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Old 11-13-2011, 05:19 PM
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Default Building My First Fly Rod

Wondering what is the best source of information for building a fly rod. I was watching the 20 part series on flyrodfanatic.com which I thought was very good. Only the quality of the video was not real clear on my laptop so I was concerned I may be missing some key elements. Overall it did not seem that difficult so I'd really like to give it a try. I'd probably build a 4 piece so finding the spine may be a little more difficult than with a 2 piece blank, though the flyrodfanatic site indicated that there isn't really much of a spine issue with the butt piece of a 4 piece fly rod. Any suggestions will be much appreciated. I was thinking about starting with a 7' 9" 3 wt; better to start with something different? Also, what is the best source for a fly rod kit; are the kits the best way to go for a first build. I'll be off of work for a about 3 weeks for the holidays so I hope to build my first rod during that time.

Last edited by auntrout; 11-25-2011 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 11-13-2011, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: Building My First Fly Rod

How easy or difficult it may be to build depends on the individual. With each rod you build there will be things learned. I would contact some of the suppliers that sell rod building components and have them put something together. This way you will stay in budget, components will complement, and you will have choices.
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:12 PM
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Default Re: Building My First Fly Rod

Thanks Hardhat. Never really gave it any thought, that is building a rod, but it seems really interesting and like you mentioned with each rod you build there will be things learned. Sort of like tying a new fly pattern.

---------- Post added at 09:12 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:30 PM ----------

How important is using a finishing motor? I can see not really needing a nice hand rod wrapper; just using a cardboard box for a stand and phone book for string tension, etc. But to get the epoxy on the wrap it seems like you need to use a finishing motor to get a nice job. I can't see myself turning the blank with on hand and applying the epoxy with the other and it turning out very neat.
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:12 PM
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Default Re: Building My First Fly Rod

I find rod building to be a very enjoyable activity. But be careful because most people cannot stop at just one. Like eating only one potato chip.
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:15 PM
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Default Re: Building My First Fly Rod

I agree. Like tying flies, first you start off with a few materials and before you know you have than you know what to do with.
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Old 11-13-2011, 10:33 PM
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Default Re: Building My First Fly Rod

Sounds like a great idea! As for resources, there are a few I'll mention. I read some good books, the most helpful was Fly Rod Building Made Easy by Art Scheck. There are a lot on Amazon, but I got good ones through the public library, loaned from across the State. There are some YouTube videos, just search for 'rod building' 'starting rod wraps' , etc. and you'll find resources. In addition, this forum has some great folks that can help, as does Rod Building (Powered by Invision Power Board). The search engines on both will answer many questions and the members will be invaluable.

Regarding finding the spline, Sevier Manufacturing's blanks come with faint lines marking the spline, so that could make it easy. I'm currently building on my second Sevier blank and love my 7'6" 3/4wt (In my experience it doesn't work well as a 3wt but is a great 4wt). Having the spline marked could give you a chance trying to 'find' it and then check how you've done against the marks they made. I've never used a kit. I like making my own grip and find it not that tough to do, and I like picking out the components I want and it's easy to do. Someone else might be able to recommend a good kit. If you can, get guides with pre-ground feet. It's not the biggest deal to do it yourself, but on your first build it might be good to have them pre-ground. I would get a drying motor. It will make life much easier and give you a nice finish. Companies that sell rod building stuff will carry motors or search ebay. Other people take apart an old microwave or rotisserie, but I found ebay much easier.

Rod building is very addictive and there is always a lot to learn - that's the fun of it. I'm currently working on my first feather inlay. You'll do well if you don't stress about not getting everything right the first time (or the fifth). Until you put finish on the wraps, it's no big deal, just cut the wraps and re-do them. It's worth it to do it right and the rod you built with some imperfections will be more enjoyable to fish than a perfect, factory bought one.

Last edited by williamhj; 11-13-2011 at 10:38 PM. Reason: corrected grammar
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Old 11-13-2011, 11:25 PM
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Default Re: Building My First Fly Rod

Thanks for all the great recommendations. I'll definitely check out the book by Art Scheck. I'll also have to look into the Sevier blanks. Not familiar with their blanks, do they also make rods or only provide blanks. If I'm able 'find' the spine, then it will give me more confidence in the future. To me it seems like the two areas you can mess up are incorrectly identifying the spline or applying the finish on the wraps before things are lined up correctly. Like you mentioned, you can always cut the wraps and redo them.

I did check out the J. Stockard site and came across a TFO Finesse package: 7' 9" 3wt and with a better nickel reel seat it was about $135. Still need the materials like epoxy, finish, etc. I thought that was pretty reasonable and if something went really bad it wouldn't break the bank. It does seem like though that a finishing/drying motor is one thing you need for the rod to come out nice. I think I can do w/o the nice wooden hand rod wrapper, but not the drying motor. I probably can make a hand rod wrapper; I'll buy a tensioner by FlexCoat (about $7) should be good to go.

I haven't even started anything yet but I can feel the addiction coming; just like when I started tying flies. The only thing is how many fly rods will I be able to justify building; little different than boxes full of flies.
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:03 AM
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Default Re: Building My First Fly Rod

Quote:
Originally Posted by auntrout View Post
Thanks for all the great recommendations. I'll definitely check out the book by Art Scheck. I'll also have to look into the Sevier blanks. Not familiar with their blanks, do they also make rods or only provide blanks. If I'm able 'find' the spine, then it will give me more confidence in the future. To me it seems like the two areas you can mess up are incorrectly identifying the spline or applying the finish on the wraps before things are lined up correctly. Like you mentioned, you can always cut the wraps and redo them.

I did check out the J. Stockard site and came across a TFO Finesse package: 7' 9" 3wt and with a better nickel reel seat it was about $135. Still need the materials like epoxy, finish, etc. I thought that was pretty reasonable and if something went really bad it wouldn't break the bank. It does seem like though that a finishing/drying motor is one thing you need for the rod to come out nice. I think I can do w/o the nice wooden hand rod wrapper, but not the drying motor. I probably can make a hand rod wrapper; I'll buy a tensioner by FlexCoat (about $7) should be good to go.

I haven't even started anything yet but I can feel the addiction coming; just like when I started tying flies. The only thing is how many fly rods will I be able to justify building; little different than boxes full of flies.
Looks like you live in So. Calif. so you must have some fly shops close by that have blanks and rod building supplies. They should also have someone with rod building knowledge that can help also.
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:49 AM
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Default Re: Building My First Fly Rod

Whether you buy a kit or individual components, buy extra thread. It will let you practice wraps and redo wraps without worrying about ordering shipping cost and waiting associated with ordering more, or needing to take an extra trip to the store.
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: Building My First Fly Rod

Yes you will need a drying motor, its a must.

Rick
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