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Old 02-07-2012, 01:31 AM
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Default My winter spey rod project.

I got a heck of a deal on a 14' 9 wt. Thomas and Thomas blank. It showed up at the post office last Friday. It is a dark blue and has a more traditional action to it. Just my style. Since getting past winter up here takes just a tad less time than the second coming of Christ, I figured I'd do an all out job on this build and post a detailed progress on it. I started today with the top grip. I cast more top hand dominant so I am going with a 14 1/2" top grip.

If you have never seen the jigs they have now for making checkers in the grip, you have to check them out. You can do checkers with wood the hard way. You need a table saw with a seriously good blade, and a chop saw, again with a matching killer blade. If anyone wants to know how to do them in wood send me a PM and I'll let you know what you need and how to do it. I decided to do all cork on this one, but with 'cork burl' accents and checkers for a couple of reasons. First, cork is much less maintenance intensive than wood. Second, making the checkers with cork is waaaaaay easier. Almost cheating.

Here is the jigs and the saw. The dark ring on the left is a 'burnt burl' ring. The ring next to it is really a fine example of flor grade cork. Spendy cork. The jig on the left is used to cut the rings into wedges. I almost feel silly saying it, because it is kind of self explanatory. The other one is not as obvious because of the angle of the photo. It's used to thin slice rings. You can put various washers in the bottom to make the desired thickness.
Click the image to open in full size.
The next photo is the two rings cut up into wedges, then layed out to make the checkers. You take those wedges and glue them together and cable tie them around a 1/4" waxed steel rod. The wax keeps you from making them part of the rod.
Click the image to open in full size.
The next photo is just steps in the checker making process. As I said, with cork and these jigs it's almost cheating it's so easy. Left to right, unglued wedges, glued and clamped wedges, a dry and ready 'checker' ring, and last a thin sliced set for checkers.
Click the image to open in full size.
The last photo is all the cork pieces layed out on a 1/4" rod.
Click the image to open in full size.
The end with just one rubberized cork ring is the end where the reel seat goes. The next thing I will do is remove them in order and redrill the center hole to 3/8" with a pilot drill and then glue and clamp it on a 3/8" mandrel so I can turn it. On a 7" cork grip you don't need to do that last part. I do it with this because the length is to long to make the hole right with a rat tail file, plus the length it's less wobbly when turning it with a beefier mandrel.

I'm thinking about doing a weave and a feather inlay on this rod. I tried like a son of a gun to get these Impeyan Monal breast feathers for the feather inlay from E-Bay, but I got sniped at the last second so I am still thinking about that one. They were a dark metallic Blue. Would have been perfect. Lots of time left to come up with a good plan B.
mojo, jpbfly, baseman1 and 2 others like this.
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:46 AM
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Default Re: My winter spey rod project.

I'm really looking forward to seeing your progress on the rod. I'm sure it'll turn out to be beautiful. If you don't mind me asking, what does it cost to build a spey rod with premium components compared to just buying the finished rod straight from the manufacturer?
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:06 AM
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Default Re: My winter spey rod project.

wow dan!
you surely are a true master rod builder
i'm looking forward too seeing, and learning from this build as it progresses

casey
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:11 AM
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Default Re: My winter spey rod project.

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Originally Posted by chased View Post
I'm really looking forward to seeing your progress on the rod. I'm sure it'll turn out to be beautiful. If you don't mind me asking, what does it cost to build a spey rod with premium components compared to just buying the finished rod straight from the manufacturer?
Well I got the blank on a closeout deal so I saved about a hundred there.Flor grade cork like I used here will run you around a hundred dollars. The spey seat with a Titanium finish runs around $47.oo. I'm using three stripper guides and a Titanium snake guides. That will run you in the neighborhood of $45.oo or so. I guess if you got the same deal on the blank and did everything the same way, you are looking at somewhere in $500.oo range. They want about $1100.oo for that rod. Mine will be much nicer looking, but then again looks are just looks, the rod is the rod. I find it's best not to look to close at what it costs you. If you overthink it, you may not do it.

And thankyou for the kind words Casey. Hopefully you will get to see it in person before to long.
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:32 AM
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Default Re: My winter spey rod project.

Great info on building up the grip. Looking forward to following the progress through your build.
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:43 AM
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Default Re: My winter spey rod project.

Thanks. I'm going to try and show some of the little tricks to doing it while I go along. Little tricks like thin trim bands and inlays. Feather inlays. I think I'll weave the T&T logo on the bottom side of where I do the feather inlay. Hopefully it will help someone in their builds.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:19 AM
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Thumbs up Re: My winter spey rod project.

Nice write-up on the cork techniques Dan; looking forward to future updates on the rod...

Dan
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:50 AM
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Default Re: My winter spey rod project.

Dan, the cork technique is awesome, I'm definitely interested in trying something similar, but I'm not counting on it to look anywhere near that good!

Looking forward to seeing your progress!
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:03 PM
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Default Re: My winter spey rod project.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gatortransplant View Post
I'm not counting on it to look anywhere near that good!
Actually, with the tools I'm using I think a drunk trained Chimp could get them to come out like that. Those jigs are almost cheating. The only bad part about them is that they are a tad costly, so it's not something you buy to do just one rod with. However, if you wanted to do your handle with checkers like that, if you sent me the rings, I'd slice them up for you and send them back. Just toss in the postage cost with the rings. Still want to set around and talk Archeology with you one of these days.
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:17 PM
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Default Re: My winter spey rod project.

You know I'll be watching this come together Dan. Have you decided on wrap colors? We had a thread that had the T&T deep green with red tipping shown and it looks just subtle enough to be really sharp.
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