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Teach me about rod building plz


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38 replies to this topic

#16 Dave G.

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 01:50 PM

flyrodfanatic.com has a 21 video series at youtube on building your first rod. Well worth watching even if you don't exactly follow his steps, it will give you a base to work from.

 

No need to start with a spinning rod imo, in fact the extra wraps on a flyrod will be good practice..


John 7:38 ESV  is about "Rivers of Living Water"


#17 Flicted

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 05:33 PM

My point was, better to learn on components that cost less.

#18 Dave G.

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 05:01 AM

If I wanted and need a canoe for a canoes purpose, I wouldn't build a rowboat.


John 7:38 ESV  is about "Rivers of Living Water"


#19 Capt Bob LeMay

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 06:27 AM

Unless  you're using pre-formed cork grips - building a fly rod for your first effort can get complicated... Most prefer to actually build their cork handles on the blank one cork ring at a time - then turn them down (after they've been glued, clamped together and allowed to cure in place) which either requires a lathe or the ability to use a rodbuilding motorized setup as a lathe....  Each cork ring is separately reamed by hand to fit the blank, then it's all glued up and clamped (you'll have to make your own clamping setup -Clemens shows you how....) then once it's all done and cured - then turned down to the shape (tapered, half Wells, full Wells, etc.) you desire - all before the glue up and clamping process needed when you then add the realseat.... Over the years, good quality cork rings have gotten more and more expensive (that's if you can find them... and all come from cork trees in Spain the last I heard...) so you won't want to butcher up a handle your first time out...

 

I have a sample stick that I used many years ago to show prospective rod customers exactly what was involved... If I can find it I'll add a few photos to give you some idea about what's involved....

 

Most of us got started by doing a repair or two (re-wrapping or replacing a guide here or there)... then maybe stripping down and re-wrapping new guides on an older rod before going the next step and building one from scratch.  I know that most here only use fly rods so I can understand wanting to stick with them - but (trust me) a lightweight spinning rod is a much easier first rod for most (and will make a pretty good gift for someone if you're not planning on using it..). Did I mention that it's a simple matter to put someone's name on a rod you're building?


Tight lines Bob LeMay (954) 435-5666

#20 dadofmolly

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 07:44 AM

Unless  you're using pre-formed cork grips - building a fly rod for your first effort can get complicated... Most prefer to actually build their cork handles on the blank one cork ring at a time - then turn them down (after they've been glued, clamped together and allowed to cure in place) which either requires a lathe or the ability to use a rodbuilding motorized setup as a lathe....  Each cork ring is separately reamed by hand to fit the blank, then it's all glued up and clamped (you'll have to make your own clamping setup -Clemens shows you how....) then once it's all done and cured - then turned down to the shape (tapered, half Wells, full Wells, etc.) you desire - all before the glue up and clamping process needed when you then add the realseat.... Over the years, good quality cork rings have gotten more and more expensive (that's if you can find them... and all come from cork trees in Spain the last I heard...) so you won't want to butcher up a handle your first time out...

 

I have a sample stick that I used many years ago to show prospective rod customers exactly what was involved... If I can find it I'll add a few photos to give you some idea about what's involved....

 

Most of us got started by doing a repair or two (re-wrapping or replacing a guide here or there)... then maybe stripping down and re-wrapping new guides on an older rod before going the next step and building one from scratch.  I know that most here only use fly rods so I can understand wanting to stick with them - but (trust me) a lightweight spinning rod is a much easier first rod for most (and will make a pretty good gift for someone if you're not planning on using it..). Did I mention that it's a simple matter to put someone's name on a rod you're building?

Have to agree with Capt.   Building up a grip is easier said than done if you've never done it before, and far different than wraping guides.  While I have to hand it to tier to want to build a fly rod from scratch, does he really want to invest his resources and his time putting together a minimum set of rod tools that may only last 1 or 2 rods before deciding it is easier to buy his rod.  I've built most of my rods, baitcasters, spinning and fly, and now I only do minor repair for friends as I no longer want to spend the time in rod building and buying in 1s or 2s of components becomes more costly.  I would rather spend my time on the streams.


