Rod building

Irishrover

Irishrover

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I'm toying with the idea of learning how to build rods. I tie flies, make lures, and make lead weight so rod build seems like a natural next step. The problem is that I know nothing about it. I'm not the best when it comes to detail so I'm a wee bit intimidated by some of the nice home made rods I've seen. One question I have is, is it close to being cost effective? Another is how much gear do you need? I was thinking about talking to Mrs Santa Clause.
 
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mlw

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I've built two now, here are some pics of the first one, and of my d.i.y. jig for holding the rod and thread. 10' 7wt

Cost effectiveness - depends on the stuff you pick, but I will never buy a new rod again. (Although some used rods may tempt me). Roughly half of retail is achievable, with quality as good as you can make it. If you tie flies, it is not a big jump to making a rod.

For my first rod I called up Dan (see below), and he walked me through what I needed - I think all in for blank, cork, reelseat, thread, guides, finish, glue, etc I spent less than $250 (blank was approx $160), and many who have fished them think his blanks compare to the best of the top line rod manufacturers. I doubt I could find a new rod for less than $600-700 that I would be willing to trade for my homebuilt 10' Dan Craft. (and if you have to have a Sage blank, they are available too, for approx half the retail cost of the rod. Most blanks come with similar warrantees to new rods. The second rod I built was a 10'8" 8wt Rainshadow switch, which was rediculously inexpensive, and is a very servicable and enjoyable rod. I have a couple more rods in the planning stages - next in line is a 13' spey rod, on a Meiser blank. (gotta save my nickels)

Cork and grips are a little tricky - you can either buy ready to mount grips (which you need to ream out to fit your blank, then glue on) or turn your own (which is what I did on both the rods I built, as I liked the idea of turning the grip to fit my hands. Some folks turn grips on a metal rod, I did mine on the blank itself, with a cordless drill. (be careful).

Lots of great info on Rodbuildingforum.com and their tutorials, etc were very helpful. They are pretty beginner friendly. Less beginner friendly is Rodbuilding.org
Blanks:
Anglers Workshop (blanks, rod building components, thread, finishes, etc)
R.B. Meiser (Spey and switch blanks - he also sells kits and "ready to wrap" rod blanks with grip and reel seat mounted)
Reel Seats: (these are the top line, there are definitely nice seats that are less money)
REC (Dan Craft and Anglers Workshop both carry REC.
Bellinger These are a little too nice for me.
Struble Also very nice stuff.
And of course there is Ebay - I have bought cork on ebay, and it was as described. If you are looking for the very best cork, and are willing to pay for it, ebay is not the place.

I would encourage you, I have really enjoyed it. It is also kinda nice to catch a fish with a fly you tied on a rod you built.

regards,
Michael
 
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DirectDrive

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Nicely done, mlw :clap:

On the vendors list I would add Mudhole and on the blank mfr's list I would add RainShadow.
Both of these firms are looming large these days in the rod building world.
 
Irishrover

Irishrover

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Michael,

Thanks for the information. I think you have nudged me over the line. That rod is awesome. Know I need to spend some time reading and researching on the rod building forum.

I met Ninja at Dodge Park on Saturday for some practice spey casting. He had a beautiful 10' switch rod that he had custom made. That got me to thinking about building rods again. The information in your post really helps. I showed him the flies you made and he sure like them. I think you are right; catching a fish on a fly you tied on a rod you have built, that has to be fun.;)
 
Irishrover

Irishrover

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saving money

saving money

MLW.....you are saving me money already. I thought I would need to by something like the $225 theadwrapping machine and drier from Cabelas to make rods. I saw, on the rod building site that you posted, a neat way to wrap the thread usuing a few pieces of scrap wood and of all things a mouse trap for a thread tentioner. I also saw folks using cardboard boxes and other economical methods. Lots of information there thanks for posting it.
 
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ninja2010

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I met Ninja at Dodge Park on Saturday for some practice spey casting. He had a beautiful 10' switch rod that he had custom made. That got me to thinking about building rods again.

you should do it, irishrover... you have the time and the patience and what mlw sez is so true... and as a plug... i really love the rainshadow blanks. may not be the best on the market, but for the price, they make great blanks (that's all they do). after i tire of my 10'8", i'll probably upgrade to a 13 footer. :D then we can have a shooting match... :lol:
 
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FishKiller23

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you should do it, irishrover... you have the time and the patience and what mlw sez is so true... and as a plug... i really love the rainshadow blanks. may not be the best on the market, but for the price, they make great blanks (that's all they do). after i tire of my 10'8", i'll probably upgrade to a 13 footer. :D then we can have a shooting match... :lol:

+1 on the rainshadow blanks.
 
