Kakuhiro decided to abandon Tonkin and go with Japanese bamboo. The most common Japanese bamboo is madake, the second is mosochiku, and the third is hachiku. Mosochiku was far less practical, because it has the thickest diameter with thin surface fiber, and the length between each node was terribly short.
He tried both madake and hachiku bamboo and found hachiku was better to accomplish the action that he needed.
“I fell in love with hachiku. It is lighter, but still keeps enough strength at the surface. I believed I could make the best bamboo rod ever to catch Japanese trout with hachiku.”
After much trial and error, Kakuhiro finally could make all the processes repeatable to keep the quality at the same level.
“It is never easy to make the same rod one after another. There is no bamboo in the world that is consistently the same. Every single bamboo has its own character. In those days that I used Tonkin, I never felt comfortable because I could not see or confirm beforehand what I was going to use. It was not like a carbon sheet that was under the quality control of a big Japanese chemical company. It was like a gamble. But I was released from that nightmare once I decided on hachiku as my life partner. Now I can shop for bamboo in my city.”
*This article was extracted and translated from “Mostly Bamboo” by courtesy of the author.