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  1. #1
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    Tim Zietak Bamboo Rods

    I've gotta ask... Are all bamboo rod makers the same?



    I sent my rod back to Tim Zietak because the ferrules were loose and the tips kinda went cockeyed. Apparently, the tip problem is due to incorrectly heating the rod. Whatever the correct answer is, there were problems with the rod and it needed to be fixed.



    I had a few Bamboo rod makers who don't know of, Tim Zietak, just tell me that by looking at the rod (full intermediate wraps), he would never admit to any wrong doing on his behalf and he would in fact probably place the blame on me for 1 or more of many reasons including but not limited to, not switching tips after each outting, handling fish improperly, storage of the rod, ..etc. Just for the record, I've only used the rod 5 times. Out of those 5 times, I've caught 10-12" stockies that fought like wet noodles. The rod was never improperly handled or stored improperly, and the tips were switched after each outting. Here's another thing, I noticed the set in both tips after the second outting and pointed them out to my father who agreed that the rod should be sent back to Tim! I'm only sorry that I waited so long before sending the rod back, but not because I was in a rush to use it, but I would have thought it would have given Tim a few less excuses as to the reasons behind the issues.



    Bill Sell (Shannon's) told me that he has rods 20 years old and they never took a set. I've also had others tell me the same thing Bill told me.


    I've had a few rod makers as well as bamboo rod dealers tell me what was wrong with the rod. When I told Tim that a few 'bamboo rod dealers' told me what was wrong with the rod Tim replied with, "Well they're just dealers, they don't actually build the rods." Does this mean I have to work as car builder to know how to build a car? No.


    I sent the rod back to Tim on March 29th, 2005. A week later I called Tim to make sure he received the rod. After telling me he did receive the rod, he proceeded to explain to me that my casting style is what made the tips go cockeyed and proceded to lecture me about my casting style then said, "You cast lefty, right?" After his expert knowledge of my casting, he improperly guessed my casting hand. His first excuse for the rod taking sets in both tips was now null and void... Onto the second excuse... (and by the way, before I continue on, I'll just say that the cork isn't even dirty yet) You're fighting fish incorrectly with the rod. When I told him that I only used the rod on little stockies and that the road was always on as little of an angle as possible and always rotated while a fish was on (I would point the tip of the rod at the fish each time I caught one), he said that it must be the way I was storing the rod. Anyhow, excuse after excuse, just as many predicted. Tim told me that the tips on any bamboo rod could take a set after just 1 outting.



    Maybe this is the problem with American rod makers in general, including Graphite rod makers... No pride goes into their work (that is if the work is even done here in the USA). They push these things out so quick just to make a buck. When something goes wrong it's "Send us $40 bux and you'll get it back when you get it back." That's not to say that when you do get it back, you'll get it back the right way. If you recall, a few months ago I reported about 3 rods that I sent back to a very well known rod company and waited in the area of 6-8 months (I don't recall the exact time frame) only to see that they did such a horrible job on rebuilding ALL 3 RODS that we sent them back again and then once again for the same problems. Hey look, I'm all for people trying to make a living the best way they can, but how about putting a little more effort in the PRIDE department?



    So what prompted me to write this? I was talking with my father the other day and Tim sold him a Payne 98' taper 4wt 7' rod. Can anyone tell me what's wrong with that picture? My dad purchased the rod because it was advertised by Tim as a 4wt. My dad noticed the rod wasn't loading up properly so he put a 5wt line on it and the rod was perfect. The problem here was that my dad did not want a 7' 5wt rod to fish the Claremont section of the SBR. He called tim to let him know about it and tim agreed that it was actually a 5wt rod but it that it was identicle to the 4wt. What a crock of you know what. Tim admitted to screwing my father.



    He also sold my dad a 5wt 102h - Payne 8' with a clicking ferrule. My dad thinks this is actually a 6wt rod can anyone confirm? Not to mention the other items Tim has screwed my dad on. I'm not sure why he kept doing business with the guy but he did and now he's paying for it.



    I haven't received my rod back from Tim Zietak however, I emailed him on the 14th. He replied with, "It should be done by the end of the week. I want to make sure the varnish on the wraps is dried completely." It's taken about 2 1/2 months so far. He said 4-6weeks so I guess we're right on schedule if we're using the rod makers clock. Also, Tim told me what he was going to do to my rod.. He was going to heat it up or something like that as well as replace the ferrules. The funny thing is that when I told Tim that the dealers told me it was a problem with the heat or something like that, Tim said that they are just dealers and not builders so how could they possibly know anything about what goes into building a rod?



