I have recently returned from China where I spent my time selecting poles for this year’s supply. As of mid-June, these poles are still sitting in China as we prepare our shipments. We should see this bamboo arrive in Seattle by late July.
We are also shipping a container of poles directly to Europe. The final destination and arrival date for this order is still unknown, stay tuned for details!
We are also investigating the opportunity to have an East Coast distribution point in the US to keep the shipping cost for those of you east of Mississippi. More news on this to come! We should know arrival dates by the first week of July.
Now about the bamboo itself. This batch of cane is, by and large, very similar to last year’s batch which I classified as excelling more in power-fiber depth than in cosmetics. Meaning that this cane will build many excellent rods but will not be the best choice for blond rods.
We have finally run out of the AA poles that we have had on hand since the flood of these poles two years ago. As I have noted in the past, these AA poles (so classified because they grade very well in both cosmetics and in power fiber depth, a rare combination) are not common and we usually only receive about 20 pcs per year. As fate would have it, these poles moved out of our warehouse rather slowly over the past two years and now that they are gone… we’re getting lots of calls. I’m very sorry to report that the supply of these poles have moderated and we only selected 20 of these poles this year; there has been a small wait list for these and now, it looks as if we will not have any more of these poles to offer through the rest of 2011.
Regarding the “Marilyn” poles. These large and clean poles were a bit of anomaly last year. We will not have these poles available in 2011.
What we WILL have available:
STANDARD – 10 pcs/bundle
12′ x 2-2.25″ [366 cm x 50-57 mm]
1-4 bundles $225/ea
5+ bundles $200/ea
These are the bulk of our business with rod-makers. These are grade-A poles that I have individually hand selected in China. I try to only select culms that are appropriate for the construction of world-class fly-rods. Many of this year’s poles do have cosmetic marks but they are on par with our stock from 2010 which was very well received by rod-makers throughout the world. These are void of any farmer’s (slash) marks or burn marks. Bug marks and branch nodes are unavoidable but minimal.
XL – 8 pcs/bundle
12′ x 2.25″+ [366 cm x 57+ mm]
The Big Boys are back! After mixing the large and small poles together last year, we’ve reverted to our former standard. There are some monsters here! As a mysterious but general rule of bamboo-nature, the large poles often have more cosmetic marks than the smaller pieces. These poles are still guaranteed to be void of farmer’s and burn marks and visible bug marks are minimal; the primary difference is that these larger poles may have more spots, water-marks or greenish streaks running on the enamel. None of these should affect the physical properties of the cane and many will disappear in the building process. These are the premier poles for those of you constructing 6+ weight rods.
Princess Cane – 10 pcs/bundle
12′ x 1.875″ [366 cm x 48-50 mm]
The Little Pretties! As stated, smaller poles often have cleaner enamel and these slender culms will prove their point! If you’re going blond, these may be the perfect ticket! Just under 2″ with ample power fiber, the Princess Cane is ready to be put to the test! LIMITED SUPPLY!
And… for a very short time – 2 pcs/bundle
12′ x 1.875″ [366 cm x 48-50 mm]
I’ve never seen poles like this. When they were first laid out before me in China I said, “you’ve got to be kidding!” These poles are not what you’d call pretty. They are dry but streaked with green and they just don’t LOOK like high-grade Tonkin poles. Until you lift them or look at the depth of fibers at the cut end…. WOW! These are amazing poles!
There are only 50 of these poles available and we’re selling them in 2-pc bundles. I’d love to get feedback from makers on these as soon as possible which I’ll post here. [If for some reason, these poles cannot be used for fly-rod construction you get your $$ back.]
Please remember that none of these poles are available until around August 1, 2011. We will be selling our remaining 2010/2011 supply until then. We will update this page when more information becomes available regarding the arrival date of this year’s shipment as well as notes on our pending East Coast and European distribution locations.
Thank you one and all, please feel free to write or call with any questions or feedback.