Bamboo fly fishing rods are still extremely popular, despite the fact that a plethora of fiberglass and graphite rods have appeared over the last half century. For many, though, casting a bamboo fly fishing rod is the only way to go: after all, if you are fly fishing to commune with nature, why not use the most natural rod? A bamboo fly fishing rod combines history, art, and sport.
Of course, bamboo fly rods tend to be a bit on the expensive side of the river bank, so to speak. So, if you are just starting out in the sport, it may not be worth the extra bucks. In fact, if you are just starting out, a fiberglass fly fishing rod (the cheapest of the three) might be just fine for you.
Graphite fly fishing rods are, perhaps, the most common these days. Why? If you just try out one, even one that is only medium-priced, you will surely find that they offer you the power and performance that you desire. They can be very versatile, as well.
So, what is the difference between these three types of fly rods (bamboo, fiberglass, and graphite), anyhow?
Bamboo Fly fishing Rods
These are the finest, most traditional rods. It can take over 100 hours of labor to make a bamboo fly rod, from selection of the cane to the wrapping and finishing of the rod. They also tend to be the most expensive. Just as there are those who paid a pretty penny to mold and bend and fine-tune violins, the same is true of fly fishing rods. Building bamboo fly rods is a true art. Bamboo rods are more flexible than graphite, and they have a slower action which is great for leisurely and refined fishing.
Fiberglass Fly fishing Rods
These are fairly heavy relative to their size. It can even be 2 or 3 times as heavy as a similarly-sized graphite rod. You may not notice the extra weight, at first, but after a day of casting and recasting, it is hard to ignore. The good thing about these fly fishing rods, though, is that they are very durable and strong. You can use and abuse a fiberglass rod, and it will take all the abuse in stride.
Graphite Fly fishing Rods
These are the stiffest rods of the three. They are very strong for their weight. You can make graphite fly rods with slow or fast action. You will find that you have more power, versatility, and performance when using a graphite, rather than a bamboo, fly fishing rod. You can find graphite fly fishing rods that are on the upper end of the price range, but you can also find some good ones for very reasonable amounts. If you know that you are planning on sticking with the sport, it is a good idea to start out with a medium-priced graphite rod, first (yes, a fiberglass rod might be fine, but a graphite one is better!)