    When purchasing a bamboo rod, I thought I did all of my homework. I didn't see any negative info on Tim or his practices, as a matter of fact, everything on all sites was positive information and people really liked him. I'm afraid to say that in my opinion, Tim has turned over a new leaf. He advertises rods as one thing and they are something totally different.



    On a brighter note, I'm still satisfied with how my Zietak rod casts. The taper on the rod is great and I still do enjoy casting the rod. I can't wait to get it back.



    All I can offer any of you looking into purchasing any type of rod, especially from a private rod maker, do your homework on the Rod maker.



    Anyhow, not to totally bash Tim on his rods, the rod always cast as if it were brand new and I really like the rod, it's the customer service that is so typical of some rod company's these days, I can do without.

    Pictures taken before/after/during fly fishing:
    http://dcabarle.smugmug.com/Sports/F...79119552_XXeHe

  2. #2
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    Dennis, First to answer your question. No all rod builders are not the same. What you describe (I understand it is only your side of it) is inappropriate. I have seen that rod and now that you babied it. Most rods makers other than one(not Tim) have been very accomodating and honest. I know a lot of rodmakers that would have just fixed your rod with no questions asked and would have been glad to do it. BTW, any rod may after a while take a set but a set is a non-issue even I can fix that. sets may come about from prolonged overlining a rod, playing more than 1 unusually large fish,etc, but again no big deal. Twists can also be fixed by heating the rod depending on the severity of the twist. In any event he should have fixed these things if he wanted you as a future customer. Bill Taylor of Boiling Spring, PA makes a great quad if anyone is looking and he is a pleasure to work with. Maybe Tim's just going through a bad time. If you need a bamboo rod to fish let me know and I'll hook you up.

    Andre Valenti

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    Hey Dennis,

    Very interesting. I was thinking of treating myself to a Bamboo rod for next year. But most prices are way out of my range and with reports like yours it doesn't seem worth the trouble. While doing some research I came across the following website.

    http://www.split-bamboo.com/index.htm

    Do you or anyone else know anything about this company? Is it too good to be true? The rod prices are within my reach but I'm concerned about the quality at those prices for Bamboo. What do you think?

    On a side note. I want to say thanks for selling me some great flies earlier in the season. I spent 5 days on the EB June 6th-the 10th and I caught more fish on a fly than ever before. The fly to use was the Light Cahill 14. I fished them mainly at night when there was good Cahill hatches (I think. It was difficult to see them) and many fish rising. I have never seen fish rise like that, it was very exciting. I started running low on the Cahills that you tied so I went to one of the Roscoe stores and bought more. They looked slightly different, the store tied flies didn't have the yellow body that yours did. The fish wouldn't even consider them. Only yours. By the way they were all browns that I was catching.

    Anyway thanks. And if you ever have any extra L. Cahills. Let me know.

    Pete

    Helgamite

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    What you're describing isn't limited to rod makers, but is very common in any business where manufacturing and customer relations/sales are handled by the same people.

    A competent sales or customer service person, who was not involved in manufacturing, will often give the customer what he wants, without question, even if there was no defect. The person who did the manufacturing (or supervised) may be too concerned with proving that "it's not his fault".


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    Dennis,

    It sucks you experienced that!I got a Quad to but never had any problems or Sets yet.I've had a problem with a Garrison Taper I have that Set in the Tip.From the research I've been able to do about any Info refering to Bamboo was done on the Internet and on www.classicrodforum.com the old Clarks Site.That Site provides excellent Info!Andre described what can cause "Sets" but forgot to mention(at least I read)and has worked for me is to apply pressure on both Sides of the Bamboo.Meaning you can fight the fish as you normally would but flip the Rod around when the fish is tiring.Flip the Rod around(meaning turn the Rod around so the Reel is facing the up to the Sky).It has worked for me although I have yet to catch a large fish.The biggest fish I caught was a 18 inch Wild Brown that was really spunky but the Rod is still Straight as an arrow.I heard that when nymphing and getting caught on the Streambed and using the Tip to try to free your Nymph(you seen it plenty of times on the Stream and probably done it yourself)but I heard the Action of you applying the force to Bamboo can cause a Set which I think is true cause I did that and noticed a Set after doing it.Now if I get caught on the bottom I wrap my hand around my Line and Pull it trying to free it or just lose it.I don't change my Tips because I have mine as a back up just in case 1 breaks.I also read that Storaging the Rod Wrong would cause a Set.I have my Rods layed out not standing.I had someone tell me that they have had Rods for years and don't have sets but some did get sets.I was told Sets are a part of owning Bamboo,if you want straight Rods then don't go with Bamboo.