Instead of a sign that says 'do not disturb' I need one that says 'already disturbed, proceed with caution'


#21 SilverCreek

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 09:41 AM

I have built several fly rods. I have never made my own cork grips so I suggest using a preformed grip.

 

Having said that, I like Dave G., I would build a rod I wanted to actually use rather than a cheap rod. If you screw up winding the guides, you can cut them off and redo any of the guides.

 

What I think is important is to have a proper method of coating the threads with epoxy and a good method of rotating the rod as the epoxy cures. I use an old BBQ motor. Finally do not make the mistake of curing the epoxy where the air is humid. It can get cloudy. So cure it in an air conditioned environment and not in a damp basement.

 

And make sure you extend the epoxy beyond the edge of the thread on both sides so water/moisture cannot seep into the thread from the edge.


Regards,

Silver

"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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#22 steeldrifter

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 12:45 PM

On a fishing trip still so don't have a lot of time but had a few minutes while at the motel to reply. Building a rod is not overly complicated, but I also have to say there is a difference between just building a rod, and building something very nice that others will be impressed by. So saying its very simple IMO is like saying doing art/painting is simple because its just daping a brush in paint and putting it on a canvas, that's easy right? :)

 

I have taught a friend or two to build a rod in a matter of a day or two and had them building their own rod rather quickly, so the "basics" can be taught easily, but it takes a lot of practice/exp to learn the details like clear bubble free wraps, smooth not footballed finish, crisp edge lines, doing your own grips, burnishing wraps and making sure there are no gaps, etc etc. It's the same as saying fly tying is easy and can be taught quickly, yet we all know it takes time to put the work in to do things like married wings and proper hackle and such.

 

So with that said, start by watching youtube vids on wrapping guides. After you feel you can try that then buy some two part rod finish, some rod build thread, some mixing cups & brushes, and make a homemade wrapper with v blocks (can look up the cardboard method of wrapper to get started cheap just to see if you like it) and then take an old rod or arrow shaft and practice wrapping and finishing.


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#23 xvigauge

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 01:23 PM

I have built several fly rods. I have never made my own cork grips so I suggest using a preformed grip.

 

Having said that, I like Dave G., I would build a rod I wanted to actually use rather than a cheap rod. If you screw up winding the guides, you can cut them off and redo any of the guides.

 

What I think is important is to have a proper method of coating the threads with epoxy and a good method of rotating the rod as the epoxy cures. I use an old BBQ motor. Finally do not make the mistake of curing the epoxy where the air is humid. It can get cloudy. So cure it in an air conditioned environment and not in a damp basement.

 

And make sure you extend the epoxy beyond the edge of the thread on both sides so water/moisture cannot seep into the thread from the edge.

 

I have made several cork grips by hand and no machinery was required. I first glue in the reel seat. Then, I fit cork rings on the rod one at a time, using a rat tail file to enlarge the hole in the cork ring. After all the cork rings are fitted, I then glue each ring in place using epoxy glue. After the glue has set up (24 hrs or so) I use a 4 n 1 hand rasp and shape the grip to the shape I want. I rasp in a forward motion from the reel seat toward the ferrule. When the first flat is made, I turn it over and file a flat on the opposite side. I keep doing this until all the excess dried glue is gone. I keep rasping forward and rotating the rod until I have the desired shape. Now, I use several different grits of sandpaper to smooth it out and done. I'll post some pictures later of some of my grips finished this way. Stay tuned.

