As noted in my last post, we do have a mold issue on these new
poles. Again, they were cleaned before leaving China but they sat in
a metal container for three weeks shipping across the Pacific and
picked up a bit of condensation. The mold is not pretty but it is
also not a significant problem. At this point it has not had time to
sink in beneath the enamel and when cleaned, disappears completely.
Here is a note from a Seattle-area rod-maker, Rolf Mogster which
details the issue from a maker’s perspective:
~~~~ I looked at the canes as soon as I got home last night. The XL bundle
was the first one I opened. The mold was BAD. There was almost
complete coverage from end to end with heavy mold. I got 2 buckets.
One with plain water, one with a 10% bleach solution.
I wiped them down with plain water to remove the mold, it all came
off. I followed that up with a wipe down of the bleach solution.
I needed to change out the plain water every 2 culms (4 different
buckets of water, about 1.5 gallons each). The bleach solution
remained clean for all 16 culms.
Once they were cleaned up, they looked pretty good.
The regular size bundle was much cleaner. There was much less
mold, and I only needed to change out the water once. These also
cleaned up nicely.
You have mold. The degree varies from bundle to bundle. I suspect
it depends on where the bundles were in the shipping container.
Once you clean it off, it leaves no trace, so the culms are not
damaged by it yet. I do not know if it becomes a problem if it stays
I found mold on the culms I bought back in May, and those cleaned up
beautifully. I would guess the mold was there for almost a year. Since it would be very labor intensive to clean all the culms now,
that is not an option. It would be too costly. But you already know
As long as they are stored where they can get good air circulation and
remain dry, I do not think there will be a problem. The new owners
will need to clean them up a bit, but they clean up nicely.
~~~~ There you have it. I apologize in advance for this issue. We do
use desiccant in our shipping containers but it simply was not enough
to handle the moisture this time around. To me, the main points are
that you may receive poles that need to be cleaned but that if you do
this, there will be no lasting issue. I think that the only way the
mold becomes a lasting problem is if it’s left to sit for months and
months at which point it could seep beneath the enamel surface (and
even then, it will NOT effect the structural integrity, it will only
be a cosmetic issue).
I think this year’s batch of cane is great and especially the
“Blondes” have very nice cosmetics. It is a shame that some of these
poles may have mold on the surface but with a bit of work, their true
beauty should come shining through.
As always, if the mold (or anything else) keeps you from being able
to use any of this bamboo for your rods, let me know and we’ll work it