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Fly Rod Building Discussions on building fly rods...

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Old 09-02-2009, 12:42 AM
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Default Rod building questions

In my typical style when getting into a hobby of having to try every aspect of it, I've been looking into rod building as well. I looked up kits and components and everything seems suprisingly affordable, at least the entry level or off-brand stuff, but of course quality comes into question at such low prices. I'm looking to build a cheap rod of cheap components, so not to invest a lot into something that might not pan out, but I have a couple of questions that go along with that.

Is there a huge difference in rod blank quality between brands and price points? I know that price is dependent on size and line weight as well, but as far as quality goes, would it be a waste to buy a 30 dollar rod blank, even as a starting point? (I want to build a cheap rod, but I would like it to last a little bit) I mean, I know some Sage blank would blow it away easily, but I can't afford that kind of stuff!

I see alot of stress put on proper thread tension while wrapping rods, why is this so important?

And what the hell is a winding check? What does it do?
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Old 09-02-2009, 01:10 AM
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Default Re: Rod building questions

A value priced blank with good components will probably make a fine rod for you, so don't get a complex about brand names and price.

Tension? I have dressed a few rods using a book as a tension device. You simply run the silk through the book at about the center and close to the spine. Close the book on the silk and you have an even amount of tension. Keeping an equal amount of tension and making sure to pack the windings nice and tightly are the way that you get a nice finished dressing at each guide and ferrell. You also need to get them the same number of wraps around the blank so the windings are of equal size. This will add symmetry to the finish.

The winding check is that finishing touch that slides down the butt section of the blank against the front of the cork grip and is held in place with a dab of epoxy and a nice wrapping. This is the same wrapping that you place the hook keeper in the middle of. The winding check is kinda like the stanchion around the pipe that holds your shower head in the bathroom.
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Last edited by Hardyreels; 09-02-2009 at 01:15 AM. Reason: add content
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Old 09-02-2009, 12:23 PM
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Default Re: Rod building questions

Hi sdgreg,

Here is what I would do. Go to the hardware store and buy a 3' long dowel material that is 1/4" or so in diameter. Then you need a spool of thread of the correct size. Pick the thread color based on what you would use on a rod. Get a card board box and notch two opposing sides. The box will hold the dowel while you wrap. Then get a book like Ard suggested. You may have to adjust the hight of the book or box to get things comfortable to work with. You will also need some kind of burnisher. Now wrap you brains out until it gets easy or you decide it is not for you. You will only have a few bucks invested and you will learn a lot in a short time. There is more to it that just wrapping but wrapping is the tedious part.

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Old 09-02-2009, 08:48 PM
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Default Re: Rod building questions

awesome. Thanks for the help guys. I'm gonna have to get some dowel from the crafts store!
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Old 09-03-2009, 07:44 AM
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Default Re: Rod building questions

Hi sdgreg,

You will learn a lot wrapping a dowel. When you cut the notch in the box do it this way.

1. In the center of one side cut straight down with a knife or fine tooth saw for about 1".

2. now make a 45 degree cut that angles down and meets the bottom of the straight cut.

Now When you drop the rod into the slot have the straight cut facing the thread coming form the book. By the way, a dictionary makes a good book to use. The straight cut can also be cut at a slight angle if the dowel tries to ride up. It is best to keep the flap on the box so you have a double thickness of cardboard.

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