Joe



#24 tjm

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 02:23 PM

I have made several cork grips by hand and no machinery was required. I first glue in the reel seat. Then, I fit cork rings on the rod one at a time, using a rat tail file to enlarge the hole in the cork ring. After all the cork rings are fitted, I then glue each ring in place using epoxy glue. After the glue has set up (24 hrs or so) I use a 4 n 1 hand rasp and shape the grip to the shape I want. I rasp in a forward motion from the reel seat toward the ferrule. When the first flat is made, I turn it over and file a flat on the opposite side. I keep doing this until all the excess dried glue is gone. I keep rasping forward and rotating the rod until I have the desired shape. Now, I use several different grits of sandpaper to smooth it out and done. I'll post some pictures later of some of my grips finished this way. Stay tuned.
Joe

I did this. It is just like shaping a hammer handle, bet I've done a hundred of those, time and sweat are the major investment.
And I used Spar Varnish- I can't get epoxy right on anything except concrete anchors.
I did not build a rod to sell, but to fish. I jumped to the conclusion that that was the OP's intention- to build a basic fly rod to use; however if the intention is to become a quality builder of fly rods to sell, my advice is to take an apprenticeship with a recognized rod builder. Any instruction worthwhile has a cost.

#25 Bill_729

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 06:29 PM

So saying its very simple IMO is like saying doing art/painting is simple because its just daping a brush in paint and putting it on a canvas, that's easy right? smile.png

 

 

I've never done it, so it can't be that simple.  As has been adequately revealed thus far, the devil is in the details. Much cheaper to learn to learn to rasp a piece of wood, than a piece of cork (I have never shaped a cork handle). Note: Please Do Not argue that cork is wood (ha!).   Incidentally, woodcarving its an interesting hobby too (Google it and see some of the artifacts).

 

The fiberglass rod building kits (weight 3, 4, and 5) are $97.50 at Hook & Hackle.  Is that little more than "pocket change" for a 13 year old these days? Tools, I presume, are "extra".  I do not know what tools are required, but I have learned that tools are generally not cheap.  Maybe it's easier to use "dad's" tools.  : )

 

Cheers,

Bill_729


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#26 Poopdeck

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 09:04 AM

I completely fail to see the difficulty in reaming a little hole in cork disk, fitting it to a rod and then glueing the cork rings together. Ditto with shaping Cork. I see no difference in building a spin or fly rod other then length and number of guides. Glueing and shaping cork sounds like a basic addition to the process if you really want to learn to build a rod.

Since I've never actually built a rod my opinion matters little. However SD confirms the way I see it, it's an easy process but may take some practice and a few rods to turn out something that is visually perfect. I was going to build a rod but was instantly turned off by the shear number of different components available. I soon discovered the hard part was not in construction but in picking the right parts out of a sea of parts.

#27 SilverCreek

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 11:28 AM

Making a cork grip.

 

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=GcfMmTpflVY

 

Good Cork is becoming more difficult to find. Cork grips or cork  rings of the finest FLOR grade cork is expensive.

 

http://www.anglerswo...-Rod-Cork-Grips

 

http://www.anglerswo...Spin/Cork-Rings


Regards,

Silver

"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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#28 Capt Bob LeMay

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 11:33 AM

Let's make  it easy starting out with components - Remember that there's a range of quality and prices for every guide, reelseat, cork ring (or finished cork handle that's already pre-shaped and ready to go..) and all are designed for a particular purpose and rod strength (you don't use light featherweight guides on a rod meant for heavier lines and rods meant for really hard pulling...). You can build your own cork reamers by simply cutting emery cloth (start out with coarse then finer...) into long narrow strips then spiral gluing it to sections of old fishing rod blanks that are slightly smaller than the size of the new blank you're wanting to ream those rings (or finished grips) to fit -and that the taper of each blank will mean that one side will have to be a bit larger than the trailing side.  When reaming by hand don't ream the cork all the way out - you want it to be tight to the blank an inch or two from where you actually want it - the glue you use will act as a lubricant and allow you to shove a finished grip (or a single cork ring) down into position tightly... You don't want the slightest movement in the part of the rod you actually hold onto while fishing... 

