Spliced rods from rod builder Kurt Zumbrunn:
Read details about the art of rod building, my philosophy and my way of working behind it.


As a technical mountain stream fisherman with a lot of experience in this area, the technical characteristics (new German performance) are in the foreground for me when building fly rods. The perfectly lacquered rod quickly loses its luster, if you hold a rod in your hands, which makes casting fun and allows you to do things that otherwise seem impossible (keyword trick casts on the stream!). When I build my rods, it is a matter of honor for me that nothing else but my hands make the rods. The only use of machines is with the lathe, where the metal parts are turned. Otherwise I can guarantee you that the rods are split by hand, straightened by hand, preplaned and final planed by hand. Even the gluing is done by hand and of course the attachment of the rings with the finest English silk.

The material

The raw material bamboo plays a major role in the construction of rods. Since bamboo is a natural material, it comes with quite a large spread in terms of quality! Only the best material can also show the outstanding properties that bamboo rods can have. In addition to bamboo, the glue used must also be counted among the properties. Thanks to the use of the latest two-component adhesives from the aviation industry, joints are achieved that are hard to beat in terms of stability and durability. This is what distinguishes today’s modern splices from their predecessors. One would like to assume that my goal is to build rods that allow the longest possible casts – the term performance is a bit confusing. This assumption would be wrong! Rather, my goal is to make the best possible use of the outstanding properties of bamboo for fly casting. Over the years I have had the good fortune to acquire a wide variety of bamboo. Lucky because in my stocks there is also bamboo which has been stored dry and clean for 30 or 50, even 80 years! This is what makes my rods. Such material is hardly to get, extremely rare and is used by me only for certain rods or rod actions. Of course, I also own today’s bamboo, which also allows very good rod actions. For certain requirements (combination of speed and suppleness!) only the most suitable material is used. The inclined fly caster will signal the difference after a few casts with a broad grin…..

The blank construction

Each construction form of bamboo blanks has its characteristics. Whether I build the rod hexagonal, octagonal, square or Tri – Hex, plays a role! As the inventor of this design, the Tri – Hexagonal design represents the optimum for me. Many experienced fly casters in mountain streams share my opinion and have been fishing for years with these designs with the greatest satisfaction, which of course makes me very happy. The combination of speed and suppleness make the difference here, which is reflected in the ease and precision of their fly presentation. One of my further developments , out of the Tri – Hexagonal construction, is the “Rose”. However, the production effort of such a blank is GIGANTIC and can not be justified with technical advantages. No less than 36 splices are glued per blank in hollow construction. The construction shape of the “Rose” is suitable for larger line classes and thus for salmon fishing. From the aesthetics, this blank construction is unique! The fact that some rod builders in Europe, but especially overseas, have already adopted my Tri – Hex – construction, speaks for this blank form.


The handle construction

It was in 2004 when I was the first rod builder in the scene to use birch bark as a handle material. What was initially done for purely aesthetic reasons soon showed technical advantages. Not only is birch bark much more durable than cork, it also has a higher weight, which has a positive effect on the balance of the rod! Of course, any rod can be balanced by means of an appropriately weighted reel. However, one accepts that the weight of the reel is outside the axis of the rod. However, if the weight of the handle is now higher, this allows you to use a lighter reel, which means less weight outside the rod axis. You will soon notice the difference!



If my rod building philosophy convinces you, then I will be very happy to hear from you and I will be happy to put all my experience in rod building and fly fishing at your disposal. Whether this is in the form of a rod made for you, a rod building course, or a guiding on the water.you have my word that I will do the best possible for you!