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Acousticfish

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Rodbuilding thoughts

Rodbuilding thoughts

I would also add Jann's Netcraft to the list of possible suppliers. I have had good luck with them. The had fuji stuff in stock when Mudhole had it on back order for up to a month away. Both shipped fast for being on the other-side of the country. I would also add that Glenn Wicks in Creswell is an awesome place to visit. I will send you their info if you are interested in going. They have a lot of cheap blanks to get started on and he will help you build it in the shop. I have only built 3 but find it very pleasurable and would be willing to help ya out if I can. Oh and get Dale P. Clemens book Advanced Custom Rod Building you will be glad you did!
 
Irishrover

Irishrover

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"Advanced Custom Rod Building" by Clemmons I'll get my hands on a copy. Thanks. I've been doing a lot of on line reading along with checking things out. My wife suprised the hell out of me by getting me a Rodsmith RW3L by Pacific Bay and a drying motor set up. One of my grandsons asked me why grandma got me a sewing machine for Christmas.:lol: I really would have waited until I had a clue what I was doing before I got a wrapping machine, but it's hard to say no to Mrs Clauses. I'll get my hands on that book and start by fixing some of my broken rods. Then a fishing buddy of mine is going to give me a bunch of his late fathers rod wrapping stuff including some blanks. I told him if he did I'd wrap the rods for him. Acousticfish thanks for the information.
 
Irishrover

Irishrover

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Ordered the book today on Amazon. Got a used hard back copy for 15 bucks. Thanks for that info!
 
Irishrover

Irishrover

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Clemmons' book was waiting for me on the front porch when I got home from the Sandy yesterday. Wow that book has a ton of information in it. I guess I 'd better get busy and start putting a rod together.
 
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Dweller

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Bumping an old thread here.

Irishrover, did you ever put together a rod? I have been thinking about doing this myself, and was happy to find a supplier here in Oregon. On that note, does anyone know of a store in the Portland area that carries these supplies? I have some questions that would be quickly answered if I could get my hands on some samples.

Thanks!
 
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beaverfan

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My dad was saying Olie Damon's in Portland (the reel repair place) has a good selection of blanks and stuff. I am getting into the rod building world myself. Thanks for the links MLW lots and lots of reading to do!
 
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ryan808

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Join the bandwagon, theres nothing better than catching a fish on your own custom rod. Heres my latest build, I got bored and decided to build a BLING rod.
 
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steelhead_stalkers

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Is that the pac bay minima reel seat? How tight can you put on your reel? Is there enough epoxy in the front of the reel seat to keep it from moving? Looks good. Thanks
 
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ryan808

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Yes, its a Pac Bay Minima seat. Ive never had any problems with screwing the seat down, I turn mines down pretty tight. When the components are glued on they never move, unless you never glued them on correctly. The minima seat is like any other reel seat, just without the middle section.
 
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steelhead_stalkers

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Normal real seats have a lot more surface area for the epoxy to hold on to. I know a few people who use special epoxy for small real seats like that. Its good to know you have not had any problems with the real seat moving. Thanks for the info!
 
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ryan808

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I used a grafite arbor and loaded the blnak/arbor/seat with Rod Bond, the small contact area is enough to secure to the blank.
 
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Bob Balcombe

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Michael I just found this site. What you stated is quite true. I started building rods almost 30 plus years ago. At that time no one shared a thing. What started out as > a repair job (No one around to do the repair) SoI learned the hard way. Lots of miss takes. Any way I learned enough to make it a full time job that afforeded trips to AK MX, Hawii and down under
Good Wraps Bob
 
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Bob Balcombe

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Lamigls rod get to gether in April

Lamigls rod get to gether in April

Just a pre up date next April at Lamiglas is a custom rod show. This will the 5th year at Lamiglas. Contact Kendra at Lamiglas, there will be builders from all over. Seminars on rod building 101, custom grips, cork repair, thread wrapping and weaving, What you can do with epoxy besides gluing, Mobilizing, guide prep wood turning for reel seats. just to name a few thing. If you are one of the lucky 50 you can build your own blank, That is correct YOU build your own blank, starting with cutting the fabric, tagging it to a mandrel, rolling it on to a mandrel plus the other other 6 steps to making a blank. There is a 35 dollar cost for materials. Suppliers will also be there to show you all the new stuff. You can't buy from them but you can see and touch what is new. Last year there was 150. It is free the only cost is you motel and food. On the last day we have a big BBQ buffet, everyone bring some kid of dish. At the end there is a free raffle. Past prises have been rod laths multiple rod driers ectra. If you need more info email me at balcomberods@aol.com or call 360-482-5389
Good Wraps Bob :cool:
 
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