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Rod Building

Questions and Answers about the basics of flyfishing for newbies and the old timers that just can't remember
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Rod Building

Postby BCflyfisher2012 » Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:35 pm

Hello All


I have recently become interested in rod building and have a few questions for anyone on here who has knowledge of this.

1) What tools are needed?

2) What are some things I can do to get started?

My intention is to work on my wrapping skills over Thanksgiving break by fixing some of the old spinning rods or bamboo rods my dad has laying around in the garage.



thanks


bradley
Bradley

"Spend it while you can, money's contraband, you can't take it with you when you go" ~ Jimmy Buffett

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Re: Rod Building

Postby kendalloz » Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:41 am

Wow. Lots of questions. There are few mandatory tools but there are more that make building a rod a lot easier. You must have file (to file/smooth the feet on guides), masking tape, razor blade, big book, coffee cup, and something to hold the blank...like a board with two v-notches in the end. In the simplest fashion you put a spool of thread in the coffee cup. pull the thread through a big book for tension, then wrap the guides on the blank.

You can turn the blank by hand after you put finish on but that is brutal. A motor makes it a lot easier. Cabelas sells a pretty cheap one.

If you Google rod building you should be able to find some of the rod building forums on the net and read stuff there. Also try Mudhole.com I think (or google Mudhole tackle). They sell a lot of stuff. If you buy a rod building kit from Mudhole or Cabelas they usually come with a short instruction book.

Make your first rod from a cheap blank cause you will make errors and you don't want to mess up a $$$$ blank. That said, the errors are usually just in appearance as it is very easy to make a functional rod. And there are some tricks to hide your errors...like mixing a little glitter in the finish...adds "flash" but also hides goofs in your wrapping!

I just built an Xi3 8-weight and it is da Bomb! Caught several albies on it last week.

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Re: Rod Building

Postby XXXi2 » Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:29 am

Ditto on the drying lathe and on starting w/ a cheap blank!
How about some pics of the Xi3?
20" is not 20 lbs.

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Re: Rod Building

Postby toddkfly » Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:20 am

Bradley, you are getting into another great piece of fly fishing. There are many great sites for rod building as well as numerous books on building your own rod. Tom Kirkman has a nice How to build your own rod book that covers all types, but for fly specific, L. A Garcia's Handcrafting a graphite fly rod is a good choice. For your first attempt, I would purchase a kit that includes blank, cork, reel seat, guides, tip top, etc... Some will even provide thread, winding checks, hook keepers etc... Look up Angler's Habitat in Google. Wayne has provided me with numerous blanks and will assemble a kit for you based on what you want to build and how much you want to spend.
For some on-line tutorials, check ot www.mudhole.com and look under the tab for rod building 101.

Once you build one, you'll never buy a factory rod again. Enjoy!

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Re: Rod Building

Postby BCflyfisher2012 » Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:40 am

Thanks guys. I found a TFO Professional Kit that was relatively inexpensive. Does anyone know the quality of TFO rods? I have never fished them but have read some good reviews about them online.


thanks again
Bradley

"Spend it while you can, money's contraband, you can't take it with you when you go" ~ Jimmy Buffett

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Re: Rod Building

Postby Cutter » Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:37 am

I like their blanks but am not wild about the quality of components they hang on them - perfect for doing yourself.
The world is your oyster-
So show up with a knife and know how to shuck.

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Re: Rod Building

Postby toddkfly » Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:54 am

Blanks are pretty good and what Cutter said about the components is right on. Get a different reel seat and guides if you can. If not, great first project to cut your teeth on.

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Re: Rod Building

Postby kendalloz » Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:41 pm

Another blank idea is to buy close-outs on outdated models. Like right now you can get deals on the Xi2 blanks since Sage came out with the Xi3.

Another thing you'll notice on the forums is a lot of custom builders like the Fuji ceramic single foot guides for fly rods of 8 or 9-weight on up. They say the performance is much better that regular single foot guides and better than snake guides. They will tell you the only reason to use snake guides is tradition. There is an advantage to single foots as you only have to make half the wraps! I use the ceramic guides on bigger rods like 12-and up where the rod is more of a fighting tool than a casting tool.

http://www.jsflyfishing.com/cgi-bin/item/GT-070550-0000?source=google_base&kw=GT-070550-0000

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Re: Rod Building

Postby lwflyrod » Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:24 pm

Thanks for the responses everyone.
Bradley and I discussed it this weekend,
I suggested he post it out there for you all and you all reinforced my 1st concept was to start on something inexpensive to get some experience under your belt, so you dont mess up a $$$ rod.

Plus I thought you all might have some better ideas of setups. Kendall that way you suggest works good.

about 20 years ago I reworked 3 bamboo flyrods (My grandfather had given me). A South Bend, A Montague and an Abercrombie. Nothing really special but they were his - had to put new guides on and all, I used that cup/book method and hand turned, Took a piece of 1x5 and put v cut in it laid the rod on to turn. Didnt turn out too bad. Still have them- maybe I ought to take some pics of them.

Doing that and those rods are what got me hooked on Flyfishing.
havent turned back since.
And
Now 20 some years later My SON is looking into it.... Brings Tears to my eyes.... Makes a Dad proud. :D

Just KEEP UP THE GRADES AT COLLEGE!

or I will get all these guys on the board to KICK your tail! :P
Lee W
"Teach a kid to fish and give the gift of a lifetime of memories."

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Re: Rod Building

Postby woody » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:24 pm

I have been building bamboo rods for the last year and can give you some pointers on that process if you get there. Building from a blank is pretty easy. Recommend using snake brand guides (no need to flatten the feet ) and I use the Ecowrapper and highly recommend it for precise wrapping. I suggest using nickel silver guides or stanless (depending if you are in salt) and flor grade cork for the handle. REC components has been very responsive to shipping small orders such as reel seats. I use the snake brand ferrules also but REC has a variety. There is a rod makers show in Greensboro, NC each year around March? that is worth going to particularly if your are wrapping graphite.
Thread, well I use silk but do not recommend you use the really small stuff.
Woody

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Rumi

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