Thomas Penrose's Bamboo Fly Rod Pages

Selecting and Preparing Tonkin Cane in China

With Andy Royer (Importer of Cane for Fly Rod Making)

(All Images this Page Courtesy of Andy Royer)

Andy Royer: Phone:(206) 422-2563.

Address: The Bamboo Broker PO Box 491 Vashon, WA 98070


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A grove of Tonkin cane on a Chinese hillside.

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Muddy trails such as this are what constitute roads in this region of China. Tonkin cane grows alongside.

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The vast majority (probably more than 99%) of each year's harvest of Tonkin cane will end up being made into items other than split cane fly rods, such as this bench.


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The newly harvested Tonkin is often covered with blemishes such as lichens and moss. These are stripped from the poles using sand.

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A freshly cleaned culm next to one that has had its chlorophyll bleached by the sun.

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Andy Royer is shown here stacking poles to be bleached in the sunlight. The poles surrounding him are others that he selected for U.S. import on his trip to China during the Summer of 1997.


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Exposed to the sun for several days, the poles in this stack still have a few green patches.

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As the poles are cut to length, Andy grades each one in terms of quality and sorts it accordingly.

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The extensive water damage and high probability of a moldy interior will cause poles such as these to be rejected.

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These watermarks will cause this otherwise sound pole to be classified as a "B" grade culm.

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This image shows some of the culms that Andy selected as being free from blemishes and parasite damage.


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Culms of Tonkin cane in a warehouse being sorted and wrapped for shipment.

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In this image Andy is numbering the individual bundles of cane.

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How the native Chinese use cane for fishing. The bent poles support a net that will be lifted out of the water when the man pulls the line he is holding in his hand. With luck there will be fish for dinner.



Andy Royer: Phone/Fax:(206) 463-1273

Address: The Bamboo Broker PO Box 491 Vashon, WA 98070

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Making a Split-Cane Fly Rod

Making Bamboo Planing Forms

Making Bamboo Planing Forms using Lawrence Waldron's Layout

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Determining Ferrule Positioning on a 2 Piece Fly Rod

Determining Ferrule Positioning on a 3 Piece Fly Rod

Turning Cork Grips with a Hand Drill

All images this page ŠAndy Royer 1997

All text ŠThomas Penrose 1997