How to Make a Cane Bamboo Fishing Pole

How to Make a Cane Bamboo Fishing Pole

Explore America's Campgrounds

Lacking a reel full of line that is sure to become tangled, cane poles are great for teaching young anglers to fish. However, bamboo cane poles are not only good for youngsters; they are also useful for experienced anglers. The simplicity of cane poles makes it easy to place your bait exactly where you want it, which helps you catch your limit every trip.

Items you will need

  • Bamboo pole

  • Tape measure

  • Saw

  • Two lengths of twine

  • Hammer (or anything of similar weight)

  • Medium-grit sandpaper

  • Clear lacquer

  • Paintbrush

  • 20-pound-test monofilament line

  • Electrical tape

  • Bobber

  • Hook

  • Split shot

Step 1

Select a good piece of bamboo, at least 10 feet long. Use the tape measure to check the size of the cane before you cut it. The butt end of the pole should be about 1 inch in diameter or slightly larger, while the tip should taper down to about one-quarter inch. Use the saw to cut the bamboo near ground level. Cut off all branches close to the main pole.

Step 2

Carry the cut bamboo to a dry location. Tie one end of one of the pieces of twine to the tip of the rod and tie the other end to an elevated anchor, such as a ceiling joist or S-hook in the ceiling. The anchor must be at least 10 feet above the floor, so that the pole will hang freely. Use the other length of twine to tie the butt end of the pole to the hammer, which serves as a conveniently shaped weight that helps keep the pole straight.

Step 3

Leave the pole hanging until it dries and turns brown. This may take a few days in warm, dry weather or many weeks in damp conditions. Once dry, remove both lengths of twine.

Step 4

Sand the pole lightly with the medium-grit sandpaper. Apply the clear lacquer with the paintbrush to seal the bamboo and increase its durability. Suspend the pole from the elevated anchor by reusing one of the pieces of twine and let the lacquer dry completely. Once the lacquer is dry, untie the twine.

Step 5

Tie the monofilament line to the butt end of the pole, about 12 to 18 inches from the end. Use an arbor knot to secure the line to the pole.

Step 6

Lay the line alongside the pole. Secure the line to the pole every foot or so with the electrical tape. Wrap the line around the tip of the rod several times and secure it into place with a strip of electrical tape. By securing the line to the rod at multiple locations, you can avoid losing your fish, should the tip of the pole break.

Step 7

Thread the bobber onto the line, about 12 to 18 inches from the end. Tie the hook to the end of the line with an improved clinch knot. Add enough split shot to the line – between the bobber and the hook – to keep the hook submerged and the bobber floating upright.


  • In a pinch, you can forgo the lacquer, electrical tape, bobber and split shot. The pole will not work as well, but it should still allow you to catch fish.
  • Experiment with the length of the cane pole and the length of line. In general, longer poles allow you to reach farther from the shore, but excessively long poles are unwieldy.
Gone Outdoors