I have been making traditional, six-sided, split bamboo fishing rods since 1979. I began in a garage heated by a wood stove here in northern Colorado, doing things the hard way: making my blanks slowly, one at a time, by hand, using steel forms and block planes. I still work this way. There are faster ways to turn out rod blanks, but there is no substitute for a genuine, handmade rod.
All the sections of my rods come from the same culm of bamboo, aged for three to four years in my shop, to insure uniformity of action, as well as color. I use a spiral node pattern on most of my rods, but go to a staggered pattern for salmon, steelhead and other longer, heavier rods. The rod tips are matched, or "mirrored" - that is, both tips have identical node patterns.