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Teach me about rod building plz


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38 replies to this topic

#1 TIER

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 06:37 PM

I heard there was this guy who was my age, and he made fly rods. I want to learn how to make rods.


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#2 Bill_729

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 07:06 PM

I heard there was this guy who was my age, and he made fly rods. I want to learn how to make rods.

 

I think that the difference in cost between learning how to do it and actually doing it is pretty big. What part of it do you find intriguing?  It doesn't cost anything to browse rod building catalogs. The Hook & Hackle catalog explains how to attach guides (at the very beginning of their catalog).

 

If you have have woodworking tools at your disposal and feel creative, I would maybe encourage you to start by building something to dress up your "fly tying station" (a tool holder?).  If this is your thing, you have a lifetime of "craft" ahead of you and, IMO, you might as well learn something about working with wood. I feel confident that it will help you with rod building (and open the door to many other possibilities too).

 

Best wishes,

Bill_729


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#3 mikechell

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 07:08 PM

A good start ... visit a thrift store and see if they have any old, beat up rods.

 

Refurbish them.


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#4 flytire

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 07:11 PM

it would be pretty hard teaching rod building on a forum

 

you should do some internet searching and watch some youtube viseos


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#5 Mark Knapp

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 08:06 PM

All good advise.



#6 Bryon Anderson

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 08:28 PM

Go to MudHole's YouTube channel. They have a playlist called "Rod Building 101. This would be a good start to learning the basics.

https://www.youtube....oleCustomTackle


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#7 Poopdeck

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 08:51 PM

I seem to have a different outlook on things then most. I was building go carts and bicycles before I was 12. Started reloading ammunition when I got my hunting license at age 12. Doing brakes, clutches, carb rebuilds and such when I was 16. I have been a woodworker for the better part of 35 years with a little metal working thrown in.

I see most things as easy if you have the right tools. I look at fishing rods as being ridiculously easy to build with not much money needed to acquire the tools. Much like fly tying, I often wonder why things are made out to be harder and more expensive then they really are or need to be. Would a wizbang motorized 16 color wrapping machine be nice? Sure would but I can get equal results with what I cobbled together, just not as fast. I made a rod wrapper with scraps and pieces laying around the shop and have replaced guides and practiced thread wrapping and attaching guides to old rods laying around. I have reamers, mandrills, lathes, unassigned electrical motors and everything else I may need. Now I never made an entire rod simply because I do not have the time for yet another hobby but there is nothing overly difficult about the process. Don't let others tell you otherwise. God gave you two hands and a two thumbs for a very good reason.

Arm yourself with a little knowledge through YouTube and other on line resources, cobble together some basic tools and jump in. There is simply no reason why a 12 year old could not build a fly rod and it would not greatly impress me if a 12 year old did build a rod. In fact I would expect a 12 year old to be able to accomplish this quite easily if they simply put down the games and get to doing it and practice the skills needed. Your first attempt probably won't be a master piece but all it takes is a little doing. You have to start somewhere. I like Mike's advice to start by working on old rods and rewrapping the guides. Just don't think your going to become an expert rod builder overnight as your skills will take a little time to grow.

I like your DIY hands on attitude. You can do anything you want to do. Go for it.

#8 Bill_729

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 11:44 PM

I seem to have a different outlook on things then most.

 

Not really.  I think everyone who has posted above is on the same track. Probably few in this forum are "afraid of a challenge".  Since TIER is from Alaska, he may have some unique opportunities.


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#9 Capt Bob LeMay

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 06:28 AM

I have to second the advice to check out current rodcrafting supply outfits since many do have very good quality tutorials with their websites (something that just wasn't available when I built my first rod back in 1971...).  Start off with something simple like a lightweight spinning rod to begin to learn the basics (selecting the right blank, building up the reelseat, figuring out the number and style of the guides you're going to need then figuring out the proper spacing... etc.

 

Fly rods are a bit more subtle and a lot of what's needed isn't very obvious.  I'd already built a bunch of spin and plug-casting rods before I built my first fly rod - and it was a disaster... I did everything I knew in it's design but when I tried to use it - I found I'd clearly missed the boat.  This was back when fiberglass blanks were all that was available - just before the very first graphite blanks came along... So it was back to the drawing board... I was actually able to hook up with a local outfit building rods and then began to learn how to do them properly but it was a long process for me.  That outfit was Uslan - they actually were still building some split bamboo rods along with more modern gear.  I believe they were the only outfit that ever built a five sided split bamboo rod... They're long gone over 35 years now - but I learned a lot from them...

 

I've been building and repairing rods now for many years - and I'm still learning.... As for books on the subject - the ones by Dale Clemens all those years ago are still a very good starting point... 


Tight lines Bob LeMay (954) 435-5666

#10 SilverCreek

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 08:07 AM

See if your public library has a book by Dale Clemens on rod building. His book "Advanced Custom Rod Building" has everything you need to know.


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#11 Capt Bob LeMay

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 10:02 AM

Just sallied over to Amazon and found that all three of Clemens books are still available there, both new and used, paperback and hardback... for anyone wanting to get started... Don't even think about the CUSTOM THREAD ART book until you've actually built a rod or two... 

 

I was surprised at how cheap some of the used editions are selling for... His books were on every custom builder's shelf from the seventies onward until his retail operation as a component seller went out of business in the late eighties (if memory serves...).


Tight lines Bob LeMay (954) 435-5666

#12 Flicted

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 12:17 PM

In many cases, you can buy the components for about half the retail price of an equal rod. All good advice above. See if you can find a class. Also I recommend starting with a spinning rod and wait until your skills improve before making a fly rod. Ive built 15 or do over the years and still wrap thread by placing the spool in a coffee mug, running the thread through a phone book or large paperback book or catalog and adjust tension with my foot.

#13 tjm

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 12:27 PM

I recommended Clemens books on this forum just a week or two back and at the time there good copies on the auction for less than $5 with free shipping.
Buy a copy and it will be yours as reference from now on. And do what Mikechell said look around town and collect all the "junk" rods you can find- even the ones broken beyond repair can be cut up and salvaged to repair others. then hit mudhole or a similar place and buy any components you can't salvage. Cut Vs in a grocery box and borrow a big dictionary to keep the thread tight and bang you are building a rod. I don't think it makes much difference if it's spinning or casting or fly- techniques must be about the same, although fly rods are all I've done.

#14 tjm

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 12:31 PM

OK, enlighten me how is a fly rod more difficult than the same length rod of the same MOC with the reel seat in between the grips? On the face of things it appears simpler, just on grip and seat placement alone?

#15 flytire

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 01:18 PM

I'm with tjm on this

Why is a fly rod harder to build than a spinning rod when the parts are basically the same for both?

Handle grip
Rod blank
Reel seat
Guides
Wrapping thread
Etc

Start out with an inexpensive fiberglass rod building kit

We do it all the time! Get over it!