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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Interested in doing a DIY push pole for my canoe & paddleboard's. Been thinking and searching the net.. old school, for DIY Bamboo builds. I've seen gaffs (Bahamas special) and other items including a bully net handle that are functional and nice looking.

It only needs to be 12 to 14' in length, have access to bamboo, looking for ideas. Everyone has a fiberglass, hybrid, or carbon pole.

Has anyone done this ? -or- in your wanderings of the net come across and DIY builds or suggestions.
 

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BBA Counselor
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Many have. The issue you'll run into is once it dries out it will be a bit brittle and want to split easily. If you notice bamboo furniture always has wraps every few feel to avoid this.
You could dry it out, and then use some of the line they use to bind fishing rod guides, then a bit of resin every 2 ft.
 

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Fly-By-Night
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Interested in doing a DIY push pole for my canoe & paddleboard's. Been thinking and searching the net.. old school, for DIY Bamboo builds. I've seen gaffs (Bahamas special) and other items including a bully net handle that are functional and nice looking.

It only needs to be 12 to 14' in length, have access to bamboo, looking for ideas. Everyone has a fiberglass, hybrid, or carbon pole.

Has anyone done this ? -or- in your wanderings of the net come across and DIY builds or suggestions.
I got a 14' closet rod for my little RIverHawk 13' but gave it away with the boat when I traded it. The older it got and the wet/dry cycles and saltwater seemed to really stiffen it up even more after a while. I stored it laying on concrete floor and it never warped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I've got a couple pieces of Bamboo, fairly straight, long long ago dried out and not fragile at all... I've used one for a couple season's and it has not split, cracked, splintered at all, but its just a piece of bamboo and end's get a bit scraggly.
I've also got a bamboo bong, (from the bush country of VN), that I've had and used heavily since about 1971, that has never cracked... it's got some serious nice dragon carvings on it, to short for a pole though.

12' length of Bamboo is considerably lighter than my 12' and 14' fiberglass commercial push poles.

Thinking more about carving out a foot and point from some natural hard drift-wood and attaching. I'm thinking of doing a little wrapping and a coat of the same epoxy used for rod building.

I'd also be interested in a couple 6',7', or a 14' foot pieces of a broken carbon fiber pole to refinish.
 

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I'm going to do this myself as well and maybe make a few fishing poles to mess around with. I have about 8 different bamboo varieties around my property. I think I'm going to wait until spring when the plant starts sending new shoots up. This way they are perfectly smooth.
 

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Bamboo shoots will be too brittle. It needs to harden off first. If you have that much i’d use green wood till it isn't, then cut/make a new one.
Crepe myrtle will have some cool looking forks for a foot It ll last as long as the bamboo.
 

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Zephyr Cove is on FIRE!
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Bamboo shoots will be too brittle. It needs to harden off first. If you have that much i’d use green wood till it isn't, then cut/make a new one.
Crepe myrtle will have some cool looking forks for a foot It ll last as long as the bamboo.
Crepe Myrtle is a whole lot like a Guava Tree. I might cut one down and get in some trouble...
 

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Interested in doing a DIY push pole for my canoe & paddleboard's. Been thinking and searching the net.. old school, for DIY Bamboo builds. I've seen gaffs (Bahamas special) and other items including a bully net handle that are functional and nice looking.

It only needs to be 12 to 14' in length, have access to bamboo, looking for ideas. Everyone has a fiberglass, hybrid, or carbon pole.

Has anyone done this ? -or- in your wanderings of the net come across and DIY builds or suggestions.
I have done this and it works ok. The only issue is that bamboo has natural hollow chambers between every knuckle. This causes it to be very buoyant and it will fight you every time you try to plant the tip in water. However, a short 12 to 14 foot length is doable for several hours. If you try to cure this problem by drilling holes in it, you create a different problem with water filling the chambers making it heavier to pick up and dripping lots of water. When it cracks, this will be an issue either way.
 

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I had a 10' bamboo pole last season. Heat treated with a torch. Unfortunately cracked the entire length of the pole over winter in storage. I harvested 2 more a little over a week ago to experiment with. Just heat treated/cured with a torch again. Going to give it a few coats of Linseed oil to see if this will help out against it soaking up water and help protect it against heat and the sun.
 

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I had a 10' bamboo pole last season. Heat treated with a torch. Unfortunately cracked the entire length of the pole over winter in storage. I harvested 2 more a little over a week ago to experiment with. Just heat treated/cured with a torch again. Going to give it a few coats of Linseed oil to see if this will help out against it soaking up water and help protect it against heat and the sun.
Did you drill any holes before you heat treated the bamboo? I've never cured bamboo before and a little worried about it blowing up in my face but don't want to have to reseal a bunch of holes to prevent water from getting into the nodes.
 

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Zephyr Cove is on FIRE!
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I have done this and it works ok. The only issue is that bamboo has natural hollow chambers between every knuckle. This causes it to be very buoyant and it will fight you every time you try to plant the tip in water. However, a short 12 to 14 foot length is doable for several hours. If you try to cure this problem by drilling holes in it, you create a different problem with water filling the chambers making it heavier to pick up and dripping lots of water. When it cracks, this will be an issue either way.
Composite push poles are hollow.
 

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Great minds - I was surprised when I saw this thread, cause I just bought a 12 ft tin boat last week and will be using it on local rivers, canals and creeks in west central Florida. I needed a push pole and can't afford the fancy ones, so looked online for bamboo.

Lo and behold, just 15 miles south of me, in Brooksville, FL is a guy calling his outfit "Johnson Bamboo." I called him and explained my need and, of course, he's very familiar with push poles and invited me to come by. He's a real, old-fashioned Florida Cracker and a real character. Very nice fella.

Man, that guy does have bamboo - acres of it, very densely packed, with trails between the clumps....like a big nature park. He went to a specific clump and selected one that must've been 25 ft tall and as thick as my arm at the base and cut it down.

We cut a 12 ft portion out of the top, he charged me a "very" fair price and I was off and running. It's totally green and fairly heavy, but will lighten up as it dries. Give him a call.
 
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