Rod builders...

GungasUncle
GungasUncle
Forgot to add:

I'm awaiting a shipment of cork, and the snakes for my short rod also. Both should theoretically arrive on Thursday, while I'm out fishing. If so, then I'll probably get the grip turned, and maybe even start on some wraps for the short rod Thursday night. Should be ready to fish that rod next week. That means a small-stream trout trip will be in order to break THAT rod in properly...
 
S
Sinkline
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GungasUncle
GungasUncle
Looks like I won't be fishing the new rod Today. Yesterday while casting it in the backyard to determine which line I wanted to bring today - the rod snapped right below the 2nd ferrule. Needless to say, i was pissed and heart broken all at the same time. After contemplating scrapping the whole mess and cutting the guides off for re-use, I calmed down and decided to try fixing it. I found an old fiberglass rod that was laying around, which had a broken tip itself. The fiberglass rod tip section had an almost identical taper to the broken section of the flyrod, so I used a diamond saw and cut a hunk off the glass rod, applied epoxy to it, and inserted it inside the broken graphite blank. Epoxied the outside of the whole mess, wrapped it in winding thread - and now it's curing. Looks like next week will be the earliest I get to fish this one.

I really hope that rod doesn't have anymore weak spots - if it breaks again I'll be very pissed, mostly at myself, for not buying better quality blanks with warranties. The guides are the only thing I could recycle if that rod breaks again, and winds up being unfixable. The epoxy I used to attach the reel seat and grip is the same type of epoxy that holds my boat together (which, even after 24 years, hasn't weakened a bit). I believe the can said that the cured epoxy requires something like 3500 PSI of force to break the bond. That cork & reel seat is stuck on there forever!

So I'm taking my Cabela's rods fishing today, and hoping that next week I can take both newly built rods fishing.
 
P
psguardian
I would go bat shyte on the seller & send a bill for all material & shipping costs! That wasn't even a factory second, it was a factory flunk. While batch might have been bad.

~psguardian
 
GungasUncle
GungasUncle
Sadly that'd do no good. I knew going in it was a close-out blank w/ no warranty, and that it was imported. The price was too good to pass up, and per the description, I figured I'd be OK. IM6 rods are usually resilient rods compared to the newer IM7 and IM8 stuff. I'm guessing now, that these rods were worse than typical factory seconds, and that's why the guy I bought them from got them so cheaply. He's still selling a crap ton of them on eBay. I think from now on, any rod builds I do are going to be on Batson blanks or better. Really disheartening for my first rod build to break before I even fish it. I really, really hope my 2nd rod is defect free. I finished it up today (well, all the finish work was done yesterday, today I pulled it off the drying motor)

After what happened to the first rod, I'm kind of leery about test-casting this one - it was the 2nd section (next in from the tip) that broke on the long rod. The short rod I made was built from just the two tip sections of a similar blank - same exact size and number of sections, most likely same maker, different taper and line rating. When doing some of the grip work, I noticed some odd streaks at the tip of the butt section of the small rod - spiraling streaks - so I shot some epoxy in the tip of that section as insurance against breakage (hopefully that won't CAUSE breakage).

I'm going to try getting out and fishing at least one of the new rods next week. Probably the short rod, on a small stream closer to home than the Wilson (which is where I wanted to break in the big rod). Valley cutthroat are just as spunky as their coastal brethren.

If nothing else - I've learned some good lessons from this whole mess - about not cheaping out on rod blanks (I really should've called WW Grigg to see if they had any blanks left they'd sell), and about component assembly, and even some rod repair work.

I've got enough Flex Coat left to do four or five more rods at least. I've got my eye on some other maker's blanks (Steffen comes to the top of the wish list) and I might make myself another rod as a birthday present to myself (I've got one month to the day before the big 3-0).

The short rod did come out a bit prettier than the long rod. I think I did a better wrapping job on it overall. The grip, while not as pretty as the pre-formed Full Wells on the big rod, is at least as comfortable for me - the one thing I don't like about most factory rods in the mid to light line class is the very slim Western/reversed half wells grips they all come with. It's not necessarily the grip shape - but the grip diameter that bugs me and causes my hand to feel pain after a while (I've got a bit of nerve damage in my hands and wrists, and sometimes my thumb on my right hand won't close, especially around narrow diameter items.) One of the most comfortable grips I ever had was actually on one of the cheapest fly rods I ever owned - the Pfleuger Summit 5 weight I bought - the first flyrod I ever bought with a cork grip - had a nice fat western grip. Every rod since then has come with thinner profile cork. That's one reason I opted for the full wells grip - they're generally fatter, and the flared end gave me a better purchase for my thumb. I've recently modified most of my fly rods grips to include a sculpted out thumb rest on top of the cork, so my thumb wouldn't slip from position, and would automatically position my hand in the most comfortable space on the grip. The only rods that don't have this feature now, are my Cabela's Wind River 4 wt, and my newly made 11' rod (the one that broke) - as their grips are fat enough, and comfortable enough not to require the divot on the grip.

That's why my small stream rod has a mostly straight grip, with very gentle curves, and a sculpted area for my thumb.
 

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