About the Gathering

Southern Rodmakers is an annual gathering of bamboo fly rod makers. Over 300 craftsmen from 39 states have gathered on the White river near Cotter Arkansas since 1998. If you're interested in making bamboo fly rods, join us at the gathering in October, or follow the links below to join the on-line gathering of bamboo rod makers. "The List" is a great place to start. The list is an old school e-mail server with hundreds of members around the world.

The New Rodmakers List

The old rodmakers list server crashed in the summer of 2018. All membership records were lost. A new rodmakers list is up and running. If you were previously a member of the list you will have to resubscribe at the new web site. Here's a link to the new site:


Monday, November 16, 2015

45 Minutes from Finished by Chet Croco

Chet Croco of Genuine Bellinger did a program on finishing at SRG 2015 called "45 Minutes from Finished".  It was an excellent discussion of the final steps of the finishing process.  He provided a handout with a general outline of the process.  The handout can be downloaded here and it's in the list of downloads on this blog.

I've added a few hand written notes from his presentation.  The polishing compound "URE-TECH First Prep" that he demonstrated is not available to purchase on-line at the time of this post.  I visited with Rick, the Luster Glaze America representative, about the product.  He said to call him to purchase the product.  His contact information is penciled in on the handout.  Here's the contact info:

URE-TECH Luster Glaze Urethane Technology First Prep
Luster Glaze America

When I told Rick what I was looking for, he asked if I'm making fly rods.  He said he had been selling it to rodmakers for 12 years.

Also penciled in on the handout is Chet's comment about sanding belt cleaners.  He told a story about struggling with varnish pulling away from the edges of the rod and fish-eyes in the finish.  He said they reviewed the entire rod making process to figure out what was causing the finish problems.  He finally figured it out when he noticed someone using one of those rubbery looking sanding belt cleaners on one of their belt sanders.  They replaced all the sanding belts in the shop and stopped using the belt cleaner.  That solved the problem.  His theory is that the rubbery substance (possibly silicone) was embedded in the sand paper and would melt on to the bamboo when the strips were sanded.

If you don't remember anything else from SRG 2015, don't forget about First Prep and the belt cleaner.  I'm taking the time to write this post so I won't forget.

Thanks for a great presentation Chet!

Update:  Ordered and received Luster Glaze First Prep.  It's available to order on-line now.  Here's a link to the product.


I called the order in.  Rick said this is the correct product on the web site.  I paid $14.00 plus $12.90 shipping.