Bob Clay is here to share the story of how he became one of the great bamboo fly rod makers on the planet with a focus on the bamboo spey road.  We find out how Tom Morgan helped to shape his career.

The story is a good one with some of the greatest fly fishing mentors in the game impacting Bob’s journey.  Bob describes why he loves a 12-foot spey rod and shorter to get the job done.


Click below and listen to the Bamboo Fly Rod Podcast with Bob Clay:

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Show Notes with Bob Clay

06:40 – Tom Morgan was one of Bob’s biggest mentors.  Tom Morgan was on the podcast here in episode 161.

07:10 – The Ed Rice Sportsman’s shows were huge back in the day.  Here’s Ed Rice on the Anchored Podcast.  

09:00 – The hand mill is a major tool for building a bamboo rod created by Tom Morgan

12:20 – The Hook and Hackle club out of Calgary gave Bob his start building rods

13:00 – The Tom Morgan article via ESPN

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15:40 – Simon Gawesworth was Bob’s first spey casting instructor.  Simon was on the Wet Fly Swing Podcast in episode 9 here.


16:46 – George Cook was on the podcast in episode 131 here and covered the history of NW spey.

26:20 – I noted the short OPST pure skagit and micro skagit rods.

27:30 – the April Vokey masterclass

40:30 – The tools for building a bamboo fly rod.  Tonkin bamboo is the strongest and what Bob uses.

41:20 – Andy Royer and Trout Grass is a great film on selecting the bamboo from China.


You can find Bob at

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Resources Noted in the Show

OPST Pure Skagit Rods



Bamboo Fly Rod Videos Noted in the Show

The Morgan HandMill 



Trout Grass Movie from Andy Royer and Winston

Official Trailer from Trout Grass Revival on Vimeo.



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bamboo spey rod


Read the Full Transcript of this Podcast here

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Bamboo Fly Rod Conclusion with my Bob Clay

Bob Clay shares the story of how he became one of the great bamboo spey rod builders after a life of connecting to some of the best mentors you could ask for.   We find out how a 9-foot bamboo rod is a struggle but that the hollow technology in the spey game balanced great.

We hear why hollow building and the shorter spey rods were big contributions that Bob helped give to the rod space.  This episode walks us through the steps to building a bamboo fly rod with a focus on spey.