All That Glitters is Gold: The Most Expensive Fishing Rod
We all know that fishing gear can be expensive, from a complete tackle box to owning your own boat. Hell, I’ve seen kids with enough equipment that I would hardly call what they do fishing. But when it comes down to it, you can really tell how much someone’s invested into fishing by their fishing rod and/or knowledge of such things. So what is the most expensive fishing rod? Let me break it down for you.
Catching the Value and Esteem of the Bamboo Rod
In general, the most expensive fishing rods are “Fine Bamboo Oyster Rods”, which are special hand-cut fishing rods made out of bamboo. You can order it online and have it made from scratch or order one that’s already been made. The most expensive fishing rod is a bamboo oyster rod which has 24 karat gold engraving on it. It starts at $4,600 and goes up in price for every engraving/customization that you get. However, if you’re looking to get something sooner (or cheaper, heaven forbid), then here’s some of the pricier fishing rods on the market right now.
Scott SC Fly Rod
– View site with online dealers at scottflyrod.com
This fly fishing rod is made of bamboo and every year incorporates the newest technology in fishing. Between the hollow banks with swells in the carve for ergonomic support and the silver ferrules, this rod is incredible in every aspect. The handmade Snake Brand guides are covered in transparent silk and dipped in varnish to top it off. This’ll cost you around $3,200, but who said that living easy is cheap?
Orvis Penn Creek Bamboo Full Flex Fly Rod
– View at orvis.com
This baby, priced at $2,400, is a beautiful split bamboo rod which is again meant for fly fishing. It’s made for the specs of catching trout, and is a beautiful piece for anyone looking for their first fly fishing rod or adding to the collection.
Bamboo 1856 805-3 Full Rod
– Also found at Orvis.
Another absolute beauty! This one will run right out the door at $2795. It's a 3 piece Fly rod, that spans 8 feet assembled, and is made for 5 weight line. Watch the tip of this treasure as you're walking down the trail. Careful too during transportation, especially if you make quick moves up the river and don't break the rod down every time.
Order Custom Made Bamboo Rods
Aficionados of the bamboo Fly rod appreciate the craftsmen that make a living building these pricey masterpieces. Some of these precision crafters will never be found outside of personal connections. Quite a few make a business of it however, and can be found online. They run shops around the world. One good example of such a company is Sweetgrass Rods. Located in Twin Bridges, Montana, Sweetgrass boasts a couple different lines of custom made rods.
The Sweetgrass Series
– Priced at $2000 for a 2 piece, or $2500 for 3 and 4 piece rods.
The Sweetgrass series boasts a performance that's equal to or better than its appearance. Each customer is free to choose the exact bamboo to be used for the creation of their rod. The bamboo is then hand sanded by one of 3 experts, before it goes into the coating process. Sweetgrass rods are finished with a sterling silver hook keeper. Crafted by a local jeweler. Your personal inscription at the base of the rod is included in the price, and get this....every rod comes with an extra matching tip. Wow! This would be a great place to take a tour of on a rainy non fishing day, or while on vacation.
The Mantra Series
– Priced at $995 for a 2 piece, or $1200 for a 3 or 4 piece.
Sweetgrass Rods offers a much more affordable bamboo rod in its Mantra series. The bonus here is that the process up to guide placement is exactly the same. You will sacrifice the extra tip, and the choice of wood by going with the Mantra, but chances are that saving a grand might be worth the loss.
Why do Anglers Buy Expensive Bamboo Rods?
The creation of bamboo Fly rods takes special craftsmanship. Every action and detail is highly scrutinized throughout the process. This being the case, bamboo rods are always expensive. Whether your choice and allowance leads you to a $900 bamboo rod or a $9000 rod, one thing is generally agreed upon among fly fishermen. That point is that BAMBOO FLY RODS ARE BETTER!
The performance of bamboo rods, though taking some getting used to, is second to none. If you're starting with a bamboo rod there won't be any need to acclimate. You'll be starting with the best. If you're moving from graphite to bamboo, it'll be a bit different. The slow action of a bamboo rod can be witnessed as the fisherman loads to cast. The flexibility and recoil memory of bamboo is amazing! Fisherman who use bamboo claim that they no longer feel the need to push the rod as they cast. Bamboo is said to also reduce the need to false cast. Bamboo rods explode with energy when they unload (are cast), which allows greater casting distance.
Of course there are other reasons people buy bamboo rods, and they tend to be those on the higher end of the market. “Fine Bamboo Oyster Rods” are a prime example of top shelf sought after bamboo rods. Displayed in Lodges, personal dwellings, fly shops, and guide headquarters, these rods can really run up the credit card. They are never used in the field (under any but the most impractical of circumstances), and hold intrinsic value on top of their large dollar sign. Bamboo rods are seen by many fly fishermen as sign of deep respect for the art of fly angling. My own personal experience with fly fishing would tell you, “a deep respect for the art of tricking trout (or any fish) by fly rod and reel is worth developing”.
The Most Expensive Fishing Rods Can be Worth It
We've seen the reasons why these rods sell, but is buying one of the most expensive fishing rods really worth it? When it comes to bamboo Fly rods the answer is almost always yes. Now don't get me wrong. Graphite Fly rods can be quite effective, and much more affordably priced. There's no reason to not fish the other types of Fly rods. Eventually though, you'll want to see the difference. If you are as impressed as most anglers have been that made the switch to bamboo - If you're a serious Fly fisherman that plans on spending a lot of your future casting into a river - That bamboo rod is going to be worth it....and spending a couple thousand on a lifetime of activity isn't that much.