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Fly Rod Building Discussions on building fly rods...

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Old 04-18-2012, 03:21 PM
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Default Starting out

OK,

I may, or may not want to start building a rod here and there. Not to save any money but just because I think it looks a like a bit of fun.

Starting out I wouldn't get to crazy and would just build from kits until I got the hang of what I was doing, but I think it would be fun way to start building up the arsenal of rods.

I know, like everything else in fly fishing, the more money you invest to start, typically the smoother the experience, but I don't want to go too overboard with this whole venture.

Would a builders kit like this: Mud Hole Custom Builder Wrapping Kit

be sufficient to build a few. I know It doesn't give me many thread color choices but those, just like tying materials would eventually be accumulated.


Then I want to build rods out of something like this: Temple Fork Professional Series Fly Rod Kits | mudhole.com

Or something from a kit. Or like like a handle kit and blank and guides.

Any advice?
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:29 PM
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Default Re: Starting out

No real advice to speak of, but think of it this way. Fly tying probably started out as a bit of fun, and most like snowballed. I bet the same will happen with rod building, and its WAY more time consuming (i assume). If you have the time for it, then do it. I dont have the time, that's why i've stayed away from rod building so far...i only wish i could get the time to build one
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:37 PM
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Default Re: Starting out

I took a look at the wrapping kit and it looks like it will get you started. It has a different layout than any I've ever seen. Have you checked at Cabalas for the kits? I wrapped my first one using a dictionary for thread tension and 2 blocks of wood with a V cut to rest the shafts as you turned. Sometime around 1982 I got a rod rack from Cabalas and ordered the optional 3.5 rpm drying motor. The rack allowed for 2 different spools of silk to be loaded and tensioned at the same time and that became handy when I started Tipping my wraps.

Shop around, you'll enjoy wrapping rods. The only part that requires staying at it is when you varnish or Flex Coat the wraps. Otherwise you can wrap one guide and stop until the next time you are ready to do more.

Ard

---------- Post added at 02:37 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:31 PM ----------

I just checked Cabalas, this looks like the new version of mine; Cabela's: Flex Coat Hand Rod Wrapper You would need to add the drying motor. Something I notice about the new age drying motors is they turn a lot faster than mine..............
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:45 PM
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Default Re: Starting out

That set-up is a bit different than mine but it would probably work. Mine has uprights that hold the blank, the one you linked would hold it closer to the table. I'd recommend building one. I haven't done much work with wood and built mine with a circular saw in the garage. Like many others I followed these plans. One thing I like about it is that the supports and thread tensioner are adjustable so you can get the rod supported where you need it and the thread lined up with the guide you're wrapping. If you make one, also build an extra support that is free standing at the same height at the others so you can get good support when wrapping the top guides. This can double as a support for your drying motor set-up if you make your own stands.

The other materials included look right though I would buy a sleeve of razor blades from Lowes/Home Depot. I'd also buy a bunch of extra brushes and mixing cups. You don't want to rush applying the finish on your thread wrap. You could use the list for the kit to order the supplies separately or buy a kit that doesn't come with the wrapper if you make your own. Mudhole sells other kits without the wrapper, also check out JS Stockard, Acidrod, Cabelas for other suppliers.

Once you pick your blank/rod kit, I'd order some colors of thread. They are cheap and it's better than paying extra shipping later. It might be smart to get a rod building kit since it will come with all the parts you need. If you get a kit it might come with epoxy and finish, if it doesn't there are a number of options out there. For epoxy I use 5 Minute epoxy (attach reel seat and grip) and for finish on the thread wraps I use Bullard's Diamond II, though I'm sure others have recommendations.

It is a lot of fun, ask a lot of questions!
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Old 04-19-2012, 02:01 PM
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Default Re: Starting out

Thanks Guys. I am leaning towards getting the kit, they have a little youtube video linked on the site and it looks relatively straight forward. I know it will get addicting but I just want to try my hand at it and see how it goes first before I get too into it.

Next is a dryer ABSOLUTELY nescessary or can i do it guide by guide and spin it by hand til it dries?
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Old 04-19-2012, 02:45 PM
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Default Re: Starting out

Even with a high build Flex coat turning by hand is not a good idea. Just when you think it has set up and you let the rod sit for a while the finish will sag. When I do a wrap or a repair I let the rod section turn for at least 4 hours. The longer you let things go before removing from the rack the better. Flex coat stays tacky for about 12 hours and will pick up lint and whatever the wraps come in contact with. DO NOT TOUCH to see if it's dry, wait until the next day when you know it is.

I know the little motors are an added expense for start up but they pay for themselves by the valuable service they provide.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:01 AM
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Default Re: Starting out

I finished my first rod a few weeks ago and I really enjoyed the build process. My son is moving to Colorado this summmer and I plan to make him one before he leaves. Anyway, I made my own wrapping gismo and I use the rotisserie motor from my BBQ grill as the drying motor. It rotates about 6 RPMs. If you have basic woodworking tools/skills you can make your own. Look it up on YouTube and Google instructions.

Don

---------- Post added at 10:01 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:52 AM ----------

One other thing, I found this series of videos on YouTube to be very helpful:


The above address is the the first of 21 videos.

Don
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:46 PM
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Default Re: Starting out

Thanks Dsmith. I was leaning towards building my own dryer/spinner thing solely because i found some easy to work with plans.

I think for the sake of making it easier on myself i'm going to get the wrapping table thing from mudhole, and make the dryer. Overall i don't think it will set me back to much.
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