 

As far as components go, make a point of looking closely at new rods being offered for sale - and the actual guides on them - as well as the reelseat... as a guide for where you're aiming at.  Years ago manufacturers actually offered catalogs that spelled out the exact blank model that was used to create a given rod to encourage home builders to build their own gear.  Make a point of always counting the number of guides (and what type) were used on rods you admired.  I actually used to bring a small tape measure with me to the shop (and something to take notes with..) so that I knew exactly how far that first guide was from the front edge of the reelseat, etc.  I'd like to say that everything on the market is well built and well designed but that's just not the case so you'll want to ask others for advice about particular purpose built gear... Many freshwater rods that I've seen would never be used in the salt since the guides being used are tiny (and would never allow a heavier leader for the salt to pass through them)  - but they're in every shop you go into....

 

When I first got started all those years ago there were no custom rod wrapping machines being offered for sale - so we built our own... To this day my rod wrapper (and lathe for turning down cork or EVA foam grips...) is a simple sewing machine motor that turns a mandrel with a Jacobs chuck on its end... My drying machine is an old barbeque motor with a timer attached.  My rodbuilding bench is a long, narrow bench (eight feet long) that my Dad helped me build.  I must have built or repaired hundreds of rods with it - and it's all still working just fine whether it's for a fly rod, a light spinning rod, or a heavy to unlimited stand up rod (and everything in between...).  That same mandrel with the chuck on the end is also used to wind line onto spinning reel spools or turn a wire brush for buffing off old reel parts or a grinding wheel for tapering the ends on rod guides so that they're easier to bind into place with rod thread.... and all of it controlled by the same foot control that came with the sewing machine motor that drives it all...

 

Gonna quit now, yesterday I built a replacement for a rod that one of my anglers broke fighting a 30lb tarpon (high sticking will do it every time....) and today it will get its first coat of finish (high build FlexCoat)....  Just one more stick for the skiff - my daily load when we're not fly-fishing is eight rods varying from light enough to toss a single small jig to heavy enough to pull a stump....


Tight lines Bob LeMay (954) 435-5666

#29 Philly

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 01:35 PM

I was trying to remember whether the first rod I built was a spinning rod or a trolling rod.  Might have started building both at the same time.   I got all of my components from Dale Clemens, his store was about a 40 minute ride from my house.  Fly rods came later.  I started out running the thread through a heavy book to wrap the guides.  Soon brought a cheap rod building jig, and eventually a motorized one.  It's much easier to build a 50 or 80 lb trolling rod, and work in the custom thread art than a fly rod.  My first fly rod I built was an 8 wgt.   I redid the guides three times.  Started with snake guides,  then single foot Fuji fly rod guides which were just coming out.  Eventually settled on single foot spinning guides which gets me some strange looks when I'm fishing a FFO stretch.  Can't really add to much too what's been said.   If you use a spinning rod, build one of them first to get the feel of the process, otherwise start with a fly rod.  As far as cork grips, I built my own for long time, but at some point it became hard to find top quality cork rings and the last four I built I used the preformed grips.  First rod, go with the preformed.  These days I'm just repairing friend's rods, replacing tips and guides.  I do have a couple of franken-rods I'm going to play with over the winter and check the wraps on my fly rods and see if I need to replace any.  Maybe even see if I couple of custom art wraps left in my hands.  Have fun.  The experience of catching a fish on a fly you tied and a rod you built is worth it.


"All things considered, I'd rather be in Philadelphia."

#30 xvigauge

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 03:27 PM

https://postimg.cc/0zWQBRwb

 

These are some of the cork grips I made by gluing rings and shaping by hand with a 4 n 1 hand rasp and sandpaper. The top rod was originally a vintage Shakespeare fiberglass spinning rod I converted to a fly rod. The middle rod is a vintage Shakespeare glass rod I refurbished. The bottom one was made from

parts from vintage bamboo fly rods.

Joe