Re: Rod Building?
First and formost welcome to the addiction....second....I would rethink the thought that building your own is cheaper than buying a built rod. I just finished my first rod...it's a Batson Rainshadow 7wt switch....
Cork for handle=$60
Snake Brand guides=$35
Total just for basic parts $270.00
That does not include shipping cost or building supplies i.e. rod wrapper/turner or materials to build your own, mixing cups, reamers, drill bits, sandpaper, inlay tools, etc etc......another easy $150.00. If you make your own handles then you are looking at turning supplies and tools as well. I admit I did somethings on my rod that other would not do i.e. anodized my own Lemke reel seat, turned my own cork and seat insert, feather inlay and this all added to the cost. Gas to the local hardware store, nuts bolts, cost cost cost...Though I didn't keep track of every penny I spent I know I have $600 into my rod.
Sure if you plan on building more than one rod it does get "cheaper" but I think you will find yourself buying more expensive components as you get better at it. In the end the reason I built and many others build their own rods is to have something custom that you can't buy from a store.....you can't put a price tag on that.
As for what you need to know...hummm...well you need to start out knowing what your budget is for this and what you want to build...fly rod, spinning , casting rod? Next you need to figure out how deep you want to get into this. Do you want to build a custom handle or rather buy a premade one? Reel seat...a million options from $10 to $70, same for rod guides everything from $1.00 guides to those costing several bucks each. It all adds up when you have 10 guides to wrap on a rod. As for tools you will need a rod wrapper...you can do a basic cardboard box with notches cut into it or you can make a nice wooden one yourself for $40 or buy a premade one. Take a look around the forums here and at other places on then net and see what others are doing with their builds, it will help you get your head around what you need and where to start.