    As for a Builders Warrenty,I have one free Repair without questions if ANYTHING goes wrong with the Rod even if I'm at fault.You are 100% dead on about doing your Research on the Builder of Choice.I chose Thramer,Bacon and a Ebay Builder who has some really nice Rods that are very well Built.I cant believe that Zietak would even suggest Casting Style!I know for me the Transition from Graphite to Bamboo was alittle ackward!If that was the Case then all three of my Rods would have Sets just from Casting.but that's just my Opinion.The Ferrules must have been placed on poorly to have them loosen up on you.However I read that you can cause the Ferrules to loosen by Attaching and detaching the Tips.If you twist both Sections in any way that can cause it or cause your Ferrules to break..

    .


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    Dennis,

    Here's what I found out about your Fathers Payne Taper Rods.

    The 98 is consider a 4wt believe it or not.Thramer Listed it as a 4wt along with others I found on a search.Not all I found were from Rod Builders.I found 1 Site that Listed it as a 4/5wt though.

    The 102H however I couldn't find any Info.But I think it may be considered a 5wt or 5/6wt.

    Another thing I was told by the Builder of my Quad.Don't Underline nor Overline the Rod.The Action will not retain,I highly recommending you using only a 4.He stated that Quads weren't like their Counterparts,that their more delicate.


  7. #7
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    Tim did give me a 1 year warranty with the rod. As I've said, he was listed on many sites as a great rod builder and I couldn't find any complaints. I think when someone starts making money, they get too big for their own good and they kinda figure that they don't need you anymore.

    Andre, I wish I could say there was another part of the story, I'm typically not one to not tell the other side of the story. The rod was crooked, I called Tim and told him about it. He said, 'No problem, send it in and I'll look at it.' When I called him to ask if he received the rod, well, read the above again. It was annoying to hear all of these excuses however, I had 5 or six people tell me exactly what he was going to say and believe it or not, he said it all! Our conversation remained civil through-out, but I could tell that he was a bit annoyed. Too bad...

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    A competent sales or customer service person, who was not involved in manufacturing, will often give the customer what he wants, without question, even if there was no defect. The person who did the manufacturing (or supervised) may be too concerned with proving that "it's not his fault".
    Pete, you're dead on right with this one, I totally agree.

    I understand that a bamboo rod will eventually take a set. I did my homework before purchasing one. I just didn't expect the tips to both get cocked. I don't think this was a 'set' at all. If you held the butt section up to your eye and followed it down, the first thing you would have noticed was that at the ferrule's, the rod was not set properly. After the ferrule, you could see that the rod went over to the right. Then down at the tip section, the rod made a left then a right then another left (on both tips).

    Rolemodel, the rod was always taken apart properly, NEVER TWISTED... It's almost as if you have to have a big instruction manual before owning one of these rods! I read quite a bit on the care of a bamboo rod before I purchased mine. I always use Armoral to clean it off, it gives it a nice shine! just kidding... Anyhow, when my line is clean, I think my casting style is pretty damned good.

    As far as my father and his 98 special... I'll let him know that it is in fact listed as a 4/5wt. His issue is that he was very specific with Tim when explaining what the rod would be used for. Tim sold him the rod as a 4wt and assured him that it would be perfect for a stream that is 25 feet across with lots of river shrubbery. Perfect meaning it would be a fun 4wt rod for a very small type of stream. Anyhow, I'll pass your research onto my father. I'm sure he'll be grateful.

    I really like my Quad rod. I've recommended Tim to quite a few people looking into a bamboo rod. I can't do that anymore, at least until I know that he's got his act together.

    The rod still casts as good as it did the day I purchased it. The main reason I returned it was not because of the kinks, but because while casting, the ferrules were rotating on me. Damn, I can't wait to get that rod back!

