Bamboo has historically been used in Japan as a structural material and for building tools such as fishing rods owing to its remarkable structural properties. In recent years, the materials used for manufacturing fishing rods have changed greatly owing to the development of composite materials; however, the basic slender tapered hollow cylindrical fishing rod design has remained unchanged throughout the long history of fishing. However, the mechanical rationale behind this structural design has not yet been sufficiently verified, and this study clarifies this. The analysis was performed by solving the nonlinear bending equation of a slender tapered cantilever beam with a concentrated load at the tip, which causes large deflection, using the Runge–Kutta method. The deflection curves and bending stresses were obtained, and the structural design to minimize the stresses was explored. Our results may prove useful for bamboo-inspired bionic design and bring to light our ancestors’ deep knowledge of natural materials and their advanced technological capabilities.