At some point early in your rod building, the edge of your plane will dig into the planing forms you’ve just spent a small fortune to buy. Everyone does it, and no one likes it. But special rodmaker’s planes give you the control you need to avoid gouging.They have a groove milled down the middle, creating two outside “rails” that glide along the form.The groove travels over the bamboo, and the blade extends just far enough to do its work without cutting into the planing form.
The only rodmaker’s plane on the market is a beautiful piece of work, but you’ll pay for it. Instead, I made my own by routing a groove through a block plane. I used a 5/8" straight bit in my router table, and set the distance between the bit and rail to 1/2" — the width of a rail. Raise the router bit to make a cut about .001" deep. When everything is right, take the blade out of the plane and run the plane across the spinning bit, holding it tight against the fence.Turn it around, and make a pass with the other side of the plane against the fence. Raise the bit and repeat until the groove is .003" deep.