    Helgamite, It appears that quite a few people here are pretty knowledgeable with bamboo. Ask around before you buy. There are a few makers that I would stay away from right now. Before you purchase from someone, make sure you do your homework (then again, that doesn't always pay off either). I'm glad the flies worked out for you. Contact me via private messaging if you want to know what I have left. By the way, I think I sent you a bottle of Frog's Fanny too, how do you like that stuff? I don't leave home without it!

    Pictures taken before/after/during fly fishing:
    http://dcabarle.smugmug.com/Sports/F...79119552_XXeHe

  8. #8
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    Dennis,

    I will do my homework on buying a bamboo rod. God knows that I'll have plenty of time to do the research cause it will take a year to save up.

    Ok I should have mentioned that the Frog's Fanny was as good a get, as the flies. Finished the bottle you gave me in no time and I'm on to my Third. It's great stuff. I found that without it or with liquid floatants the flies doesn't appear as natural. Also at dusk it helps with seeing the fly itself.

    There was a thread last week talking about a site where you can get a bag full of the stuff. Makes sense to do it that way but the idea that it can be harmful if breathed in, worries me a bit.

    Pete

    Helgamite

  9. #9
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    Welp... It's a little over a month since I wrote about my complaint on Tim Zietak and I still don't have my rod. Since I wrote that complaint, check out the google search on 'Tim Zietak'... Not very good publicity for him, this thread comes up as #2 in the Google search list for his name (Put his name in quotes and it's #1) (Combine Tim Zietak with Bamboo rod and he's #1 again) (Same applies for a Yahoo search). Really poor PR for Tim if you ask me. Now I'm posting again because I haven't heard from him in over a month.

    If someone know's and/or talks with Tim, let him know that I'm annoyed with his service and a few thousand people are going to know about it. I just called and left him a voice mail message so let's see how it goes.

    Pictures taken before/after/during fly fishing:
    http://dcabarle.smugmug.com/Sports/F...79119552_XXeHe

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    Talking makers

    hey dennis i know a good maker who stands behind his work. no complaints.
    you cast a 6'8" 3wt of his down in klg. little river.


  11. #11
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    Bill, that was a nice rod, but I like my rod better... I'm not in the market for a new rod, I'm in the market to get the one I sent back to Tim Zietak (and paid 1400 bux for) four months ago repaired and returned.

    This is sounding like some of the stories I've heard and read about regarding another builder in the past.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Sell
    hey dennis i know a good maker who stands behind his work. no complaints.
    you cast a 6'8" 3wt of his down in klg. little river.


    Pictures taken before/after/during fly fishing:
    http://dcabarle.smugmug.com/Sports/F...79119552_XXeHe

  12. #12
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    I got a reply in email form from Tim this morning. He said that my rod is done but it's in the drying case. Due to the summer humidity, it's taking longer to dry than expected. I responded to Tim, asking him to at least give me a status every so often so I know what's going on with it because it's been 4 months now. Everytime I've called him, he tells me it's just about done.

    I wouldn't complain so much, but he originally told me 4-6 weeks and never made an attempt to contact me on his own, with a status. I honestly feel that had I not tried contacting him, I would have never heard from him again... Sorry, but that's how I feel. I understand that sometimes things happen, but had he only kept in touch to let me know, I would have been a bit more at ease and would have probably never posted this thread in the first place.

    By the way... I don't think any of us care to spread a bad word about a company, especially a local company or a USA based company. A few weeks ago, someone reported that Border Water Outfitters really took care of them. That's great PR for Border Water Outfitters. If you have a good experience with somebody or a company or a fly shop, post it and let people know, that's what this site is for. On the other hand, if you have a bad experience with a company, give the company the benefit of the doubt and try to let them work with you. If they don't work with you, they deserve whatever is handed to them.

    If you feel a company is not doing a good job; for example, the rod company I reported on a few months ago (Took 8 months or so to repair/replace a tip correctly, and other issues with other rods), I think other consumers have the right to know. If I was looking for a bamboo rod and I read this report, I probably wouldn't use Tim. He comes off as unreliable. I don't care how nice or how great your rods or equipment are... If you have poor customer service, I'll be searching elsewhere.

    Anyhow, back to work.

    Pictures taken before/after/during fly fishing:
    http://dcabarle.smugmug.com/Sports/F...79119552_XXeHe

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