         The names of the rods series , and their Native American connection actually go back to the days of  my old traditional archery business from a few decades ago, where I made long bows and recurves from Black Locust, Osage Orange and other native woods…. I have always had a relationship and deep respect with Native American Culture …I have several very close friends that are very entrenched in that way of life, Apache, Lakota Sioux and other tribes as well. One of my best friends and angling partners is Apache…and is always helping me to understand the philosophy & nuances of their culture.

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    The antler accents I carve for the rods come from Mule Deer & Elk harvests or sheds I have found over the years…there is lots of intricate work involved, with the end result being truly unique…

…here are some accents I carved from Osage Orange for my “Bois de Arc” model…

  Always making my own gear for myself and friends… As in the earlier days of making bows, I have always used materials like sinew & antler in for accents and adornment on my gear out of respect and an attempt to make a closer connection with the land and creatures I love so much …

micrometers, a pair of worn out hands & antler…an interesting combination!…

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 …the rack in my shop with some of my basic series rods that sold a while back…
                      
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        All my rods are lettered in permanent white ink with the rod model &  owners name, serial number on all sections and any special remarks desired…

…here are some close up views of the “DreamCatcher” & “Talisman” series rods…

 

…antler reel seat caps are a very nice compliment for the Tich(gunsmoke) finish reel  seat and teak wood inserts…

 

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…the colors of the sinew check on the rear of the cork grip and the teak reel seat insert are a perfect match, not only for appearance, but also very durable materials as well…

 

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…sunshine makes the colors of the sinew, resin come alive…

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          I use extra large tip-tops to allow for leader attachments to easily glide through…especially helpful when using the longer leaders typical with dry fly’s or dropper rigs…if you look closely here you can see the individual wraps of the sinew clearly…

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…more ferrule details…

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               On all my two piece trout models I use chrome plated brass or precision machined nickel/silver ferrules…on the three piece models I use chrome plated brass only…they have about 1/4″ more connection than the machined ones do…and make a better flexing rod whan there are more than  two sections…

 

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            The effect of the sinew & resin appears similar in many ways to ancient “amber” , the by product of prehistoric resins from coniferous trees put under millions of years of pressure…except in the case of the sinew and resin matrix here, in a similar way of gazing at objects from long ago hidden in that special substance, you see the handiwork and “natural” look of the sinew under the prismatic coating of the epoxy shell. The sinew I use for all my wraps is much stronger than standard silk & nylon  threads, and when coupled with the flexible  marine epoxy, make for a construction that will easily last a lifetime…

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…just a slight flick of the wrist and the wraps can take on a very different prismatic appearance…

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 …every rod piece is serial numbered as a part of the set…this rod was completed on July 7th 2012 …

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…sunset sparkle…