Streamer Rod - First Build Planning
I am new to rod building, but have tied flies and fly-fished for a long time now. I live in the Lansing, Michigan area and fish primarily Michigan rivers for trout and smallmouth.
I am looking to build a rod for fishing large streamers. Right now I am using an entry level TFO Lefty Kreh Pro Series 9', 7wt, IM6 graphite. It works alright, but I notice it is fairly heavy and has a bit more flex than I like for streamers. I think I got spoiled by my 9', 5wt Orvis Access which was a present and otherwise more than I would spend on a fly rod. The Access will be my primary dry fly and nymphing rod and maybe small streamers, but I would like to upgrade from the TFO Pro to get a little lighter and more responsive action - without spending $300 or more. This lead me to looking into rod building.
In the description Kelly Galloup gives in hid video for the streamer specific "Bank Robber", he says that this rod has a strong butt, moderate/fast middle, and a fast tip. So, I'm looking for blanks close to this - but I'm open to suggestions. Should I go 6 wt or 7 wt? I like the sound of a 6 wt for reducing the weight, but think I may want to stick with 7 wt to cast the big articulated streamers. What about a fast 6wt with a 7 wt line?
I see that Hook and Hackle has a deal on 2013 FTX "fast-tip" kits and this looks like it might work for big streamers. I am also looking at Batson RX8, or MHX from Mudhole. But I am open to any and all suggestions on building a rod that would be a nice upgrade for me without costing big bucks.