Before doing anything to the rod, I took photographs of each piece and recorded all of the pertinent measurements, including number of guides, guide spacing, wrap color and style, and handle configuration.
The most notable thing about this particular rod, is that it was originally intended to be usable as either a fly or spinning rod. In the fly rod configuration, it is an 8 foot three piece rod with two tips. However, there is a third tip that fits into the but section to make a shorter spinning rod. In the spinning configuration, the handle and reel seat can be completely detached and reversed to accommodate a spinning reel.
There are few extant markings on the cane, but I suspected that it might be a Montague or other production rod. But, after consulting with some knowledgeable folks, I determined that, due to it's hardware, it was probably a post-WWII Japanese rod. Not collectable, but highly fishable.
Step 3: Disassembly
Using care not to mar the cane, I used a single-edged razor blade to remove the guides and as much of the thread wraps as possible. The wraps on the guides and ferrules came off without much trouble, but the long intermediate wraps were worn in many places, and proved much more difficult. Ultimately, I left about half of them on, hoping that they would be removed in the next step.
As the reel seat and grip are in good condition, and as they can be removed completely as a unit, I simply set them aside for the time being.
I would have opted to keep the original ferrules on the rod, but they seem to be made of a soft chrome-plated metal and at least one of them was badly bent, which at first led me to believe (mistakenly) that the cane had taken on a significant "set". I removed the ferrules by heating them slowly over a candle, taking care not to scorch the cane. After several minutes and a few tugs with pliers, they each came free without marring the cane.
After some research, I found that the "natural" citrus based Citristrip that I use on fiberglass rods could be used to strip the varnish off of cane without damaging the glue that binds each individual strip of bamboo together into a tapered blank. Over the course of a day I submitted to cane to four treatments, which succeeded in removing all of the remaining thread, but only about half of the varnish.
--Posted by Eben