There are many bamboo species in Japan and some of them are suited for the Marutake fly rod. Each bamboo species has different characteristics, such as weight, hardness, and taper. A Marutake rod maker should choose bamboo from a lot of their dried stock and determine the action of their rod. Marutake fly rods are often made from two or three different species of bamboo.
"Koyachiku"Sasa borealis v. purpurascens
This is a beautiful, strong and flexible variety of bamboo. It has low nodes and a smooth surface. The stalk is heavier than other varieties of bamboo and therefore the action of a "Koyachiku" fly rod is similar to a split cane solid bamboo rod. This species grows on the Pacific side high mountain hill region of the south part of Japan. Nara and Wakayama prefecture are most famous for this variety. Approximately 90 percent of Koyachiku bamboo stalks are taken from this area.
"Koyachiku" bamboo stalks
"Yatake" means "arrow" bamboo in Japanese. This variety of bamboo was used as arrow shaft material in Japan before fiberglass material was invented. It has low nodes, and is similar to "Koyachiku" bamboo, but the stalk is lighter than Koyachiku. It is best suited for use on the butt section of the rod. It grows up to 20mm in diameter and 5m high.
"Yatake" bamboo stalks
"Marufushitake" bamboo grows just about anywhere; such as mountain/hill areas, sides of rivers, in the suburbs, or in the country. There are few usages in Japan, so it is usually cut down and disposed of like weeds. However, since this is the lightest bamboo material in Japan, we can make fast and crisp action fly rods. I actually think it is faster than fiberglass and it has the finest taper for fly rods. Sometimes we can make perfect action fly rods from only one stalk. However, it is a little weaker than other bamboo materials. I therefore recommended this bamboo for light fly line and small game fishing rods.
"Marufushitake" bamboo stalks
This bamboo was
imported from China and has multiplied in Japan. It has
heavy nodes, and doesn't look beautiful. But its taper is ideal for the
fly rod tip section. You can make fast, delicate and sensitive fly rod
tips from this bamboo.
"Hoteichiku" bamboo stalks
"Matake" is a
physically large variety of bamboo. It
grows up to
140mm in diameter and 15m high. "Wazao" craftsmen make rod tips from
this split bamboo strip. They scrape and trim it for a desired rod tip
taper designs. It is also useful for a Marutake fly rods. There are two
methods: One is called "Kezuriho", which uses one bamboo strip. The
other is called "Awaseho", which uses 4 glues bamboo strips.